S/V INTREPID II - Cape Dory Intrepid 40

My photo
Intrepid II is a Cape Dory Intrepid 40 sailboat, hull #2, designed by Chuck Paine and discovered by the Captain in Blue Hill Maine in 2006. The crew are Kelly (Captain) and Carol (Admiral and Blogger). In 2009 INTREPID II embarked on her West Coast journey from Victoria to San Francisco, the Baja Sur Peninsula and into the Sea of Cortez. In 2010/2011, we sailed ifrom Guaymas, south to Bahia Banderas and back. In 2011/2012 she left Guaymas, headed south to La Paz, spent three weeks at anchor on our northward journey and rested on the hard in San Carlos. Her 4th, 5th and 6th seasons were Boat Projects related. Optimistic that there will be more cruising on the horizon!

December 30, 2011

Prospero "Anyo"

Happy New Year hat with fireworks

HAPPY NEW YEAR - PROSPERO 'ANYO' NUEVO!  Our sincere wishes for a wonderful start to 2012 - may it be filled with love, laughter, joy and contentment for you and your families.  We miss everyone and the chance to pass on our greetings in person or at least by phone.  Skype works to some extent, but we won't be able to reach many of you; know we are thinking of you and looking forward to catching up on our return (and we haven't even left the dock yet!! ) 

Lockers are being cleaned, items stowed, then moved to make room for something else.  We treated ourselves to a 'magic bullet' blender and a rice cooker for use at the dock; the pot locker is only so big.  Something has to go.

Kelly has successfully installed the first of our new LED lights over our dining table.  This replaces an old fluorescent bulb whose ballast stopped functioning; the company is also out of business.  It works well and we are pleased with the results.  This one has 18 small leds and 3 green ones as a night light set into a Fijian wood base and can be dimmed in 3 stages.  This is the first time we have had direct light over the dining table in years!  Kelly ordered them from Bebi in Fiji before we left home and he has two more of this style to install.  As well he will be replacing individual lights throughout the boat as our budget permits.

We have paid for another week at the dock to ensure we have ample time to work on all the outstanding items, yet be able to do some exploring and have down time.  We hope to visit the market in Empalme tomorrow.   It's a tidy, well laid out town with a railroad history and a very large variety of fresh produce as well as anything you might be needing in the way of second hand items.  Guaymas has a museum and a beautiful cathedral (Sacred Heart) we have yet to see.

Nothing planned here at the dock for New Year's; probably just some quiet conversation and New Year's toasts to fair winds and a great cruising season.  What will take place around us, on the malecon and in the discos and bars will be another story!  Enjoy!

December 29, 2011

Christmas Potluck - Guaymas

With sunnier skies, less wind and a chance to celebrate together, the cruisers with boats on the hard, in the marina and at anchor, along with some marina staff and their families enjoyed a scrumptious Christmas potluck...with a musical interlude following dessert!  There was stuffed pork loin, ham with pineapple, roasted veggies, salads, desserts, mulled wine, hot apple cider....a real treat.

Gathering in the works yard
Kelly and cruising friends 
Carol - Feliz Navidad everyone back home!

Pat, Margaret, Greg and Tony - our musical esemble

Suzy and Pat - harmonizing

INTREPID II - from the works yard to the dock



The view from the cockpit on arrival





 Foil and the remains of duct tape after a hot summer





 Kelly in the lazarette checking on the impeller - which did not want to come out easily of course


In the travel lift sling to finish bottom painting and stay overnight Dec. 22nd

New bottom paint for a new cruising season











Our rickety acess to the cockpit - a reason we fast-tracked to get in the water!

A very tight squeeze between the travel lift and Forbes and Cameron

INTREPID II in the water for our 3rd cruising season


Pictures along the way Victoria to Guaymas (Dec. 14 - 20th)

Mount Shasta

I5 Highway through the norther California forests
Mountain range between Tucson and Nogales

Highway 15 Sonora Mexico

Kelly visiting  Corky and his family in LA


December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas from Guaymas!

Merry Christmas from a happy INTREPID II crew.  We are now on the dock at Fonatur marina as of yesterday.  That procedure went well although we do have a few more projects than planned.  We are looking forward to sharing Christmas with fellow cruisers from the marina and the nearby anchorage.  A scrumptious potluck with a variety of foods awaits.

Have a very special holiday celebration!

Feliz Navidad!

December 22, 2011

The INTREPID II Crew have reached Guaymas - Tuesday December 20th


Hola family and friends.  We had a safe journey from Victoria, through Portland, Ashland, L.A, Yuma, and Nogales onto Guaymas.  We are once again at the Fonatur/Singlar marina.  INTREPID II looked somewhat lonely and definitely needs a good washing. She was still secure on the stands and several cruising friends have been keeping watch in between their own projects.

The car was overloaded when we left.  We somehow forgot how much we had left on board in the way of provisions.  Now we will make up a nice food hamper for some local families with items we overstocked.  We are of course well aware of all the good local stores, but like certain items from home and spoil ourselves with a few treats.   Weather is in the low seventies during the day, but cool to cold at night.  We had a heavy downpour on Wednesday morning which soaked all the items we had put on the deck to allow us to find spots to sleep.  

As businesses and shops shut down over Christmas, we are fast-tracking our efforts, trying to get in the water to continue our boat projects at the dock.  The bottom is now painted, thanks to Francisco and his crew, we are as of this afternoon (Thursday) in the travel lift sling overnight, and if all goes well, will be in the water and at the dock by tomorrow noon.  Then the real work begins.  Sails go back on, lines re-run, a good boat washdown.  I'll continue stowing and organizing; Kelly will re-install the SSB radio, the new water heater and check that all systems still work.   There will likely be an impromptu pot luck Christmas gathering early afternoon on Sunday.  Perhaps a few songs and stories while the sun shines and thoughts of family and friends back home.

Merry Christmas from our boat to your home! 

December 13, 2011

Leaving home soon


We are likely the last of the cruisers to leave our land based home and head to our on-the-hard sailboat.  If plans go well (or even if we leave things behind) we will be on the Coho ferry to Port Angeles December 14th.  We'll be heading to West Marine in Portland for boating provisions and a quick visit with Kelly's cousins.  Then onward over the mountain passes.  The weather forecast isn't great, but we're hopeful we'll get through to Las Angeles for a family visit.  From there we plan to head towards Nogales, AZ to pick up parts shipped there for pickup and on into Mexico.  As you can see from the photo, we are hoping the addition of a car topper will help keep our station wagon from being unbearably stuffed! 

It sounds like there are 'interesting times' at Marina Fonatur in Guaymas.  T he SV Forbes and Cameron crew are keeping us posted, which we appreciate.  We're hoping the travel lift is ready to go once we arrive, to allow us to splash before Christmas and be fully functioning at the dock.  The rest of the journey is TBA; the main goal is to arrive having had no unnecessary adventures or challenges along the way.  And to be much healthier than when we left home (has anyone heard of the dreaded "100 day cough"?).

Our best wishes to everyone.  This blog may unfold in 'fits and starts' while we get into the routine again.  We are looking forward to new explorations and revisiting favorite places and people in the Sea of Cortez.

October 30, 2011

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!



HAPPY HALLOWEEN - lots of leaves on the ground in heaped up piles, spider webs glinting with raindrops.  We look forward to seeing the little 'ghosts and goblins' who will trek up our rather long driveway to call out 'trick or treat'.

For those of you wondering about our plans for the coming cruising season....They are still in the 'to be determined' stage.  Some things are falling in place.  We will likely be heading down south a bit later in the year to Guaymas to re-connect with INTREPID II, get her recommissioned and in the water before Christmas.  Since our "Espanol" is nowhere as fluent as we'd like, we are considering some intensive Spanish lessons, followed by some meandering in the Sea of Cortez. Hopefully the wind will cooperate and we will explore some new anchorages, as well as revisit favorite ones.

In the meantime, it's a busy Fall season as we make our lists, keep those leaves under control and organize ourselves to head south!  Happy travels to all our cruising friends.  Hope to connect with you again soon.

July 1, 2011

HAPPY CANADA DAY!




July 1st - Canada is 144 today - a special day for a special country....hope all our Canadian friends and family will have a chance to celebrate in some way - wherever our wishes find you!

June 22, 2011

Summer at last...officially!

Summer Solstice has arrived. Summer is officially here. Yes, the sun shines more often than not; trees are leafy and have filled in our view out the windows, the rhododendrons and azaleas are blooming, or have just begun to fade.  We are hard at work in the garden and yard.  The house and yard projects have replaced boat projects, although those tasks are never far from mind.  We hope to have the house painted.  Still deliberating on a colour scheme which would brighten up the house yet be in keeping with the landscape.  Kelly wants to extend the gravel pathway through the back yard and we are currently still planting or pruning, cutting and trimming, resulting in several trips to the works yard.



We continue to check the Guaymas weather frequently and hope that INTREPID II remains safe and secure in the Singlar Marina dry storage yard.  It was disconcerting to realize we also need to add the concern over earthquakes to our hope that no hurricanes find their way to Guaymas. There were at least 3 more earthquakes in the Sea of Cortez between Santa Rosalita and Guaymas within a few weeks of our leaving!

We wish everyone a sun-filled summer, with time for relaxation and contemplation of all the next cruising season or next travel adventure might bring. Enjoy!

May 3, 2011

Back home: It's cold here! Tuesday May 3

We are grateful for a safe and 'more or less' relaxing land journey home from Guaymas.  We arrived in sunshine Sunday afternoon to a warm welcome from our 'intrepid' land crew.  Thanks so much to Lois and Rod for your excellent care of our kitties and our home!

First things first:  a short visit to catch up and make a bit of a transition for the cats - "Mom? Dad? where have you been all these months?  We like our house-sitters so much! OK - we guess we'll let you stay."  Then we brought bag after bag in from the absolutely stuffed wagon and took the time to once again appreciate our cozy west coast home.

Now we'll be regularly checking weather and contacting folks still back in Guaymas to ensure INTREPID II is doing well as she sits on the hard over the coming months.

Our drive home allowed a transition from the heat of Sonora, through Arizona and southern California to the cooler temperatures and cloudier skies of northern California and Oregon.  We had our first heavy rainfalls heading towards Portland and again before reaching Port Townsend, Washington.  Jackets, fleecies, socks and shoes instead of sandals became a daily wardrobe.  We've had rain Monday and a few showers today as we transition back into land life, but everything is green, flowers are blooming, and life  is good!

April 27, 2011

Homeward Bound Overland

We are moving steadily northward and looking forward to reaching home by Sunday, if all goes well.  Since leaving INTREPID II on the hard in Guaymas on Wednesday, April 21st, we have:
  • travelled north through Hermosillo, the capital of the state of Sonora, turned northwest at Santa Ana and travelled across the Sonoran Desert, leaving Mexico via Soynita and entering Arizona in Lukeville, stopping for the night in Gila Bend (west of Phoenix); we stayed at a 'far out' motel, the Space Age Lodge with a great neon flying saucer on its roof.
Sonoran Desert landscape
  • headed west on highway 8, through Yuma, climbing mountain passes with incredibly huge, oddly shaped boulders, some as big or bigger than our car, as we reached 4100 feet; then another Border Patrol stop and on down into the San Diego area.
  • found a somewhat funky beach town, Lucadia, to spend the night and enjoy a great dinner; we loved the Del Mar, Encinitas, Laguna Beach area, so green and lush after all that stark, arid desert.
Pelicans in formation over Laguna Beach
  • Spent some quality time with Kelly's brother and sister-in-law in Los Angeles; enjoyed catching up on family news, as well as ensuring their sweet dog Corky had lots of attention!
  • Took our time heading up through Santa Barbara, visiting the marina where we waited out a torrential downpour our first trip down in October 2009;  the anchorage is just as rolly as we remembered.  Onward up the coast, enjoying the view of the Pacific as we neared the area east of Point Conception.  It was one of our real psychological and physical benchmarks of that first cruising season, which turned out to be quite manageable and a great confidence booster at the time.
Wave patterns on beach
  • Enjoyed visiting the small city of San Luis Obispo, another mission centre, with a pedestrian friendly downtown area, good bookstores, wine stores, brew pubs and a great Thai restaurant.
Mission San Luis Obispo de Yolosa
Commemorative plaque at mission
  • A long day of driving today; enjoyed a stop at Morro Bay to view the huge 'rock' at the harbour entrance and view the anchorage, as we did not make a stop there on our way down the coast. Then onward on Highway 101 through green rolling hills, farmland, vineyards, cattle, vegetable crops.  Had to detour inland as the Coast Highway is washed out north of Morro Bay; we took a pass on San Simeon and Carmel. 
Morro Bay waterfront
Windblown Gull at Morro Bay
  • Instead, a quick stop in Salinas to pay homage to John Steinbeck; no time to tour the exhibits, but a stop at the gift shop and at Steinbeck's statue, with a resolution to reread Travels with Charley.
Steinbeck mural in Salinas
  • The Coast Highway is fantastic, but crumbling; road work is underway in several places to repair the eroding cliffs; we wonder if in time this access to the shoreline and beaches will disappear; both literally and because there won't be funds to continue with its upkeep.
  • Santa Cruz was a disappointment as far as finding places to stay, so we continued on to Half Moon Bay; here we are revisiting the site of our first anchorage after leaving San Francisco in September 2009; that found us anchoring in a building wind which hit 40 knots and kept us on the boat for 2 nights before we could take a slip and go ashore to explore.
  • Tomorrow....San Francisco here we come...not!  We plan to skirt around this great city as there is no time to do it justice; likely will cross the Golden Gate Bridge and drive up towards the Redwood forests.

April 21, 2011

The INTREPID II Crew is heading home! Thursday April 21

One last 'hola' and a 'hasta luego' for good measure!

The Captain and Admiral are finally ready this morning to take one last look around the rather crowded cabin and the uncluttered deck of our very special home for the past 5 months and say a reluctant 'adios' to SV INTREPID II.

It has been an intense and exhausting few weeks to ensure all the preparations to leave our home away from home over the hot Sonoran summer are completed.  That includes that we have everything with us we need to return home.  Our Subaru wagon is jammed full and several items had to be left on board.

We said fond farewells to those cruising friends staying on to finish their own projects.  By mid-morning we drove out of Guaymas.  After a few stops for gas and stretch breaks we reached the Mexican - United States border at Sonoyta, MX/Lukeville, AZ about 5:15 pm.  The distance is 560 kms or 350 miles.

Our route home Guaymas-Hermosillo-Santa Ana-Sonoyta
(courtesy of Mexadventure.com)
We're making our way homeward with stops along the way and hope to 'fix up' the blog once we've made it back home and settled in.

PS:  We actually did take time to celebrate our anniversary earlier this month - priorities!

Cheers!

April 16, 2011

Guaymas: Life 'on the hard' April 2011

On the hard - life 12 feet up!
It is somewhat different weathering a 'norther' (or 'wester) when you are living on your boat 12 feet above solid concrete.  There is no soothing rocking motion to put you to sleep.  Then again, there are no crashing swells slapping at the hull either.  Guaymas has experienced a number of days of extremely strong winds with gusts of 32 knots or more which started mid day and continued all through the night.  That is nearing the 60 km/hour range; a definite plus for being at a dock or in the works yard, as we are.

Two nights ago, as we were getting ready for bed, the wind clocked in at 32 knots and we heard several disturbing sounds.  Out we popped into the cockpit to check, as did our neighbours on either side.  Everyone had flashlights on and were checking for loose items which could or were in the process of being blown off the deck.  Our neighbour Tony quipped he had to 'put a reef in the ladder' as he secured a second line to the extension ladder which had tried to escape its' ties.  Today has been calmer, although we can see the results of the dust which was blown in from the dry, dusty hills to the north and west of us.

INTREPID II moved from the marina dock early Tuesday morning to the fuel dock to be ready for a 9 a.m. haul out,  which was not to be.  The slip used for the travel lift has not been dredged for some time and was not 7 feet deep everywhere.  So we waited, along with SV CaSTaway until the tide started to come in.  Finally INTREPID II was lifted out about 2:30 pm, finishing up by 3:45 pm. Then it was CaSTaway's turn.
Intrepid II in travel lift
We are encouraging ourselves that things are progressing with our checklist.  That is to alleviate the sinking feelings we get when looking around the cabin interior and the remaining items on the list.  All the canvas is washed, dried and stowed, except for the dodger and bimini which will stay up until our last day.  Kelly has run all the messenger lines, allowing for the halyards to be washed and stowed and in some cases, we will be bringing them back home to measure for replacements.  The diesel engine has been flushed with fresh water; that was not as smooth a project as last year. There was an airlock and it only took two trips to the plumbing hardware store for the correct fittings to rig up the water hose to the engine and successfully remove the airlock.  That has led the Captain to add another item to his list, as we have a small leak somewhere further along the hose. Whether that will be addressed  before we head home, or wait until we return is still to be determined.

Our ladder arrangement
The dry storage yard is quickly filling up.  A second row has been started.  Apparently the yard will become quite crowded before the end of the month.  We are hopeful that there will be no need to move INTREPID II during our absence and that no one will unthinkingly unplug our power cord and trip the breaker.  Various folks are making plans to catch buses up to Phoenix and plane trips home.  Or, if they have vehicles here, planning the trek back home.  Most people have been advised that the weather, wherever home may be, has a decidedly 'winter' tone to it still.  Not to hurry back!

For us, while we'd love to spend Easter with family, the timing may not work out.  We'd also like to experience some new sites on the way home, whichever route we take.  Once our boat projects are nearing completion, we will start paying more attention to land based weather and map out a route that won't involve snowstorms, flooding, thunderstorms or high winds.  We'd prefer not to encounter those phenomena along the way.

Guaymas, as with most Mexican communities, is gearing up for 'Semana Santa',  the Holy Week leading up to the Easter celebrations.  There are impromptu parades in the streets, bands playing here and there. The carnival rides fire up and operate some nights and not others.  We are told it will be wall to wall traffic between Guaymas and San Carlos, now considered a suburb or "Nuevo Guaymas".  Vehicles are just cruising back and forth, so we'd like to be well on our way before these festivities get underway.

Carnival rides - ready for Semana Santa
It hasn't been 'all work and no play' for us, although when we fall into bed, it seems so.  There are times to stop and catch up with everyone else doing the same thing, compare notes, offer suggestions, give moral support, have a cerveza!  We have joined folks for dinner a few nights and likely will do more of that as we are getting down to a bare refrigerator.  Most people ensure that nothing gets wasted as cruisers usually pass on extra food items to staff or local friends.

Time to head back to INTREPID II.  There is no Internet in the dry storage yard due to the buildings blocking the signal.  That necessitates a little trek with the laptop up and down the ladder and across the way to find a connection.  Hope all is well with our family and friends.  We are looking forward to reconnecting once we are home over the next few months.

April 10, 2011

Looking back - Observing Ospreys in Caleta San Juanico

As time allows during our haul-out preparations, we will post pictures of the highlights of this cruising season.

These are photos, from a distance, of the osprey parents who were diligently hunting and feeding their chicks tucked securely in a nest at the top of 'the Spires' in Caleta San Juanico.  We are hoping the little ones successfully mature and join their parents to welcome us back next year!
Flying to nest
Dining on fish atop a cactus

Parents on nest at sunset
Osprey in flight - time to hunt once again


April 9, 2011

Go Team Alberta! Saturday April 9

Photo courtesy of Postal Curling Classic website - Team Alberta
We are cheering on the Alberta curling team going head to head later today with Nova Scotia in the finals of the Canadian Postal Employees Curling Classic in Miramichi, New Brunswick.  These two teams have been tied for first place for several days now, and both finished with a 9 - 2 standing (1 and 2). The team consists of:  Mark Pouliot, Dave Badowich, Randy Plishka, Azam Bacchus.   http://www.postalcurling.ca/

We are sending all our positive thoughts your way Randy to you and your team mates!

Sunday - postscript:  The curling final appears to have been a real nail biter!  Down to the last rock!  Congratulations on your Silver win - a real accomplishment in a national competition!!

Weather - all is not calm

Calm seas, light winds....for now
Often it is difficult to get good radio reception at a dock, due to masts and building interference with signals.  This morning we managed to catch the end of Geary's WX on the Sonrisa ham net (3968.0 lsb) and Don Anderson's WX on the Amigo ssb net (8122.0 usb).

Due to all the usual coming together of high pressure and low pressure systems north of us, there will be strong pressure gradients and therefore very strong winds once again by dawn Sunday, tomorrow, less than 24 hours away.  On the outside (west) of the Baja California peninsula, where many boats are doing the 'Baja Bash' northward, they will experience NW winds of 25 - 30 knots (46 - 5 kms).  Inside the Sea, from San Felipe south, almost 'all at once', there will likely be NNW winds in the same range.  Another 'big blow'.

We are keeping our fingers crossed for all our cruising friends who are making their way 'home'. Some have still to cross from the mainland to the Baja peninsula side, others are moving northward on the peninsula as we did, looking for safe, secure north wind protected anchorages.  Our original timeline for crossing and arriving here in Guaymas was to be leaving today and arriving Sunday.  We are thankful we moved up our crossing journey.  It is still feasible for boats to cross if they are in the Santa Rosalia area.  That trip takes about 12 - 14 hours of crossing time. Most folks will have to hunker down and wait until the wind and the seas ease up.

These are 'typical' April weather patterns, according to Don Anderson. We did experience similar conditions last year, which is why we took advantage of the infrequent south, south east winds last weekend to 'go for it' from San Juanico.  We have found that these northers are still as frequent, as strong and as long-lasting (3 - 5 days usually) as last season and knew there was a strong chance we'd have to consider crossing in adverse conditions if we delayed.

Another point of interest: when INTREPID II was crossing from Mazatlan towards Isla San Francisco, (north east of La Paz) we were hit with very strong WNW winds in the 20 knot plus range and the seas built quickly as a result.  That caused us to assess the situation, turn south for a run down to Los Muertos, some 30 nm away in order to put the seas on our beam and starboard quarter and have a broad reach as we headed south.

This morning two boats came on the net reporting they had been hit with very similar situations; strong winds gusting up to 30 knots, steep, choppy seas in the La Paz area. What was our weather guru's forecast saying about these conditions?  Don Anderson came back to advise that he could offer no such forecast as these were very localized conditions.  These incidents were "katabatic" winds caused by thermal gradients.  In other words 'land and sea breezes' caused by the cooling and heating of land masses in relation to sea temperatures.

In fact, we all likely experienced extremely strong Corumuel winds which extended much further eastward into the Sea than most cruisers might expect.  These winds are unique to an area around La Paz and tend to start up rapidly in the late evening and blow all through the night.  Various references indicate that these winds arise when cool marine air on the Pacific side of the Baja California peninsula is drawn to the warmer Sea of Cortez waters over the desert valley leading to La Paz, a region which has no mountains to block the flow.

Having names for these conditions isn't too comforting when you are in the midst of them, but Don's information confirms that it is difficult to anticipate weather down to the last detail.  Both these boats have made the same decision as we did, to run down towards Los Muertos, then wait for a window to once again make their respective passages northward. Fair winds to you!

Here are a few links to definitions of the various winds cruisers can encounter:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katabatic_wind

http://www.weather.solmatesantiago.com/weathernotes.html

http://www.solent-graphics.co.uk/wind.html

Guaymas is forecast to receive over 20 knots of wind (37 kms).  Here in the marina/anchorage we will get a funnel effect and feel stronger gusts.  We will focus on projects inside the boat as we continue to clean, sort, organize and wonder what to do with all our 'stuff'.

April 8, 2011

Busy, busy, busy in Guaymas!

Ensuring salt spray is washed away
We are taking a short break after helping our friend Ken, of SV Plan B, move from the marina dock to the fuel dock, then over to the travel lift.  Having many pairs of hands available to take lines while the boat is maneuvered into the slings is helpful.  After only a slight adjustment for balance, all went well, under the capable hands of Horacio, the works yard supervisor.

SV Plan B secure in travel lift
Then, back to our own tasks on INTREPID II.  So far we have raised both the main sail and jib early in the day, to hose down salt spray, then let the sails dry before the winds began to increase. That meant some early morning wake up calls.  It's a bit of a task to lower these huge sails onto the clean deck, then flake them properly to ensure they fit into the sail bags for stowage.  Currently the bags are now tied onto the deck and we hope it doesn't rain.  (Actually - we had thunder and lightning Wednesday evening over the mountains to the north.  Quite uncommon, but no moisture after all.)

The dinghy and its cover are now washed and dried.  A succession of sheets (lines) have been soaked to remove the season of salt spray, then rinsed with Downy fabric softener.  This product works to make the lines supple and the soft fragrance is a bonus.  At the moment we have the jib sheets stretched out on the dock, drying in the sun.

Our haul-out date seems to be fluid, depending on to whom we speak in the works yard or the office. It could be as early as next week.  Instead of relaxing and doing a reasonable amount of tasks each day, we are fast tracking our projects to ensure we are as ready as possible.  Because the wind blows and sand and dust find their way into the boat over the summer, we are ensuring everything is clean before we pack linen, clothing, bags and other fabric away in large plastic Ziploc bags.  That makes for many loads of laundry as well as much hand washing for all the Sunbrella canvas items which must be soft scrubbed before drying in the wind and sun.

The Captain is consulting his checklist for all the appropriate maintenance work required prior to leaving a boat on the hard. Yesterday at our friendly Walmart we picked up green 'scrubby' pads to use in blocking the cockpit drains from little crawling critters and spiders.  The pads still allows rain to flow through, if there is any during the coming months.  We also bought large rolls of Reynolds wrap aluminum foil, as we will insert foil behind all the portholes, hatches and hatch-boards. This will reflect heat and keep the cabin interior a few degrees cooler.

Cruisers require a degree in time management as well as organizational skills.  We need to continue living on board, use up all the perishable food before we leave or give it away, ensure there is room to move about and sleep, while we still access lockers to clean, sort and package items.  Oh yes, this year, let's remember to bring home the inventory of what we left behind!

Then there is the small matter of the items we left in the communal storage room in San Carlos.  That includes sheets of pink insulation to add to the fridge, a project that won't get done until next fall.  Those materials will have to go into the v-berth.  Other items will find their place in a somewhat organized fashion we hope.  Ideally all this will occur before we are hauled out; otherwise everything will have to be lowered down or hauled up about 12 feet, adding a further challenge to each task.

Now it's time to tackle the next tasks.

(Family notes:
Congratulations Randy - to you and the Alberta team as you head into the finals of the Canadian Postal Employees Curling Classic in Miramichi.  We're cheering for you all the way!)

April 3, 2011

Guaymas - Sunday April 3 - Cruising Season is wrapping up

Guaymas harbour - our cruising season is wrapping up

It's Sunday, April 3rd.  INTREPID II slipped into A7 at Singlar Marina shortly after 08:00 at the end of an 18 hour crossing from Caleta San Juanico.  We were sailing for over 7 hours which was more than we'd done all season!  It was a much more boisterous and lumpy crossing than we would have liked.  The south east winds did show up and gusted in the 12 - 15 knot range.  The Captain quickly got the jib out on a starboard tack and we were soon making over 7 knots.  Ironically a bit too fast, if you can imagine, as we needed to ensure we did not arrive at our way-point outside Guaymas harbour before dawn.
Sailing to Guaymas - the engine is off!
INTREPID II was in her glory, taking the building seas in her stride.  The swells grew from 1 - 2 feet to whitecap conditions and then 3 - 4 feet, with very short duration - 4 seconds, from both the east and south east.  That meant they often slammed into each other and sent spray up and onto the deck.  We had just over 7 hours of fast paced sailing, with different sail plans:  jib fully out, rolled in, altering our heading somewhat.  Not a dull moment for hours!
Red Sky at night under way
After admiring a glowing red sunset, as the stars appeared, we wondered when the winds would ease up and the seas calm down.  Not for a few more hours as it turned out.  Then it was time to motor, with the main up, on into the night.  No moon, but later the glow of city lights in the distance aided our sense of direction.  The radar was very useful again as we checked for fishing boat activity.  Our handheld GPS kept us fine-tuning our heading.  We caught a bit of sleep off and on; not the full 3 hour watches we keep aiming for, so we'll do some catching up at the dock over the next week.

Nearing Guaymas before sunrise
Our timing was good.  We were checking into the Sonrisa ham net at 06:30 hours as we approached the headland leading towards Guaymas harbour, just after a radiant sunrise.  Kelly was soon lining up range markers.  We both spotted the familiar twin spires of the church and the Singlar marina.  Dropping the main in the shallow harbour, we motored in to discover our favorite slip was empty. Quickly put out fenders and dock lines to port.  Helping hands were waiting to take the lines.  Thanks Ken, Grover and Tom.

After some quick tidying up, we checked in at the marina office.  It was time for short naps and a cerveza run for the Captain.  It is a hot and thirsty afternoon!  Over the next few days we hope to fill in the details of our last few anchorages and post some pictures, as we start to wind down our second cruising season in Mexico.