So this 2 month journey from La Paz to San Carlos is our introduction to being “real cruisers”. We must be self-sufficient. We will be at anchor the entire time. No slips. I will be cooking every meal for the next 2 months; when’s the last time THAT happened? NEVER. Will we have enough food? Will my veges last or will they all be rotted in a matter of 2 weeks? Did I plan my groceries appropriately enough so that we won’t be eating pasta and butter the last two weeks of the trip? Did I buy enough cheese? I feel like I should have bought more cheese. Cheddar, gouda, edam, mozzarella, parmesan, pepper jack, little elsie cows, cheese sticks. I am a cheeseoholic. Enough toilet paper? Eh? Good question.
Will our electrical output vs. usage be adequate? What about our watermaker? This will be its first real-world test. And the refrigerator has been upping its amp usage the hotter it gets. What if that blows out on us? These are all worries that linger in the back of our minds, but we have prepared as much as possible. It’s never enough… and if you keep prepping, you’ll never see anything.
I AM looking forward to the adventure, the spectacular anchorages, the white sand beaches and the desert vistas. This is what we came here for, not to sit in the marina and sip iced tea by the same pool every day. No, we came for the cruising part, the exploring part, and the only way to start is just to start. I am grateful for the time spent at the marina, getting a really good feel for living on the boat and living in Mexico. Over these months we have happily settled into liveaboard life. So I think that experience will make it easier to transition now into cruising.
We got back from San Diego April 27th but kept the car an extra day, knowing we needed to ‘food up’. Tuesday was our colossal grocery shopping excursion and then I spent hours putting everything away… except for the canned goods which remained scattered all about the boat. The next day I sat on the floor for 3 hours playing “Can Tetris”. With all the cans surrounding my feet, I shuffled my plastic trays in and out, over and over, deciphering which can should go where for maximum space usage. All but 4 cans of coconut milk fit; it was a miracle. Indigo lists to one side from the weight of all the cans. Not kidding. Can’t see the red line on that side…
Wednesday, we drove our final trip into town to Hertz and dropped off our Nissan. Walking to breakfast we noted how we were fine with getting rid of the car. Over the next several days we slowly finished one project at a time:
- Went to the farmer’s market on Saturday one last time to load up on vegetables.
- Filled up our water tanks. We had filled up our gas tanks prior to going to San Diego.
- Backflushed our watermaker to get it ready to start producing water once we were out there.
- Brian installed a fan into the cockpit locker to assist the airflow of the refrigerator.
- I wrote 3 blogs about our drive.
- Laundry. Bills. Cleaning. Stowing. More cleaning. More stowing.
- Called our parents one last time before setting off into the great unknown of no cell towers.
- Final treat: an entire ½ day to go see The Avengers 2 on its first day in Mexico.
On Monday we were finally ready to go so we went to the pool for the last time and ate filet mignon and bacon wrapped pork filet at our favorite restaurant, Azul, since we knew we weren’t going to get “real” red meat for a while. OMG it was the best, most perfect meal ever.
Tuesday morning we readied the boat for sailing. Off to the beach club for a final breakfast and there we saw on TV the news of the devastating massive waves churned up by a far-off Pacific storm. These after-effect waves hit Acapulco, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Panama, plowing through ocean-front homes and restaurants. We wondered if we should even venture out ourselves. But it seemed the worst was over and it affected only the southern portion of Mexico. So we decided to shove off.
After 5 months in La Paz, we slipped the surly bonds of land and headed out to sea. It’s even Cinco de Mayo…a cause for celebration!
First stop: Caleta Lobos. Tues. 5/5/2015
Only 5 miles away, this is the perfect first stop to regroup and get used to living at sea again. It has good protection from northern and southern winds and is usually quiet. Except this time there was already 4 boats anchored by the time we showed up at 2pm, and of course had taken over the spot we wanted, for shame.
We both got in the water for an hour to clean the hull (w/ wetsuits, water temp is only 73 degrees). Cleaning the bottom is exhausting…breathing in and diving and brushing and swimming up and gasping for air. Over and over and over. It’s much easier with the compressor but we didn’t want to disturb the peace for the other boats; the compressor is LOUD.
While eating dinner, we witnessed a spectacular, stunningly awesome sunset. Maybe the best I’ve seen yet. It’s the kind that could make you cry. (YANG)
That night the wind shifted to the south about 9pm after blowing from the north all day. Due to the wind switch we weren’t sure if the anchor totally reset as we kept setting off the anchor alarm. I assumed that we were just stretching out the chain. So we reset the anchor alarm, increased the radius by 10 feet and went back to bed. This happened 4 or 5 times. We didn’t want to let out more chain, due to the boat just behind us and to the left, so we would watch for a while, go back to bed and repeat. Suffice it to say, we didn’t sleep much that first night. (YIN)
Caleta Partida – Wed 5/6/2015
We got up relatively early to make the big trek to Caleta Partida, a whole 16 miles away. After coffee and cereal with real blueberries (like gold coins they are so rare) we had a lovely sail. Winds about 10kts, seas were nice, I drove and let Brian sleep since he kept getting up all night. We were really on our way…time for some tunes to commemorate. Tom Petty. “Runnin’ down a dream, never would come to me. Workin’ on a mystery, goin’ wherever it leads, Runnin’ down a dream, ba dah deh, dah deh, dah deh, bum pah.”
At Partida we anchored near the little fish shack on the north corner in about 14 ft. The water was spectacular blue but just murky enough you couldn’t see through it. A couple kid-boats were anchored nearby and they were redneck water-skiing (behind a dinghy standing on or clinging to a surfboard). Looked like fun. (The term ‘kid-boat’ just means boats with kids on them.)
A monster 100-foot sleek power boat (with 8 party-goers blaring the Bee Gees and Enya) parked comfortably far enough in front of us that afternoon. But about 9pm the winds started to build, ripping through the pass at about 18 knots. As we sat in the cockpit it became apparent that the power boat was slowly dragging anchor towards us and another boat, swinging wildly in the wind. They had every possible light on, including the bright, electric blue hull light which illuminated the depths of the sea. We could sense it getting closer, but the confirmation came when we could ultimately see our own hull grazed by that blue light.
We kept watching and sending out ESP signals, and about 10pm we saw a guy up on deck staring at us. Contemplating. That’s usually a good sign. He reset the anchor, right in front of us again, but at least farther away this time. Then they turned out all the lights and went to bed. Brian decided to sleep in the cockpit and keep an eye on the behemoth, no longer trusting it. Sure enough, they slowly drug towards us, but not too close before the sun came up. Didn’t sleep much that night either.
As we weighed anchor in the morning, we had to get uncomfortably close to the powerboat since our anchor position was about 30ft away from him. THAT got everybody up on their bridge to watch us. All 8 guys sitting out there drinkin’ coffee, watching us slowly motor the boat closer… close enough to have a quiet conversation. I smiled and waved goodbye. Gotta wonder if they even feel a little bit guilty. Probably not.
All in all our first two DAYS have been brilliant. The first two NIGHTS, not so much. Like I said. Yin and Yang!