Thursday, November 30, 2006

We went ashore yesterday and checked out the laundymat, the grocery store and the bank. We stopped for some ice cream on our way back from the Capitan del Peurta, we arrived at 2:40 and found that it had closed at 2:30, hmmmm. After getting our groceries back on the boat and washing down all the fruits and veggies with a strong vinegar solution to prevent bug eggs from hatching we went back ashore for some R & R. The new couple is Pat and Carol from Sacramento, CA. I think they are going to join us on the trip over to Puerta Vallarta. We will stay here until at least Friday night and then attempt the 60 hour crossing to PV. There is a big wind brewing in the Sea of Cortez that will blow all the way down and affect our crossing, so we will just have to see how that shapes up.

Sights as we enter Cabo San Lucas, it is a beautiful spot, but the anchorage is a bit of a zoo compared to any other Mexican town we have stopped. There are jet boats, water taxis, sport fishing boats, cruise ships, glass bottom boats and parachute boats zipping around the harbour. We anchored close to the harbour entrance so we wouldn't have to dinghy very far, so we are in the middle of the action.

Here we are at Bahia Santa Maria, notice the dunes and I just loved staring at these mountains when we were at anchor.

These two shots are from San Quintin, I wanted the volcano cone in the background of the beach shot and then the gate into the ranchero that we crashed.
These are the surf huts in Bahia Santa Maria, the big building must be the cook house, or main meeting spot. They were very isolated from anything else and in beautiful condition. You can kind of see all the sail boats anchored in the background.
Barry and his first fish, not a great shot of the fish, but notice the blood and guts all over the deck, mixed in with some fine brandy!!!

Barry slicing off the lobster's tail, we have been told the best way is just to break them off. In the restaurant in Cabo last night they wanted $40. for 3 lobster tails.

Notice these fellows don't have any front claws, so you just get the tail. It was a bit creepy haviing these buggy looking things crawling around on the deck, I was afraid one would escape over the side. Our VERY expensive Mexican fishing licenses won't let us take any shell fish, no lobster or crab, OH unless you catch them by hand, no spear, no nets, BY HAND.

Steven and Sandi trying to land in the surf at San Quintin, MX. As usual, Sandi stays dry, Steven takes a header!!!!!

Are you having fun yet Steven??? Steven claims the Bluewater Bunch didn't have a course on surf landings.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

We are rounding the major cape before Cabo San Lucas. We had a very quick passage, estimating we would get here about 1600 hours, it is only 1045 and we are quite close, only about an hour to go. It was a super sail, winds were great, only one night of semi-sleeplessness and no disasters on the way. Our longitude at the moment is 109.60 W which means we are further east than Yellowknife, hard to imagine.
I am finding it hard to believe we are almost in Cabo. For years I have heard people at work and even my kids talk about going to Cabo, now we are hear, by SAILBOAT, who would have thought. All those years of freezing my ass north of 60 has just paid off in spades, not that I didn't enjoy it up there, but it would have been nice to have a Mexican holiday every once in awhile, but Barry would never hear of it. Now I will get to enjoy it for years, not just a couple of weeks. Hopefully I will have time and an internet connection so I can upload some pictures.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

We spent 2 lovely nights in Bahia Santa Maria which is 20 miles north of Mag Bay. There were about a dozen sailboats spending time there. It was a gorgeous spot, a mountain to the left sheltering us from the open ocean and to the right there were sand dunes and an estuary. The nights were lovely because we got to sleep straight through them.
As soon as we arrived a local fisherman in a panga came up and we traded for lobster. We traded some crayons, some Hershey's kisses and some double AA batteries for 3 lobster. It was about 1030 in the morning so we decided that we might as well eat them, they weren't going to get any fresher, so we each had a glass of wine and some lobster and went to bed. We just lazed around the rest of the day doing some boat chores and then we went and traded movies with Mungo and watched the Insider, about the tobacco industry with Russell Crow and Al Pacino, it was really good.
Yesterday we went ashore and explored along the beach. As we approached the beach it looked as if the breakers were impassible and we did not want to give the motor a dunking so we were leary about approaching, but as we watched you could see a section where is must have been deeper and you could slip through the surf and land safely. We went and looked at a series of buildings that were set apart from the fishing camp up on a bluff. I peered into one building and there were about 5 surfboards along with a cot inside. We think it must be a spot where people pay to come surfing and they are put up in those buildings. We ran into 4 other sets of cruisers as we strolled along the beach and yakked away with them for awhile. Three of the boats had kids aboard and all the kids were on the beach digging in the sand and showing off their treasures, a long spiky thing either from a dolphin or a swordfish, the backbone of an eel and sand dollars which they proceeded to play a game of
bull's eye with, tossing the sand dollars into a series of concentric circles. It would have been nice to stay a little longer and explore up the mountain and take the dinghy back into the lagoon and see where it went. There were lots of birds in the estuary, pelicans, egrets, herons, terns, cormorants and lots of little shore birds, a birding paradise.
We are now on the way to Cabo San Lucas. We left Santa Maria at 0400 looking to arrive in Cabo at about 1600 hours on Wed. We are making very good time at the moment, traveling over 7 knots with a reef in the main and a slightly furled genoa. I caught another fish so it will be fresh fish for supper and the price has now been reduced to $71.77 per fish. I might try and make ceveche with it, that should be tasty.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

We are still on our way to Mag Bay. It is 2300 hours on Sat. night and we are whipping along at 4.5 knots under a furled genoa. We don't want to go any faster or we will get into the next anchorage in the dark. Mungo is about 2 or 3 miles ahead of us and I am following their stern light.
I wanted to tell you about the last town couple of towns we were in. The village in Turtle Bay was very interesting. None of the roads went in a straight line, they met at odd angles and you never knew if you were on a street or alley, everything was all mishmashed together. The streets were all dirt, and dry dirt so all the houses and the plants were covered in a fine dust. There was a great variety of housing from the basic hovel to a big 2 story store that was bright yellow (we bought groceries there). It was very different shopping in a language you don't understand. Most of the stuff you could figure out from the picture on the cans, but there were all sorts of stuff in bags without labels like beans and spices and dried stuff that I wasn't sure what it was.
The next town we went to Ascunsion was quite different. Apparently it was company town, there was a large building that we think was a cannery. The town was all laid out on a grid, streets at right angles to each other and there were fancy sidewalks down the main street, that had wheelchair accessible entries. There was also a boulevard down the main drag that had flowers and palm trees planted, the dust was under control, there was more room between houses and they much better looked after than village in Turtle Bay. We did more shopping here wandering in almost every shop we saw, in the clothing store about 50% of the clothes were in plastic bags. We had a conversation of sorts with a few men that were sitting on their porch. They had sea weed drying on the ground, we found it was "sargazo" and the fellow indicated it was for the roof, when we inquired "Donde es la tiendra" (Where is the store) we got a torrent of Spanish followed by hand signals indicating 2 blocks this way and 3 blocks that way. There was a great deal of laughter after we had gone about 100 yards so we probably made each other's day.
I am planning on putting another position report in once Barry comes on shift so you should be able to figure out how far we have sailed in 24 hours. Hope all is well with everyone, someone e-mail me and let me know who was in the Grey Cup and who won!!!!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Coming to you from Cat's-Paw IV under sail at 26 degrees N and 113 degrees W . We are actually 1400 nautical miles away from our home slip in Sidney. We are under full sail on a broad reach traveling at 6 knots, it is 12:30 A.M. or 0030 in sailor talk. I am alone on deck, Barry is sleeping, he will be on shift at 0100. Wendy, our wind vane, is working very hard to keep us on course so I decided that I could manage a blog update while on shift. The stars are bright, the moon set about 3 hours ago, it was great when it was out, it's light streamed across the water and just sitting in the cockpit listening to the waves break around the boat and trying to figure out the stars, it is my slice of heaven on earth.
There is no light in the cockpit, the compass light broke a few days ago, Barry tried to fix it but needed smaller wire than we have on board. We have turned off the instrument that reads the depth and are steering by the stars and the windex on the top of the mast. Orion's belt is just to the left of the mast and when I see it I know I am on course. Pretty soon I will have to pick a different star as Orion will rotate to the west out of my vision, hidden behind the sail. We are headed for Bahia de Magdelena about 120 nm away at this point, it was 180 from our last anchorage so we figured it would take us about 36 hours to get there, so we left about 5:00 P.M. in order to get there about day break on Nov. 26. We will spend 2 nights there and then head to Cabo San Lucas. I will put a position report in momentarily so you can all go and look to see where we are on the map. Take care and enjoy life, you only have one!!!!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

We are safe in Turtle Bay, there are quite a lot of boats here, about a dozen cruisers at anchor. The anchorage is lovely, very sheltered. We are going ashore in a few minutes to see what there is to see. There are not a lot of supplies to be bought here, but I here via the cruisers grapevine that the grapefruits are very good. There is an internet cafĂ© as well, so I am hoping to upload some pictures on the blog. We are headed out again tomorrow, for another day sail. I hear the town is not up to North American standards, but I wasn’t expecting that here, they apparently throw their dirty water and bones and stuff out the windows. We shall see.
Have a look back, I did manage to upload some picture, but not as many as I would like. It must be VOODOO magic or something, some will upload and some just refuse, the pictures of
Sandi and Steven in the surf just did not to be put on the net, they must of hexed them!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Ugly Spinnaker Incident
We are just leaving Cedros Island on our way to Turtle Bay. We feel like we are going to hit a bit of a milestone because Turtle Bay or Bahia San Bartolome is a major stopping point down the Baja Coast. I still get a thrill when I write the Baja coast, I have a hard time believing we are actually here. The weather is gorgeous, but lacking wind so we are motoring AGAIN.
Let me tell you about our trip to Cedros Island. We left San Quintin in the morning and put the spinnaker up as soon as the wind came up. We had some great runs with it, gybing back and forth all day. As the sun set Barry wanted to take it down but it was my shift and I said I was comfortable sailing it in the dark. When Barry came on shift he was thinking about taking it down, but it was going so well he decided that he would leave it up. About 2 3/4 hours into his shift, when he was tired, I get a call that he had a wrap, the spinnaker which is a huge sail had wrapped itself around the forestay. I tried to get it undone and almost had it but then the top part started wrapping as well and then it was just UGLY!!!! We spent 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours trying to get the thing down, in the dark. Man, we tried everything, Barry was hauling on the lines with all his weight, then struggling to hold the sail while I tried pulling something different. We took the spinnaker sock lines
and put them around the forestay thinking they were wrapped around at the top, something happened and the sail came free, now it is flying just from the top with no lines on the boat so it is streaming out about 15 feet in the air just flapping the life out of the sail. We had to get it down. We loosened off the halyard (the line that takes the sail up to the top and hauled on the spinnaker sock lines and managed to get it down to about the first spreader, but it wouldn't come any further down, by this time Barry and I are both drenched in sweat. Barry then declares that I have to go up the mast and cut the halyard. I was not happy, going up the mast in the light at the dock is one thing, in the dark under sail is another. (Did I mention we were still sailing merrily away under main the whole time.) I actually went and put on the climbing harness and a lifejacket to cushion my body against the swinging and was looking for a helmet when Barry decided that it wasn't such a great idea, thank goodness. We took ropes and bungies and sheets and whatever we could get our hands on and tied the spinnaker up to the forestay so it wouldn't inflate. Then we put up the staysail and continued on our sail.
We ended up motoring from about 0100 until we arrived in Cedros at noon the next day. As soon as we anchored Barry insisted we try and get the spinnaker down. He hauled me up to the first spreaders using the electric winch, and then took the line I had tied to me and swung me over to the forestay. It was the damned spinnaker sock line we had taken around the forestay that was the problem. While holding on with my feet and one arm I was able to loosen the lines enough so the whole mess could drop to the ground. It was actually quite amazing, we were so lucky, nothing was ripped or torn, the sock still worked, the spinnaker looked fine and the genoa furling gear seems to work just fine. What a relief, I am glad we were able to fix it by ourselves as well, we have never put anyone up the mast without someone else to help.
I went for a swim with the seals later in the day, the anchorage echoes with their barking. It was a bit scary but quite neat to see them swooping around me when I was in the water. I had Barry close by in the dinghy in case one of them decided to get frisky. They would pop out of the water to look at me so I would do the same to them, not sure what they thought of me but it was a neat experience. The water was about 21 degrees, so I wimped and put on my wet suit. At night we went up on the deck and the seals were swarming around in the water, the phosphorescence in the water was amazing, it is like fireflies in the water, glowing as the seals move through the water, you could follow their paths by sparkling, shimmering light. We had Mungo over for dinner that night and had tortillas to celebrate Mexico and spinnaker wars. They were smart and took theirs down when it got dark, Barry swears the sail is never leaving the bag again, WE SHALL SEE!!!!

Monday, November 20, 2006

From Nov. 19 We had our first real Mexican adventure today. The first part was braving the surf, we both took our dinghies off the boats and paddled in to shore, it was about 1/4 mile to shore. Timing is everything, we got lucky and managed a safe, dry landing. Mungo's crew on the other hand were spectacularly spilled into the surf, oh, I should correct that, only the Captain got dunked, the First Mate, otherwise known as the Admiral rode the dinghy in with aplomb and just got the slightest bit wet, but the Captain was soaked. I have pictures, make sure you check back in a week or so.
The beach was gorgeous, long and curved with sand dunes about 50 meters from the water. There were people driving cars and trucks up and down the beach and there were about 6 in the water digging for clams. They had a pitchfork and they would plunge around in the water and then lean down and pick up the clam once they struck one. One bunch would lean down pick up the clam and then huck it ashore for a buddy to collect and put in a plastic milk crate. Once the catcher wasn't quite quick enough and a gull made off with one of the clams.
We decided that we would explore this church that was on the other side of the barbed wire fence, THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN OUR FIRST CLUE. We climbed through the fence and then wandered towards the oasis, there was a road up to it and someone had planted palm trees along the road that were being watered. Wow, I thought someone is really looking after the church. We got there and went in and there was someone with a rake in the gardens. We said hello and asked if he spoke English, no, he didn't but he made it clear it was private so we left, then he called us back and asked us to wait a minute. Eventually another fellow came out and Steven in his limited Spanish made it known that we were from Canada and that we were on 2 sailboats and we would like to take pictures. He indicated that we could walk around and take photos, so we did. What a beautiful complex, it had gardens and fountains and fancy gates with big private signs on them, there was a beautiful house as well but we didn't pry so just walked out the gate where there were roosters and horses and a big garden. Then we walked towards the hotel that was at the other end of the beach and asked if we could go through the hotel to the beach, no problem. We stopped in at the hotel bar and had a margarita and discussed fishing and bull fighting with the bartender whose English was much better than our Spanish.
We headed back to the dinghies which were exactly where we had left them and braved the surf once again. We managed without too much of a problem, both of us had wet butts on the row back. Mungo's crew had broken a dinghy oar in the earlier debacle so they had a tough time getting back through the surf and eventually had to paddle back rather than row because of the broken oar. We thought they had gone over again but they persevered and made a clean if not a dry get away. I think it is now surf 3, Steven 3. That was a great way to start the Mexican part of our cruise, may there be many more days like this.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

From Nov. 17 - We are in a place called San Quintin, about 110 miles south of Ensenada. We left Ensenada at noon on Thursday and sailed all night and arrived here about 1300 hours on Friday. We are all resting from the night sail. We stand 2 hour watches all night and 3 hour watches during the daylight hours. It takes a bit out of you when your sleep is interrupted all night. We actually sailed all night last night, no motoring, it was great, bright stars and a new moon to light the water, just at dawn a porpoise surfaced very close to the boat and scared me. I just saw the fin and then heard the blow, at first I thought it was a whale but then I saw it and it wasn't nearly big enough. About 1000 hours we saw whales blowing about 1/2 mile from the boat, just to emphasize our differences, I exclaimed "Wowee" and at the same time Barry said "Shit". We put the spinnaker up twice during the passage, at the beginning for about 20 minutes and then the wind picked up and Barry chickened out and took it down and then for about and hour this morning, we took it down because an island was in the way and we wanted to go upwind of it instead of downwind, where we could have flown the spinnaker for longer, but it is getting a workout.
This anchorage is very interesting, there are volcano cones on shore, pointy hills sticking up out of nowhere. The land around the bay is very flat and covered in large sand dunes, there are people playing and swimming in the water. There is quite a surf on the beach so Barry said he won't go ashore, so I will have to row ashore myself if I want to wander up and down the beach. Mungo is anchored about 200 meters away, they dumped their dinghy in the surf in California and their motor has not been the same since. Steven tried to get someone to look at it in San Diego and all the mechanics told him to just chuck it and buy a new one!!! He is hoping there are more enterprising fellows south of the border.
We are at 30 degrees 30 minutes south here so pretty soon we will be south of 30. That is quite a way from north of 60!! We have made an ambitious sail plan in order to get to Zihuatanejo for Christmas, it involves lots of long sails with rest periods in between. We will stay here tonight and tomorrow and then on Sunday we will tackle another overnight sail 130 miles to a place called Cedros Island. Then it will be a short sail to Turtle Bay, one of the major stops down the Baja. Hope all is well, send us a line at
Oh, I almost forgot, we caught our first Mexican fish, actually the first FISH that we have caught on Cat's-Paw IV. Barry put out a line with a squibber on it, it is a tuna lure and this lovely looking fish bit it. Barry just attached the line to the winch with a bungy, no rod or reel, so that there was some give to the line and I saw the line jerking so started to pull it in, Barry didn't believe that there was a fish on it, but I saw this mouth gasping for breath. He swallowed the lure pretty good. We think it was a bluefish tuna, weighing about 5 pounds. Once we got it on board we had a heck of a time killing it Barry bonked it about 5 or 6 times and there was blood spattering all over the boat. I had heard that if you put a little alcohol in the gills it stuns them, I had bought some brandy to make Christmas cakes with so poured some of that on it, Barry was appalled. We had lovely tasting fillets for supper, marinated in brandy!! We are going over to have dinner on Mungo
tonight and will take the rest of it with us to share. So far that was a pretty expensive fish, we were charged $215 USD for our Mexican fishing licenses, I am not sure who caught it me, Barry the boat or the dinghy, but if they are all that easy to catch we will be eating plenty. Hasta manana!!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

We made it to Mexico, arriba, arriba!!! We sailed all night from San Diego and arrived in the morning. We went to check into customs at 1030 hours and finished about 1430 hours. There were a ton of people getting their Mexican Visa's, the Baja 1000 a vehicular race from Ensenada to La Paz started today and everyone in the race, driving a vehicle, maintaining a vehicle, or just watching was checking in, there were over 400 people that are involved in the race so it was busy to put it mildly. Anyway we signed, made copies and filled out forms for 4 hours. We now have a 6 month Mexican visa and our boat is eligible to stay here until 2016 if we wish. After we finished that ordeal we wandered around town and had some supper then went back to the boat and hit the hay, we were all pretty tired from the overnight sail.
This morning Barry and I went to see some of the racers start. We saw the 4 wheelers and the motorcyclist go flying by, but the trucks, cars and dune buggy start was an hour later so we wandered around and took some pictures of the dune buggies. The area we were watching was packed with spectators, there were taco stands, and they were selling t-shirts and some guy had a wagon with peanuts in the shell that he was wheeling around, it was quite the event. They had a jump set up that the vehicles had to go over, it was interesting the watch, the first bunch of riders would gun it over the jump and get a lot of air and then the riders near the end would slow down and take it pretty slow over the jump. This is the first time I have been in a country where something other than English is spoken, so I was feeling pretty stupid. my attempts at Spanish were received graciously and when I said muy amable (which means you're so kind) to some of the officials in the customs office I got a big smile, not sure if it was the way I said it or it wasn't quite the correct usage of the expression, but what the heck.
Our cell phone does not work anymore and we will be out of internet range for quite awhile so to get in touch with us, use our ham radio e-mail address Just please try and remember to just send a message, don't send back to me what I have written to you and we can not receive attachments through that address, no pictures, no funny jokes, just "the facts".

Thursday, November 09, 2006

We have now been in San Diego for 5 days and each day sees up scurrying around trying to get ourselves and our boat ready for the next stage of our trip. Today we took a bus, then a rapid transit train, then another bus to downtown San Diego. Once we had arrived we went to buy our Mexican fishing licences. We had to buy one for the boat, one for the dinghy and one for Barry and I, crazy, $216.50 US later we had all we needed to fish in Mexico for a year. I intend to fish a lot, but that licence does not allow us to catch lobster or collect any kind of shell fish. Such is life. On the way home we stopped and did some Christmas shopping, we probably won't be anywhere long enough between now and then to shop and send stuff away, I managed to hit a JC Penny's and Macy's but missed Sak's 5th Ave. I didn't know it was there.
We had a pot luck progressive dinner last night and another couple shared their knowledge of the Mexican coast and the good places to anchor. They had talked to a character named Sparky who is known up and down Mexico, he has sailed back and forth numerous times. We marked up our charts with such notations as Sparky says this one is good, and Sparky say the bugs are bad here don't stop!! Apparently if we stop at such and such a place and tell Rosa that Sparky sent us we will get a really good meal. What fun. Anyway it was great to get some local knowledge. Now we have to have a close look at the distances involved and decide where we would like to stop. Tomorrow we are going grocery shopping and then on Saturday we have to get our dinghy back from the Dinghy Doctor and then on Monday we have to get our US exit permit and then we are hoping to leave on Monday evening. We are going to do an overnight sail to Ensenada and then check in during the day, weather permitting.
I am going to add some pictures Barry took on the Queen Mary that were stuck on the camera when it broke, we finally stopped somewhere long enough to put them on a disk.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Barry says that he was hunting for arrowheads and was very sad he didn't find one.

We are now in San Diego, yippee!! We are tied up at a very posh marina and we are paying $2.00 a foot, YIKES. The big super yachts are tied up next to us, my mission is to get on board the one called Patriot and see if I can get a tour, hmmmm!!!
Anyways all is well and I have a bunch of pictures that I would like to share and am out of witty things to say, so enjoy.

Just for you Catherine, we discovered how to use out automatic timer on the new camera and Barry's fancy walking stick had a screw on the end of it that is made to use as a tripod.
Steve and Barry in front of this 3 masted schooner that stopped in Little Harbour. It disgorged about 30 kids and teachers so they could go body surfing at this beech.

Can you believe that these beautiful bird of paradise actually grow on the street corners down here, I was so tempted to pick one, but resisted.

This is how the Sheriff''s in Avalon get around. When I took a picture of this guy he actually gave me his card and said that the vehicle was a new product and that department wanted pictures and could I please e-mail him a picture, unbelievable.

Life is good. It is bright and sunny outside, a little breeze but not enough to sail at 5 knots so we are motor sailing. We are headed to San Diego today with Mungo. It is a 50 mile trip and so we need to maintain 5 knots in order to get there during daylight hours. I have the stereo blasting and I just finished cooking some bran muffins and the water maker is humming away making 7 gallons an hour. The VHF radio is busy with all sorts of chatter, some with heavy foreign accents asking where they should anchor, some vessels needing assistance, some friends just blabbing. Life is good.
We have now not been plugged in at a marina for 16 days; our solar panels are keeping up with our energy needs if there is lots of sunshine. A few cloudy days we have had to run the motor for an hour or two. We haven’t bought groceries for 2 weeks so we are basically out of fresh food, we have some moldy cheese left and a couple of carrots and cabbage but that’s about it, thus the need to bake muffins. I haven’t had a major shopping trip since we left Canada so after almost 3 months our can cupboard is almost empty and my staples such as flour, sugar, oatmeal, pasta, etc. are non-existent. It is good to know how long the supplies I bought in Canada will last although I did supplement them with a lot of fresh food so I would have to take that into consideration when planning our Pacific crossing.
At the moment that looks to be at least 2 seasons away, probably happening in March/April 2008. Barry really wants to spend some time learning Spanish so we will probably head up into the Mexican mountains,, where it is cooler, next summer and immerse ourselves in a Spanish school. All these are just vague plans subject to change at the whim of the crew of Cat’s-Paw IV, that is one of the joys of cruising, no deadlines, no one to answer to except the bottom line. We are looking forward to visits from my Mom and her partner Bill, our daughters Trish and Jen with Trish’s significant other Graeme, perhaps Barry’s sister Kim and her husband Brent, as well as our friends Ian and Helen, and Janet and George from Yellowknife. It should be an enjoyable fun-filled winter, Barry says may the visits be short and sweet.
Our buddies, Steven and Sandi on Mungo arrived in Little Harbour right on cue and we spent the next day hiking about and chatting up a storm, catching up on what we have done and who we have seen since San Francisco. Very nice to have some company. Today we sailed to Avalon on the south east side of Catalina Island, we were here about a week and a half ago, we decided it was too far to get to the mainland in one hop so this was a good half way point. We had a lovely spinnaker run on the way over today. Barry was very uncaptain like and allowed me to put it up, I didn't even have to whine. We did our first spinnaker gybe on Cat's-Paw IV but we have a sock so that really doesn't count. We doused the spinnaker, gybed the main and then reopened the spinnaker, it went off without a hitch, YIPPEE, maybe Barry will learn to love the spinnaker. It is a lovely big sail and we had winds about 10 knots on the starboard quarter, just perfect. We went to see a movie in the Casino tonight,
what a gorgeous building. The theater is not a movie house it is a real theater and there was a fellow playing a pipe organ before the movie started. He was really something and the acoustics of the room, it has a 75 foot domed ceiling, were astounding, I enjoyed the surroundings as much as the movie.
I am reading 'The KON-TIKI Expedition' at the moment. It is about a group of Norwegian's that set off from the coast of Peru in a raft made of balsa wood, a replica of an ancient raft to prove that the indigenous peoples of the Polynesian Islands could have descended from the Peruvians. They have just left the coast at this point and are not even sure if the raft will sail or whether or not it will fall to pieces, there are 6 men on the raft and they have provisions for 4 months. I will let you know how it turns out. I just finished Francis Chichester's book 'Gypsy Moth IV Around the World', about an Englishman that circumnavigated single-handed in 1967 stopping only in Sydney, Australia, he was 65 at the time. The book was really interesting because he basically took a boat that had been designed and built especially for the voyage, but the design had not been tested before he left. He wanted a certain kind of boat and the designer figured what Chichester wanted wouldn't work so he made it different. Sir Francis ran into all kinds of problems with the boat and the description of the process he went through to figure out how to sail the boat to overcome the design flaws was quite fascinating. I must have turned into a sailor sometime when I wasn't looking because I understood nearly everything in the book.
We are off to Dana Point tomorrow, a harbour that is half way between Marina Del Ray and San Diego. We should be in San Diego on Sunday. Both boats have some major provisioning to do, we are running out of all sorts of stuff, nearly all our cans from Canada are gone and I have no more white flour or sugar left on board and I think Mungo wants to do some repairs. They had a charter boat sideswipe them going into Monterey. We are hoping to get some of our preliminary Mexican paperwork done there as well so I imagine we will be there about a week. I hope to be able to put some pictures on the blog tomorrow. Hope all is well with all of you.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Nothing new and exciting to report, we are still on the west side of Catalina Island, our friends should arrive today. We have spent the time hiking, snorkeling, sailing and managed a beach campfire one night. We went on a three hour hike way up to the top of the hills you see in the background of the picture on top. There had been a pretty large fire go through the area, so the cacti were all black and shriveled and the trees were all black and the leaves were reddish brown.
The strangest thing was all the snail shells we saw around on the ground. When we asked someone about it he said that the snails were a non-native species and they had made their way up the hills, all be it, very slowly!!!On our way down we decided to go a different way where there was no path and I managed to get fairly prickled a few times, those damn cactus, they are just a hip height so when you go to put your hand down to steady yourself on the steep parts you impale it on a cactus. It only took twice and then I stopped doing it. We are currently at a different anchorage where there is internet access and a few small stores so we are off to have a shower and upload pictures for the blog. We plan to head to San Diego on Friday.