|Sunset Inn, Alamo Nevada, The "Out of This World" suite|
Thursday March 10 we left the La Paz anchorage and headed north 43 NM to Isla San Francisco, a long day motoring then sailing then motoring. We anchored in the northwest portion of the bay where we'd be sheltered by the wind. It was a good spot to sit out the next three days of heavy north wind expected. We looked forward to having a few quiet days at anchor.
Soon after we got settled in, three more boats entered the bay and and set anchor. One was the 124 foot wooden sailing vessel Mezcal. Another was a modern design at about 80 feet, and the third was a 43 foot catamaran. All three were escorted by an inflatable. As soon as they anchored the music started blasting. For two days, every afternoon and into the late night, loud music blasted from one of the yachts. We could see the big speakers on the top of the boats and young people could be seen dancing to rave music. It was so loud that nobody anchored in the bay could sleep until the music was finally shut off in the middle of the night. It was a tense anchorage with about 20 normal sized cruising boats waiting out the strong northerlies. We couldn't go anywhere because of the wind but we could not sleep because of the music. Who are these people who spend all this money to charter these vessels and stay up half the night? Is it the cartel? Is it just rich people? We had lots of words to describe them.
Three days later, we watched them motor away south. By that time the wind was laying down a bit so we brought up our anchor and headed north to Bahia Agua Verde, mostly motoring the fifty miles. The next day we ran up to Puerto Escondido, about a 22 mile journey. We took a mooring ball there in the secure harbor and went ashore for pizza and a good internet connection. The next afternoon we motored into big waves to Isla Coronados. Even though the wind was light, the afternoon brought big rollers from the north. We set our anchor and prepared for a long crossing the next day.
at 6 AM and turned on the In Reach transmitter, thinking that our friends would know our progress through the day. Later we found out that it was not transmitting our location. It appears that I've got some things to figure out about that system.
The day was calm and we cranked up the engine to make better than 6 knots the entire trip. Seventeen hours later we made our way in the dark to the anchorage in San Carlos. The noise of the engine drove us crazy, and after hand steering the entire trip, ( no auto pilot), we were pretty tired when we got in. Just offshore of land, the shrimp trawler fleet was going back and forth making it a bit stressful trying to stay out of their way and to see them against the backdrop of the town lights. The GPS way points and harbor entrance buoys were spot on correct allowing us to creep in in the darkness and find a spot to drop anchor in Bahia San Carlos. We were so tired that the next day we tried to take it easy and didn't do any boat chores. Our friends Scott and Karen from Seattle were traveling south on a camping adventure so we had them aboard at the anchorage then went for a boisterous sail in the outer bay. Noreen and Myron who had flown in a week earlier from La Paz passed us as they also set out to test their auto pilot.
|With a sigh of relief we arrive safely back to San Carlos|
After checking with the marina we found that either we haul out the very next day or we wait five more days for an opening. The long weekend was a holiday for the locals... something to do with Jesus and partying because soon they'd be fasting. We chose the earlier haul out schedule. The next morning we motored into the ways and the big rig hauled her out of the water, ready or not!
|The tide was not quite high enough to get the big trailer under the boat so as the tractor inched further into the water, First Mate Connie pulled her forward with the bow line. After a lot of pushing and pulling we finally got her out of the water.|
The yard was full so they put us in the back part of the yard, sometimes called the boneyard because of the old beat up hulks that have been abandoned. Right next to us were two commercial boats, both getting fiberglass work done. The grinders and sanders created a thick fiberglass dust that wafted down wind to our boat, covering us with a toxic grit. The new fiberglass resin smell blew down on us with its sweet choking smell.
|Scott and Karen in their VW camper Olive.|
We thought that over the holiday weekend the workers would take time off but we were wrong. I guess this particular work crew were more focused to finishing the job than in joining the party in town. The entire next four days while we prepped our boat for storage, the grit flew upon us and the fresh resin smell invaded our space. We moved our quarters to the Scamp out in the parking lot to escape the grit and stink during the evenings but during the day, we had to tough it out. Scott and Karen stuck around and to their credit, they helped us get through the nasty work, pulling things off the boat and prepping her for storage. Connie sewed a huge cover to shield the teak decks from the summer sun.
|The rudder has water infiltration issues.|
We hired Francisco and Domingo, a father/son team, to remove the rudder. They will have it at their shop for the summer to open up, dry it out, reinforce and re-glass it . The re-installation will be next fall. Water in the rudder causes corrosion on the stainless steel rudder shaft. The rudder bearing was also worn and will be replaced.
|Didn't Connie do a good job sewing up the sun cover?|
Because Scott and Karen were having some symptoms ( fever, etc..) we could not stay with Connie's sister in Phoenix because there was a chance we'd been exposed to a virus so we had a brief talk, all masked, across their front "lawn" in Phoenix before heading west out a crazy crowded freeway to the AZ / CA border. Driving that traffic was such a culture shock after spending about six months in Mexico.
|Scenic camping in western Arizona|
The Bouse Community Park Campground near the California border gave us a $10 spot for the night and the next day we started the long, dry, journey through Nevada. We experienced the Sunset View Inn in Alamo NV the next night staying in the "Out of This World" room. Ely then Eureka led to free camping at Hickson Petroglyphs near Austin NV. With it being so early in the season, most of the Federal, state and county campgrounds are closed. We stayed in the parking lot of the Diamond Mountain Casino in Susanville CA with free internet for a night and found the Josephine County Park near Grant's Pass Oregon for our last night on the road.
Not quite April, we pulled into our driveway at home, plugged the scamp into power in the shop and popped the cork on a good bottle of wine we'd been carting around for all too long.
It's been a challenging yet rewarding time as we've taken on way too much, somehow dealt with it all, and have returned home to Olympia. We now have a second boat that seems to be working quite well, and should be ready for us to return to next October for a little bit of work then a nice long run south down the Golfo de California and hopefully the Pacific coast. Waiting for us here is a new-to-us, beat up rental property that needs work before we can turn it into a profitable venture.
|Don't mess with Connie's walls.|
Somehow, though, the fixing up of the beat up house does not seem as daunting as fixing up the beat up old boat. When fixing up the boat, we're concerned with doing what's necessary to keep us from sinking, running aground, getting stranded, maybe dying in the process. The house... well, it's not life or death by any means. We'll be camping out inside the place while we fix it up. In the meantime, our Olympia boat, Traveler was hauled out today for a new transmission, and drive train work, plus bottom cleaning and new paint.
People have already started calling us about spring and summer charters so the calendar is getting entries and we're looking forward to some time on the water in Budd Inlet. I'm turning 69 in August. Gosh, do you think we should start thinking about slowing down a little bit?