Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Happy Birthday in Turtle Bay

After years of planning and preparing, and reading countless accounts of other cruising boats sailing into this sleepy bay on their way south, I finally get to see Turtle Bay for myself.  Admittedly, it's a rather uninspiring place but the feeling of accomplishment overshadows all else. 

We were happy to drop the hook at around 7 AM yesterday after a 3-day passage from Ensenada and immediatley went down for a nap.  We had some nice sailing at times and motored when the wind died off. 

At sunset on Sunday we were still about 30 miles out so we decided to slow down and wait for a daylight entry into the bay.  I'm glad we did as we had to dodge lobster traps motor-sailing with 15 knots of wind on the nose.  We anchored near the village among a half-dozen other boats, some of which we recognized from San Diego. 

After getting a little sleep and a much-needed shower we hopped in a water-taxi with Peter and Jim from Mwelu, whom we met in SD and sailed down the coast with.  The four of us (with Colin) walked down the beach to Enrique's for margaritas and fish tacos.  It was an important day.  Not only had we sailed half-way down Baja, but it was Millie's birthday.  Feliz cumpleaƱos mi amor!  We sat on a patio overlooking the bay and celebrated with the friendly owner and her familia.  Colin made a big impression as usual.  It was a nice ending to a special day.

We plan to spend another day here before setting sail for Magdalena Bay, a 2-day sail down the coast.  All is well aboard Jean Marie.  The engine is dropping oil but running fine, which is forcing us to rely more on the sails when the wind drops off.  This is a good thing as it helps us develop our sailing skills and, more importantly, our patience.

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hola Ensenada!

After two failed attempts we finally crossed the border and are now tied up at the Marina Coral in Ensenada, Mexico. 

I've worked out our engine problems for now, spending a day with a local diesel mechanic in San Diego who checked everything out.  I was able to fix the transmission leak and that seems to be fine now.  We're just going to live with the oil leaks for now.  Fixing it would require a large effort and expense that we can put off until the problem gets worse. 

Oil leaks are common for these old British-made Perkins diesels.  I read a comment online that stated the only reason the English don't make computers is because they can't figure out how to make them leak oil.  Apparently, I'm not the only one struggling with this issue.  We're carrying extra oil and will be keeping a close eye on it. 

And, now we're in Mexico.  It took a while but we made it.  We left San Diego at midnight and motored for 13 hours in light winds to get here.  The plan was to do our immigration check-in and wait out a little weather over the weekend before sailing out on Monday.  We pulled in yesterday around 2 pm to find the port captain had already closed his office for the day and Monday is a national holiday.  Once again, our plans fell through.  It looks like we won't get our visas until Tuesday now, so we'll be here a few days.

The next stop will be Turtle Bay, a protected anchorage about half-way down the Pacific Baja coast.  It's a 2-3 day sail from Ensenada and the longest leg for us. 

After a little time in Turtle Bay we'll do a few day sails to anchorages south of there until Bahia Magdalena, a large protected bay where we'll spend a few days.  From there it's a 2-day sail to Cabo San Lucas where we plan to spend a night on the hook before moving on. 

We were planning to jump across the Sea of Cortez to Mazatlan and work our way down the mainland coast to spend the holidays in Zihuatenejo.  We're a little behind now so it may be Christmas in Puerto Vallarta. 

It's hard to put a date to any destination as nothing seems to go as expected.  At some point you just have to drop all expectation and just go where and when the circumstances allow.  But, for now, that's the general itinerary.  We'll be posting updates as they come.  Hasta luego.
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Friday, November 11, 2011

Still Here

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Saturday, November 5, 2011

San Diego Scenery

I can't believe we've been here a week now.  It seems like we just sailed in yesterday, but here it is November 5th and we're still tied up to the police docks.  

The past few days have been very busy, as we get the boat ready for Mexico.  The top priority was to get our insurance worked out, which took some time.  With that done we focused on a few minor boat projects and provisioning. 

And, we had a welcomed visit from the family this week.  Thanks to mom, dad, uncle Bill, and aunt Keck for driving us all around town.  You have no idea how helpful that was. 

At this point we're ready to go as soon as the weather cooperates.  We seem to be a magnet for winter storms as, again, we sit and wait for a weather system to pass.  We decided to make our first stop in Ensenada -- a short overnight passage where we can check into Mexico and refuel.  The plan is to leave tomorrow or Monday.  Hasta luego California.

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