Speranzaís
Cruise Log
Dave Starr: Captain/Owner

Covering Nov. 30, 2001 to Feb 24, 2002

Friday, Nov. 30, 2001:

Following 13 months of preparation ďcrammingĒ I cast off the dock lines at Tahiti Marina in Marina del Rey, CA for the last time at 12:10 PM.  Although there are definitely some people there whose company I thoroughly enjoyed, I wonít miss that place at all.

Ahh, the characters I left behind though.  ďWild BillĒ is a great guy from the East Coast.  Somehow Bill found himself in Marina del Rey, living on a boat and hating everything about the place except maybe his boat and a few friends.  Poor guy is just another struggling working man.  I tried to strike up a conversation with him several times a week because he was very entertaining.  He was usually griping about something but in an entertaining way.  Some folks have a knack for that; Bill is one of them.

Then thereís old Werner.  Heís a German guy who runs a custodial service.  Heís fixing up a ferro-cement boat that he picked up for pennies.  Says heíll sail ďSpirit of EcstasyĒ around the world one day.  For his sake, I hope he realizes that dream.  Heís a great engineer and will make an excellent cruiser if he ever decides to leave.

Gene is a true sailor.  Heís one of the few people that actually used his boat.  His little boat isnít much to look at but she is as seaworthy as Gene is.  The day I pulled in to the marina he marched across the dock, introduced himself and offered to trade boats with me, ďStraight acrossĒ.  Geneís into astronomy and recently completed the infrared mapping of the globe for some governmental office or another.  I told him that if he could get me time on the 200 inch telescope at Palomar we could talk about trading boats.  I never got to look at Saturn so I still have my boat.

Mayo is a great guy who collects expensive toys and enjoys their use.  He was very helpful just before my departure.  He sorted out all of my Scuba gear for me and even gave me a pony bottle for diving my boat.  Heís a bit of a party animal too.  My kind of guy!

Alan is in direct competition with Mayo in the toy war.  Together they rented a 40 ft slip and put a floating ramp in it to house their toys.  We called it the ďSand BoxĒ. When I left it was full (4 jet skis and 2 60mph inflatables) and they had rented another slip to put their ski boat in.

Bill 2 moved in a month before I left.  What a great dude!  Full of unintentional wit and a good sailor.  Heís headed to Mexico in a couple of months and I hope to see him there.

Steve is another sailor who plans to cruise.  I hope Iím wrong but I just donít think heíll ever really commit to it.  Steve is aboard Speranza now.  Heís going to make the run to Ensenada with me.

Bye guys!  Itís been a pleasure.  I do hope to see you again but that will have to happen outside of Marina del Rey!

1:30 PM:
I can control 2 things.  Weather and the stock market.  For a week straight there has been a steady North Westerly breeze running down the coast of Southern California.  The stock I bought yesterday tanked 2 hours ago and the wind died an hour ago.  Weíre motoring.  All is well otherwise.  Steve & I are having some good conversation.

4:30 PM:
Still motoring.  Weíre making decent time though and at least the seas are flat.  I estimate another 13 hrs to San Diego Harbor

7:30 PM:
Steveís below sleeping.  Iím enjoying the quiet and starry night.  Weíve safely crossed 2 shipping lanes and are now in the separation zone between the last 2.  Iíve got 3 ships on radar and 2 visuals.  Weíre cool.

10:15 PM:
Steveís up and Iím sleepy.  Iím really nervous about leaving someone else at the helm this close to shipping lanes but I should try to sleep.  I told Steve to do 3 things: Donít hit anything, donít fall asleep, and wake me up if anything looks or feels funny.  Iím going to bed.

11:45 PM:
Iím at the helm again.  I woke up 20 minutes ago and found Steve curled up in a ball sawing logs.  I was really pissed at first.  Then I checked our course and the auto pilot was doing its job.  We were Southbound on the edge of the Northbound shipping lane though.  I rattled around below for a bit and Steve woke up.  I never let on that I had caught him napping but Iíll be up all night now.  If you want something done rightÖ

Sat. Dec. 1, 2001 3:45 AM
I can see the light at Point Loma and the radar puts it 8 miles off.  Weíll be entering San Diego Harbor at about Sunrise

6:45 AM:
I watched the Sun come up as I entered the harbor.  Pretty!  I think the last time I watched the sun come up after being up all night was New Year 2000.  Good chemical assistance that night!  Hey!  The World was supposed to end!  I wanted to see it in color!  Well, the world is still here but at least I got my colors!  Weíre tied up at the docks behind the brokerage I used to find ďSperanzaĒ for me.  Iím beat and my ship is secure.  Night all!

11:45 AM:
Ok, Iím up.  The weather fax doesnít look good.  Thereís a nasty low moving in my direction at a high rate of speed and an offshore storm is generating some big westerly swells.  Iím sitting this one out in harbor.  If the weather models are accurate, Iíll be pulling out on Wednesday.

Wed. Dec 5, 2001:
4:00 AM:
Iím solo now.  (like I wasnít before?!).  Iím  in San Diego Harbor heading out under full sail, making 5 kts.  Iím going to kick on the engine till I clear the harbor.

5:15 AM:
Sunís up!  Coronado Islands dead ahead.  Winds NW @ 7 kts.  Motor sailing.

8:30 AM:
Yep, I can control 2 things.  Shit!  Winds are light & var. and the swells are starting to veer to a following sea.  Pleeeeease donít do that !!

10:30 AM:
Aaargh!  Auto pilot crapped out!  9 ft following sea, wind negligible.   Itís gonna be a long day.

11:30 AM:
Boy, Iím a genius!  I decided a while ago to tie a preventer to a port  bow cleat to keep my boom over there in these swells.  Worked great.  Now that the auto pilot has died I canít let go of the wheel.  Hmmm.  What will I do if I need to sheet in the boom?  Letís see, the boomís tied off 40 ft away and if I let go of the wheel the boat will be taking a 9 ft swell on the beam.  This ainít good.  Mental note: I should have crew aboard if I decide to rig a preventer I canít release from the cockpit.  Genius!

11:45 AM:
Well, I redeemed myself a little.  The problem with the auto pilot is that the gear is slipping on the steering post under heavy loads.  Heavy loads.  Saaay, wonder if I can get it to hold a course under a light load for a few seconds while I stroll to the bow and undo my stroke of genius?
I kicked up the RPM on the engine and steered around into the swells.  Then I flipped on the pilot and held my breath.  This may not work with the main back-winded.  Nope.  Didnít work.  Stay calm & think.  Ah HA!  I set a course that put the swells on my Starboard quarter and luffed the main.  The pilotís holding!  Sort of.  Itís enough to get the job done though.  My embarrassing  stroke of genius is undone and Iím back on course.

3:45 PM:
Made Ensenada Harbor 10 minutes ago.  At anchor now.  Iíve been hand steering  for 6 hours in a following sea.  Nite nite!

Thursday Dec. 6, 2001

Well, this was an interesting day.  I woke up around 7:00, fully rested and excited to be in my first foreign port.  I went ashore in my dinghy and checked in with the marina management.  Anchoring in the harbor is free.  Tying your dinghy to anything attached to the shore will generate a bill from someone.  Fair enough.

I went to the Port Captainís office next.  He took my passport and told me to go to a bank down the road and give them money.  Next, I went to the immigration office.  They took a bunch of copies of my paperwork and told me to go to another bank WAY down the road and give them money.  I went and gave the money to the banks and went back to Immigration and the port Captain.  The Captain gave me my passport back and Immigration gave me a tourist visa.  Total cost: About 60 bucks, 2 miles hiking and 2 hours.  Welcome to Mexico!

Back at the marina I met a cool guy (Peter) whoís just bought his first boat.  Itís a Pearson 42ish foot boat.  Itís nice.  Maybe Iíll get a bit of work on this one.

I strolled around the harbor for a few hours and found some good fish tacos.  There are no less than 15 sidewalk stands in the same block, all selling the same fish tacos and all begging you to come to their stand for yours.  Hey guys, ever hear of variety?  You, over there, sell burgers.  You in the green shirt, do sandwiches.  Pizza over here and burritos over there.  Tourists have varying appetites.  No need to fight over their business.  Yeeesh!  At least they all sell beer.

I did the ole town stroll around 8 PM.  Hit a couple of bars and wandered around.  I was standing at a corner looking at a strip club that was down the way.  Some guy walked up to me and informed me that he could recommend a good strip bar and told me to follow him.  I told him I could see one from here and pointed to the one I was looking at. ď Si, si.  That is the one!  You give me dollar now.Ē  Huh?  ďWaitĒ, I said.  ďI was standing here looking at it before you walked up.  Why should I give you a dollar?Ē  He explained that I owed him for his recommendation.  I told him I donít like strip bars and I was going to a beer bar.  A half hour later I was sitting in a beer bar and this shit walked up to me demanding his dollar.  I turned to the bar tender and asked to speak to the bar owner.  When I turned back the shit was gone.

I spent the next month in Ensenada and did a bunch of work on my boat as well as on a few others.  In a couple of weeks I picked up $700 for my efforts.

Sherri joined me on Jan 4th and we spent a little over a week enjoying Ensenada.

On January 16th we headed out to sea.  We had a calm motor to Santo Tomas and decided that the anchorage there was not adequate.  I then decided to plot a course to tack offshore 50 mi and back in to put us in San Quintin in mid-morning the next day.

Our sail out was picture perfect.  We had a nice beam reach and were making an avg of 6 kts all the way out.  Around 5pm we made the waypoint (and the shipping lane) and tacked back on a direct heading for San Quintin.

Just after nightfall, the wind kicked up to around 20 kts and I put a reef in the main.  At 8pm I put the second in and dropped the jib.  Winds were at 25-30 kts and we were making 7.5 kts under a double reefed main alone.  All this while running downwind with a following sea that was at 6 ft and growing.  None of the weather reports or faxes predicted this.

I tried to get some sleep around 10 and put Sherri on watch.  At around 11:30 I awoke to find the boat hauling ass and putting the stbd rail in the water as she yawed off the swells.  The GPS had me doing 9.5 kts over ground and the knot log showed 9 through the water.  My hull speed is supposed to be 8.     I altered course a bit and tried to spill all the air I could to make the ride more comfortable and less straining on the boat.  Soon I found a groove that we could both live with.  This is by far the worst weather Speranza has ever been subjected to and sheís doing a great job with it.  Sherri is sick now but sheís keeping a great attitude and is at the ready to do anything I need her to.  I love you Sherri!

I put Sherri to bed around midnight and I stood watch for a while to be sure the Monitor would hold the new course.  I feared a broach in these seas.

Jan 17, 2002

The Monitor did fine.  At 3am I had the light at Isla San Martin in sight and the radar put me 3 miles from it.  Not wanting to shoot the harbor at San Quintin at night in a storm, I hove to and slept with one eye on the radar and the engine idling in gear.  This was giving me a speed of .5 kts heading back to sea.

At daybreak I turned the boat back around and headed for San Quintin.  The wind had died and I was motoring until my prop ate a line that washed over in the storm.  Yippee!
Now weíre sailing in no wind!  We made the harbor entrance at 3pm and dropped the hook under sail.  Iíll sleep in for a week!

We hung out at this anchorage for a few days.  There, we met Werner on Justine.  He and his crew, Bigfoot had weathered the same storm we had.  Bigfoot told us he awoke in the middle of the night to see screws being driven down through the deck.  The deck separated in the storm and the boat was taking on 40 gals of water with each wave.  Werner was on deck with a Makita, refastening it.  Justine is a 1932 8 Meter wooden boat.  I had seen her in Ensenada.  Werner is an accomplished sailor and Bigfoot is a VA hospital resident who probably should not be out of the care of a good psychiatrist.  He is very entertaining though.  Heís had us laughing a lot.  He kept saying that the only thing that worked on the boat was a bucket.

On the first day, Werner towed our dink to shore and took Sherri in to the small town.  They had an excursion of their own there.  They found the same fishermen that had pulled Justine off a sandbar and got a ride to town with them.  Sherri said the truck bed was about to fall apart.  They drove down the beach at a blistering pace until they ran out of gas.  Werner had been sitting in the bed next to a plastic jug with a tube stuck in it, happily smoking away on his cigarettes.  When they ran out of gas, the driver got out and reached in for the jug.  With a lit cigarette in his mouth, he looked inside the jug and announced that this was their now empty fuel tank.  They finally made it to town & back, alive.

On that same shore trip we met Pat & Diane from ďSpringbok,Ē a boat that showed up during the night.  Great couple.  They had also been in our little storm.  We began staying in touch via VHF with Justine & Springbok during our stay.  Then a third boat at the anchorage, ďLallyĒ came on and introduced themselves as Allen and Stefanie.  And then there were 4.

We all compared weather reports and notes and decided to make a run for Islas San Benitos.  This would be another 24 hr run.  Lally left a day ahead of us and spent the night in some little port on the way.

Jan. 22, 2002

We all weighed anchor this AM and headed for San Benitos.  This started off as a nice sail but the weather got stinky at night.  It was not as bad as a few nights before but the seas were very confused and the boat was getting rocked & rolled from all sides, all night.  I laid in a direct course for the islands and let the Monitor do all of the steering.  We arrived at San Benitos at Sunrise on Jan 23, 2002.  As I was up all night again, I crashed.  Lally arrived just before we did and Springbok just behind us.  Justine arrived later in the day.  We got here just in time!  The wind is way up and the seas look horrible.

Jan 23, 2002

Well, supposedly the Pangas here like to trade with visiting yachts but the wind is cooking so hard we see no movement over at the village.  We straightened up the boat from the rattling last night and I caught a Pacific Snapper for dinner.  Other than that, we rested.

Jan 24, 2002

Still blowing.  Weíre boat bound.  Sherri caught dinner tonight.  2 Sheepshead.

Jan 25, 2002

We finally found a ride on a panga!  They took us to the central island, where a huge Elephant Seal colony resides.  That was a blast!  We walked among the seals and did some rock climbing too.  Then it was back to the boats.  This trip was the first opportunity for all 4 boatsí crew to meet everyone.  We had all been talking for days but it was nice to have a face-to-face with the crew of Lally, the only folks we had not met personally.

Shortly after our shore trip, Bigfoot got on the radio and asked if I had any smokes to spare.  He and Werner both smoke and had been out for a day or so.  I was running short too but I offered a pack.  The wind was still blowing at 30+ and I was interested to see how they would go about collecting it.

That question was soon answered as I saw Bigfoot clumsily boarding the dinghy.  I called Sherri up for the show.  He had trouble riding that thing as a passenger!!  He got it started and headed toward us in a crosswind.  He was getting drenched by the spray and waves and we were in stitches!  I had kindly alerted the other boats as to the show starting.
He got to within 10 feet of Speranza and his engine quit.  The wind then took over and he was making 3 knots sideways, pulling on the starter rope for all he had.  He was a hundred yards astern of me before it finally started and began beating back into the waves.  We were all dying by now.  When he got along side he was drenched and the dink had 6 inches of water in her!  I gladly gave him the smokes and he headed for home.  Once there, Werner made him hand over the smokes before he would take the bow line.  You canít get entertainment like that anywhere else!

The panga driver promised to bring us some Lobster that night at 10, which he did.  I put the very much alive and large dinners in a bucket of water and went back to sleep.

Jan 26, 2002

Weíre up at dawn and weighing anchor, bound for Turtle Bay (Bahia San Bartolomeí).  The 55 mile run went smoothly and we were comfortably at anchor well before Sunset.
At dusk we hitched a ride to shore with Pat & Diane and walked the town for a bit before sitting down for dinner & drinks.  More drinks than dinner ?  It was great to get off the boats and taste beer and land for a bit.  Thereís a little beer hut on the beach where we got ice cold Pacificos for 6 pesos each.

We stayed in Turtle Bay for 3 days and saw the town, did some provisioning, took on fuel and did laundry.  This is a nice little town with great people.  Unfortunately the folks we had to deal with were lower elements.  Miguel was a scammer who kept trying to get lures out of me and collect money for the Church.  He did do our laundry for $6 a load though.  He did Springbokís too but tried to steal some of their clothes.  Ernesto was the fuel delivery guy.  He makes 50 cents a gallon to bring fuel to the boat, which is ok.  Then he wants a tip!  When he asked me for one I opened a jerry can to check its contents.  He immediately started his engine and bolted!  He shorted me 4 gallons on a 25 gallon load!  Then there are the little extortionists at the beach.  These kids really bugged me.  Whenever weíd run to the beach they would insist on helping us when no help was needed and then theyíd demand a dollar.  I gave them their buck on the first night.  After that I laid down the law and on the second day they finally left me alone.
 
 
 

Jan 29, 2002

Weíre up at Dawn again and weighing anchor.  Now weíre headed for Bahia Asuncion, about 50 miles SE.

The sail was nice and easy.  We arrived at 3:30.  Too windy to go ashore.  Iím getting tired of this weather!

Jan 30, 2002

Still too windy to go ashore.  Did boat chores.

Jan 31, 2002

Took off at daybreak bound for Abreojos.  Easy sail again and arrived at 3pm.  The anchorage SUCKS!  Weíre getting tossed around as if we were at sea in a storm.  I stayed up all night watching the GPS, fearing dragging anchor into the rocks.  Strongly considered heading to sea instead.

Feb 1, 2002

Departed the anchorage from hell at noon bound for Bahia Santa Maria.  Another over-nighter but at least weíre moving.  Sherri took the helm for a few hours in daylight , then again from midnight to 4:30 am while I tried to sleep.
Made Santa Maria at 11:30 on Feb 2.  Too windy to go ashore.  Yeesh!

Feb 3, 2002

Did more boat chores as itís still too windy to dinghy in.  I want out of this weather!!

766 miles under the hull so far!

Feb 4, 2002

Weighed anchor at 8:15.  Motoring on a course of 160T for the point and then to 130 for Mag Bay.   Itís raining a bit and the boat is getting her well deserved wash.  Sherri & I are having coffee & granola bars under the dodger and watching the whales.  I can think of a lot worse places to be.

8:40am
At the point we saw a pair of Gray Whales mating.  What a sight!

10:15am
Weíre about half way down the peninsula now and weíre in a sea of Dolphins.  They are putting on an amazing show for us.  The pod spreads for several hundred yards all around us and they are methodically taking turns riding our bow wake.  The ďon deckĒ members are taking up positions along both sides of the boat and patiently awaiting their turns at the bow.  About every 3 minutes the bow riders peel off and make way for the next wave of surfers.

10:45am
WOW!  We just passed a school of Flying Fish.  There were about 15 of them just hovering off our Port side.  Weíre making 7 kts under sail alone.

11:15am
Oh cool!  Blue Marlin off the starboard side.  Weíre getting a marine life show today!

12:20pm
Weíre motoring into Punta Entrada at Mag Bay.  Thereís another pair of whales mating here and a whale watching boat is here to witness it too.  Cool!

1:50 pm
We dropped the hook in Man-O-War Cove.  Thereís a cool village here and weíre anxious to get ashore.

Total miles: 796

3:30 pm
Ok, we went to shore to check in with the Capitan de Puerto but nobody was home.  Couldnít find any cervezas either.  Bummer!

A sailor at anchor here came by and said howdy.  Bruce has been anchored here for three months.  What a character!  Of course he knows everybody in the village.  He spent an hour standing in his dinghy along side of us, telling us all about the place.  The locals have adopted him and offered to let him become a permanent resident, possibly even Mayor.  Heís already been designated as the local Doctor, being that he stitched up a fishermanís facial gash.

Feb 7, 2002

Well, weíve had a good couple of days here.  We spent the 5th hanging out on shore and toward the end of the day Springbok showed up.  We had Shrimp dinners at the local restaurant (a pink shack on the beach with patio furniture on the beach; no indoor seating cuz thatís where they cook) and tossed back a few cervezas.  On the 6th we saw Whales in the lagoon.  Really cool!  I took the little sailing dink over to get closer but these whales are shy.  Then I decided the water was warm enough to don my scuba gear and go below to check out my babyís bottom.  I gave her a light scrubbing and took a wire brush to the zincs.   Later Bruce came over and we shot the shit over a few cervezas and a funny cigarette he happened to have on him.  The rest is fuzzy.

Today I took care of some maintenance work on Speranza.  I ran a new reefing line and filtered some more fuel out of jerry cans into my tanks.  The last gallon I bought from the crook in Turtle Bay was water.  Iím glad Iím religious about filtering my fuel!!  The Port Captain (Gregario) came by to ask if I could repair an anchor light on the boat heís watching for a cancer patient.  I fixed him right up and he was thrilled.  Iíve made a buddy.

Manana we head for Cabo San Lucas.  Iíve enjoyed this little village but Iím ready to move on.  The weather reports look great so we should be headed into a monsoon.

Feb 9, 2002

We pulled the anchor at 10am and are headed out.  There are a lot of whales in the bay and Iím doing my best to get pictures of them.  Theyíre sly ones, these whales.  As soon as I relax my camera arm they surface and wave at me.

11:30am
Thereís a bit of a breeze now that weíve hit the open ocean.  Itís a gorgeous day and weíre motor sailing at about 6 kts.

12:30 pm
Well, our breeze is gone.  Itís all motor now.  Iím beginning to think I should sell my sails and put the money toward fuel.  All told I think Iíve truly sailed only a hundred or two of the 800 miles Iíve come.  I canít wait to hit the trades and live in the golrious silence of sailing.

Feb 10, 2002
The remainder of the trip to Cabo was as uneventful as they get except that the auto pilot crapped out again.  It hasnít run a full day since I left Ensenada.  Time to buck up for a new one, I think.  The wind never came back up and the seas were flat.  We came within sight of Cabo Falso  in the early morning hours.  Sherri & I took 3 hour shifts at the helm all night and for the first time on an overnight run I actually got some sleep.

Rounding the point into Cabo was gorgeous.  The rock formations that make up the ďArchĒ and Neptuneís finger were breathtaking.  There were a few whales lumbering about but none close enough for a photo opp.  I saw my first Humpbacks of the trip just North of the point.

We fueled up and found a slip for a couple of days.  This is said to be an expensive place.  I didnít want to stop here for that reason but at least I can say I gave Cabo a whirl.  Slips are $80 per night.  Ouch!

Trip miles: 162  Total miles: 948

Feb. 11, 2002
Well, itís a really good thing we stopped here.  Sherri just found out that she canít fly out of  La Paz as we had planned.  She did get a flight out of here on Thursday so Iím here till then.  One of the local sport fishermen just came by and gave me a Yellowfin fillet.  Sushi anyone?
 
 

Feb 12, 2002
Ok, this is crazy!  The bar across from the marina had some geek screaming into a PA system trying to get the boaters to come to his bar.  This went on till 6am.  Weíre paying $80 a night for this?!  Anchorage, here we come!

Feb 14, 2002
I put Sherri on a bus to the airport today.  I miss her already.  I was going to check out with immigration today but they closed before I could do it.  Manana.

Feb 15, 2002
I did the check out shuffle this morning.  Iím legal to clear out of this place. A bunch of us invaded Bill & Stefanie on Summer Wind tonight.  We had a good time exchanging stories and drinking wine.  Theirís, of course.  Iíve decided to do boat chores tomorrow and leave on Sunday.  The weather looks good.

Feb 17, 2002
I pulled the anchor at 7am and am under way for Los Frailes, about 10 hours up the Sea of Cortez.  I got the auto pilot working again and there is no wind on a flat sea.  Pat & Diane on Springbok are headed up with me.

10am
Whales all over the place!  I can see Humpbacks breeching in the distance and a few are just within photo range.  I shot off a roll of film and am hoping for a few good tail shots.  The sea is still flat and Iím motoring at 6 kts.

2pm
Well, there went the auto pilot again.  Back to hand steering.

3:30pm
Made Los Frailes and have the hook down.  Itís a nice little spot but I want to get one step closer to La Paz before the weather craps out.  The dinghy stays on board and Iíll head out early manana.

Trip miles: 45  Total miles: 993

Feb 18, 2002
I pulled the anchor at 8am and am motoring into a slight head wind.  The weather is calling for high winds this afternoon  but it should be right on my nose.
 
 

9:15am
I just hit the 1000 mile mark for my trip from LA.  If I had a beer, Iíd drink it.  I settled for a good dose of Kahlua in my second cup of coffee.  Iím dragging fishing lures and hoping for a good catch for dinner.

12:30 pm
I just caught my third Skip Jack for the day but they are all too small.  My buddy on Mystery Tramp is following me and just reported the catch of a 6 ft Mako Shark.  Fearing the loss of a limb or three, he opted not to land the beast.  I canít say Iíd have done any differently.  Those would have been some gooood steaks though.

2:30pm
As promised, the winds are kicking up along with the seas.  I have rigged up a bungee cord as my auto pilot and itís doing fairly well.  I have to adjust course every 5 minutes or so but at least Iím not tied to the wheel.  Another hour or so and Iíll be anchored. At Los Muertos (Cove of the Dead).  Iím not sure I want to know why they call it that but it may be a good place to chuck my auto pilot overboard.

3:50pm
Ok, the hookís down.  Iím here. Whereís the party??  What a cool little cove.  I think Iíll pop open a bottle of wine and do some fishing!

Trip miles:45  Total miles: 1038

6:30pm
I just watched a gorgeous sunset.  Took lots of pics too.  Didnít catch anything but a bunch of Blowfish and a good buzz.  Guess Iíll have spaghetti for dinner.

Feb 19, 2002

Well, the wind is honking again but I was able to sail to shore in the dinghy.  What a cool little beach.  Very secluded yet inhabited by a small group of fishermen and a guy who is going to turn the place into a golf resort.    I found a really cool rock beach where the constant surf has made fabulous carvings in the rock.

Back at the boat I met up with Travis and Emily on Mystery tramp and we had a blowfish catching contest.  I won.  Too bad I donít know how to prepare them for sushi!  After our catch & release session we parted ways and I did some reading and watched yet another great sunset.

Feb 20, 2002

I sailed to the beach again and met up with Mike from Dream Reach.  We walked his little dog for a bit and met some folks on the beach that were from Mikeís hometown.  They have a rental car!!  Beer Run!!  We collected Dustin off of Kia Ora and we blasted into town for beer & barbecue supplies.
Just after sunset we built a nice bonfire and cooked hotdogs.  Rena and Dustin polished off my rum and we sat and listened to Renaís poetry for a while.  The night was perfect weather wise and I was tempted to sleep by the fire.

Feb 21, 2002

Well itís a good thing I came back to the boat last night!  The wind is screaming through here!  Looks like a day on the boat.  Iím ready for the nice weather now.  Iíd like to get to La Paz.  Oh well, Iíll do some more reading.

WOW!  I got up for a stretch and saw a boat under full sail heading in to our anchorage.    Itís blowing 40 mph!  Iím going to watch this!  This guy pulled in and dropped his anchor under full Sail!  Would have been a neat trick if he had dropped them after the hook was down.  As it were, he didnít seem to like that logic and he proceeded to sail circles around his anchor until it pulled out!  Travis came over and we went over to see if we could help the guy out before he took all of us out.  I figured his halyards were jammed and he couldnít get the sails down.  As it turned out he was just lacking in proper experience and  (to a large degree) common sense.  He turned down our offer of help and anchored again, this time with the sails dowsed.  That worked much better.

Feb 22, 2002

The wind is down a bit from yesterday and Kia Ora decided to make a run for La Paz.  I decided to wait it out a day.  There are strong Easterly winds forecast and Iím not sure it would be an enjoyable ride.
I went hiking around the point and found some really gorgeous tidal pools.  When I got to the sea side all I could see were nasty looking whitecaps in the channel.  Iím glad I stayed another day!
On my way back I saw the dinghy from the boat that needed anchoring skills heading out with 3 people in it and fishing gear .  Hmmm.  This guy seems very prone to making bad decisions.  I watched in amazement as they rounded the point and headed into the whitecaps.  I remember thinking that if his engine quit heíd be in Cabo by nightfall
Three hours later I was back on the boat and I saw a speck coming around the point.  I broke out the binoculars and, sure enough they were rowing.  I called Travis and we watched them for a good half hour.  They were not making any headway against the wind.  We knew weíd have to go get them but we decided that this skipper needed some hands on education.  We let them row until they started loosing ground and we went out for them.   They had run out of gas!  No water on board, no life jackets, no radio.  This guy is going to kill someone!  Once his passengers were on the big boat I strongly advised the skipper to either take a boating course, hire a skipper or sell the boat.  He told me the boat was borrowed to which I suggested his time left on the planet was if he didnít start making better decisions.  The advice was respectfully given and he seemed to acknowledge its prudence.
 
 

Feb 23, 2002

The weather is here!  Up with the hook and on around the point I go!  The seas are glass flat and I motored all the way to Ballandra, home of the famous ďMushroom RockĒ.  I was at anchor by 3:00 pm and on the gorgeous beach by the rock by 3:30 where I shared a bottle of wine with Travis & Emily.

Trip: 50 miles  Total: 1088

That night we had dinner aboard Mystery tramp and Travis broke out his guitar for a killer jam session.

Feb 24, 2002

Hook up at 11:30 and I motored in to the very tricky channel at La Paz.

Trip: 6 miles  Total: 1094