Looking for a Catamaran Cruising Blog?

If you found this blog via a link from a cruising site ~ we did cruise Mexico on our Ocean 49 cat for a season. See the first text box on the right for links to our preparations, trip down Baja, life in Mexico, cruising and trip back up to SoCal. Unfortunately we are back to the grind in the USA...

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Adios Paul Newman... Who Was Once in My Hotel Room

Jim always tells me to be careful how I say, "I was in a hotel room with Paul Newman".
But it is nice to say...
And he was in my hotel room.
Along with his wife.
Along with my husband.
And me.
The four of us.
Total innocence.

We were sorry to hear he passed away...
Adios Paul!So now for the story of "I was in a hotel room with Paul Newman!"
It was the first time we had stayed at The Old Mill Hotel in San Quintin, Baja California about seven years ago. We had driven out the dusty, dirty red clay road in our Nissan 4wd and pulled in to the courtyard parking area and parked the dusty, dirty red clay covered car next to the brick flowerbeds. We checked in and started carrying our bags up the stairs to our room at about the same time this beautiful, shiny brand new Mercedes parked next to our car. Hmmmmmmm... I thought that was an odd car to be driving around Baja, but to each his own. A very well dressed couple got out and started talking to us. They asked us how the rooms were so we offered to show them our room. They took us up on it. As I was putting our bags down, I focused on this beautiful lady in her non-Baja attire and talked with her. Jim apparently focused on the handsome blue-eyed movie star because he got to talk with him. The conversation was pretty much the two ladies talking and the two men talking. They asked us how the food was at the attached restaurant, to which we replied being our first time here we didn't know. They left our rooms and went to explore the hotel grounds and restaurant. Jim looked at me and said, "That was Paul Newman". I'm not exactly sure how I replied, but something like, "Well then that was Joanne Woodward and that explains the Mercedes and nice clothes". Then I said something along the lines of, "Crap, I should have at least looked at his eyes!"
So then a half hour or so later, we went to explore the hotel grounds and restaurant, and low and behold, at a table in the restaurant eating lunch, there sat our new best friends Joanne and Paul. So I said to Jim, "I just want to see his eyes. Then I will know it is him. Let's just go ask, so how is the food? Paul will look up and I can look at his eyes, then we can go". But Jim wouldn't let me... He didn't want to bother them. I am not the fawning over movie star type, but they might have appreciated the non-fawning over movie star type of conversation.

Back to that "You only regret the things you didn't do"...

I would have just like to have shared a quick smile...For you youngens, he is the one on the right.
The one on the left is Robert Redford.
We had this conversation at my old job about 6 months ago - none of the people under 30 knew who either of these great actors were.
They only knew Paul from his salad dressing...
Anyway, that photo is from "Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid".
A great movie if you youngens haven't seen it.
A more recent shot of the two.Paul - left, Robert - right.

And Paul with his charming wife, Joanne.This is pretty much what they looked like when "I was in a hotel room with Paul Newman!"

Well Spent Ripped Off $150 US

Well, that re-built air conditioner motor didn't last long...
Two and a half nights to be exact.
Back to no air conditioning ~ oh yipee.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Oops ~ Forgot an Ensenada Grande Picture and Look at That Water Temp!

Forgot to include this thunderhead formation photo...We watched this bloom as we floated in the water...

Speaking of water...
Look at yesterday afternoon's water temp!Today too...

No Name Cove #7 to Ensenada Grande via Los Islotes

Up, coffee, dishes, straighten up, listened to the Amigo Net and yipee could hear weather!
Still ok out here, don't have to head back to the barn yet.
Went for a float before we headed out to the skipjack fishing grounds.
Some of our buddies ~ the 1/2" fish from the debris were still hanging out.
Hmmmmmm ~ aren't you little guys going to be surprised when we start those engines!

Out to the beautiful blue water, where we saw no dorados jumping, no birds working, no fish chasing each other, basically a big fat nothing, except finally a few whales cruising by.

We headed up to Los Islotes ~ the rocks where people "swim with the sea lions".We stayed on the boat.

The shape of the rocks and the perfectly placed bird poo reminded me of what Walt Disney would have come up with if someone had asked him to design a pinnacle of rocks that would be placed at the end of an island in the Sea of Cortez, where pangas could take people to "swim with the sea lions".
Nice job.

No fish by the perfect pinnacles, so back down the island to Ensenada Grande.

Where the rocks look like monkey faces.
And we had the place to ourselves.
For awhile.
Then the big boys came in.
Five big power boats.
One a behemoth.
All with their generators running and lights blazing.
All night.
One with cool underwater lights.
I knew we forgot to install something on this boat...

But still beautiful none-the-less.

We floated, swam and read the rest of the afternoon away.
Fresh water rinses, dinner of arracherra and watched the thunderheads once again form and make for a beautiful sunset.

I made up a bunk
in the cockpit and
gave Jim the bunk
inside the boat
with the fan...

Just too hot to sleep next to another sunburned sweaty body...

Sunburned backs!
Windy in the middle of the night, so I checked a few things outside, then finally went in and slept at the dinette.
Hot! Sticky!
Oops, already said that.
But still good!

El Candelero to No Name Cove #7

Up, coffee, dishes, books, gnats, watched the sun come over the hills and through the clouds.
More gnats.
More books.

Dinghied over to the center rock to go snorkling, but we both had leaky masks...
Hmmmmm... Must have grabbed ones that Stan and Tim left instead of our usual ones.
So held the masks to our faces and enjoyed the loads of fish in the perfectly clear water!

Back to the boat for brunch of leftovers.
Then motored over to the next cove North.
The one with no name.
No Name Cove #7.Where hardly anyone ever anchors (except for us)!
Over the side and into the water immediately!
Then snorkled over to the South wall and all along the cliff.
With different masks this time...
Load of fish!
All kinds!
Including three small jellyfish that we avoided.

Back to the boat to swim and float some more.
Only this time without clothes!
Hey, no people around...
No pics of that though no need to make you all sick.

Dinghied to the small beach and around the cove.

This is the
view from my
daily floats.

Either the stern or under the boat.

Back to the boat to watch a line of debris float through the anchorage.
We figured it must have been run-off from a thunderstorm over on mainland Baja the evening before.
The debris brought lots of little black fish and striped fish that would hang out under our stern.
And hang out with us when we were in the water.
They would circle us and stay within an inch or two of us.
Jim was able to pick a couple of them up.
They were our buddies for the day.They were all about 1/2 inch long and using us to hide from a couple of pompano that wanted to eat them.
We watched the pompano watch the buddies.
We thought of catching the pompano, cutting it up and feeding it to the buddies.
Eventually some of the buddies got together and started swimming for the rocks.
We wished them luck.
But a lot of them were still with us the next morning.

Jim went fishing in the dinghy ~ for bigger fish than our buddies.
I stayed behind, made bleu cheese and BBQ sauce meatballs for dinner, read and floated.
Enjoyed the meatballs with red beans & rice and fresh pineapple!

Watched the thunderheads form again and enjoyed the sunset!Then went for a twilight swim!
No clothes!
No people!
Felt great!
Fresh water rinse, which also felt great.

Tried to sleep in the nets up forward, but the wind come up around 11 pm and blew us out of them.
Me to our bunk with my face 1" from the fan and Jim sweated slept in the cockpit.
Hot and sticky and even a little rolly from the leftover wind slop, but still a nice night!

La Paz to El Candelero

Up at sunrise ~ yipee, we are getting out of the marina!
Finished getting the boat ready and headed over to the fuel dock.
Jim did a great job backing in and then getting out of the tight spot.
Had to do a 180 getting out of there (love how catamarans turn in tight spots!).

Fished back and forth across the bay.
No keeper fish though.
Just skipjacks.
Jim is still The Skipjack King!

And in to the anchorage!Aaaaahhhhhh - the clear turquoise water!The white sand beaches!
The lack of boats!
The lack of buildings (but they do have camping tents out here now...)!

Immediately in to the water!

This is pretty
much how I
spent the


We floated. Swam under the boat. Got out & read. In and under the boat again. Floated. Watched a mega yacht come in and anchor behind us. Then watched them leave. Floated. Read. Under the boat. Glass of wine. Swam around in circles. Listened to music while we floated. Read. Wine. Floated. Fresh water rinse.

Watched big thunderheads form over the mountains.Watched them form into huge clouds that looked like something a tornado would come from.Beautiful!

Made burritos for dinner.
Sat on the bow and watched the rest of the sunset.
Watched the stars come out.Saw three satellites!

Hot, sticky.
Curled up (separately of course) in the cockpit and hoped for some breeze.
Tried to sleep.
I finally went inside and crawled up next to a fan.
Jim came inside around 1 am.
Hot, sticky.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Cheated Death Again

Four Days, three nights.
Out of the marina.
Except extremely hot at night!
88 degree water.
Floated, swam, floated, forgot to put sunscreen on our backs, sunburnt, floated some more, then came back.
Anchored at El Candelero the first night, No Name Cove #7 the second night (all alone!!) and Ensenada Grande or our new name for this cove: Lake Havasu South due to all the big fat powerboats with giant tenders and illegal jet skis - you can't use jet skis at the island! Yipee! the last night.Pics and stories to follow...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Islas Manana!

Tomorrow this is where we will be! Isla Partida y Isla Espiritu Santo!
Two islands with a little bit of water in between.
Of course it will take us several hours to get there, because "someone" wants to hunt dorado on the way...
So we will troll around back and forth and keep our fingers crossed.
Fresh dorado would be great!
Then 2 or 3 nights anchored in a couple of these beautiful inlets, with 85 degree clear water, hardly any other boats, no internet, no cell phones, no people, float, swim, snorkle, bbq, float some more, stare at the stars, did I say hardly any other people?
Oh ~ just in time before I go insane too...


Success with getting our re-built motor for the hatch air conditioner.
Success with Jim putting the piece of crap incredible machine back together.
Success with plugging it in and cold air coming out!

So I now know where Jim will spend the rest of his day...
Laying in our stateroom under the stream of cold air.

Of course we have plans to head out to Isla Espiritu Santo tomorrow morning for 2-5 days...
So he better enjoy that cold air today and tonight!

Cooling Off at Costa Baja

Yea - actually got in the water two days in a row!
Dave and Kellie had dinghied over yesterday morning (when it was really, really calm) to pick up some boat parts they had been waiting for (for months ~ sound familiar?)...
A trip to the grocery store, then the wind really came up!
No way would they be able to dinghy back to Costa Baja with the wind, groceries and boat parts, so we drove them.
Oooohhhh ~ they have a pool!
Went for a nice long dip.
Jim ran into Teresa, who he knew from his days at H&S Yacht Sales!
Love our small world...

Then up to the lap pool for the marina view.
Waved adios to our favorite pool bartender.He does make a good margarita!

You have to laugh at the looong list of marina rules...But then there is no excuse that you didn't know you couldn't sacrifice chickens on the dock sand and varnish on the dock.

Then back to "Sweet Lorraine" to play with their giant plastic beer bottles ~ El Grito souvenirs!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Aaagggghhh - Oh So Crowded.

So I actually did a few things today.
Stress the word, "few".
Washed the dishes from last night.
Washed the cockpit sunshades and the hatch bugscreens.
Was going to post a picture of that but figured it would bore you to tears...
So didn't.

Off for a float at The Mogote.
Where the water is 85 to 90 degrees.

But again, oh those crowds.
Masses of people...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Nope, It's Not Fall Yet... Still Waiting...

Fooled us.
We do have afternoon breeze today though, but it was dead calm last night.
Not a ripple in the water.
Looked like glass.

And we have two, not one, but TWO dead air conditioners...

Still waiting for that motor to be re-built.
Manana Man: "Come by Saturday at 1:00 pm and I will have it ready".
So go by Saturday at 1:00 pm.
Manana Man's wife: "Manana Man's not here. Come back Monday".

Oh and it got warm again...The 96 degrees is inside the boat.
Guess we will dinghy over to The Mogote for a float swim this afternoon.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Thanks Again Bob & Nancy!

Before we did our quick (which ended up being longer than we thought it would be because we were having fun) turn-around trip to San Diego, I filled the refer (fridge for you non-boaters) with as many nice Alta California wines as I could squeeze in without hurting the mayo jar.
The mayo jar survived.
So did the wines we put in the fridge.
We were trying to protect them from the 100 degree days, which translates to a bazillion degrees in a locked up boat.
A bazillion degrees turns nice Alta California wines into lousy vinegar.
Ask us about the summer we left "Thistle" in La Paz waaaay back in 1998 and forgot about the 7 or 8 boxes of wine we had stowed under the v-berth.
Nah, never mind.
Don't ask, because it was really sad to pour 7 or 8 boxes of ex-wine down the galley sink...

Anyway... we have been enjoying all the nice Alta California wines that are in the refer.
We need to make room for food.
Thanks again to Bob and Nancy for a couple of yummy Chardonnays we have enjoyed over the last few days!And to think I have a bunch more stowed in the wine cellar under the dinette!
Hope they didn't turn to lousy vinegar during that gazillion degree inside the locked up boat turnaround trip to San Diego!

Sunsets and Dogs in Bars

Just a couple of things I love about Mexico!
We don't want to get into all the things I hate about it...
At least not today...
The waiting.
The trash.
Oops ~ said I wouldn't do that today!

Sunsets from one of our favorite bars, Salsipuedes!It is one of our favorite bars, because the owners are one of the nicest, most wonderful group of people we have ever met!

I love that dogs can be in bars here.Even ones with glow in the dark eyes...
They have banned smoking from bars and restaurants here now, but they still allow dogs inside.