Wednesday, 22 October 2008

September 19th to October 18th, 2008 San Carlos, Martini Cove, Guymas, Bahia Concepcion, Isla Catalina

Beasts and anchor on the beach at San Carlos.

Views of the anchorage, featuring Passat II, a converted Canadian ice breaker (now a yacht) and the high rent district.

Half price night at the Palapa on the Beach, with fellow cruisers.

Martini Cove, a great place to snorkel. Can you see the octopus in the 4th picture? First picture of our new Merc 3.5 hp Outboard engine.

Day trip to Guymas, an industrial / Commercial centre that had little to hold our interest. The highlight was lunch at the DQ.

Rise and shine, time to head leave San Carlos and head to Bahia Concepcion, before hurricane Norbert comes to town.

Passat II stripped down for Hurricane Norbert in Bahia Concepcion. Norbert passed 90 miles to the south and we got winds under 20 knts and less then 1/8 inch of rain.

Unnamed cove at south end of Isla Catalina that we holed up in waiting for a NW gale to pass.

Sunset to the west and moon rise to the east. Clear (and calm in the cove) in spite of 35+ knt winds in the Sea of Cortez.

We have an 8 hour spinnaker run after the gale passes.

The only ship we see in the passage.

Booby bird hitchhiker. At sunset they look for a place to roost. He and two buddies thought our rigging looked good, until I took action to discourage them. We did not need their droppings on the deck.

Seduko in the cockpit, just prior to another perfect sunset.

Copy of group e-mail sent on our passage follows:

We left San Carlos Tues Oct 7th and had a classic one tack beam reach sail across the Sea of Cortez to Bahia Concepcion, just in time to get ready for Hurricane Norbert. We spent two days getting the boat ready, including:

  • Moving to a second location when an update predicted winds from the North for our area vs South.
  • Setting two anchors
  • removing sails, solar panels, etc.

After all that we had maximum 20 knt winds and maybe 1/8th inch of rain. We were lucky, just 90 miles south of us, near Loreto, they had 65 knt winds, with gusts of up to 100 kts. Neptune had other plans for us.

We re-installed everything and left the next day for Mazatlan, taking advantage of the 20 knt NW winds. We originally planned to go straight through, but the winds built up to a full gale, with 8 plus foot seas and some cross swells left over from Norbert. We took a 4 plus hour detour and hid in a tiny unnamed cove at the South end of Isla Catalina.

After a day and one half the gale had passed and the waves were back to normal. We headed for Mazatlan. Had a great downwind sail with gradually falling winds from the NNW. We used our "new to us" spinnaker for a full 8 hours. A record spinnaker run for us both. By the time we approached Mazatlan we were motor sailing. Things were so good we decided to go for PV, our ultimate re provisioning destination. Not to be.

About six hours south of Mazatlan the high water bilge alarm sounded!!! Another first for us. The less then 2 year old goose neck connecting the exhaust manifold to the exhaust hose had sprung a leak. Loose clamp? No way. A split that would need welding or a replacement. We shut off the motor and started to sail, in light and declining head winds, back to Mazatlan. Two hours later we are becalmed. We decide to risk the motor and limped (all the way dodging the longest drift nets we have seen) into Mazatlan just before noon.

Cruising "repairing your boat in exotic locations".

Monday, 6 October 2008

September 14th and 15th, 2008 CHIHUAHUA

Chihuahua in the rain. It rained on and off the whole time we were here. The capital for the state with the same name. Not named after the dog, Chihuahua means something like flat sandy place(my guess would have been "rainy place" ha ha). In spite of the rain decorations were going up for the Independence celebrations. We did not go into town in the evening as we heard that the fireworks were postponed to a later date. Just our luck they went ahead without us. I was able to hear them, but not see them from our hotel room.

A city of statures. The clock is counting down the time to the 200 year anniversary of Mexico's Independence. The rider with a pistol is Poncho Villa an Independence hero who lived in Chihuahua.

The cathedral and an old mission.
The area is a center for ranching and farming, with cowboy boots a big item. On this street, in a town just west of Chihuahua there were several stores devoted just to these boots. BIL Barry checks them out and ends up buying a pair.