Monday, December 29, 2014

Crossing Over to Isla Isabel

La Paz to Isla Isabel

We left at 9:00 as scheduled this am with all of our dock 3 friends there to give us hugs and send us off.  What a beautiful sendoff it was!

We motored most of the way through the channel and put the sails up to get to the San Lorenzo channel.  We ended up turning on the motor and motor sailing to get out of a shoal area and in between the channel markers.  However, once we made the turn, we had a beautiful downwind course.
First Mate Kate at the helm

Mike plotting our course to Isla Isabel

After a while we pulled in the head sail and just sailed with the main because we could run a little easier and be closer to our rhumb line.  Right after a gorgeous pink,  purple, blue, yellow and orange sunset the winds seemed to die.  We decided to take down the main and motor because the sail was just snapping back and forth, seemingly angry that we couldn't keep her sail full.

A beautiful sunset to launch our first overnight

Within the hour the winds picked up and we were raising and reefing the main.  The seas were really unruly and confused.  I felt like we were in a large, undulating  washing machine.  Did I mention it was completely dark now?  As we resumed a downwind point of sail (broad reach to run) Mike let out the main.  All of a sudden the main sheet was flying loose!  Somehow there was no knot keeping the line threaded.  So, I took the helm and Mike went forward to save the line and re-thread it. The auto pilot is a great invention and I am really thankful for how well it is working.  That being said, as we tried to get it set for the evening watch schedule we had a difficult time getting it to keep an ideal course because of the seas.  So, while I was down getting our salad course of dinner, Mike accidentally gybed.  Yep.  Broke off the hook for the preventer.  Thus, he had to repair that, too!

I write this at 2:13 am and all is well.  Mike is sleeping and the lovely auto pilot is still dutifully keeping us on course.  I watched the lovely, bright orange moon disguised as a large eye watching over us simply melt into the sea just as I had watched the sun set.  Now it is pitch black with only the light coming from the stars, our running lights and this iPad.  Suddenly, I feel alone.  I didn't realize how much comfort I felt from the moon and I was sad to see it to set.

I am wishing now that I had paid more attention in my weather and space class, as my familiar constellations include Ursa major and minor, Orion, and Cassiopeia.  There isn't a cloud in the sky tonight and I could have a hay day if I knew more! 


We awoke to calm seas and clear skies.  Mike inspected the boat and found a bunch of little squid that had a big adventure during the night and ended up on our deck.  We thought about keeping them for bait but then we both decided we didn't want anything to slow our progress. Even catching a dorado.

We had a lazy day with no wind.  I found myself cleaning up the boat just to have something to do.  

Mike and I started the Podcast "Serial" today.  We both had heard about it on NPR and wanted to check it out, so Mike had downloaded the series before we left. Essentially it is about a young Muslim boy who is accused and charged with murdering his ex-girlfriend.  The host is an ex-reporter for the Baltimore Times and is revisiting the details of the case because a family reached out to her. It is really interesting....riveting!

The night watches were uneventful except for some fog around the time I was heading to bed (4 am).  The stars were spectacular, once again, and I realized that i had an app on my iPad called Star Walk that shows you the stars, planets and major constellations as you point the iPad into the sky.  Pretty darn cool.  I now know Cetus (whale) and Draco (dragon) and remember knowing Andromeda and plan on learning a few new ones each night.

We awoke this morning to flat seas and a few dolphins as our welcome committee.  I always feel better when I see dolphins.  We also had a booby circle our boat.  I am really not a fan of diesel fumes or the noise of the engine.  I keep hoping for wind so we can sail but by the look of the calm seas, I think it's a pipe dream. Land is in sight on our navigation software.  Yay!  We should be there sometime today. Our overnight guest was a single little skipjack tuna.

The day was pretty quiet and generally light winds.  We did all of our boat chores and listened to more Serial, and before we knew it we could see land.  First it was a couple of prison islands and then Isla Isabel!!  Unfortunately it took us another 2+ hours to arrive, after sunset.  Luckily Mike had experience anchoring here with Shindig a few weeks ago.  Thus, anchoring went smoothly and we were able to settle down and enjoy a nice lasagna dinner with a fresh green salad courtesy of greens from the farmer's market. A bottle of Nebbiolo helped us bring in the New Year.  We tried to watch an episode of Homeland but I bonked and had to go to bed.  It has been a long three days.

Feliz Ano Nuevo!

First Mate Kate

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Feliz Navidad in La Paz, MX

Annie's Visit
It was a very Merry Christmas in La Paz.  Our friend Annie came down for a week starting on the 20th to spend some time in La Paz with Mike.  Mike and John from Time Piece took Annie out on Pangaea    for a day sail to Falsa.  There, Annie did her first ever paddleboarding while Mike initiated our watermaker and John caught up with old friends.

The three of them hung around together for the next few days, exploring La Paz and its fine eateries and, of course, watching the Bronco game at Tailhunters.

I arrived in the late afternoon on the 23rd with two duffle bags full of presents and treats from Trader Joes/Whole Foods.  Our friend Al dropped me off at the airport, thank goodness, so I didn't have far to schlep.  Once again, Al saved the day for me.  Thanks, Al!!

Anne and Ale helped me make these wonderful new fender covers for Pangaea in Denver, CO last night.  Until midnight!   The best Christmas gift!

I unpacked and Annie moved into a condo that John had reserved for a week for his friends.  It turned out they were going to be out sailing until the 27th, so we arranged for Annie to stay there and have her own space for the rest of her trip.

We walked over to Mc Fisher for dinner but they were closed, so we made our way to Calypso.  We shared grilled octopus and calamari and mistakenly (for me, at least) had 3 margaritas.  Mike was still hungry so we walked down to Harker for pizza and 2-for-1 beers.  Did I mention I hadn't been drinking much in Denver?  Let's just say that I don't remember walking home much except for some vague recollection that petting goats was involved.  La Paz has a very elaborate living cresh exhibit appropirately named Navidad.  It is made up of a well-lit manger scene, shepherds, goats and completed by a Santa's workshop, where Santa waits for you on his couch. (Details provided to me by Mike).

The rest of the night is a complete blur and I am now reminded why I need to stop at two drinks. 

Thankful for holding my cookies dispite my lack of judgment.

First Matey Katie

Today wasn't pretty, as you might have imagined.  I never did get sick but I am sure I would have benefitted from it if I had.  Instead, I was just dizzy and nauseated.  Rehydrating helped and by the afternoon I was busily practicing my piano accompaniments of favorite Christmas carols to play and sing later that night at our Dock 3 Christmas Party.

Time flew by and before I knew it it was time to shower and set up.  Mike and I carried the piano, microphone and amp over to "The Cave" where the party was happening.  I sat down to get levels and test the mic when Jim from Prairie Oyster pulled me aside to tell me that the music wasn't the only part of the show.  Apparently, because I was slightly above the
tables in the bar area, everyone could 'see London and France.'  Back to the boat I went to put on a long dress.  See honey...that's why I need so many dresses!

The evening was great!  We had a packed party and it all began with a White Elephant Exchange. Then we did a carol sing-along, although Mike said most people just wanted to listen to me sing them.  I included requests from other crusiers, "Feliz Navidad" (which was a hit with our bar staff) and closed with "O Holy Night".  

Merry Christmas!

First Mate Kate


We had a nice Christmas with Annie.  We exchanged little gifts amongst ourselves and the cruisers nearby.  The bloody Mary/Caesar's Christmas morning tradition continued but this time with potluck brunch.  We love our dock 3 family.

Heidi and Terry on Cetus
Dianne on Prairie Oyster

Kay and Rhonda

Rod and Jane on Beachcomber with Katie and Mike

Annie and I got a little paddleboarding in, which was great!  The winds finally died down enough to get out into the bay. However, they did pick up a little while we were out there which made for a harder workout heading home.

That night, Annie and I joined Rod and Jane from Beachcomber, Jim and Dianne from Prairie Oyster and Terry and Heidi from Cetus for a Christmas turkey dinner at the Dinghy Dock restaurant.  Mike stayed home and rested.

Feliz Navidad!


This was Annie's last day in La Paz.  She got ready to leave while Mike and I headed to the Farmer's Market to stock up on fresh bread, veggies, pasta and herbs before our trip.  

Annie and I were able to get a really long paddle in before getting ready for dinner while Mike organized the boat.

The evening commenced with a successful trip to McFisher, where we all enjoyed the grilled yellowtail special and a margarita.  We ended our night at Calypso for a real margrita and were able to get a ride home in the boat-mobile, now dressed up as Rudolph.

Unfortunately Annie did not have a graceful dismount from the boat and ended up on her arse. Argh!

First Mate Kate


Annie got onto her bus ok and we started our preparations for our crossing.  We walked to the supermercado to get last-minute items and stock up on pesos. 

We are heading out en la maƱana!!

First Mate Kate

First Mate Kate with Captain Mike

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Back in La Paz in time for Thanksgiving

Mike and Kate

Thanksgiving is always very special in La Paz.  I love the community gathering potluck that is a tradition at Marina Palmira.  While I miss seeing my parents and siblings and their families, there is something really awesome  about having Thanksgiving dinner with 220 sailors.  It's almost like the original Thanksgiving.  :-)

We ate dinner with our friends Rob and Nancy from Shindig and Kathy and Jim from Solar Flair.
Nancy and Rob

Jim and Kathy

It was also amazing to see John from Time Piece.  Here he is with his friend Debbie.

Debbie and John

Of course, no Thanksgiving is complete without a Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) Race!  Last year our relay team was comprised of Rob from Shindig, Wendy on Willow and the two of us from Pangaea.  Team ShiWilloGea.  We did well, and Wendy actually won the women's sprint.  This year, Wendy couldn't be with us, so the four of us (Kate and Mike from Pangaea and Rob and Nancy from Shindig formed Team Pa-Shin for the race.  We were strong this year, too!  I like to think that we won (our age group)!

Kate, Mike, Nancy and Rob as Team Pa-Shin

We had a beautiful morning.  Just prior to the race, La Paz had a norther come through.  The timing of its departure was perfect for calm seas in which to paddle!  Our race was dedicated to Wendy who is back home in California.  No matter what time of day it is, her greeting is "Good Morning, Sunshine!"  We love her and miss her and hope that next year we can have our team ShinWiloGea back.

Mike is actually on Shindig right now helping Nancy and Rob cross over to the mainland.  I think they are having a blast.

I will be back down on Pangaea for Christmas.  My back and hip injury are getting more stable and I feel like I am ready to be back on the boat!

More updates to come!

First Mate Kate

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Pangaea Survives Hurricane Odile!!

As most of you know, we are back in Denver.  Mike is finishing up the last of his contracts with Lockhead Martin and I am teaching and doing voice pathology work through Vocal Essentials, my business.  

It is always hard to be away from Pangaea, but especially hard when you see a hurricane path projectory of exactly where we left her....La Paz, MX.

Well, the hurricane hit and winds were clocked at 100 mph in the marina.  Yikes!  I remember last fall riding out a strong "norther" at the marina, and we were running around making sure all the boats were ok.  There was minor damage to a few boats during that storm, and we had to keep re-tying dock lines.  That was 18 mph.  I can't even fathom 100.  

We will be forever grateful for our boat managers....Susan and Dennis Ross.  They checked on Pangaea diligently, and because of that, she suffered only minor injuries.  We lost our VHF antennae on the back of the boat.  It fell off into the windvane, so we need to replace our blades.  We also had some cleat and cap-rail damage from rolling in the slip.  Our interior has yet to be assessed, but we are keeping our fingers crossed!

We are really sad about the damage to the city of La Paz.  We wish we could be there to help with the cleanup. We are also sad to hear that 20 boats anchored in the Magote near downtown La Paz were beached and 3 people (at least) are missing from the sailing community.

We are sending love and light to everyone who is impacted by Odile. 

Huge Hurricane Hugs,

First Mate Kate

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Colorado Rocky Mountain High

It has been way too long since my last blog post.  My sincere apologies.  We are back in Colorado and taking in as much as we can while we are both back at work.  Mike is back at the rocket shop a.k.a. Lockheed Martin and I am back in a rented studio with Vocal Essentials.  

We both celebrated birthdays since we've been back.  Mike turned the big 5-0 and I turned 47.  We know that 50 is the new 30 but we are both feeling like the numbers are a bit unfathomable.  When did we get "old"-er?  I remind myself that at 30 I was undergoing treatment for breast cancer and not even sure I would see 40.  From that perspective, 47 looks damn good.

We are fortunate enough to be staying at Mike's dad's house and are enjoying him and his dog Yeti.  I look forward to a 2-mile walk with her every morning.  It is absolutely beautiful here.

I spent a week in Philadelphia when we got back for The Voice Foundation Symposium:  Care of the  Professional Voice.  It is always great to go back to where my career began and be a part of the Voice World and family again.  Denyce Graves gave an inspiring masterclass.  Great to see my mentor Robert T. Sataloff, M.D., DMA and Deborah Feijo.

I took a quick trip to San Diego with one of my voice students at the end of June.  Beautifully, our friends Nancy and Rob from Shindig were also in town celebrating Nancy's birthday, along eith Wendy on Willow.  We had a great birthday lunch all together at The Cove in La Jolla.

We have been riding a littlle every week.  I am working my way back to climbing mountain passes, but with a torn labrum, it hurts too much.  Yes, my fall in March resulted in a hip injury and the hip specialist is recommending surgery.  Thus, our fall plans to return to La Paz will depend on how all that goes.

I had the pleasure of singing Beethoven's 9th with the Colorado Symphony Chorus up in Vail, CO with the Dallas Symphony.  It was a fantastic concert.  We will do it again in August at the Aspen Music Festival with Robert Spano directing.  Here I am with my friend Anne Maupin who sang with me.

We spent the 4th of July up in Dillon, CO with Mike's dad Al at his girlfriend Paula's condo.  We biked 75 miles that weekend, 35 miles from Dillon to Copper Mountain and 40 miles from Dillon to Breckenridge.

We are in Santa Fe, NM this weekend with our friend Kathryn and Marc.  We spent this evening at the Santa Fe Opera.  What a great night!  We saw two one-act operas, The Impressario by Mozart and  Il Rossignol by Stravinsky.  

We drove Mike's dad's Porsche 968 down here, and half-way down it started surging and losing power.  It wasn't idling well when we got into town and barely got it parked.  Now it looks like we will have to stay another night here to get the car running.  Thank you, La Fonda, for giving us a break on our room rate and two cold bottles of water on our way to the car mechanics.  Thank you Executive Auto repair for looking at the car right away.  It seems to be the mass air flow sensor.  Thank you Duel Brewing for giving us a place to sit...and drink delicious beer while we wait for the car repair.

On the sailing news front, Pangaea has a new watermaker.  We bought a Spectra and it was installed this week.  Now we can go anywhere and not worry about our sources of fresh water (assuming it keeps working)!  We miss Pangaea but know she is being well taken care of by Dennis and Susan Ross.  We are very lucky to have them manage her along with our summer boat projects!!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Back to La Paz- Marina Palmira


24 deg 18'10.1"N 110 deg 20'14.2"W

Lobos-Marina Palmira, La Paz

Alas, it is time for our journey on the Sea of Cortez to end.  We made our last leg of the trip this morning without even putting the sails up.  It was 7 nm of motoring; we had no wind. That is ideal for docking, so I am a happy skipper.  For some reason, docking is the part of the sailing world that still terrifies me.

We had a picture perfect docking at the fuel dock and back into our slip thanks to no wind and our friends Carlos and Felippe.  And, of course, the crew on Pangaea.

It was forecasted to be 101 here in La Paz today, so we promptly headed for the marina pool for lunch and a little cool down.

That was all good until a man in heavy protective gear...a full jumpsuit, gloves, hat and gasmask...came out to spray the trees.  Mike looked at me and we both grabbed our things and headed for the marina bar inside.

We had the boat washed and we organized.  It was hot and we were moving slowly.  Before we knew it, it was 6 pm and shower time.  I havent looked that forward to a cold shower in I dont know how long.

The evening was perfect and complete with a trip to Calypso for margaritas and a calamari appetizer and dinner at Koi Sushi.  YUM!

I'm still moving,

First Mate Kate

Friday, May 16, 2014

Caleta Lobos


Caleta Partida-Caleta Lobos

24 deg 31'98.3"N 110 deg 22'88.8"W
24 deg 18'10.1"N 110 deg 20'14.2"W

Wispy clouds
Flat seas
Light winds
Engine hours 160-164.2

We awoke to another calm morning in the anchorage.  The water was glass-like and you could see the anchor on the bottom.  We made the decision to sail on to Lobos which is only about an hour or so motor/sail or sail to La Paz in the morning.  The winds are supposed to stay calm which is perfect for docking.

We had a little bit of wind as we left Caleta Partida, and that turned to none.  In an hour and a half we had gone pretty much nowhere.  We had a couple dolphins come and swim at our bow for a few minutes, but we were going too slow for them to stay interested.  So, we broke down and motor sailed to Lobos.

On the way there we caught a little bonita to make our afternoon interesting.  That and I made pizza dough.

We arrived in Lobos and the wind picked up.  We had 12 knots of wind out of the north.  Now it comes.  We were surprised at how hot it was and decided pretty quickly to go for a swim.  The wind and the current made it challenging, but we managed to do laps around the boat.  

It is still 90 degrees in our cabin, which is the hottest it has been on the trip. We are waiting until the sun goes down to cook the pizza, and are going to try cooking it on the grill.  I hope it works!  I don't really want it hotter in here.

Well, it worked and was fabulous.  

Iron chef wanna be,

First Mate Kate

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Caleta Partida


Isla San Francisco-Caleta Partida

24 deg 49'20.8"N 110 deg 34'03.9"W
24 deg 31'98.3"N 110 deg 22'88.8"W

Winds out of the N, NW 15-24
Seas 5-7' at 3-4 secs
9:30 am- 3:30 pm
Engine hours 158.6-160

We wanted a sporty sail for our last big sail and we got it!  We had 20+ knots of downwind sailing to Caleta Partida.  The seas were a bit choppy so we were rocking and rolling a bit, but it was fun!

That is, until we decided to go wing-on-wing to pursue a more downwind point of sail.  The other day when we used that sail configuration I found that I had to really pinch past running to keep the headsail full.  The difference was that we were in calmer seas and lighter winds. So, when I steered the boat to fill the headsail this time, I gybed.  Accidentally.  Yep. No longer a virgin to that experience.  

Unfortunately, even with a preventer set, that baby (the boom) swung around hard, taking out the preventer line (snap!) and port side dorade (it flew into the water) and bending a clip on the boom.  Hard lesson learned.

The positive side to the story is that when we gybed we actually ended up moving from being parallel to our destination to right on the rhumb line or the exact course we needed to get there.

We saw some dolphins performing arial  jumps in perfect formation near Isla Espiritu Santo.  Just beautiful.

An interesting sighting came a little closer to the island.  We were looking at the different anchorages along the north side of the island and noticed a few very large private yachts in Ensenada Grande. Then we noticed this really strange and fast boat. All dark navy or black.  Very stealth.  I think it came out from Ensenada Grande and it looked like it was going somewhere in a hurry.  Shortly afterward, all the private yachts left and went inside different anchorages.  At the same time.  Weird.

My overactive imagination decided that it was the drug cartel in the stealth boat making a delivery to the yachts or having a meeting with the Jeffe.  After the business was completed, the yachts all left at the same time from the "meeting point" and on to anchorages. What do you think?

We arrived in Caleta Partida and found a great spot in the north end of the shallows.  I went to drop the anchor and it wouldn't drop!  The anchor chain was stuck!  So...I quickly got myself back to the helm and told Mike the situation. I took Pangaea on a little tour around the anchorage while he rearranged the anchor chain in the locker.  Then we gave it another go. Stuck!  Again!  I switched places with Mike again and he was able to get the chain to release.  A successful anchor! Phew!

We were greeted by Steve and Gertie from dock 3 at Marina Palmira.  Gertie was excited to see us and tried to get on our boat.  We opened the gate and sat on the edge of the boat to give her plentiful scratches, rubs and a little dose of love.

We grilled up the last steak we got from Dali in Loreto along with our last baked potatoes.  We had a beautiful dinner with a nice reserve cab we bought in Santa Rosalia.  Mike toasted to eating steak and drinking wine on our yacht in paradise.

Spoiled and sleepy,

First Mate Kate


Day 2

We got up this am and the anchorage was calm and the sea turtles were checking us out.  It was a perfect morning for a paddle.  We hopped on our SUPs and took a little lagoon like passage to the other side of the island.  It's about an hour paddle each way.  The wind picked up as we got going so we got a little extra workout.  On our way we saw a couple from a catamaran in the anchorage on paddle boards heading the same way and one had a dog riding with him.  I wish I had my camera with me.  It was pretty darn cute.

We got back to the boat ready for lunch and then took a little reading break.  It was getting hot so we took a swim and hung out on the SUPs to dry.  The wind picked up and the guy on the cat either had a windsurfing rig or some kind of setup for his SUP but he was out killing it on his board.  It was pretty impressive!

We decided to paddle around the anchorage before sunset and caught the wind at the right angle to push us back to the boat.  We somehow both decided to paddle together and rode the waves back side by side.  We had a little audience from a Turkish ketch tour boat who seemed to appreciate our fun.

We made dinner and had a quiet evening.  It was nice to just relax.

Winding down,

First Mate Kate

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Isla San Francisco


Mangle Solo- Bahia Amortajada-Isla San Francisco

25 deg 01'09.6"N 110 deg 41'06.1"W
24 deg 53'21.5"N 110 deg 34'67.8"W
24 deg 49'20.8"N 110 deg 34'03.9"W

9:30-12:30 4-6:00 pm
Winds out of the NW, 9-15
Seas 4'
Sunny and less hazy

Engine hours 156.8-158.6

It was so great to see dolphins again!  We haven't seen them in a while and it always makes me feel better when we do.  There were 6 or 7 along the way, which isn't many, but I will take it!

We had a really easy downwind sail again.  We even were able to sail wing-on-wing for some of it.  We have been extremely lucky to have such consistent north winds, as generally the winds switch to the south about now.

We arrived at Amortajada mid-day, and the winds were mild-moderate.  The water and surroundings were in full sun display and looking quite glorious!  The water shoals off pretty quickly at this anchorage and the color change is quite dramatically beautiful.

We paddled into shore where there is an entrance to a mangrove tour.  It was a bit of a struggle to get into the the lagoon as the current was really strong and the winds were blowing against us.  The lagoon courses east toward the backside of Isla San Francisco, and in the middle of the trip offers a stunning view of the island and surrounding water.

It was about half-way through that I questioned the wisdom of doing the whole distance, as I was pretty certain the wind was going to come up and be blowing against us as we head back to the boat.  Mike agreed.  And we paddled on, totally ignoring our own best advice.

Just as predicted, the wind came up and right out of the north which was the direction we had to paddle to the boat.  It was so strong that we had to sit down on our SUPs and paddle them like kayaks to make any progress.

If the wind wasn't enough of a mental and physical challenge (we had about an hour left in our journey) the hornets were out with a vengeance and were terrorizing us as we battled the wind.  In the end, because we didn't put up a fight, they left us alone.  

As we left the lagoon and entered the sea we found ourselves heading right into 2-3 foot surf about 3-4 seconds apart.  Not huge but consistent and we were getting pretty exhausted.

We made it back to the boat and decided to head straight to Isla San Francisco, as it was almost 4 pm.

We had a fun downwind sail right into our anchorage.  There were 5 boats already anchored, including a really beautiful 75-foot sloop, navy and white.  It looked like something out of a Nautica or Ralph Lauren ad. Complete with pretty people.

We were hot and tired, but the water looked refreshing, so we jumped in.  It was cool but it felt perfect for the sore and tired body.

We were thankful for leftovers for dinner.  We were pooped!

All paddled out,

First Mate Kate

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mangle Solo


Los Gatos -Timbabiche -Mangle Solo
3 nm, 18 nm

25 deg 17'94.4"N 110 deg 56' 69.0"W
25 deg 16'29.7"N 110 deg 56'40.4"W
25 deg 01'09.6"N 110 deg 41'06.1"W

Engine hours 154.6-155.6-156.8

6:30-7:30, 9:00-2:30

Winds calm- seas 3-4' chop (initially)
Winds 6-12 from the N 3-4' swells
Sunny but a weird haze over the whole sea

Well rock'n roll we did last night, which makes two nights of not great sleeping for both of us.  Thankfully we had nice, downwind sailing.  We took advantage of the rough seas and winds to practice using our windvane with which to steer.

The sea was churning for most of the day and we had absolutely zero marine life sightings. Sad.  

We arrived at our anchorage in good time; we were blessed with speed today.  I am happy to report that it is just lovely and calm.  A perfect recipe for a good nights sleep!

Sleepy in the Sea of Cortez,

First Mate Kate

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Los Gatos


San Telmo- Los Gatos

25 deg 19' 88.9"N 110 deg 57' 90.4"W
25 deg  17'94.4"N 110 deg 56' 69.0"W

Engine hours-153.9-154.6

What a rough night we had!  We went to bed fairly early and at 11 pm were awakened by a strong coromuel.  The winds were blowing from the west around 18-22 knots with gusts over 30 (gale force).  Neither one of us slept much.

We said happy trails to Scott and Monica as they sailed by us and we decided to head south to Los Gatos.  The winds were kind to us this am, blowing from the NW and giving us a gentle surf-like sail all the way to our anchorage.  We sailed down wind with just the jib or headsail, and kept 4.5-5 kph.  On the way down we saw rays happily jumping out of the water and a couple dancing a little tango...nudge..nudge..wink..wink.  :-)

We arrived in Los Gatos about an hour after our departure and found it clear and calm...and all ours!  I even saw a sea turtle swimming in the water from my paddleboard.  

We snorkeled the north reef which was pretty awesome and paddled back to the boat for lunch.  On the way back we saw thousands of striped fish hovering near the bottom of the sea.  It was amazing.

After lunch I made pizza dough and then we took our SUPs to the beach for a walk and a frisbee.  At the north end of the beach we noticed a lot of rock lobster had been washed up on the shore.  After a little more exploring, we saw a few lobsters hiding under rocks near the shore. We went back to the boat to get our masks/snorkels and were officially on a mission to have lobster for dinner.

I got some great footage of the process.  It turns out that lobsters are pretty speedy little creatures.  I decided to join Mike in the quest for lobster.  In the end, the hunt was pretty fun, even though we have to have pizza for dinner. :-)

The wind picked up from the south and got the boat rocking and rolling.  

Rock-a-bye Babies,

First Mate Kate

Saturday, May 10, 2014

San Telmo


Bahia Agua Verde
San Marte
San Telmo

25 deg 31' 30.7"N 111 deg 04'44.1"W
25 deg 30' 0.97"N 111 deg 01' 0.50"W
25 deg 19' 88.9"N 110 deg 57' 90.4"W


Engine hours 149.2-151.9-153.9

What a great day we had!  We left Agua Verde after a really nice three days there and headed to San Marte to do some snorkeling.  Cap Cat had been there and raved about it so we had to check it out.

It was fantastic!  Easily the best snorkeling we have done so far.  Many varieties of fish, and schools of them...everywhere.  Big fish, little fish, red fish,  you know!

From there we were able to sail to San Telmo...almost right to our anchor spot. When we got settled, Mike looked over at the other boat anchored here and said, "That looks like Scott Free!"  We jumped on our paddle board and worked our way up wind to our neighboring boat and sure enough! It was Scott and Monica!   We hung out on the side of their boat and chatted for a while, catching up on the last 6 weeks.  

The surf was picking up so we said goodbye and headed back to the boat, this time downwind. 

We showered with hot water from the engine running and made dinner...chicken cordon bleu.

Two week coundown.

First Mate Kate  

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Agua Verde Part II

Bahia Agua Verde

25 deg 43' 41.8"N 111 deg 14'14.2"W
25 deg 31' 30.7"N 111 deg 04'44.1"W


It was a heavenly two days at Villa Palmar...sitting by the pool, swimming in the anchorage, hiking, having unlimited whatever brought to you wherever and whenever you want.  What a nice break...a vacation within a vacation.  However, it was a promise made by Mike that we could stay in a hotel for a couple of nights every 4-6 weeks if I want.  The large bed and hot shower that can keep running as I lather definitely were appreciated.

We checked out and headed towards Agua Verde around 10 and arrived a little after 3 pm.  We actually were able to sail all the way here.  Amen to that.  I actually took a nap on the way here.
We went for a paddle and a swim and then took a cockpit shower.  Nothing like public nudity.  :-)

Mike and I serenaded the anchorage at sunset time spurred on by a little liquid courage called a G and T.   

Happy to be back in this lovely anchorage.  Looking around, we have lots of familiar boats:  Quetzal, Capricorn Cat, Tortuga, Puffin and Godzilla.  

First Mate Kate


We had a nice, lazy start to our morning.  I didn't even check into the net.  Once the coffee kicked in we decided to go exploring.  A mini cruise ship called the Un Cruise had found its way into our anchorage over night, and it was bustling with activity.  Numerous kayaks were already sprinkled out among the reefs. 

We paddled over to the south side of the anchorage and said hello to Cap Cat.  We also met Phil, a staff member of the Un Cruise, who said he'd be working on the ship for 2 months and they had been sailing the Sea of Cortez originally from La Paz.  However, he mentioned that the boat was originally from Cartagena and that they were thinking of doing trips to Central America and the Galapagos.

We paddled back and had some lunch and relaxed for a bit. 

Later in the afternoon we went snorkeling along the north reef.  Boy, were there some huge fish!  I think Mike was kicking himself for not bringing the spear gun.  There were a ton of dinner options...parrotfish, grouper, snapper, along with little sargent majors, angel fish, etc. The coral species were plentiful and we saw fan and elk coral (new to me).  I also saw my first octopus!  It was hiding under a rock but I could see his tentacles.  Maybe he was shy.

It was pretty chilly in the water so we took a hot shower in the cockpit.  I guess we are losing our inhibitions with all our public nudity. 

It was a poor decision on my part to not bring enough spray conditioner.  When I was done with my shower I thought for sure that I would have dreadlocks.  Rat nest city.  Luckily, with enough patience and some pain I managed to brush them out.

We made a nice dinner of chicken mole and had a quiet evening.  

Mike noticed that a new cruise ship had come into the anchorage.  It was lit up like a small city!

Sharing the anchorage with billionaires,

First Mate Kate


Well, it turns out that that "cruise ship" was actually a huge private yacht, and a special one at that.  It was the yacht built for Steve Jobs and it now is owned by a Mexican citizen (we heard).  It stands alone on the south side of Agua Verde in majestic glory.  I think I may have to get a closer look.

We decided to give fishing around the reef a try.  We went out on our paddle boards and I spotted the fish and pulled Mike on his board toward the fish.  He layed on his stomach with his mask and snorkel on and had his face in the water to watch the fish around the bait.  No takers, but it was fun.

On our way back we saw the puppy that we had met on the beach the day we arrived.  She was howling for us and trying to swim to us.  We didn't want her to come out to us as there were anemones on the rocks and we didn't want her to get hurt.  Mike paddled ahead and we met her on the beach.  She gave us a happy hello and played with us for a while.

I made little egg salad sandwiches with my homemade bread for lunch.  We split a mango we bought here in Agua Verde.  Yum!

We paddled over to pyramid rock to do more snorkeling.  The security for the mega yacht was watching us as we paddled by them, and all of a sudden a policia truck appeared on the beach.  Mike said it was because we were too close to them.  I say it was a coincidence.  We took a very purposeful, out of the way paddle toward the beach to respect their privacy.

The wind had picked up and the water was a little cloudy.  We ended up at our favorite south anchorage and played frisbee and went for a walk.

The paddle back to Pangaea wasn't too bad.  Cold showers were enjoyed on board today, in our shower.  No nudity for the mega yacht.

As we were enjoying our sundowners the yacht pulled away off into the sunset.  Ok...they headed south.  

We made an excellent steak dinner, with potato fries, broccoli and garlic bread.

Snorkeling's fun!

First Mate Kate

Monday, May 5, 2014

Bahia Candeleros


Puerto Escondito- Bahia Candeleros

25 deg 49' 37.2"N 111 deg 18'88.1"W
25 deg 43' 41.8"N 111 deg 14'14.2"W


Sunny skies
Breezy 9-13 knots SE
Seas 0-1'

Engine hours 146.8-149.0

I awoke early and decided to go for a paddle by myself, as Mike was sleepy. I went around the large part of the anchorage and had a zen beginning to my day.  The rays were really plentiful today, and I watched many swim in formation.  They almost look like they are flying in slow motion.  I saw a huge manta ray-black with white spots and a tail that was 3-4' long! Gorgeous!

We took the dinghy in to the marina to fill up two jerry jugs of water.  The water is pure and comes from the mountains, so we wanted to take advantage of that.

We headed out for a quick motor sail up to Candeleros.  We are going to check out the resort there, Villa Palmar, and stay a couple of nights!  Yay!  Guess what?!  Mike towed the dinghy all the way there.  UNHEARD OF!

I am making a loaf of bread as I type.  It sure is nice to have homemade bread!

We took a dinghy ride into Villa Palmar Resort to check it out.  It is really nice!  We made a reservation to stay a couple of nights, hang by the pool and chill.  We took advantage of happy hour and had a couple of margaritas and a burger.  

Pangaea in the background in Bahia Candeleros

We came back to Pangaea after a quick swim in the anchorage.

We will likely get a good night's sleep and head in early to the resort to make the most of our day.

We checked the weather report after we made reservations and were elated to see that the winds are staying out of the south for the next two days and switching to the north the day we check out.  We will be safe in the anchorage while we are at the hotel and have a downwind sail to Agua Verde!!

Woo Hoo!

First Mate Kate


Day 2

We checked into Villa de Palmar, ate breakfast and went to the pool.  This was our view.  Not bad, eh?  I did water aerobics while Mike caught up on email and Facebook.

We swam in the anchorage, took a hike around the area and took showers before a beautiful dinner.  It was a great day off the boat, although we kept a good eye on her all day.  

First Mate Kate

Loreto Fest


Puerto Ballandra-Puerto Escondido

26 deg 01'5.09" N 111 deg 9' 8.70"W
25 deg 49' 37.2"N 111 deg 18'88.1"W

Sunny skies
Calm seas
Light breeze

9:15-3:30 pm

Engine hours-140.2-146.8

Happy May Day!  When I was little my mom used to take me and my brother and sister to Riverside Park in little Neenah, WI and pick a basket of mayflowers for my grandmother (Nana) for May Day.  We would hang the basket on her door, ring the doorbell and run.  I'm not sure why we would run away.  

Speaking of running away, we are leaving Puerto Ballandra today and heading to Puerto Escondido for Loreto Fest.

The winds went from furious to calm, but Mike really didn't want to start the engine.  All of a sudden, we heard a rumble that sounded like the earth was shaking.  I almost expected to see an island forming from an underwater volcano.

The dolphins played with us throughout our trip today.  That kept our spirits up when the winds failed to.

Anchoring turned into another exercise in patience and perseverance.  There is a huge section of the anchorage that is really hard mud and the anchor just bounces over.  We found that section two or three times.  We finally went into the far NW corner and successfully dropped her.  Cerveza time.

Festive and ready,

First Mate Kate


Day 2

We got up early to head in for the swap meet at Loreto Fest.  We scored a Charlie's Charts of Polynesia and a cruising guide for French Polynesia as well as some natural peanut butter and some cashews.  

Loreto Fest was pretty fun. Good food (Dave on Free Spirit made pizzas!) and informative seminars.  We bought t-shirts for our Loreto Fest souveniers.

We paddled over to Quetzal to visit John and Amy and they paddled back to visit Pangaea.  She and I have a similar passion for restorative exercise and pelvic floor conditioning.  :-). We shared our favorite resources with each other.

We opted for a quiet night on Pangaea with filet mignon on the dinner menu instead of dancing to live music.  We enjoyed it from our cockpit.

Grateful for today,

First Mate Kate


Day 3

We got up and paddled the anchorage this am.  It took us an hour and a half.  The water was really clear and we saw a pretty good variety of fish, rays, etc.

We headed into Loreto Fest for a Baja weather seminar and a diving seminar. We missed the pressure cooker seminar we wanted to see. Oh well.

We finally ran into Rob and J.D. on Shindig!  He had some boat issues and couldn't use his main, so he had to wait out the big blows.  We invited them to dinner with Terry and Heidi on Cetus.

I headed to the boat to make bread, salmon patties and brownies for dinner and prep for homemade pasta sauce.
I am still finding getting a constant temperature in the oven a challenge. Hence, I burned the top of the bread and the edges of the brownies.  :-(

We had a really nice evening with Shindig and Cetus.  Rob brought over a variety of sipping tequilas along with really cute shot glasses and shared with us how tequila is made and how to properly taste it.  Heidi brought over a yummy green salad.

Before we knew it, 5 hours and many shots of tequila had transpired.  We said goodbye to them both, as we will likely have to wait until the fall to see them again.

Grateful for great cruising friends,

First Mate Kate

Puerto Ballandra Part II


Day 2

We awoke to a very rolly anchorage this am.  So much so that before I could eat breakfast we had to move.  The wind had come up even more over night and the seas ran from the west causing our swell.

By the time we pulled up the anchor it was already blowing 20 knots; high winds are not ideal conditions for anchoring.  The area where the most protection existed was in the NE part of the  anchorage, and there were three boats there already.  We found a good spot and got ourselves situated. We paddled over to our neighboring boats to make sure they were comfortable with our anchoring position.  We went over to Destiny where we met Gilly and John.  They seemed happy we asked but were cool with our spot. 

Our friends on Quetzal, Jon and Amy came over in kayaks and also were ok with us in front of them, and together we witnessed an Osprey with a fresh fish catch in its mouth flying overhead.  

Carol and Wayne on Cap Cat were far enough away from us to be a problem for them.

We have a navigation program on our iPad that allows us to monitor our position at anchor and set an alarm if we drag outside our comfort zone parameters.  Just after lunch, that zone was breached.  Because we were right ahead of Quetzal, we had to move.

Three attempts later, in 22 knots of wind, we found a spot with which we were comfortable. We were away from other boats and far enough away from hazards in the anchorage.  We were pretty close to a sand bar, but that seemed like a reasonable risk.

While I was in the middle of anchoring where my anchor was obviously dragging and my frustration level was high, I looked over my shoulder and saw two gulls copulating.  That sight, along with their love cries, got me laughing again.

Carol and Wayne invited us and Destiny over for a lobster dinner but we were watching our boat slowly creep toward the drag zone on our navigation chart.  Again. We weren't super comfortable with leaving our boat, as the winds were now gusting to 30 knots.  Right when we were about to radio Carol and Wayne to share our dilemma we heard a knock on the hull.  It was Wayne, our ride to dinner.

Capricorn Cat


We all were a little anxious about our boats, it turns out, so we decided to have a vodka tonic and let rocking boats rock.  Dinner was lovely as was the company.  We had salad, quinoa, lobster with garlic/butter to dip and yummy chocolate chip cookies for dessert. Total indulgence!  

We returned to Pangaea to find her in the same place we left her.  Close, but still inside the narrow drag parameters we set.

We went to bed with peace of mind and acknowledging that lessons were learned today about perseverance, patience and letting go.

Blowing in the wind,

First Mate Kate


Day 3

The forecast for today is more of the same wind...and then some.  We may get gusts in the mid-30's today.  The good news is that after yesterday's blow, we are pretty confident about our anchor holding.  That being said, we awoke to the sound of waves breaking on the nearby sandbar that made it sound like we had beached!

We went for a paddle around the anchorage before the wind picked up and then decided to polish the stainless steel around the boat.  Did I mention we have a lot of stainless?

Pangaea now shines with pride.  I, on the other hand, am a dingy shade of grey.  Not a very sexy one, either.  Ha!

First Mate Kate