Entries from the previous blog.
Off the beaten track 05/04/2007
We finally left
Snow! and old friends 04/06/2007
might need some further clarification. We are still in
to head back to
We plan on
Carnaval was a blast. It took a day or two to realize that nothing gets started till 10 o’clock at night or later. The marina here organized a trip to do dinner and see the fireworks, so we joined in. The dinner was mediocre (I think they tried to do American food), but the fireworks were good. Unfortunately the balcony that we watched from was designed to provide shade from the sun, this meant it blocked some of the view as well. The fireworks commemorate a battle with the French, so part of the fireworks are launched from shore and some from onboard a boat off the shore.
On the same night is also the “Burning of Bad Humors”, where an effigy of some person or issue is burnt. This year the issue was the high price of tortillas, in the past it has been Osama bin Laden, and a Taxi strike. (See videos here) After the show we went walking on the main Carnaval street, Olas Altas. There were many stages set up each with a live band (competing with each other to be heard), wandering Mariachi bands (competing to be heard), many beer booths, and a huge crowd of people. We quickly learned that you needed to hold on to each other and get in with the flow going your desired direction (sort of a huge conga line). It was crowded and loud, but everyone was having fun. After getting another beer we started heading back but made a mistake of getting too close to the bandstand. The crowd here was very thick and we soon lost any control over our speed or direction. We were being swept along and were only concerned with keeping on our feet, tripping or falling would be bad news. Once past the stage things eased up, but that was not fun.
A few days
later we went to the Carnaval Parade. This took place on the malecon, the road that was right on the ocean. Cindy and I
went down early to get a good spot along the fence on the seawall. The street
rapidly filled up with families coming to watch. The parade started with the
sponsor’s (beer, bakery, and automakers mostly) floats which consisted of
dancers throwing items and load music. The real parade consisted of some
marching groups and lots of floats. The floats all had dancers (male and
female), and more loud music usually live. No beads here but lots of confetti,
thrown by the dancers or shot from cannons. After the parade we headed to the
old town area for some food. It was nearly midnight but the Plazuela
Machado and the restaurants were quite busy. When dinner was over we grabbed a pulmonia to take us back to the marina. The pulmonia (literally pneumonia) is an open air taxi unique
Some friends (Clarence and Sharon from Lotus) are staying at the other marina, El Cid, it has a hotel and timeshares, which also means a pool and hottub! We have spent a few afternoons as their guests hanging out at the pool, and hitting the Friday happy Hour. There are advantages to being at a marina!
Marina Mazatlan, where we are docked is a nice place to stay. They do quite a bit to support the cruisers community. They facilitate many services like laundry, bottled water, propane, a veggie truck comes several times a week. The cruisers also organize events, DVD swap, swap meet, HAM radio exams, Spanish lessons, yoga, etc… There is quite a bit going on to keep people busy.
Over on the mainland for carnaval! 02.16/2007
is now on the mainland of
Lucas is strictly a tourist town, nothing but bars and hotels/timeshares. We
spent a few days but the anchorage is very rough and noisy due to the boat
traffic, jet skis, and cruiseships. We went into town
a few times but tried not to spend too much money. We got suckered into doing a
timeshare talk (they offered $225!). Started out okay, but they got pushy, then
rude when we said no and we wanted to leave. We later heard that this timeshare
was known as a “buy or cry” operation. We did get a free trip over to San Jose
Del Cabo for sightseeing out of the deal.
to come to
We are also getting some work done on the boat here. Having some of the old varnished stripped and sanding the decks. Can’t stop anywhere for a few days without trying to get some boat jobs done.
The weather is nice and the people friendly, this is good cruising.
In the tropics! 02/01/2007
Masquerade has crossed the
tropic of Cancer (23.37 degrees North), so we are officially in the tropics. We
are now anchored off the beach in Cabo San Lucas,
having arrived yesterday (1/31). There are several boats here that we met in
We had some fun fishing on the way down, we caught a few smaller fish that we released because we wanted a dorado. I then caught something large that I fought with for around 15 minutes trying not to lose all my line. After all that work the line broke so we never got to see what it was. Nothing we had caught previously fought anything like that. Later near Cabo we did manage to catch a nice sized dorado (mahi mahi) but when we tried to get him in the net, it thrashed about,threw off the hook and escaped. Very disappointing.
Willie the boat cat really likes the fresh raw fish, and has learned the sound of a fish strike. When the line gets pulled off the reel by a fish he comes out to the cockpit to watch and see what we bring on board. He was also quite fascinated by the live shrimp that we traded for from some local fisherman.
We will be here for a few
days to sight see and do some provisioning before heading across the
Panga rides 01/27/2007
Masquerade has moved down to
Bahia Magdalena (known as
We saw several whales on the way here and one was in the anchorage. They do some whale watching here for tourists bused up from Cabo San Lucas. I think that these tours often stop here for lunch and keep the restaurant going.
The Port Captain came out to
check us in and mentioned that he could take us to San Carlos, the main town in
Mag Bay about 15 miles north. We said no, but later
changed our minds when the 2 other boats decided to do the trip Lotus and Clara
Katherine. The next day we climbed into the Port Captain's panga
for a high speed ride up the bay. The pangas used
around here are open fiberglass boats about 20ft long with high freeboard and
large outboards (100hp+). All the locals use this type of boat and we have seen
them out in 35+kn of wind.
Masquerade arrived in Bahia Santa Maria early this afternoon after an overnight sail from Abreojos. We had planned to spend a day at Abreojos and do some walking around but the weather forecast made us a little concerned about our anchorage. We decided to up anchor and not worry about a change in wind direction. We had a pretty uneventful sail, starting with light winds and picking up in the early morning.
We were visited by a group of dolphins in the middle of the night. It was very dark with the cloud cover and no moon, but the water was full of bio-luminescence. I could see the dolphins streaking toward the boat from over a hundred feet away. The dolphins were lit up and left a trail behind them as they swam. I moved up to the bow sprit to watch as many as 10 dolphins playing in the bow wave just a few feet below me. Their bodies were outlined by the glowing water, they seemed just inches apart and just inches from the bow of the boat. It was an amazing sight, then they were gone and we never saw anymore the rest of the night.
We plan on spending several
days here and at
Eyes Open 01/18/2007
We arrived in Punta Abreojos early this afternoon after a nice sail down from
We liked the small town in
Still getting cool weather and sitting out high winds. We are looking forward to warm breezes and warm water.
Turtle Baying 01/11/2007
1-11-07: We arrived early
this morning, we adjusted our speed so that we would
enter the bay after sunrise. We avoid entering any bays or harbors at night.
The charts down here are not as accurate as the
We saw a large pod of dolphin on the way down here. These dolphin were leaping out of the water but had little interest in playing in the bow wave. The dolphins further north did not leap out of the water but did like to spend time playing around the boat.
We will go ashore to check out the little town either later today or tomorrow after we rest
Fresh tuna for dinner 01/11/2007
Masquerade is still underway
It is a very calm night with no wind at all. The seas are so glassy that the stars are reflected in the water. The stars are amazing as there are no lights to block them out.
We caught or first tuna today just before sunset. He was on the BBQ within an hour! Good but cleaning fish on a small boat underway is messy.
I think we just crossed into the Mountain time zone. I am going to take a nap now.
Heading to Turtle Bay 01/10/2007
Masquerade is currently
We hope to make
Hoping for a little wind....
Getting settled in
We have now
We have since completed all the paperwork for clearing customs for ourselves and getting a temporary import permit for the boat. There is a streamlined process with all the offices you need to visit now in a single building. Now it only takes 3 hours, instead of all day with multiple trips across town.
Exploring the town has been fun, things change pretty quickly once you get out of the tourist area. Everyone has been friendly and we are trying to speak some Spanish. We have some language tapes and some books to help us, but wish we had started this earlier in the year. I am hoping that some of my high school Spanish is locked away somewhere in my brain and can be coaxed out. Several friends have taken Spanish immersion classes (for a week or more) and we may look into that as well.
The boats out on anchor are apparently a bit of a tourist attraction. There are multiple boats that load up with Mexican tourists and motor around and out of the harbor (whale watching/sea lions/seals, who knows what). These boats tend to pass very close to the anchored boats (passengers taking pictures and videos) while leaving a large wake. This behavior usually gets ignored or a brief wave from the cruiser. What is funny is that a boat doing this in the pacific northwest would have elicited some rude epithets and a completely different hand gesture. It is a different world.
After many, many delays
Masquerade has brought us to
It feels really good to
finally make it here after 5+ years of planning. The last few weeks/months have
seemed to drag on while waiting for parts and repairs to be completed. We did
not expect this last part of the trip to take quite so much time and effort. We
were a little apprehensive about leaving the
We wanted to wish all our friends and family a Merry Christmas/Feliz Navidad and a Happy New Year/Something Ano Nuevo!!
Obviously, I need to work on my Spanish. My excuse is that we were up sailing all night.
Last stop in Caifornia 12/17/2006
made it as far as
We hoped to
get out of here quickly, with perhaps a short visit to the Mexican consulate.
However we had yet another failure of our Navman instruments. The depth sounder that we just had
repaired has failed. We lost out depth readings on our way to
hoping to get out of here and into
We finally left
We are in the
been here for quite a while, getting the boat ready for
We had a great party at the dock for friends and family! There was a nice sandy beach with picnic tables, which worked out well as we could not possibly fit everyone on the boat at once. We had a nice warm sunny day, and about 25 people showed up. I know we enjoyed it, I hope everyone else did as well.
ball is right next to
Still in Santa Barbara...11/02/2006
still in the
hoped to be down to
Hopefully this can be corrected quickly and we can get the engine running again soon. The dock is going to get expensive starting Friday.
news is that we found the issue before we left the
Anchored off of
We are now on our way south
Sitting on a dock in Bodega bay 10/05/206
We have been back at the boat for a while now. We are finished for a while with cleaning garages. Some of Cindy's family came down hear to visit(Bon & Jim and Beth & Danny). Good to see them. Now if we can just get out of here. First we were waiting for some mail, then they closed the office early and we could not check out(get a refund), now the weather has been changing(twice a day). We hope to be out of here tomorrow, with a forecast of light northerlies, but rain and maybe thundershowers.
We seem to start getting
antsy when we have been at the dock or a single place more than a week or so. I
am not sure if this is because we feel we are behind schedule(seems
everyone else is in
Hoping tomorrow is a nice sail down to Santa Cruz, or maybe Monterey, or perhaps Half Moon Bay, or...
Listening when the boat talks to you 09/01/2006
We did a
short trip inland (
hoped to leave today or Saturday since the weather looked good. However we are
now waiting for some parts to arrive. I had noticed that the steering felt odd
when we were docking here. A few days later I cleared out the cockpit locker
storage so that I could examine the steering gear, and climbed inside. What I found
was rather frightening; one of the steering cables had frayed almost all the
way through. We were lucky that the bar getting into
A thriving fishing town. 05/26/2006
We are now
Cindy and I wanted to go see the petroglyphs outside of town, but decided that it would be a long walk and we would get back late as you need to see the carvings at low tide, which was at 6:30pm. We decided to take the dinghy instead as we could make a couple of miles quickly (as long as the water is flat). Well the water was not flat so it was a rough and wet ride, with some difficulty beaching the dinghy and getting on shore mostly dry. After wandering around for a while and finding nothing we managed to get some directions from a woman walking her dog, then a woman who came out of her nearby house to tell us where to look. We finally managed to find the petroglyphs, take a few photos, and get back to the dinghy before the rising tide floated it off the beach. More fun getting back into the dinghy without falling in the water, and getting back into deep enough water to run the outboard. The ride back was rough, but not as bad as going out. A fun adventure, but next time we might just walk.
made it all the way to
We arrived on a day without any cruise ships so all the tourist spots were closed (must be a dozen jewelry/diamond stores), and the streets were deserted. Today there were 3 cruise ships at once, so although it would be interesting to see the difference, we stayed away from the mobs.
Yesterday in the
We have had
to replace our fuel filters twice now. We either picked up some bad diesel, or
we may just be sucking up junk from the bottom of our tank. We don’t usually
run our tanks this low, but fuel was much more expensive in
we will head further north, we delayed our permit date for
been moving quickly and are now moored in
our next stop should be in
Perhaps once we get there I can write a better log entry!
Heading for Queen
going to be heading out from Port McNeill tomorrow, and travel to the north end
We had good
weather and made it through
We spent an
extra day at the
On the dock at
We are now
above 50 degrees Latitude. Making a little better progress
north. We are at a dock for a few days to rest a little and get some
jobs done. We want to get the new high output alternator installed and working,
since this is the last large town for quite a ways. After
this is will be more difficult/expensive to get parts till either
many years we finally visited Buchart
Gardens in our boat. There is a tiny little bay behind the gardens where
you can moor and tour the gardens. We had a beautiful sunny day (rare so far),
and few tourists since it is early in the year. A very nice way to spend the
day, we left in the early afternoon and had a chance to sail a little on the
it was up through
We met up
again with Yohelah again after almost 2 weeks. It was good to see
Rob and Teresa again, especially since they were there to help us dock in the
strong winds. From here we head through
after we left
through customs into
Sitting in the San Juans 04/11/2006
been up in the San Jun Islands for a few days now. The boat is starting to look
better with things getting put away. Our first major issue was with the heater
not working properly. It was pretty cold without any heat, and finding spare
parts on a weekend was, pretty unlikely. After stopping at both auto part
We are now
The dock lines have been cut! 04/02/2006
As of April 1st, we are off the dock and have started cruising. Mostly.
After a last few frantic days, working on jobs, packing the boat and getting stressed out, it feels good to have started. A great big thanks to everyone who came to the Bon Voyage Party, and to those that came down to the boat to cut the dock lines (literally) and see us off. It was great to see all our friends and we appreciate all the support and good wishes. Leaving our friends behind is harder than leaving the job, car and house.
has too much gear (junk) on board, and most of it is not stowed properly. We
are going to spend a few days in Port Townsend getting things better organized
and getting some additional jobs done. After that we will be heading up to the
San Juan Islands, and
Thanks again to everyone for their support!
Down to the last few days 03/23/2006
We are now in the final preparations to leave the dock and head north. The boat is a disaster with jobs half finished and equipment and parts waiting to be stored. However we will pack up whatever jobs we have not finished and leave anyways. It has been rather stressful trying to get the last things done, and we seem to spend our time running around rather than working on the boat. Working for Microsoft was less stressful!
We are going to have a Bon Voyage party on March 31. This will be a K-Dock at Shilshole Marina from 6-10pm. IT is a BYOB potluck, stop by and say hello.
We are now off to CA, to store some of the few possessions that we kept from our land based life. We are leaving our only car so when we come back, everything left here needs to fit on the boat or be left behind.
8 Days to go…
Making some progress 02/17/206
The list of boat jobs is not getting any smaller yet.
We are very busy with lots going on so it has been hard to get a full day of work in on the boat. However I did finish my Emergency Responder (First Aid/CPR/…) course, and Cindy and I both passed the test for the Technician class HAM radio license. Thanks to a great class by the MicroHAMS. I would recommend the weekend class to anyone looking to get a HAM license, intense couple of days but well worth it, and cheap too! I also passed the General class written test; now I need to pass the Morse code test, or wait till the FCC drops the requirement (could be soon or could be years).
So much to get done, so little time… 42 days…
We're Going Cruising!! 01/31/2006
A major milestone was reached last week when I gave notice to my boss
that I going to leave work. This was a necessary step so I could work on the
boat full time to finish preparing for offshore cruising. We have two months to
work on some jobs before we start heading northward to
This has been a dream and a goal for us for years. We have spent the last several years looking for a good boat, and preparing it and ourselves for this trip. The boat is near the end of a major overhaul. It will never be completed, but we will be ready to go and we can take the rest of the jobs with us! We have been taking classes in weather, first aid, sail repair, diesel maintenance, electrical maintenance, navigation, celestial navigation, radio operation and more. We know we still have a lot more to learn, but we will get that through experience.
60 days to go…
Happy New Year! 01/03/2006
It had been a while since we had been out to a PSCC raft-up, so we were looking forward to the New Years get together at Blakely harbor. The weather reports had been threatening some heavy winds for days, but on Saturday everything looked pretty good with around 15kn. We had a nice sail down to Blakely harbor but had to motor a bit to get in before it was too dark (which is pretty early this time of year with sunset at 4:30). We spent the evening on Osprey with wine, snacks and about dozen people crammed aboard. The weather was clear enough that we could see the firework display on the Space Needle at midnight.
morning the raft-up broke up early due to the wind and waves coming into the
harbor. It was too rough for the boats to stay tied together. We expected the
winds to be stronger out on the sound so we put a reef in the main. After
sailing into a calm spot out side the harbor, we shook out the reef and headed
We sat out the worst of the storm in peace and set off for home the next day in early afternoon. The wind was still blowing from the south and picked up to 12-15kn for a nice beam reach all the way back to the marina. It rained a bit but not too hard. Overall it was a nice weekend out and a good way to relax after the hectic holidays.
87 days to go…
The fridge is done!! 12/15/2005
The boat was put back in the water, then pulled back out when a (brand new) thru-hull valve broke. An hour later after a rushed drive to the chandlery and a quick repair; we were back in the water again.
The project of rebuilding the fridge is completed! The box is all put together and sealed up. We are still waiting on the shelf to arrive, and need to fix the fids and countertop; but otherwise it is all done! We are using it and it seems to be running well. Now we need to finish the SSB radio and the watermaker.
Summer is over! 10/02/2005
After a far
too brief vacation, we are back in
We had a
great time up in the
The beginning of October has brought much cooler weather and rain. It seemed that the nice weather is gone too soon. However we plan on keeping the boat is in sailing condition so that we can do some fall/winter trips.
Masquerade on Vacation 09/04/2005
We are off
for a week or so of vacation. We are currently in PT Townsend, waiting for the
currents to be favorable. Last night we went into town for dinner with Mike and
Masquerade is sailing again! 08/26/2005
After months of being a motor boat, we are now a sailboat again. The new mainsail has been bent on. The new blocks, organizers, and winch are installed. The lines run aft and are in working order. It has been a hard push to get everything ready for our test sail with Carol Hasse and Dan Kulin. We were going up to Port Townsend so that Dan could tune the rig under sail, and Carol could check her sails.
After a few late nights drilling holes and caulking fitting we were able to leave the dock and set sails north.
We had a great sail off of Port Townsend in a light afternoon breeze. You can tell from the pictures if we were enjoying ourselves!
Townsend, we headed south to Port Ludlow to attend the Perry Rendezvous.
Now back to finishing the fridge…
Initial entry 06/27/2005
The blog code is installed and configured. All I need now is an interesting topic to write about!
We are setting up this blog so that we can send easy updates to our website when we do not have internet access. This blog can be updated via email, so we should be able to use our SSB (once it is installed) via winlink or sailmail. This should be useful since we are planning on going where there are no internet connections.
We are scheduled to get our new mainsail July 1st. Once we get that we can actually test out the new rig.
The fridge is still a work in progress, but is moving forward.