Ensenada

11-26-11 We left Ensenada early in the morning before sunrise with dolphins jumping around us. We enjoyed a beautiful day of flat seas (which of course means we motored all day) with lots of birds, kelp and whales all around us. We entered the anchorage of Punta Colonet amazed by the beautiful cliffs. The wind and waves came from different angles so we put out bow and stern anchors. We were treated to the most amazing sunset of the voyage so far and at one point another boat came into the anchorage with the sun setting behind them. We spoke with the other boat (sv Dune) on the radio and found out they were from San Diego. We went to bed early planning on departing around 3:00 am.

11-27-11 At 3:00am we hoisted both anchors and headed south. Another beautiful day with flat calm ocean, lots of dolphins and oh so many whales! We made water and all three of us showered underway. (Have I mentioned that PeeWee does not like showers?!) We anchored at Isla San Jeronimo near a deserted fishing camp in calm water and watched the thousands of sea lions, elephant seals and birds – a whale even came into the anchorage and swam around us. During the night we awoke to a loud crash in the rigging… We both ran on deck, turned on all lights and started looking for problems. We couldn’t find anything out of place then realized there were large birds flying all around us. One of the birds must have crashed into the rigging…

11-28-11 We woke to another beautiful day. We wanted to splash the dink and hike on the island but there was a HUGE, skinny dog guarding the island and we decided not to go ashore. About 8 pangas with lobster fishermen were busily coming and going waving as they went by the boat. One yelled “Hola Rubia” (hello blond lady) as they went by. The wind shifted and we were invaded by kelp flies so we decided to go. As we were raising the anchor one the lobster boat that had called Hola Rubia came up and asked if we had cervesas. I went below and got three cold beers (there were three men in the panga) and Mike handed them to the fishermen. They smiled, handed Mike a bucket and drove away waving. The bucket had 9 live lobsters in it! We decided we could stay long enough for a lobster lunch. Mike threw 2 lobsters back, cleaned the other 7 and threw them on the grill. We feasted on grilled lobster tail, potato salad… PeeWee even got his first lobster tail – PeeWee likes lobster.
After lunch we were off navigating through kelp, lobster pots and the reef to open ocean. Once there we headed south and flew Waldo. We caught a jack and threw it back… We want Dorado!
Just before sunset the wind died and we fired up Henry (as in Ford) and settled into our night watch schedule. 6-9 Robin, 9-12 Mike, 12-3 Robin and 3-6 Mike.

11-29-11 We woke to another beautiful morning and found ourselves off Bahia Tortuga (Turtle Bay). We were relaxing and watching for the lobster pots to navigate when all of a sudden the high water alarm started blaring. Believe me this will get the adrenaline going faster than any coffee! We both ran below and started pulling up floorboards and yelling “nothing here” looking for where the water was coming in. Finally, Mike realized that a hose had come off our fresh water system and all the newly made fresh water was flooding the bilges. No problem, right… just run the bilge pumps… WRONG! The pumps chose this moment to quit. Oh, well at least we weren’t sinking… its the same amount of water we had before just relocated – we can fix it at anchor. Back to navigating the entrance.
Once we got the anchor down (about 9:45am) we went to work on the bilges. The plan was to fix both main bilges and head out around midnight. New plan… The 1st bilge took all day and Mike had to swim to clear the thru-hull several times. He said the water was nice after he got used to it, I think he became numb. While working on the pump, Mike had a Three Stugues moment… The pump shares a thru-hull with the aft head so he told me to flush the aft head so he could see where it was clogged. As I began flushing I heard the most awful scream and thought he had fallen and hurt himself. As I was running to the engine room the scream became a laugh. What a sight Mike was! He was dripping in bilge ooze – all over his face, hair and dripping down his arms. It hadn’t occurred to him that while he was looking down the hose and I flushed it would all go directly in his face! He was spitting and laughing at himself! OK, those clothes are going in the trash!
All lines cleared, Mike went overboard again to clean the thru-hull a bit more. Finally one bilge pump working and it was time to think about dinner and we decided to stay another day to work on the other pump.
We made just enough water for Mike to shower. We splashed the dink and headed towards town to eat. No lights were on and we wondered if anything would be open. We negotiated the dock and ladder and started walking up the dock when lights came on in Maria’s Restaurant. They called for us to eat there, took our trash and loved on PeeWee… we were sold. Maria donned her apron and turned on lights in the kitchen. We ordered, had a cold cervesa and looked out over the marina… What a day it had been!
Dinner was fabulous! Mike had Pescado Maria which was fresh fish with butter, beans, enchilada sauce and cheese topped with green olives. This was all in a pouch of foil and cooked… very good and we are going to have to try this (as soon as we catch a fish!). We headed back to Mermaid for a sundowner and early to bed.

11-30-11 We woke to fog this morning, did a few boat chores and headed to town to get some beer (lobster fishermen like beer). We walked through town noticing how nothing had changed over the years since our last visit. We stopped by the internet cafe to check on the weather forecast. We stopped at a palapa on the beach for a cervesa before heading back to Mermaid to fix the 2nd bilge.
The 2nd pump proved much easier to fix so we hoisted the dink and at 6:50pm fired up Henry, hoisted the anchor and headed south finding wind just after midnight and started sailing.

12-01-11 As the sun came up we found squid on the deck and saw a huge sunfish. He motored for about an hour at lunch and went back to sailing. The wind builds, dies and builds again. We went over “Uncle Sam Bank” hoping to make a fish withdrawl but no luck. I had a very nice chat with a Turkish captain of the tanker Action. He was very curious about our lifestyle and found it “very cool.”
About 7:45 the wind died and we started motoring again.

12-02-11 At 4:45 the wind came back up and we started sailing again – about 6kts on a nice beam reach. Mike spotted a sea turtle… the sea and air temperatures are getting much warmer. It was mostly cloudy this morning. As we neared the entrance to Bahia Magdalena (Mag Bay) we saw a good sized tuna checking out our lure… then a Dorado checked it out… a jack took it – time to change the lure!
We negotiated many lobster pots and a long line as we entered the bay. We did a 360 degree turn to calibrate our instruments and wondered if the fishermen wondered what the heck we were doing. We anchored at Belcher’s Cove with two other boats and made margaritas. Landfall drinks are traditionally rum & cokes aboard Mermaid but we decided margaritas were appropriate today. A squall blew threw with wind and light rain. We held fine. We enjoyed a dinner of left over lobster jambalaya and PeeWee got another lobster tail… Life is good in Mexico.
We watched a line (Mike counted 100) of pangas shrimping all day and night. In the morning we wondered if they had been out all night…

12-03-11 We woke to a warm and beautiful day! Shrimpers came by the boat to sell grande, live shirmp… we bought 1 kilo. Mike grilled the shrimp while I made a mojo de ajo sauce (garlic) and guacamole. What a wonderful lunch! We also grilled a fresh pineapple and drizzled honey on it… mmmmmmm.
We raised the anchor and headed to Punta Magdalena also known as Man of War Cove where we anchored with about 5 or 6 other boats. We splashed the dink and were racing toward the beach when we found ourselves in VERY shallow water. We slowly maneuvered out of the shallows and found a way into the beach. PeeWee ran along the beach like he hadn’t been on shore for months! We spotted a coyote in the dunes and kept a close eye on PeeWee. The beach was beautiful! We picked up pretty shells, saw whale bones and decided to come back tomorrow to spend more time. Back to Mermaid for margaritas and dinner – another lobster tail waits for PeeWee.

12-04-11 My birthday… We realized today that we have been thoroughly enjoying each others company and reconnecting but have not socialized with any other cruiser at this point. We hopped into the dingy and went boat to boat introducing ourselves to the other cruisers before heading back to the beach.
We went back to the same spot we had landed on the beach and walked over the dunes to the beach on the other side which is in Santa Maria. The walk through the dunes was about a mile and we were welcomed to the most beautiful beach of the trip! We picked up so many pretty shells and sand dollars that we had to find an old crate to carry them back across the dunes to the dink.
Shrimpers had gone through the anchorage while we were out exploring and the other cruisers had gotten shrimp and invited us over to enjoy some.
We went to Dune with cheese, crackers, marinated mushrooms and drinks in hand. We enjoyed a lovely evening with Walt & Shelly of Dune, Pat & Lynn of Cricket and Pieter and Hanna of Candlewin and made plans to share a panga to San Carlos in the morning.
Back to Mermaid to watch Pirates of the Caribbean 4 for my birthday.
What a great day!

12-05-11 We woke to another beautiful day! (I know its getting redundant, but it is truly beautiful here)
The winds are predicted to pick up and be from the NE which is a bad angle for this anchorage so we decided to stay near the boat for the day. We did boat chores. Mike worked on the forward head which seems to be flushing slowly. He went in the water again to clear the thru-hull and said the water is getting warmer as we get south.
We took our trash into town and the wind kicked up. We headed back to Mermaid and had a wet dingy ride.
We had heard that “the restaurant” would be open tonight so we headed in to eat. We met up with Dune, Candlewin and Ella and waited at a table. After about a half hour someone drove up and asked if we were wanting to eat. The only thing they had was machacas (meat and egg burrito) and cervesas. We had a fun evening and Mike got some pan dulce to take home for breakfast. The lights in town go off at 9:00pm when the generator is turned off.
We went back to Mermaid, hoisted the dink and secured the boat in hopes of leaving in the morning.

12-06-11 We switched to Mountain time today to be on local time. The weather reports didn’t sound too bad and we have a very short weather window to go from Cabo to La Paz so we need to leave. We hoisted the anchor and left about 9:00 am. As we left the bay the wind would go up for a few minutes and then back down so we did the dance of sails up, motor off… sails down, motor on over and over again. Around 7:00pm the winds were about 15-18 kts ENE with a fairly large easterly swell which made sailing uncomfortable so we decided to motorsail.
What an awful night!! The winds were 20-35 kts with big seas. During the night we developed a small leak and found that all bilge pumps were not working AGAIN! Our emergency pump even gave up the ghost. We spent all night with a hand pump and a bucket emptying the bilge. Even with our completely enclosed cockpit we still managed to get wet. Needless to say, neither of us got any sleep… not even PeeWee.

12-07-11 Sunrise at Cabo Falso was a welcome sight this morning after a sleepless rough night of wishing we had waited one more day to leave Mag Bay. The winds and seas had died down, the sun was shining and we were motorsailing. There were lots of fishing boats all around but we were too tired to fish today. We saw a huge whale and lots of tourist boats.
We anchored in the bay of Cabo San Lucas and put our day shape up. After three weeks of cruising peaceful Baja the cruise ships, parasailors, jet skiis and glass bottom pangas were a culture shock to us. We spent the day working on the bilge pumps which were just clogged and got the main one working perfectly. The other one needs replacing which we will do in La Paz. We were visited by the “Port Authority” who collected $18 US to anchor for the night. We were also treated to what must have been a boat parade of lights. Time to get some sleep and work on heads in the morning… aft head down and forward head minimal.
The weather prediction for crossing to La Paz sounds good so we decided to miss a couple of anchorages we had planned on visiting and get to the marina.

12-08-11 Nothing like a good 12 hour sleep! We woke to a sunny day in Cabo. Two cruise ships had come in and we hoped to get underway before all the crazy people got on jet skiis.
Mike got both heads working, one bilge pump 100%, bucket at the ready… dishes washed and stowed, fuel transferred – ready to depart.
10:05am we were underway. We drug the fishing line through what the guidebooks said was guaranteed to catch fish… They lied! We had calm seas until we neared Los Frailes and the seas build… but not bad for Mermaid. We rounded the point and started the northward trip toward La Paz. We went on our normal night watch schedule and had an uneventful night… Thank goodness!

12-09-11 We anchored in Caleta Lobos to fix the forward head – again. What a beautiful little anchorage… We will have to come back here. Thru-hull cleared we headed to Marina La Paz. Navigating through the markers was a bit unsettling as the water depths were very shallow and we are very deep. As we were entering the harbor, Mike recognized someone he works with from San Francisco and started waving a yelling at them. I started yelling “turn left” as he didn’t realize when he turned around he turned the wheel and headed us toward the breakwater. What a small world that his friends were visiting a friend of their’s here in La Paz when we were arriving.
11:00am we arrived at out slip to awaiting dockhand and dock neighbors. We tied up and met some of our new neighbors who were all very friendly. I think we will like it here!

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