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 

Provisioning in Loreto

Isla Coronados-Loreto- Ballandra

9:30 am-3:10 pm

Engine hours 138.0-140.2

26 deg 06' 12.0" N 111 deg 16'34.1"W
26 deg 05' 58.0" N 111 deg 21'43.1"W
26 deg 01'5.09" N 111 deg 9' 8.70"W

We saw dolphins swimming near the anchorage as we left.  Instant happiness!

We had an easy motor from Isla Coronados to Loreto.  The wind and seas were calm which was good, as we were leaving our boat on the hook in front of the marina in order to provision, and big wind or swells would leave us worried about Pangaea's safety.

Ok BCBFFs....the boats pictured here are "Marge" and "Alicia"

After taking the dinghy into the marina we walked downtown to the Dali store to get high quality goods.  They had steaks, cheeses, whole wheat flour, spirits, tonic, water, crackers, sparkling water, agave, and snacks for sailing.  We took a cab to the super mercado for fruits, veggies, tortillas and yogurt.

Before we knew it we were back in the dinghy with all of our goodies.

We had a really fast sail from Loreto to Ballandra.  We sailed at a close reach at 6.3 knots, which was a ton of fun!  We had about 12-13 knots of wind.

As we took down our sails, we saw more dolphins swimming by to say hello.  After we anchored, Mike and I went snorkeling around the rocks looking for dinner options.  Unfortunately, it wasn't in the cards to have fish tonight.  We made Thai instead after warming up with hot showers.

Glad to be back in Balandra.

First Mate Kate

Return to Isla Coronados


Caleta San Juanico-Isla Coronados

26 deg 20' 55,5"N 111 deg 25' 01.9"W
26 deg 06' 12.0" N 111 deg 16'34.1"W

Nice winds 10 knots NW
Sunny day
Choppy Seas
All sail day
Engine hours 137.2-138.0

1:00-4:30 pm

We almost slept through the net.  Ok, I slept through half of it.  I was so itchy from my hornet stings that I took a Benadryl at 2 am. 

We got up, ate a big breakfast, and paddled the lagoon off the breakwater. We then hiked up to the top of the hill and back around where we hiked yesterday.  At the top of the hill was a lot overlooking the anchorage as well as the lagoon below.  We decided if someone else doesn't build a house there, we would!

We pulled up the anchor and sailed off to Isla Coronados.  Our fellow cruisers on Tortuga and Puffin joined us, and it was sort of a race.  We were ahead of them all the way to the anchorage but then they motor sailed while we were still under sail.  

It's nice to be back here, and closer to Puerto Escondito for Loreto Fest.

We are looking forward to a quiet evening with homemade pizza and margaritas.

Happy Sunday,

First Mate Kate

Caleta San Juanico revisited


Punta Pulpito- San Juanico

26 deg 30' 72.9"N 111 deg 26' 90.1"W
26 deg 20' 55,5"N 111 deg 25' 01.9"W

Breezy with winds out of the E
Choppy seas 1-2 '

1:00-4:00 pm

Engine hours 135.2-136.6

We spent the morning exploring and getting our heart rate up. We paddled into the beach, secured our iSUPs, hopped over rocks and sea debris and found our trailhead to journey to the top of the large rock mass that is Punta Pulpito. It was basically a vertical climb on scree, my favorite surface to climb up or down (insert sarcastic tone).  Nothing like facing my fears first thing in the am.  

The task was worth the views from atop!  We could see the sea from every direction and down at the rocky cliffs, dolphins were playing in the surf. When we retuned to sea level, they were right off the bow of our boat.

The wind picked up to about 10 knots from the east which put us in an undesirable anchorage at Pulpito, so we decided to sail south to San Juanico.  It  was a nice, mellow sail.

We anchored at the south end of the anchorage behind my favorite rock formation.

We celebrated our all-sail day with the last Corona in the ice box. 

I made pasta for dinner.

Happy to be back in San Juanico,

First Mate Kate

Day 2 


I awoke this am with fullness in my left ear. The hydrops returned.  I was hoping I had cured it in a salt float when I was home.  I did get water in my ear swimming at Playa Coyote, so maybe that is what triggered it.  I just want it to go away.

We went paddling around the rock formation this am.  The rocks are pretty amazing.  They are all chiseled by wind and water and seem to be comprised of thousands of one square inch pieces all compressed together and divided perfectly, like someone designed them on a matrix and the rock took to it literally.  You can see the vertical and horizontal dimensions and where the plates of rock shifted slightly off from the neighboring ones.  

There was quite a variety of fish along the rocks and reefs.

The wind started to pick up from the west and we were quite a distance from the boat, so we headed back with some extra motivation.

Mike saw the diesel smudge on the side of the boat that screamed "wash me", so he grabbed the supplies, jumped on his SUP and cleaned away the black soot from the port side of the boat.

Inside Pangaea I got all Betty Crocker and made pizza dough for dinner prep and a couple of banana-pecan-chocolate chip breads. 

Mike got stung by a bee while he was cleaning.  I gave him some Benadryl and a kiss to make it all better. :-)

We had another afternoon of reading and napping.  I think I can get used to this!  I finished two books, Maiden Voyage by Tania Aebi and The Log from the Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck.  I have to say I really enjoyed Maiden Voyage!  

We made a delicious pizza with prosciutto, green olives, garlic, sundried tomatoes, jalapeños, artichoke hearts and jack cheese.  We ended the evening watching one of my favorite movies, The Princess Bride.

Happy Friday,

First Mate Kate

Day 3


We awoke feeling a need to explore San Juanico a little more fully, so we prepared the dinghy and ate breakfast.

After we were sufficiently smeared with sunscreen we headed out to the dinghy, in hopes that the outboard motor would start.  Since it hasn't worked for us reliably yet this trip, that was a tall order.    

One of the things I appreciate about Steinbeck's Log from the Sea of Cortez was his account and personification of his outboard motor that never worked, almost willfully.  Borrowing from Steinbeck,
the personality traits of his outboard motor, a.k.a. "Sea Cow":

"1) Incredibly lazy, the Sea Cow loved to ride on the back of the boat, trailing its propeller daintily in the water while we rowed.

2) It required the same amount of gasoline whether it ran or not, apparently being able to absorb this fluid through its body walls without recourse to explosion.  It had always to be filled at the beginning of every trip.

3) It had apparently come clairvoyant powers and was able to read our minds, particularly when they were inflamed with emotion.  Thus, on every occasion when we were driven to the point of destroying it, it started and ran with a great noise and excitement.  This served the double purpose of saving its life and of resurrecting in our minds a false confidence in it.

4). It had many cleavage points, and when attacked with a screwdriver, fell apart in simulated death, a trait it had in common with opossums, armadillos, and several members of the sloth family which also fall apart in simulated death when attacked with a screwdriver.

5).  It hates *Mike, sensing perhaps that his knowledge of mechanics was capable of diagnosing its shortcomings.  (*Steinbeck used Tex)

6).  It completely refused to run: a) when the waves were high; b) when the wind blew; c) at night, early am and evening; d) in rain, dew or fog; e) when the distance to be covered was greater than 200 yds. But on warm, sunny days when the weather was calm and the beach close by- in a word-on days when it would have been a pleasure to row-the Sea Cow started at a touch and would not stop.

7).  It loved no one, trusted no one. It had no friends.

8).  It runs perfectly fine out of water."

That pretty much sums up our outboard motor.  Time for a new one and a new plan for the day!

Funny thing, Mike had enough and took out the screwdriver.  He took apart the carburetor and put it back together.  Between that and threatening to get a new motor, she ran perfectly for a snorkeling trip and to the beach and back.  She died on the way back from the beach.

The snorkeling was pretty great, except for getting stung a few times by a hornet.  We think Mike was stung by a hornet, not a bee, as it was identical to mine. 

Mike gave spearfishing a try today.  He was really close to a big parrot fish and a cabrillo, but they had too much time to skirt away from the spear.  He was really close to a yummy dinner!

Mike and I decided after the snorkeling trip to move the boat.  The wind had shifted and the waves were body surfing perfect but not so fun as an anchorage swell.  So, we headed west where all the other boats had congregated.  Smart move.

We took a trip to the beach, played some frisbee and then went for a hike. It was good to move.

We got back to the beach just in time, as the surf had come up and pulled the dinghy into the water.

By the time we got back to the boat it was time for a sundowner.  Mike made papaya-piña margaritas and we brought the guitar out for a little serenading.  I sang "Angel" by Sarah McLaughlin and actually got cheers from the anchorage.  That was awesome.  We sang a few more as an encore.

We are making Thai tonight for dinner.  Our spearfishing attempts were unsuccessful.  Close...but no cigars.


First Mate Kate

Punta Pulpito

Playa Coyote-Punta Pulpito

26 deg 43' 22.5"N 111 deg 54' 21.3"W
26 deg 30' 72.9"N 111 deg 26' 90.1"W

Engine hours 125.3-135.2
Partly cloudy- wispy cirrus clouds
Rolly seas with 1-2 foot swell
Light winds out of the SE

9 am-7 pm

Catch of the day:  Mexican Barracuda 

It was hard to leave Playa Coyote.  That was definitely one of my favorite anchorages, and what a day we had!!   We left early, as we had 48 nm to travel today.  The 16 knots of wind we were promised only turned out to be 6, so we motor sailed on a beam reach which gave us a little advantage of speed.  

Mike finally whipped the auto pilot into shape which allowed us both a more relaxed day.  I even managed to get a nap in.  The whole nap concept is one I am highly in favor of regularly participating.  I really understand the siesta mentality here. 

The drone of the engine was interrupted by the whizz of the line running out, and it was a nice break to catch a fish! We will cook it up tonight and let you know how it tastes.  This is a first barracuda for us. The teeth on that little guy were impressive!

We had a pretty quiet marine-life day, although the rays never disappoint with their acrobatics.  A nice surprise came after the anchor was down in Punta Pulpito.  A family of dolphins came in to show off their baby.  They were practicing diving and swimming with a little tail splash at the end.

The showers felt especially soothing after a long, hot sail.  Now on to enjoying our sundowner.

Glad to be here safely,

First Mate Kate

Playa Coyote


Punta Chivato-Playa Coyote

Winds-variable from NE
Calm seas
Sunny and clear skies

Engine hours-121.4-125.3
6 hours on port

I started my day with a paddle around the point with Dianne and Heidi.  We were out a little over an hour.  We hugged goodbye when we were done.  I'm going to miss Dianne and Jim.  If we are lucky, we still may join up with Terry and Heidi.

On our way to Bahia Concepcion we had more sea life; a sea turtle, rays jumping, a sea lion and more pilot whales.  No luck fishing.

When we got to the bay we were able to sail all the way to our anchorage, Playa Coyote, behind Isla Coyote.  We heard that whale sharks were in the area, so we are hoping to see them!

We were hot when we arrived, so we went swimming off of our new swim ladder and then paddled over to El Burro Cove, the anchorage just NE of here.  We saw Gaary's house, PKH on the Sonrisa Net, (aka...the weatherman).  His setup is pretty sweet!

Hot showers were next on the agenda, thank you engine hours.  

Today is a sad day in the cruising world.  Pedro, who is the bright light and center of all things good in Marina Puerto Escondito, is closing up his restaurant Porto Bello and tienda because the marina wanted twice the rent that he was paying in order for him to stay.  Thank you, Pedro, for making our time in Puerto Escondito so beautiful. We wish you well!  

If I were a Mexican citizen I would have protested this.  It is a perfect example of greed and not seeing the whole picture.  If the marina had kept his rent the same, they would still be getting income, keeping jobs, and providing cruisers incentive to stay at Marina Puerto Escondito.  Instead, they will get no rent money and will probably lose business because the cruisers won't have much of a reason to stay there. Pedro welcomed us, helped us with Spanish, had beautiful food and drink, the best view in the marina, provided a community gathering place, and gave us a great hotspot for wifi.

We are enjoying the new scenery and look forward to toasting our sundowners to Pedro.  Mango margaritas!

Grateful for today,

First Mate Kate


What a glorious day!  It was absolutely calm this am; the anchorage was smooth as glass.  We decided it would be a perfect time to paddle and look for whale sharks.  Well...we found them!  It was an awesome day!  What graceful creatures.  The whale shark seemed to enjoy us paddling around him, and he even let us take some pretty extensive footage. At one point, Mike and I were paddling with the whale shark in between us.  That would be when I dropped the camera into the water with all the good footage!

I treaded water next to my SUP jusf in case we could dive for it.  Mike went back for something to mark the spot.  

We came back to the boat for lunch and went back with Mike's GoPro to get more footage.  The wind had picked up a little bit, but the water was still clear and we were able to get close views from the boards and under water.

At one point Mike wanted to grab something from the boat and wanted me to follow the whale shark so we could get more footage.  So, my task was to hang out with the whale shark. How cool!  I saw rays in formation like the thunderbirds gliding through the water, schools of fish flashing by, and this wondrous creature, the whale shark, swaying back and forth through the bay sucking in lunch. 

I felt like our approach to these juvenile whale sharks was respectful.  We gave them space and let them react.  I also felt that we were protecting them from the motorized craft circling around us.

We went snorkeling later this afternoon and saw some interesting fish and rays. We also swam over the area the camera was dropped but it was too deep to do anything about.

We ended the day with a little nap on the paddle boards leashed onto the boat.  6 hours of sun! Yay vitamin D, boo wrinkles.

We saluted the perfect day with our sundowners and finished the night with a little pork chop, quinoa and broccoli dinner.

Checked one off my bucket list; hang with whale sharks.

First Mate Kate

Punta Chivato revisited


Santa Rosalia-Punta Chivato

27 deg 20'14.9"N 112 deg 15'49.6"W
27 deg 3' 8.40" N 111 deg 57'64.7"W

10 am-5 pm

Engine hours 115.7-121.4
Switched tanks at 118.0 to port

Mostly sunny
Wind out of the east 4-10 knots
Calm seas

We left Santa Rosalia and started our journey back down the sea. We were greeted by dolphins as we left, which is such a gift.  About an hour later, Mike spotted a pod of pilot whales right off our bow.  I was able to take a nice video to share.  Sorry about the up and's tricky to be on a moving base.

We had to motor sail until the early afternoon, when we got some really nice sailing in.

We arrived in the Punta Chivato anchorage to happily find many friends: Terry and Heidi on Cetus, Dianne and Jim on Prairie Oyster and, of course, Jim and Kathy on Solar Flair.

We got a nice sunset paddle in and made our way to say hello to everyone.

We made enmolades for dinner tonight.  I think they were better than the ones we had in Loreto.

Grateful for today,

First Mate Kate

Day 2


Happy 4-20 and Feliz Semana Santa all!  It is a beautiful day here in Punta Chivato and we started the day with a lovely breakfast in the company of Terry and Heidi on Cetus and Dianne and Jim on Prairie Oyster.  We ate at a very quaint hotel/restaurant just past the airstrip, dining in an outside patio area.  The decor was a combination of western and Mexican, and the hotel had a refreshing pool in the courtyard.  There was a stray dog who came to say hello with a painted on face which he seemed embarrased by.  I guess someone was having fun.  

As we walked back, Dianne pointed out to me the golf course along the road. I hadn't noticed it before as there are no greens.  The tee box consists of a square of astro-turf.  The rest is desert.  Talk about sand traps!

Mike and I spent the rest of the morning playing and singing together.  We are working on rhythm and steady tempos.  I'd say we made a lot of progress.

The afternoon was all about shelling.  The six of us went to the shelling beach and spent two hours walking up and down the beach gathering gems to take back with us.  We all were looking for slightly different things, so it was fun to look for everyone.

Mike and I went for a paddle and a swim and then we all headed to Cetus for pizza.  Yum!

Great friends and new memories.

First Mate Kate

Santa Rosalia-Punta Chivato

Santa Rosalia-Punta Chivato

27 deg 20'14.9"N 112 deg 15'49.6"W
27 deg 3' 8.40" N 111 deg 57'64.7"W

10 am-5 pm

Engine hours 115.7-121.4
Switched tanks at 118.0 to port

Mostly sunny
Wind out of the east 4-10 knots
Calm seas

We left Santa Rosalia and started our journey back down the sea. We were greeted by dolphins as we left, which is such a gift.  About an hour later, Mike spotted a pod of pilot whales right off our bow.  I was able to take a nice video to share.  Sorry about the up and's tricky to be on a moving base.

We had to motor sail until the early afternoon, when we got some really nice sailing in.

We arrived in the Punta Chivato anchorage to happily find many friends: Terry and Heidi on Cetus, Dianne and Jim on Prairie Oyster and Jim and Kathy on Solar Flair.

We got a nice sunset paddle in and made our way to say hello to everyone.

We made enmolades for dinner tonight.  I think they were better than the ones we had in Loreto.

Grateful for today,

First Mate Kate