Friday, May 24, 2013

Stretching our Sea Legs

Here we are on our third day out as a threesome – what a perfect beginning to the Mexico/Hawaii leg of the journey! 

Lanham doesn't stop at boat repairs. Underway he
takes a break from sailing to fix the
all important French Press coffee pot.

We have had a little wind, lots of motor sailing (and new transmission exercising), a rocky anchorage and a calm one, and a chance to practice almost all the boat systems. Little (but important) mechanisms such as the refrigerator, the head, and the water maker are (knock, knock) purring along. All the maintenance that we had time to do in La Paz feels like money in the bank. Everything that could be was cleaned, inspected, lubed, and exercised – so far so good.

We had a Monday morning walk through La Paz, spending a last few pesos at the fancy fishing tienda, buying the prettiest lures and some killer sharp hooks. We visited the Mercado Bravo, for liquados (fruit smoothies) and a little last minute produce shopping, and stuffed ourselves on our favorite street tacos before getting back to the boat, paying up our bill and waving to our dock mates and friends for our 1530 departure.

It has been a brilliant move to have Marcus arrive in La Paz and to have a chance to practice living aboard as a trio before we head off for 3 weeks off shore. He’s a quick learner with lots of skills, good questions, high energy, sense of humor, and patience for our idiosyncrasies and geezerdoms! We have been talking talking talking over systems as we go – emergency procedures, communications (SSB radio), sail combos, navigation, instruments, autopilot, radar and of course – fishing techniques. So far Marcus has not threatened to jump ship in Los Cabos, but if he decides to go for a walk with his duffle bag when we hit the dock, we’ll know it was a mistake to let him off the boat.

We set down our hook the first night out about 15 miles from La Paz on the south end of Espiritu Santo in now familiar Bahia San Gabriel. Lanham and Marcus swam and replaced a zinc that was removed for the transmission install, and then they kayaked over to see the frigate rookery.

The dinghy has been partially deflated, covered and permanently strapped on the davits. We are going to give it a try there for the beginning of the trip. The kayaks will be put away, and the dinghy can be moved to the foredeck while underway if we decide it is vulnerable on the transom.

Melinda's kitchen knife cut is healing nicely!

Just as we finished supper the wind shifted and with it came the wind waves and swell that would give us a very good taste of sleeping (or attempting to) while at sea. We bumped up and down on 3 to 4 foot swells all night, but with a solidly set anchor and no one else in the bay, we all at least rested for 8 hours. Lanham and Marcus sung Melinda to sleep with their first (of many I hope) serenades. They sound good with their matching backpacker guitars and have plans to write some songs when they have exhausted their combined repertoire.

Tuesday was a 40-mile day, mostly motor sailing, which allows us to efficiently make water and keep the batteries topped up. The refrigerator is definitely working harder than ever. Not only is the water warm (75 – 80) but the refer is absolutely packed to the gills. We are hoping it can keep up with the freezer full of meat and we hope we can keep up with eating the fresh produce before it gets too ripe. Both will be difficult if we continue to have the fishing luck that we had on our first full day out. We caught 3 fish and lost a lure to another big hit! We let the first little Skip Jack Tuna go, filleted the second medium-sized Skip Jack, and released the last BIG Skip Jack, probably a 30-pounder!

With all the food on board, and our preference for white fish over red, we are happy to keep fishing for the illusive Dorado or Wahoo. Marcus brought not only his own lures, but a great filleting knife and experience as a sushi chef. We used our little tuna for some delicious ceviche! Anchoring off La Ventana we spent a late afternoon swimming, zinc replacing, and scrubbing the bottom of the boat. Marcus also brought a very cool tiny waterproof camera, so the blog now features some cool underwater shots. Early to bed and a super still night at anchor had us up at 0600 for a sunrise departure.

Early morning coffee underway. Looking east across the lower Sea of Cortez
toward Mazatlan and PV -- could be any upcoming morning on the Pacific

One more night at anchor, we stayed at Los Friales after a 70-mile day. The mileage went up because we tacked under sail alone for about 6 hours – beautiful wind.

Several caught and released Skip Jack Tuna later (the refer really is too full) we heard the ziiiiing, saw the beeennnnd of the pole and knew our final catch, close to sunset, was a big one. With other strikes we’ve had to wonder what kind of fish awaited us, but this one showed himself by dancing
left and right on his tail at a frenetic pace, body completely out of the water. We had hooked into a 5.5 foot striped Marlin.

Our marlin -- on his lucky day! He was released to find his way home.
 Lanham grabbed the pole, Marcus coached and Melinda slowed the engine and we sailed toward the fish to try to reel him in. After 20 minutes that felt like an hour, he tired and we brought the beautiful creature alongside the boat. Guessing his weight at 80 pounds, we didn’t hesitate long in deciding to let him live to tell about it. Marcus risked getting speared with his snout as he climbed down to the swim step to remove the hook and free this gorgeous fish.
We were grinning and giddy, but put the line back in, hoping for a slightly smaller version. We have our sights set on a nice medium-sized Dorado as we leave the cape.
Thursday morning had us up departing at sunrise again and arriving 30 miles later at the tasteful San Jose del Cabo Marina.

This is definitely the most elegant marina near Los Cabo -- but we cleaned up and fit in.

We have just returned from a dinner at "Flora Farm", a place Marcus had scouted out on an earlier trip, not easy to find an not to be missed when in Cabo. While not traditional Mexicana, definitely the most elegant and delectable restaurant we have found in Mexico. It is a working organic farm and produce store with a creative menu from carrot juice margarita to pork terrine for starters... roasted eggplant soup, big slabs of pork chop and whole roasted chicken. Beautiful grounds to walk through, live music, and nice wine list.

Friday noon -- and we have officially cleared out of Mexico! No problems -- $21. We had heard nightmare stories in La Paz that it could take days and costs $300 - $400! Hooray. We're off to shop, last laundry, and will leave in the morning. Stay in touch by

Here are a few random photos to hold in your mind while we are off the grid and staying safe and happy on the water. XOXOX, L&M&m

No comments:

Post a Comment