Wednesday, November 14, 2018

PV Tales: A tale of 3 Melissa's

Here we are anchored in Isla San Martin......

Our friends s/v Blue Heron suggested we stop here because it was such a neat place and they were here as well, having a great time...... we happened to be on the way to an anchorage a little past it, so we did a pass by and yep, it seemed great, so we pulled in.  Now the woman aboard Blue Heron is also named Melissa.

Shortly after, we noticed another boat pulled in and dropped the hook - that makes 4 boats.....  And 9 cruisers in this little volcano island.

On a trip to shore, while talking to a guy in the fishing camp (where folks come to work for a week or two, then return home to visit their families), we met the folks on the new boat - two guys and a woman named Melissa.....

There's a pretty good chance there are no women currently working at the fishing camp, as most women are at home in these men's hometown with the kids.  So, on this tiny island off of Mexico, there are 3 women and they are all named Melissa.....

What are the odds? (that's not a real question for all the smartass people I know.....)


Saturday, November 10, 2018

Baja Coast - Yes, Mexico



Hard to believe, but I'm writing this while at anchor in our latest favorite anchorage.  There are folks here fishing lobster, sheepshead and other fish, and harvesting seaweed.  And they have wifi ashore which we can reach from our boat.

While talking to Sergio, one of the fishermen on the island, we learned that the fish they catch here are being delivered alive to Chinatown in the Bay Area.....  Oakland is one of the locations with a contract.  I find this funny since I used to work there.  

Oh, the island, Isla San Martin - just north of Bahia San Quintin.  It's a tiny extinct volcano with a little temporary fishing camp.

We left San Diego a week and a day ago for an overnight to Ensenada where we got to have all sorts of fun adventures.  From a cheese and strawberry ice cream (YUM!) to a Seafood Tostada from a street cart, to meandering through Mercado Los Globos to refresh our spices, to a $2 showing of Bohemian Rhapsody.  We had a great time but wanted to move on.  So Thursday, we headed out of the marina and have been stopping at a different anchorage each night.  

Santa Tomas is pictured above.  To get in, we needed to weave through stalks of seaweed.  The water clarity was amazing and we could just make out the bottom about 30 feet below - it was spectacular.
Because we went to sleep at an embarrassingly early time (7pm), we were up early and I was reminded of the many mornings Matey used to get me up while down here last time.  I had completely forgotten how stunning the light can be with the desert terrain and mirror water to reflect the beautiful light around.  



Last night we were at Cabo Colonet which is shaped like a nose, we anchored in the nostril area.  The cliffs along the show had what looked like carvings.


Today we were enroute to San Quinntin when a friend of ours saw we had left Ensenada and sent us a note about Isla San Martin which where they were.  It's easy to overlook, but they were loving it.....  Since it was on the way to San Quintin, we decided to check it out on the way - and are staying a couple of nights.

Tomorrow we'll get in some exploring, and tonight we'll sleep well - but we've been sleeping well every night.


Buzz our dinghy ashore looking out to the anchorage.


A camp for a fisherman on Isla San Martin at sunset.


Pura Vida at anchor.





PV Tales: Spam? Glad i took that call

The other morning, I was getting paperwork together for the marina in Ensenada for when we check in to Mexico and the phone rings with a number I don't recognize.

Usually, my behavior for this is .... voicemail you go.....  Thankfully I answered (it was Greg's phone by the way).

A man identifies himself as Sgt Peabody (made it up) with the coast guard and he was looking for Greg.....  After I said, he was right here, then start to hand the phone over, he informs us that our EPRIB went off......

HUH?!?!......  I'm sitting right next to it mounted on the wall.....  immediately I worry I accidentally triggered something (thank you Catholic upbringing guilt).

As Greg talks to him, I collect our little location devices that are in our lifejackets in case they malfunctioned.

After some MMSI checking and some location checking (after a second coast guard station called us), we finally figured out this was our old EPIRB that we "disposed" of a few months ago.

Thanks to the Berkeley marina dumpster recycling program, our old EPIRB was now being played with by some no gooders back in Berkeley.

We apologized for just tossing the old dated unit and not deauthorizing it......

Saturday, November 3, 2018

PV Tales: What's that noise

Last night, we were swinging at anchor.  We were down below, fixing dinner - or maybe ice cream :-)  it was dark.

We hear a huge racket outside.....Not huge alarming, but huge, what in the world is that?

San Diego isn't the quietest place, as we are snuggled beside the airport next to a coast guard base, across from a Navy base.  Both the Coastguard and Navy love their helicopters......  It's almost constant - sounds like there is some secret mission about training large hornets.  At least I can assure you, they are excellent at hovering if practice means anything.

Back to the story - a racket outside, Greg guests something with the Navy while I poke my head out....

Would you believe, just outside the cruiser anchorage is a container ship dropping anchor.  Still moving forward, releases his pile of anchor and chain, then I guess sets it as the anchor stops him and his stern swings around.

The things you see at sea :-)


Saturday, October 27, 2018

PV Tales: Boarded at 11pm.....

No, we aren't in Mexico yet......  We are in a posh yacht club marina in San Diego.  After enjoying the hot tub one evening, we gorged ourselves on You Tube Videos (the things cruisers do when they get wifi) - then went to bed.

When all of a sudden, around 11pm, we were woke by some weird noises outside our boat.....  then it sounded as if someone was knocking or banging on the deck.

Greg popped his head out the hatch just above our bed and there's a drunkish homelessy looking dude just about to open the companionway (our front door) and go below.

Greg yells, "HEY!!!!" which he promptly ignores...  then another "HEY! What are you doing?" from Greg.  Then dude turns around.  Luckily he's not threatening, he says "I mean no harm, I'm just drunk".  Greg says, "Get off the boat" because dude is making no move to leave our boat.

He then tries to continue talking when Greg says again louder, "Get OFF the Boat!"...... and dude gets off, then comes to the side of our boat and starts asking us questions.....  Greg just says, "Move along"...   And he grabs his backpack and walks off.

Weird...... and what a way to wake up.

We're still cranking out work on the projects.





Enjoying life at anchor



After 5 days of being at the public police docks while Greg went home to spend a few days with his mom so that Kim could get away for a little vacation, we have now been out at anchor for a few days.

I had fun socializing around the dock.  And my introverted self-got all filled up on interactions.  There is a great energy at he docks; most of the people there are heading to Mexico - and most with the HaHa.  So, lots of excited folks with similar goals and dreams.

There were a couple of other ladies solo at the docks, so one of them used the excuse to set up a ladies happy hour at the spa next door.  Great idea - I'm not one to turn down a margarita and some dinner out.



Oh, the spa next door is also the place where a friend of Greg's dad was staying when he came to visit a couple of weeks ago.  This friend, John and his wife Kathy were visiting San Diego, so we had them over for a super fun afternoon.  See, John is a big influence on our sailing dreams.  He and Greg's dad would take the kids to fish and camp in the Sea of Cortez.  This made a huge impression on Greg and drove his desire to get back exploring out there.  So, to be able to share our traveling with John and Kathy was super special to us.

We have been massively working on projects, our last one is a doozy, the watermaker.  We're close,   Monday we will drop off a motor to a shop to be rebuilt.

Happily, we left the dock on Thursday, then went to the fuel dock to load fuel into our new 55 gal fuel tank....  Nice, all went smoothly.


The beautiful view of the downtown skyline we get every evening.


A Downwind Marine lecture by Pat Rains on cruising Mexico.


Dinghy sailors swarming the police docks.







PV Tales: Thumbs up for nice peeps




I've been wanting to share this.   A couple of weeks ago while running errands, I walked past this building.  It's a custom woodworking shop, and that box you see was filled at the time with scrap wood.   Just a little detail and point of interest.

A day or two later, Greg mentioned to me that he needed a scrap piece of wood if I had any ideas - he needed to drill a few holes and wanted to use it as a backing while drilling on the dock.  Perfect, I said I knew a place that had scrap wood - so while he went to the Marine Exchange (yet again.... we literally go there every day to buy more plumbing parts as fittings as the watermaker gets installed).

Off I went to check out this little woodworking shop.  When I get there, the scrap box is empty.  As I chatted with a man from the neighborhood outside the shop waiting for the owner so he can have the board he was holding trimmed down, I explained my need.  He advised me to wait and tell the owner - he often has scrap wood around the shop as well.

As the owner finished up and turned to me - I mentioned the need for the scrap wood.  He explained he throws scrap wood in the box outside as he's working on his designs....but asked if plywood would suffice, then pulled out a beautiful piece to hand over to me.

A small thing - but a wonderful glimpse into a neighborhood shop and fixture. Love seeing the pieces of life that often get overlooked.