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. Season 7 - we are hoping to cruise again at long last.

December 31, 2010


Tying on a crisp new Mexican flag for this cruising season
As we contemplate our last posting of 2010 we are propping our eyelids up to stay awake for a small cruisers' gathering at 9 pm - cruisers' midnight!  It was a good day today.  The wind was calmer, the sun came out and we successfully ran all six halyards and spinnaker pole lift back up.  There were a few blips when the connection between the messenger line and the halyard wasn't smooth enough to feed through the mast opening, but all went well eventually.
Flags and burgeess set to go
Kelly was then able to replace our flag halyard and raise a brand new Mexican flag, followed by the Texas state flag and a crisp, colourful Bluewater Cruising Association burgee.  The old one will go home as part of last season's cruising souvenirs. More cruising folk have arrived to work on their boats.  Some were driving through or with, the cold front coming down Arizona, with sleet and cold temperatures.  We're not sure what tonight's festivities will be on the Malecon and at the karaoke bar, but it will be loud and go well into the early morning! 

Our wishes are for a New Year filled with love and laughter, peace and contentment.  We hope you achieve many if not all of your goals and progress successfully towards others.  Fair winds to all!

December 30, 2010

It's cold here! Last days of December 2010

Everything is relative of course, but we are experiencing some cold and windy days in Guaymas. The northern winds have been blowing in the 30 -32 kms. range as of last evening, continuing all night and into today.  A bit more rattling in the lines and rigging than we'd like, but it seems our problem has been solved for tonight with a bit more attention to tightening the lines.

The skies have been gray, the docks rolled with the strong waves and Carol considered taking a Gravol tablet while working below sorting supplies and doing galley duty.  Deck work was postponed until tomorrow; instead we took another load up to the storage yard in San Carlos. We now temporarily have one-quarter of a communal storage shed to allow us to take things off the boat and access things more readily.  Guaymas traffic was heavy and we wondered what is in store for New Year's celebrations. Likely lots of music and fireworks to see in 2011.

We are purchasing a few overlooked items here and there but will hold off provisioning for fresh produce until early next week.  It is somewhat problematic to prepare meals at the moment, so we are eating out around 3 pm as our main meal of the day.  Today we were at Los Arbolitos in San Carlos, which is on the second level under a palapa roof, with the wind briskly blowing through - jacket weather.
Chillies rellenos - yum
By chance we met Janey from SV Adagio while shopping.  It was good to see another cruiser and commiserate over our mutual boat related delays.  It's possible we might be able to head out within a day or so of each other if plans fall into place for next week. Hope all is well with everyone as you look towards 2011.

December 29, 2010

Progress at the dock! December in Guaymas

It has been three long days of hard work since moving back on board INTREPID II on Sunday night. We've made good progress.  Provisions are inventoried and stored.  The head is scrubbed from top to bottom and medical supplies, vitamins, toiletries  all stowed away.  That problematic bronze sea cock went into its spot very well and seems to be functioning as it should.
Hope this one lasts forever
Hours were invested looking for one small stainless steel hose clamp on Monday and Tuesday.  Success finally and Kelly installed the new pressure water pump today and filled and treated the water in our tanks.  Now we can pump water or turn on the taps.  No success with our 110 volt hot water heating element for the hot water heater.  We will be fine heating water on the stove.  When we've been motoring we will have hot water for a few hours for showers at least.
Blackie - keeps security guards and cruisers company
The weather has been cooler. Winds have come up as forecast and we notice much more cloudiness during the day.  Not much in the way of sunsets to enjoy.  The harbour has been choppier and we're still getting used to the 'slap-slap' of the water and the sudden movements when a wave rolls in.  Monday night we had a very active sea lion surfacing next to the boat for some time as he/she hunted for a late evening meal.  There is a resident heron who patiently waits on the finger across from us most evenings for something to catch his eye.  We finally remembered to buy some doggie treats for "Negro" (Blackie) the boat yard dog who accompanies the security guards on their evening rounds and keeps an eye on things the rest of the time.  He has a difficult time of it as some folks are good to him, others ignore or seem harsh when he stops by to say hello.
An ice rink in the midst of Guaymas!
Monday evening we walked over to the municipal square where they've set up an ice rink, complete with a zamboni keeping the ice smooth.  It appears to be very popular and I almost convinced myself to check whether they had skates that fit!  A small midway is going strong nearby and families were out enjoying an assortment of rides and treats. 
We sampled some 'churros' - basically deep fried air coated with sugar and served warm...very tasty. 
What a selection
To round out our evening we walked to the Christmas tree near the Fisherman's Statue to view the manger scene (minus baby Jesus - don't know if he was removed for safekeeping or had wandered off).  We are hopeful the next few days will proceed productively and find us planning our route south very soon.
Nativity scene on promenade 

December 25, 2010

Photo recap: Sights and Scenes of Mazatlan - December

The inconsistencies of local Internet mean our photos are uploaded rather disjointedly.
Basilica in Mazatlan - intricate tiles decorate the entrance
An eye-catching shrine to the Virgin south of Guaymas
Cactus bearing fruit and spines
Colour and texture on display
Taking his ease - resting in the open doorway
 of an historic home in Old Towne Mazatlan
A special end to a very special day

A Sonoran Christmas Day - Saturday December 25

Not our typical Christmas morning view
Welcoming entrance to Playa de Cortez Hotel
We are resting in our lovely hotel room for one last night, having enjoyed an alternate Christmas celebration in Guaymas, Sonora.  We hope your celebrations were joyful and special wherever this finds you.
At the Marina Singlar Guaymas dock
Yesterday was a long day of working on INTREPID II, included turning the quarter berth into a 'garage' and hand washing our very pretty, but aging, batik curtains and hanging them to dry in the sunlight and fresh air.  There was talk of a cruisers' gathering for appies, but everyone kept busy with their tasks; we are all such hard workers!  We walked over to a favorite restaurant at 5 pm with some new cruising friends only to discover the only thing open on Christmas Eve was the neighbourhood "Pollo Feliz".  That resulted in an impromptu picnic of grilled chicken and assorted beverages and some Christmas cookies aboard SV Paradocs with the evening spent trading sailing stories.  We wish Claire and Carl a great sail down the mainland coast.

It was gratifying to reach some of our family last evening and others this morning.  Thank goodness for Skype!  Carol found a Noche Bueno church service nearby and was pleased to participate in the evening gathering.  A young family carried a carved Infant Jesus to the alter, along with candles and gift baskets and a choir accompanied by guitars sang a variety of music.  We had a peaceful evening and awoke to sunshine and 14 C weather, with some breeze.  Kelly was pleased - no rain.  Santa had found us and we opened our gifts and are thankful for everyone's thoughtfulness and love.  Thanks to all of you who have sent emails and skype messages as it helps us feel connected when we have all these miles between us.

Under beautiful blue skies we went back to the marina to say Feliz Navidad to the few folks who were still around, then put in a few more hours on INTREPID II .  The messenger lines are now untangled, one halyard is up and more lockers have been cleaned out and sorted.  The cabin is a mess as we move things about looking for space and the car can't store anything more.  It will be a challenge tomorrow morning when we finally check out of Playa de Cortes as to where the suitcases, gifts, computer, spare canvas, etc. will go! 

What a lovely Christmas Day sunset!
Finally....Christmas dinner...where to go?  We drove towards San Carlos and the marina, thinking there should be restaurants open for the many visitors who stay there. One restaurant was doing a very good business as it was the only one open.  Our Christmas dinners were very flavourful shrimp dishes, pina coladas and cervezas, as the sun set over the bay.  Buenos noches.  We hope a week will be enough to get us sorted out.  Stay tuned and take care.

December 22, 2010

A Christmas Tree Tour - Christmas Week in Guaymas

Not having the chance to put up our own tree for two years in a row, we're enjoying the ones we find on our travels:


We wish you all a very Merry Christmas from the INTREPID II Crew

To our families: we miss you very much and will do our best to call to hear your voices on Christmas Day. You are in our hearts and thoughts while we are once again sharing Christmas in spirit.
To our furry ones: Santa Claws has a few things in his bag for you!
To our friends: may this be a joyful celebration wherever you are and may we soon cross paths to share stories and reconnect.

We are hopeful that we will soon be making concrete plans for sailing this somewhat shortened cruising season.  INTREPID II is now in the travel lift, going in the water tomorrow morning (Thursday) at high tide and will putter over to the Marina Singlar dock.  We're keeping fingers and toes crossed that all the parts and pieces we needed are in place and will work as planned.  It will take a few more days to organize, clean and settle the cabin interior, as well as put on the sails and rigging jack lines and all the other things that were taken down last April.  To treat ourselves we've booked a few more days at a lovely old hotel, the Hotel Playa de Cortes.  It offers a patio to watch the sunsets, an adobe fireplace (no fire though) to hang our Christmas stockings and a small string of lights and a place to unwind after long days of boat work.

May 2011 bring rewarding and fulfilling days to you and your families.  We look forward to hearing and reading of your latest adventures.
Feliz Navidad from Guaymas, Mexico
Carol and Kelly

December 15, 2010

Leaving Mazatlan soon! Mid December

Hola and thanks to our family and friends who sent Carol birthday wishes and email cards.  Tonight will be a special dinner out (courtesy of Dick and Susan - many thanks!) at the very elegant Angelo's in Pueblo Bonito.  This dining spot is a highly recommended Italian restaurant.  If one must get older...do it in style!
Image result for free image of birthday cake and candles
Happy Birthday to me!
We've enjoyed our time in Mazatlan.  There was time for a second trip to the Olde Towne, another visit with Debbie and Lynn and sampling various breakfast, lunch and dinner spots.  No luck however with those bronze bolts.that Kelly was hoping to locate.  We hope to order them from the U.S. to have them arrive before Christmas. INTREPID II will stay on the hard until then.

We've had sunshine, fog, wind and cooler days, but all very pleasant.  While perusing cruisers blogs, we've spotted an update on Whiteshell II's sailing blog. Claes and Lue were likely anchored out in front of us here in Mazatlan, but just far enough away we couldn't spot their vessel.  We wish we'd had more time to catch up with Ellen and Ian on Kasasa as well, before they headed out, but it was good to see you again.  Indeed we celebrated a BCA "burp" at the El Cid poolside!

Our drive back to Guaymas will take most of a day as it is almost 760 kms. on the Pacific Highway toll road 15, our planned route. The highway runs through the state of Sinaloa, bypassing Culiacan, skirting Los Mochis, before it crosses into the state of Sonora.  Los Mochis is a terminus for the railway which runs to the famous Copper Canyon.  Continuing on, the highway travels near the large city of Ciudad Obregon and leaves the historical towns of Alamos and El Fuerte further to the east. The Sierra Madre Occidental escarpment will be our eastern backdrop.  The distance is longer than traversing the entire Baja Sur southern peninsula.

Map from Mazatlán, Sin., Mexico to Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico

Once I've found out how to compress photos from my new camera we'll post more photos, otherwise it is taking way too long....take care everyone.

December 13, 2010

Mazatlan at last! December 2010

After a long month apart, with Kelly tackling INTREPID II's re-commissioning on his own and Carol pulling things together at home to hand over to our stalwart 'land crew' of Lois, Rod, Rosie and Sebastian, we successfully reunited in Mazatlan!

INTREPID II was not ready to go in the water as originally planned, so Kelly needed to import our Subaru wagon and drive south.  The drive from Guaymas to Mazatlan on the Highway 15 toll road took about 7 1/2 hours to cover the 760 kms and cost 500 pesos in total, over 6 toll booths.  My flight from Victoria to Edmonton went smoothly, as did the Edmonton - Mazatlan flight, arriving ahead of schedule before 6 pm.  Bags arrived, immigration and customs went smoothly and we were in the same place once again.
Showy Hibiscus in garden
Our drive back after dark into Mazatlan was a challenge but we arrived safely at the Fiesta Inn. We have settled here with only one disappointing incident.  After becoming comfortable in a roomy end of the hall location, we couldn't hear ourselves think nor ignore the wedding music right below our lovely wrap-around balcony six floor up. It was like being in the middle of the wedding celebration dance floor without the fun of dancing.  We were able to change rooms to the opposite end of the floor and so far all has been much quieter.  We have fabulous views of the small islands west of the beaches and the hotel has a private, swept beach with palapas and lounge chairs.

Mazatlan is a Nahuatl word translated as 'place of the deer' and the deer symbol appears throughout the city.  This large city is located close to the Tropic of Cancer, which tends to provide it with warm, moderate weather.

On Sunday, friends Debbie and Lynn of S.V. Dolphin Tales played tour guides. They accompanied us by bus into the downtown area and onward to the Basilica of the Assumption where the feast day of the Virgin of Guadalupe (Dia de la Virgen de Guadalupe) was being celebrated.  The young children were dressed in traditional costumes and photographed in front of various booths set up around the church exterior.  Inside, they were being presented up at the altar and receiving blessings.  It was a colourful, special celebration we enjoyed observing.

Our 'tour guides' took us to the Plazuela Machado in the heart of the old town, with a refurbished teatro and several outdoor restaurants, where we relaxed and took in the ambiance before continuing further. 

An impromptu tour of a private home was a treat.  While standing outside admiring the facade, we were invited in to view the renovations being made to an historic home built in the 1860 or 70's.  We loved the high ceilings, wide beams and the generosity of the host who showed us his home.
Old Towne home in process of restoration
The Freeman Hotel has a 'sky room' which offers a fantastic 360 degree view of the city and ocean. We watched the sunset from that vantage point before catching a bus back to our hotel, which was about a 30 minute ride for 9 pesos each.  We were advised to catch the 'green bus', the Sibeal-Centro line, which offers more comfort and is air conditioned.  Chile's Pepper was nearby; it is an open air restaurant on the beach where we enjoyed a shrimp dinner and drinks.  All and all a very good start to our 'mini-vacation' here in Mazatlan.

December 4, 2010

Boat projects continue into December

The Captain and I compared notes via Skype on the success or challenges of our respective days and the projects which we've checked off our lists - or those which are holding up progress.

The servicing of the stubborn seacocks has taken far more time than Kelly anticipated.  He ordered a replacement for one particularly uncooperative one.  It is being shipped from Maine to Nogales, Arizona which requires him to drive north across the border once it has arrived.  Once successfully installed and all the remaining tasks completed, the surveyor can be scheduled. Only then can the travel lift be booked and INTREPID II  finally 'splash', followed by testing that all systems are functioning well. Bus trips are likely in our future once the Admiral flies into Mazatlan next weekend.   We hope to spend a few days enjoying Mazatlan before heading back to Guaymas.  At least that is the plan today; it might be plan 'E' or 'F' by now!

Here at home I have visited West Marine several times for more boat items. I will need a second checked bag to ensure all these last minute items can be accommodated.  This includes Christmas decorations which were left behind last year in our rush to leave home.  Kelly reports that Guaymas has had some very strong winds; actually most of the northern Sea of Cortez has experienced them. They have delayed many cruisers from heading out, which just emphasizes that cruising plans have to be flexible.  We will be together somewhere warmer and that is definitely a plus!

November 26, 2010

Family and celebrations - November 2010

Almost too artistic to eat!
I was thrilled to learn that my sister had an opportunity to drive out from Alberta with a friend to spend time with me last week. This was a special treat! I am so relieved that they arrived home last weekend after a long and trying drive back home through mountain passes and icy conditions, before the weather really turned daunting and even more wintry.

Victoria was not quite at her finest while they were here, but they enjoyed revisiting the city and surrounding areas.  I was treated to an early birthday dinner and have to share pictures - almost too good to eat.  Thank you Teri!
My birthday dessert!

Winter Wonderland on Vancouver Island - Friday November 26

Winter wonderland at home
Here is a photo of our current weather situation at home to ensure those of you already on your boats and in warmer climates really appreciate your atmospheric situation!  Vancouver Island, B.C. and most of the Prairies were hit all week with some of the coldest temperatures and heaviest snowfalls in a very long time.

It is sad to hear that there have been fatalities due to the driving conditions. I'm not sure if this can all be attributed to 2010 being a "La Nina" year.  It will be interesting to see what this cruising season holds for us in the Sea of Cortez.

November 14, 2010

A small Blog design change

Google Eblogger offers various templates and gadgets and advanced themes, etc.  Thought we'd try a new look for this season, but it took a few tries to ensure that all was readable.  Although we don't have "comments" available on this site, those of you who have our email - feel free to do so.  (Note:  we did open up to comments at a later date).

Preparing for 2nd Cruising Season - November 2010

Our second cruising season is underway!

The Captain arrived at Singlar Marina in Guaymas last week after driving down with a fully loaded Subaru station wagon. The cargo included items we needed, thought we might need and a few last minute parcels for cruising friends who requested more supplies.  Kelly ensured he had time to visit with family in California and met a new friend - hello Corky!

Kelly reports that INTREPID II seems to have weathered the Sonoran summer heat fairly well.  An abundance of red desert sand everywhere in the cockpit and on deck.  It is too soon to tell if all systems are functioning, until sails, bins, boxes, etc. are sorted and organized.  A number of cruising folks are already in residence at the docks and some in the works yard, so Kelly has the chance to go for dinner, catch up on news and have company as the boat preparation projects progress.  Other friends are hard at work at Gabriel's Marina Seca across the harbour and in San Carlos.

Local contractor Francisco and his crew have applied the bottom paint on INTREPID II, as planned earlier in the season. Kelly brought down a new water pump to be installed.  When that is in place he can once again fill water tanks without having to haul water up the ladder and will be able to cook on board.  Having our car available has been useful, although it will be another week before everything is out of the vehicle and stored somewhere onboard.  We now have one folding bike which will be of use for some nearby expeditions.  After much deliberation the inflatable kayak remained at home. If we had two, we'd be more likely to use them but this West Marine model does not offer quite enough leg room for Kelly.

Thank goodness for Skype! After a few challenges with Telcel and buying time for the phone and computer, we are in contact with each other and look forward to staying in touch with friends and family either through texting or chatting.

October 11, 2010

Thanksgiving thoughts - at home this year

We are pleased to be spending a quiet Thanksgiving weekend with Sebastian and Rosie, as last year we were sailing our way down the California coast on our first cruising adventure.  We are less than thrilled to be reminded of the amount of leaves that thirteen (13!) Garry Oaks can drop on the lawn, bushes, cars, deck, roof!  However, the raking is a small price to pay for having a place to call home in such a lovely setting.
Our front lawn with leaves ready for pickup
Our thought are with family and friends and we wish you all a special Canadian Thanksgiving wherever this finds you.  We celebrated yesterday (Sunday) with a day of preparation - turkey, stuffing, wild rice, roasted vegetables, oyster stew, pumpkin pie - interspersed with leaf raking when the sun came out and catching a bit of sports on tv.  A very tasty dinner, if we do say so ourselves.

INTREPID II is also front and centre in our thoughts as it gets closer to the cruising season and we make tentative plans to recommission her in Guaymas and continue our explorations of Mexico.  As we hope to explore more of the mainland side this coming cruising season, we have been reading up on anchorages and harbours in the Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta area.  Our friends' blogs are reflecting the same planned activities.  We wish you all well as you make your way south once again.  We hope this year's hurricane season is a benign one and all our sailing vessels are in good condition on our return.

[This posting concludes the first chapters of our 'great cruising adventure'.]

October 3, 2010

Alberta Bound and Back - October

Last week we set our compass course for the east towards Alberta and family and friends who had long been waiting to see Captain Kelly.  Well over a year and during some rather subdued times, as family well knows.  Arrangements for our cats were made, thanks to our accommodating house/cat sitters. We left for a quick journey through the mountains and onto the prairies at a lovely time of year - early autumn.  Our first day we travelled as far as Coldstream, arriving on Wednesday evening and found a quiet, but rather spartan room with a lovely view.
View of Coldstream area
Mountain view near Valemont 
Thursday morning we headed north through Blue River, Valemont and Tete Jeune, then turned east towards Mt. Robson.  We passed by Moose Lake, entered Alberta and the mountain time zone and drove on to Jasper for lunch.  The day was cool and windy with leaves swirling about.  It was reminiscent of the dive trips of old and brought back memories of how cold Lake Edith and Annette could be in the Fall!

Our trusty Subaru wagon delivered us to Edmonton just in time for the Yellowhead Trail rush hour, but we soon arrived at the home of our friends Bonnie and Dave to a warm welcome.  We had much to catch up on and did so later the next day as well at "BP" (Boston Pizza).  That had been one of those weekly get-togethers we enjoyed and do miss.  Lots of stories, sharing plans and enjoying each others' company.  Another important visit was to our "Dear Aunt Terry" who is an amazing lady and who retains her sense of humour and concern for others, in the midst of her own challenges. 

Edmonton Art Gallery
There was time for a bit of sight-seeing in downtown Edmonton, including a new Art Gallery and a walk in Churchill Square.
Edmonton skyline
Saturday morning we said our farewells and headed south to Leduc, to catch the last few innings of the University of Calgary Dinos Women's Fastball game.  They have an excellent pitcher in our niece Sarah and a great volunteer coach, Carol's brother Randy.  It was fun to watch a fast-paced game and even better to congratulate them both when the Dinos won.
Sarah in great pitching form
Kelly, Sarah and Coach/Dad Randy
The trip southward  to Calgary was clear and dry.  We enjoyed seeing the farmers at work in the field, rows of baled hay and the changing autumn colours of the trees.
Prairie fields in Fall
As always, we enjoyed the hospitality of family, as we were made comfortable and welcome (thanks Teri).  A lovely dinner out, a family dinner in (thanks Di) provided opportunities to catch up, share plans and enjoy a very short time together - quality, if not quantity. Too soon it was time to leave for home.  We headed westward through Banff, Lake Louise, Yoho and Glacier National Parks and on through Kamploops and Merrit. 
Driving through Rockies
Receding Glacier fields
The glaciers are certainly receding and we decided the park would soon have to be renamed "The National Park formerly known as Glacier" - more sad than humorous.  The weather held for most of the trip, but we were headed into more clouds and rain by the time we reached the Coquihalla route.  Low clouds, heavy rain, bad drivers; everything to make the drive challenging. 
Heavy clouds obscure the peaks
Castle Mountain west of Banff National Park
By the time we reached Hope, we decided to keep on driving.  We arrived at the Tsawwassen Ferry terminal right at 7:00 pm, in time to watch that ferry leave and settled in to wait for the 9:00 pm. 
Ferry line at Tsawassen - almost home
It was a quiet trip and midnight Calgary time by the time our kitties welcomed us home.  Thank goodness we had Tuesday to catch up and "rest" and make plans for tackling the yard. Garry Oak leaves do come down quickly at this time of year.