Sunday, May 31, 2015

Philadelphia and The Voice Foundation Conference

I arrived home in Denver in time to do laundry, spruce up the house and back patio as a surprise for Mike who returns from Mexico in a week and get ready for a voice conference in Philly.

The conference was great, and a big part of that was hanging with my student and friend Ona Reed!

We had a blast nerding out on all things voice.

Johann Sundberg and Don Miller discussing voice acoustics

Showing Ona my favorite spots

Thank you, Ona!  What a great week!

First Mate Kate

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Back in La Paz


We arrived back in La Paz with more drama than desired.  After a peaceful night in Lobos, we departed early for Marina Palmira where we planned to fuel up and dock for the summer.  We had a perfect docking at the fuel dock and we're heading to dock three, but found ourselves with no power to move forward or reverse.  The engine revved but it was as if we were in neutral. 

I shouted to the dock workers "necessito ayudar, por favor" and before we knew it, we had help all around us.  The captain and crew aboard m/v Navagante were awesome, calming and extremely helpful, and together with the marina staff and m/v Ozzy, we miraculously docked without any incident.  Muchos gracias!!

We connected with Agave Azul and had a lovely dinner at Il Rustico.

Kathryn and I have been walking every morning to my favorite sculpture on the Malecon, which happens to be the 2 mike mark.

Shindig arrived yesterday morning and the six of us went out to celebrate Rob's birthday which was on Sunday.  

We started out on Agave Azul for appetizers and margs.


After that went to Racho Viejo and had the melt-in-your mouth arrachara. We gave Rob a little birthday song while decked out in silly masks.


Of course, what birthday celebration is complete without ice cream?

A very fun reunion and celebration. Feliz Cumpleaños, Roberto!

I leave in the morning for Denver.  Mike is staying an extra week to get boat projects completed.

We logged 1800 miles on this 2014-15 journey.  We learned a lot, grew our confidence, appreciate each other more, and feel in great partnership.  

Hasta Pronto!

First Mate Kate

Agua Verde

Candeleros- Agua Verde

The wind was supposed to pick up so we waited a bit and then headed out for Agua Verde.  We were able to sail most of the way there, except for the last 45 minutes or so.  We even caught a fish, but it was a bonita and a throw back.  Unfortunately, before we could release him he wiggled away with the line and the luer.  

When we arrived there were two other sailboats anchored in the west anchorage with the best north protection.  There was also a very pretty Nordhaven named Relish.  

We found a spot and then decided to go paddle.  This was despite the fact that there was 10-12 knots of wind blowing through the center of the anchorage and  3- foot seas to navigate.

We made it to the southwest anchorage and had a surf landing.  I landed several feet before the shoreline when a big wave came up underneath me unexpectedly and I did the Nestea plunge off the back of the board.

Two families in dinghies arrived on shore shortly after we did, and we met our neighbors on the sailboats Yolo and Terrapin.  Both had kids on board and were young. My guess is early 30s.  Nice people.

Mike and I walked the beach and noticed a bunch of dead lobsters on the beach.  We also found a whole shore of broken conch shells and the skeletons of rays.  We figured this was the wasteland for prohibited fishing activities.

We did a late afternoon hike along the ridge with José's dog.  From the top we were rewarded with a glorious view of the Sea and actually saw two humpbacks playing in the water outside the anchorage.

We paddled back to the boat and stayed in for the night.

Happy in paradise,

First Mate Kate


Happy Mother's Day (Feliz Dia de Madre)

We paddled into shore and visited the tienda for more limes, bananas, avocados and cilantro.  While we were there we met Rámon, a cyclist from Barcelona.  He was on a world-wide tour and had already been through Europe, Asia, and the US and had cycled from Alaska down the coast to Baja.   Pretty cool guy.  He said he was looking for a boat ride to Evaristo.  We needed to think about it, but were pretty sure we were going to offer him one.  He will send us his website/blog, hopefully, and we will share it.  He told us about a cycling website called where people can offer up a room and hot shower/ meal or two to cyclists looking to do long touring.  A cool idea.

When we returned to the boat we found Elegante in the anchorage and Shindig was on her way in. Reunion time!

Mike and I were playing music in the cockpit when Nancy and Rob came by.  We had some wine and then went to shore together.  After a little hike and another trip to the tienda, we planned a cocktail get together with Elegante.  We had appetizers and black bean soup courtesy of Nancy, and of course, Mother's Day Margaritas. Rob took us on a moonlit tour of the anchorage in Elegante's dinghy.

Another glorious day in paradise!

First Mate Kate

We remained in Agua Verde one more day, and enjoyed more paddling, hiking and fish tacos on Shindig.

We decided collectively to go to Los Gatos in the am.

I love this place!

First Mate Kate

Salinas- Puerto Escondito-Candeleros


Salinas- Puerto Escondito- Candeleros

We awoke early, checked in on the net and decided to head for Puerto Escondito. We needed fuel and also thought we might run into friends there for Loreto Fest.

On our way out of the anchorage we saw a juvenile whale shark swimming near the boat.  We had such an amazing time last year swimming and paddling with them up in Conception Bay that we both felt sad not turning around to stay and play.  However, we are on a schedule and there was no guarantee the whale shark wanted to play with us.  So, we continued on.  

We sailed past the group of kayakers and we radioed in the latest weather forecast, as it was Sunday and there was no local net from which to receive weather.

We had a nice sail to Puerto Escondito. There was a catamaran at the fuel dock when we arrived so we just circled the anchorage looking for boats we recognized.

It was our turn at the dock, so we tied up (by ourselves) and I went to look for the agent.  We got fueled and as I was taking the trash to the dumpster I ran into Terry from Cetus!  We caught up a bit and then made our way south to Candeleros.  We were able to sail there, as well.

When we arrived in the anchorage, we were so happy to see that our friends Katie and Robin were anchored there!!  Yay!!!  We connected and shortly after were picked up by Robin and taken to their boat for margaritas and catching up.

We went to bed after a shrimp pasta dinner.  We were able to get wifi here, too!

First Mate Kate


Mike and I decided (more me) that a night in a hotel room would be a good way to really recover from our long passage.  Thus, we went on and booked a room.  We paddled into shore with our dry bag backpack full of clothes for our stay and checked in.  We then paddled around the anchorage and swam over to Agave Azul to say good morning.  We were having so much fun that we swam all the way to Pangaea.

The rest of the day was dedicated to serious pool time.  Mike was aggravated because the wifi was so slow/bad.  It's interesting that when it's free on board it is great, but irritating when you are paying for it.

We took a long hike up the ridge along the coast this afternoon.  Then a hot shower.  Ah!

We had a sushi/sashimi dinner at the main restaurant and then went upstairs to our room and watched movies on tv.  That was fun!

Having a vacation from our vacation,

First Mate Kate


Happy Cinco de Mayo!  It's funny that this is a US holiday, primarily.  No one even mentioned it here in Mexico.

We had a nice buffet breakfast at the main restaurant and then took a long hike to the southern most part of the trail.  Luckily, most of it was still in the shade of the hillside.

From there we went back to the pool to get our last dose of wifi and relaxation. I actually did my physical therapy exercises in the pool and kicked myself for not doing them yesterday.

We made a nice dinner and watched the rest of Big Bang Theory.

First Mate Kate


Candeleros- Puerto Escondito

We had a rendezvous plan today for a reunion with Shindig and Agave Azul on Elegante in Puerto Escondito today, so we waited for the wind to pick up and then had a nice sail to Puerto Escondito.

We anchored in our favorite spot which also happened to be close to Elegante.  Rob and Nancy stopped by and gave us the plan and offered to be our ride, as our dinghy was still stored from our Mazatlan passage.

I made stuffed peppers and little cherry tarts in wonton cups.  They turned out pretty well.  I also brought a small baked camembert with drizzled raspberry jam on top.

We all had a really fun time being together again.  We ate, drank, and told stories and laughed a lot.

Cruising through life,

First Mate Kate


Puerto Escondito- Candeleros

We woke up early and met Nancy for a paddle around the anchorage. We saw some spotted rays and a huge sea turtle while out paddling.

We decided to go back to Candeleros where we can enjoy paddling, swimming and hiking. And free so-so wi-fi.  :-)

We had another excellent sail all the way to the anchorage.  When we got in we saw that our friend Dave on Free Spirit was anchored there.

We debated about going to shore for dinner but we decided to make our own and go to shore in the morning.

All is well,

First Mate Kate


We got really used to our daily hikes, so we had breakfast and paddled into shore to do another coastal hike.  Afterwards we went to the restaurant/bar at Villa de Palmar for a hamburger.  Mine came so rare that I sent it back for more grill time.  When it did arrive, Mike was finished eating and my burger still was pink inside.

We got back to the boat and I had phone service, so I called my mom to wish her an early Happy Mother's Day.  It was nice to chat, although the service was really spotty and we had to re-dial each other several times because of a poor connection.

We went for a morning paddle and walk on the beach, and on the way back to the boat, stopped by Free Spirit to see Dave.  We were happy to see each other and he invited us over for drinks later on.

We did a late afternoon paddle and walked along the west beach.  We tried to dig for Chocolata Clams but had no luck.

We went over to Dave's with wine and a tapenade and his friend Brad from White Wind was on board.  It turned into a really yummy dinner of fish and beans and fresh sour dough bread that Dave is so famous for making, and brownies for dessert.

It was getting late and we were on our SUPs, so we decided to head home.  As I went to get my board set to launch, I noticed a ton of bioluminescence sparkling as I moved the lines.  As I got on the board and started paddling, every stroke was like a magic wand of sparkles in the water.  Our boards left a rocket fuel trace as they moved through the water.  It was incredible.  I giggled.  Mike and I splashed each other with water and watched spray appear as sparks.  It was definitely the best experience of bioluminescence so far in my lifetime.  And it was totally and thoroughly a joy.  Awesome. I felt like a little girl again.

First Matey Katie

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


We got up and went for.a paddle out to an old shipwreck in the anchorage and then paddled on shore to check out the old salt mine operation and the Hollywood set-like little town that now stands in its place.

Word has it that Carlos Slim (TelCel) owns the hunting ranch now a the center of town.  They have great wifi here that we definitely use and appreciate.

We walked out to the salt ponds which were in liquid form currently and Mike enjoyed playing on the old equipment.

 The old mining equipment stands frozen in time on the beach.

We ran into a group of kayakers; Baja Kayak and Paddle.  The leader, Janine introduced herself and then introduced us to a couple from New Zealand who run kayak trips out of Auckland.  (Auckland Kayak and Canoe).  We will have to look them up when we cross the South Pacific.

We took a nice hike on the beach and headed back to the boat.  The rest of the day was restful, as we both were tired from the crossing.

We had a nice dinner and went to bed early.

First Mate Kate

Booby on board

Un-docking out of El Cid was almost as challenging as docking, but we had a few people help us so it was relatively uneventful.  I always feel better after that is over.

It was a lumpy beginning to our crossing.  The winds just wanted to be right on our nose.  However, we did manage to sail.  Luckily, the winds turned to the south and we had a really nice downwind sail the rest of the trip.  We planned on sailing up to Isla Carmen and anchor at Salinas, as we missed doing that last year.

We had very little to look at on our 300 mile trip over. I saw one barge on my night watch, but other than that, we were out here on our own.  

That is, until a little booby decided to hop on our boat for a ride.  We had a stowaway on board for 30 hours. This little juvenile booby gave us a lot of laughs.  He didn't seem to care if we got close, but bit at the headsail when it flapped in his direction.  It was pretty funny.

Two boobs, a boob and a booby,

First Mate Kate


We had a pretty easy crossing to Mazatlan.  We arrived on a sunny afternoon, and the first people we saw were our friends Nancy and Rob enjoying pool time.  We docked and joined them soon after.

The restaurant at the pool is named La Iguana, quite appropriately.

That evening we dined at Hector's Bistro, which was delightful.  We are out on the patio and enjoyed live jazz ( piano and sax).  It was the perfect beginning to our trip.

The next evening we dined with our friends at Topolo, an excellent Mexican restaurant in Old Town Mazatlan.  We took an open truck cab to get to the restaurant.

Our dinner began with fresh table side salsa made to our liking.

Everyone enjoyed their dinner.  I had the best coconut shrimp I have ever had!

The rest of the week was devoted to exploration, boat projects and poolside relaxation, although I did complete a Journal of Voice review.

A freshly-caught marlin

Machado Square

Immaculate Conception Cathedral

(Mike got pooped on by a pigeon outside the church. I guess that's better than being struck down by lightening. Ha!)

Pulmonia in Old Town

Pictures of the Malecon

A very popular gym

El Cid Marina

We look forward to spending more time here on Mazatlan in the future.

First Mate Kate