Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Whales, Dolphins and Coconuts

 We have been in Puerto Vallarta for 2 weeks and it has been amazing!  We have caught up with old friends, my sailing buddy John is here, my son and my nephew Dan have visited, and the weather has been sublime.  Our friends Steve and Pat are over in Paradise Village.  We headed over for some cocktails and a true Mexican dinner.  John arrived from Ashland, OR last Wednesdiay.  He has been staying on the boat in the guest cabin.  The weather is sooo nice!  60’s at night and high 70  to low 80’s during the day.  Water temp close to 80 as well.

With guests in town, we headed to  Sayulita the day.  This is surfing hangout that has turned in to a big tourist town.  We headed straight for the beach and found a table for 5.  Drinks and lunch ensued. The big frustration on a beach like this the is parade of vendors selling everything under the sun.  We must have had well over 100 vendors approach us in 4 hours.  Rediculas.  And the weird thing is, nobody is buying!!  Connor (my son) and I headed to tent with some space music and 2 maussuses.  We had an hour massage that was amazing for $25.  Headed to the beach feeling very mellow.  We took off at 4 to catch the bus back to the boat.  We missed our stop and ended up in Busseria.  Heads to a palapa on the beach and took in the sunset with a marg in hand.  Played Frisbee with some kids and we had a green flash to top it off.  Dinner at the La Cruz Inn and we were happy sailors.  On Saturday the 19th of January,  We took the boys for a romping sail across tithe bay.  We wanted 3 things and we got them all!  Wind, whales and dolphins.  As we took off, we motored for a bit to charge the batts.  We raised sail and we took off in 14 knot winds!  Perfect.  The thing I love about Banderas Bay is that because tit is 26 miles wide, you head out on a 3 hour tack and after the only tack of the day, we head back home.  One tack!  It was very relaxing and we had some great convo in the cockpit.  After our tack, Tex announces, “Oh no!”.  I jump and he says there are dolphins ahead.  100’s of dolphins are jumping our way and under the starboard side.  We identified them as Spinner Dolphins as they were much smaller than the Bottlenose we had been seeing.  Next we came upon 2 whales again of the starboard side.  Everyone was thrilled with the sail and love the sea mammals.

Sunday it was off to explore downtown PV.  We met Tex and Dan at a bar on the river mouth.  It was very nice.  Bocce on their lawn broke out and I won another round against Tex, John and Dan.  We took a walk into town and found Meurtos Brewery.  Had a brew and watched the AFC Playoffs for a bit.  Historic football history was made.  The had never been 2 over time games in the championship series.  Great games both.  We hit up a street taco that was yummy and the stopped in a beautiful church.  Off to find the best mole of the trip at Gabby’s.  Wow it was good.  If you have never tried the mole, please be my guest and get ready for a treat if you like chocolate.  Today we are off to Yelapa with John.  He and I have done 2 Haha’s together as well as several trips on the SF bay.  We have day asked over 75 times together.  So an adventure was afoot.  Yelapa is 16 miles south of us.  It is a deep mountain valley with a beautiful bay at its feet.  The only sway to get there is by boat.  If you need to get into town, there is mule service available.  It’s such a cool cove!  Lot’s of tourists during the day and then we have the place to ourselves.  Looking forward to a couple nights here if the waves are coming.  Will send anoth update soon!  Over and out from Team Aquarius.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Collision at Sea

Tex and I both flew back to the Bay Area for the holidays.  I returned with with my two sisters and families on the 27th.  My wife made arrangements for us to stay it’s a beautiful resort called Secrets.  About a mile from the marina.We did a couple sails and
they were very nice and mellow.  We celebrated the New Year with a fine meal and some French Champagne.  Also played a round of golf at the hotel course which was a real treat.  On the 2nd of January, my family flew home and Tex arrived.  We have a passage to Mazatlan plnned the next day.  It’s about a 240 mile passage.  The morning came and we took off about 10:30.  The wind was up and blowing hard.  We got out of the marina and raised both sails.  The wind kept building and soon we pulled the jib in and went with just the main.  A big powerful sail.  Once clear off the cape, the winds and seas built event more.  20- 23 knots was the norm and the waves were big.  Should we turn back?  It was very evident that we could not continue towards Mazatlan as I we would be fighting into 8-10 foot seas.  We fell off and looked down the line.  Dead ahead is Puerto Vallarta.  We decided to abort and head to PV.  It would be a 300 mile passage.  We shortened our watches and it worked like a charm.  During my last 1-4am watch, , a bright light appeared ahead.  It looked like a light on a mast of a sailboat.  This light indicates that the vessel is under motor.  I look again and it is headed for us.  I was about to wake Tex up when I thought what if that is not a motor light.  I whipped out my Star Walk app and sure enough it was Venus coming over the horizon.  Collision avoided!  We reached the outer tip of Puerto Vallarta after a 50 hour sail.  We anchored at the lovely Puna Mita and settled in.  On Sunday, we motored over close to the beach and went ashore for the first time in 3 days.  We had a beer and Tex met up with a friend from Tinder.  Nice gal.  We headed back for a nap and dinner.  Next morning we were off to Yelapa.  We had some decent winds too get us there.  As we pulled in a panga approached and told us he had a mooring ball for us.  We hooked in and those winds had kicked up some waves and it was a very folly anchorage.  We headed into the beach and made a glorious landing that put us both in the water briefly.  Oh well.  We headed over to a beachside restaurant and a bocce game broke out.  We even had the waiter play a game with us in the sand.  I prevailed and won another best of 3.  Hit the hay early and we took off the next day before 9:30 as the boat was rocking.  Hit some nice bays down the coast as well as Los Arcos but it was very busy with lots of other boats.  Motored
to La Cruz in a few hours and set our anchor among 25 other boats.  We will be here for a couple weeks as we explore the bay and wait for our friends and family to show.  All is well aboard Aquarius!

Saturday, December 29, 2018

And Now For Something Completely Different

Couple weeks ago at Mavericks.

My family is visiting for the next few days here in Cabo San Jose.  Today we are headed out for some sailing and whale watching.  Next week, Tex and I depart for Mazatlan and then on to Puerto Vallarta.  Looking forward to more good times aboard Aquarius. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

The Sea = Danger

The sea is a dangerous place.  The perils of the sea include sharks, pirates, shipping containers floating just below the surface, gales, fire, rouge waves, food poisoning, infection, dismasting, hurricanes, sinking, rudder failure, scurvy, tsunamis, fog, dehydration, salt water crocs, anchor failure, water spouts, contaminated water, lightning, terrorists, hypothermia, drowning, fishing nets, lee shores, whales, malaria, unlit fishing boats, strong currents, unmarked obstructions, reefs, large ships, sea sickness, mutiny, dismemberment, and death.  Sailing requires a huge amount of luck as well as constant vigilance so that these issues donot happen.  Tex and I have been very lucky indeed.  On many of our passages we are sailing 24/7.  We have watch schedules of 4 hours on and 4 hours off and we are sailing in the darkness.  All we can really look out for is the lights of other boats.  If a large object is in the water ahead of us, we will not be able to see it.   One of our scariest moments was when lightning was all around us.  With a large object protruding into the sky, all we can do is pray.  And I am not just talking about the mast.

Some of our highlights so far have been as follows:

Retiring from the Too Much Fun Club, loading the boat the next day, and sailing away the following day

Kayaking into Painted Cave on Santa Cruz island off Santa Barbara.  This is the largest water cave in the world

Day sailing down the coast of norcal with stops at famed harbors such as Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz, Monterey, Morro Bay and around the Cape Horn of California, Pt. Conception.

Circumnavigating Santa Cruz Island on a 5 day sojourn.

Spending 3 weeks in Santa Barbra and taking friends out to the beautiful island of Santa Cruz.  Ed and Yvonne joined us, Sue and John, and some of my sailing friends as well.

Celebrating my 60th birthday at the Ritz in Santa Barbara

A visit to the famous island of Santa Catalina and Avalon.

An afternoon touring Newport Beach with a high school friend on his private tender

Beating my crew and friends 19 times in a row in bocce.  And playing a game inside a cave on the beach.

Arriving in San Diego to celebrate the 50 anniversary of Ultimat Frisbeee with a bunch of folks from around the bay area and elsewhere.

Spending 3 weeks in San Diego and a week with my oldest friend from childhood.  Steve Peterson joined for the Frisbee and then spent a week on the boat with us.

Sailing with my son and his friend in San Diego

A night sail to Ensanada, 60 miles down the coast

2 weeks in Ensanada, the gastronomical capital of Mexico

Having two orcas visit us off Ensanada

A week with Bridget in Cancun celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary

A week with my family in Puerto Vallarta to celebrate Thanksgiving

700 miles sailing from Ensanada to Cabo San Lucas

Sailing the islands off La Paz and inviting other boats to join us on our boat to celebrate the cruising life

Discovering the wonders of San Jose del Cabo, a beautiful small town and the antithesis of Cabo San Lucas

Here is what we are looking forward to in the new year:

Having my sisters, Bridget and family join me in San Jose del Cabo for NYE and some more sailing the Pacific with them

Sailing to mainland Mexico and having friends and family share our fun in Puerto Vallarta during our 2 week stay there

South of PV are some of the most exotic anchorages in all of Mexico with a new anchorage about every 20 miles 

Having Scumby and family visit us in Ztown and celebrating his birthday.  By the way you are all invited

Attending the international gypsy guitarfest in Ztown

Meeting more wonderful cruisers as we sail the coast of this wonderful country.

Tex has been a saint

The weather has been fantastic

The boat has performed way above our wildest expectations

Everyone from Mexico has been helpful, warm and friendly

Tex and I are having the time of our lives.

Please join us on our dream cruise!!



Made it Cabo a few days later.  Had a great sail from Mag Bay all the way to Cabo in some great winds to 20 knots.  Anchored off the beach and took a nice swim.  Next morning we headed into the marina at Cabo.  We were told they had no room.  We waited a while and they found a slip for us.  We headed to town and checked in with the port captain.  After lunch we headed back out and anchored at the beach again as it was the easiest way to get there.  We headed in and met some folks and had a blast.  Opps we drank a few margs and they were strong.  Back at the boat we slept well. 

Our ex crewmate Mike was heading over to pick up his stuff.  He was not enjoying the way I had set things up to meet my friends and he abandon us on our longest leg.  I asked him to leave the boat and he agreed.  He and our friend Lisa showed up and we had a nice time.  We went to a cool restaurant called Mi Casa for dinner.  They have great mole.  The mariachi band came over and I requested Oye Como Va by Tito Puente and made famous by Santana.  They ripped it.  Then they did Black Magic Woman.  Amazing.  Next day we headed out to San Jose del Cabo about 20 miles away.  They have a new marina and we spent the night.

The next three days were spent sailing to La Paz.  Sail during the day and then stop at an anchorage for the night. Worked great and by the afternoon of the 3rd day we arrived at Espiratu Santos.  Nice anchorage with lots of fish.  Next day we headed up island to find a more protected spot.  Found a nice place with 5 other boats.  I went around the anchorage to invite folks over for sunset cocktails on our boat.  2 couples joined us and we had a great time.  Jo even brought Makeral stew for dinner.  In the morning I swam over to their boats and thanked them for coming over.  They loved it.  Tex and I then went for a sail and then headed into a small cove.  I went for a swim to the beach and took a naked nap.  Nobody to say no right?  Next day we headed to Seal rock and there were millions of fish there but nary a seal.  We headed to another anchorage and I went around and let everyone know we were playing bocce at 3:30.  Several dingys showed up and we had a blast with the kids.  Tex and I won the tourney. 

One of the boats was some young cruisers on their first overnight.  We invited them over for drinks at sunset.  Shane had purchased his 41’ boat and had been getting her ready.  He said he owned a company in LA and was so miserable he sold the company and moved on to his just purchased boat a few months ago.  Now he was trying to find a balance in his life and live as cheaply as possible.  He found it!  We enjoyed talking to him and his crew.  Next day we buddy boated with them into their marina in La Paz.  Nice spot.  We picked up a few provisions and then they drove to another mole restaurant and we had a feast for $20 each.  Now we are headed back to San Jose del Cabo to regroup and head home for the holidays.  We will be back in town shortly after Xmas with the family to hang out at a resort and do some more….sailing!

 Somewhere off La Paz!


Wednesday, December 05, 2018

60 Miles/30 Days

We had a great time in San Diego spending over 3 weeks there.  We arrived on the 18th of October and prepared to meet up from one of my best child hood buddies, Steve Peterson.  He is from Delaware and was out for the National Ultimate Frisbee Championships.  It was also the 50th anniversary of Ultimate.  We met him at the beach in Coronado.  There was a beach ultimate game going on.  A bunch of old Frisbee buds were there and it was great to see them all.  I had played at Stanford for 15 years on a club team.  After the tourney, Steve joined us on the boat for a week.  We were docked at a military facility called Fiddler’s Cove Marina.  Just outside of Coronado.  We spent our days exploring San Diego, going sailing and visiting with friends old and new.  Some other buddies visited with Andy, Doug, and a few others.  We also got to hang out with my son who lives in the area.  Connor hosted us for some swimming and bocce.  Our favorite anchorage was just off Coronado Island.

During our visit the Haha was getting ready to take off for Cabo.  We attended the kick off party and had a blast seeing old friends.  My old boat partner and long time friend was there, Arnie.  He had found a boat and was heading out.  One of the funniest lines of the trip happened.  There was a gal there dressed as a mermaid and I was giving her a hug and noticed she had a pierced tongue.  I asked if she knew what they said about a girl with a pierced tongue?  She said yes, that they usually had a pierced clit!  Way too much info!  It was fun to be there and wish the fleet a bon voyage. 

  We made reservations at the Police Dock on Shelter Island, as I was heading off to meet Bridget in Cancun to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.  Tex would hang at the boat for the week.  Our other crewmate Mike had joined a boat on the Haha.  Had a great week in Cancun at a very nice resort right on the beach.  They had a few Hobie’s and I sailed every day in winds 12-18 knots.  Very fun and we had a marvi time. 

Back at the boat, Tex and I had a lot to do.  We did some provisioning and some last minute boat items.  Mike did not return to the boat so Tex and I prepared to depart on Sunday for Ensanada, about 60 miles away.  We left in the afternoon.  We had some good winds off Tiajuana and then arrived Monday to check into Mexico.  We had hoped to sail to Cabo but got delayed due to high winds.  That set us back further. We ended up staying a couple weeks.  When we were there, the Baja 1000 was taking place.  This is a motor race thru the desert.  We went over to see the line up and it was a huge party in the streets.  We had some street tacos and enjoyed the celebration. 

I was to meet my family in Puerto Vallarta for Thanksgiving so made arrangements to fly out of San Diego.  Stayed at my favorite Haha hotel, the Sheraton at the Marina.  Arrived in PV and joined family and friends for a week of celebration.  Our best friends Frank and Leslie host us there every 2 years and we always have way too much fun.  Volleyball, swimming, big dinners on the property and an awesome resort on the beach!  After a nice Thanksgiving, I headed back to Ensanada.  Mike was not returning to the boat so I put an ad on Craigslist for crew.  Alex responded and joined us in Ensanada.  He has been a great addition and speaks fluent Spanish.  He has been a big help.  We really needed 3 to make this 700 mile adventure work.  We provisioned and hit the coast on Monday afternoon.  We were bound for Cedros Island about 220 miles away.  We motored out and just after sunset, two Orca whales visited us and came right up to the boat.  Pretty cool.  My watch is 3-7 and I get the sunset and sunrise everyday.  It is so nice to get 8 hours off after a watch.  It would have been very difficult to do this with the 2 of us.  So glad Alex joined the crew!  We made it to Cedros and got the fuel we needed.  We took off the next morning for a 270 mile sail to Magdelana Bay.  During my watch we threw out the lure and landed a beautiful Mahi Mahi and had him for dinner.  Yum.  Resting now.

We made it to Cabo and have been hanging out in the bay and the marina.  We depart in a few minutes to San Jose del Cabo and in a few days up to the beautiful islands off La Paz.  I had been out there 2011 on a charter with sailing buds.  Looking forward to warm water and 15 knots on the beam. More soon.  Over and out.

We are looking for someone to join us on the second half of our adventure. 


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

We have departed for MX!

We departed San Diego on Sunday Nov. 10.  We arrived in ENSANADA to check into the county and get some rest.  The sail down was motor for 4 hours, sail for 4 hours in some strong 20 knot and more wind.  The weather here has been nice and windy.  This morning saw 43 knots of wind down near Cedros Island.  We are here for a few weeks as I am heading to PV to spend time with family and friends.  Will return on 11-23 or so.  We have been on the water 8 weeks and have been having way too much fun!  Lots of friends visiting and beautiful weather.  We are having a ball.  More towards the end of the month.