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.

April 18, 2010

Photos: Sights of Guaymas - Apr. 15-17

Overview of Guaymas area - Singlar Marina is upper right "Guyamas Marina project" (courtesy of tourist information office)
Guaymas is a large port city of over 130,000 people, situated about 20 miles south of San Carlos, by both sea or land.  It is home to a large shrimp fleet and has a large harbour, around which the city has developed a wide 'malecon' (walkway along the shore) for people to stroll and enjoy the view and take in various local entertainment.  The marina is a short walk from the Plaza de los Tres Presidentes which displays the statues of Plutarco Elias Calles, Adolfo de la Huerta and Abelardo L. Rodrigues, commemorating Mexican Presidents who came from the Guaymas area.

According to our cruising guides, the original community, San Jose de Guaymas, was nearby and home to a variety of indigenous people - Guaimas, Seri, Pima and Yaqui Indians.  Jesuit missionaries also found their way here in the 1700s and the  Iglesia de San Fernando dates from about 1750.  This imposing structure is within a short walk of the marina and we often passed nearby. The church suffered severe damage last year in 2009 when the effects of tropical storm Jimena caused the main dome and area above the altar to collapse.  We saw mass being celebrated outside and expect the reconstruction will take some time and considerable fund raising. Across from the church is historic Plaza 13 de Julio with its iconic pergola dating from 1910.
Plaza de los Tres Presidentes
Iglesia de San Fernando
Plaza 13 de Julio
Guaymas has been an important port since the 1800s, with ships arriving from all over the world.  Apparently the port was even taken over briefly by the United States soldiers during the 1846-1848 Mexican-American war (or the Invasion of Mexico in some records) and returned to Mexico via the treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo.  The background to this event is described on one online site:

"The Mexican-American War (1846-1848) marked the first U.S. armed conflict chiefly fought on foreign soil. It pitted a politically divided and militarily unprepared Mexico against the expansionist-minded administration of U.S. President James K. Polk, who believed the United States had a “manifest destiny” to spread across the continent to the Pacific Ocean. A border skirmish along the Rio Grande started off the fighting and was followed by a series of U.S. victories. When the dust cleared, Mexico had lost about one-third of its territory, including nearly all of present-day California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico."
(excerpt from http://www.history.com/topics/mexican-american-war
The Guaymas harbour itself is very shallow, in the 10 - 12 foot range in some spots and here in our slip we have perhaps 1 - 2 feet under our 6 foot keel.  The navy base is nearby and we've been treated to the sounds of a navy marching band practising music we did enjoy.   On our walks we've come across several impressive buildings in various states of disrepair, which in some cases still house large banks.  The city has posted historical site signs and we've enjoyed viewing the Neoclassical architecture of earlier times.
Decorative lamp posts in park
Banco de Sonora -Looking in reasonably good shape
Ornate gates

Photos - San Carlos area

INTREPID II docked in Marina San Carlos (second from left)
With thanks to our cruising guides, here is some background on San Carlos and a few more pictures of the days we spent in Marina San Carlos.  San Carlos is the focus for boaters, divers, fishermen and everyone who enjoys the sea and the mountains.  There are distinctive peaks, known as the  "Tetas de Cabra" or Tetakawi mountains rising above the bahia and they can be seen for miles.

The town was once a large ranch which eventually became developed into a tourist and retirement destination and incorporated in 1963.  There is no real 'town centre' here and a vehicle is very useful, as the markets, hardware stores, most restaurants and other services are spread along both sides of the road to Guaymas.  We were fortunate to get rides from cruising friends to Super Izzy's market, Tony's for fresh produce and tamales (thanks Linde!) and even to a well hidden hair salon (thanks Cheryl!).
Local transportation
We rode the bus from San Carlos to Guaymas for 12 pesos each ($1)  and found out you may have to wait for one that is a bit more comfortable for the 40 minute ride. These vehicles have obviously been 'retired' from other communities and the shocks and seats are a bit less than comfy.
Interior of local bus
Kelly, Ken, Linde and Leonard relaxing at the marina Cantina
INTREPID II and Rosebud folks finally had a few days together at the marina. We enjoyed having dinner together and catching up, as well as working on prepping the boats for haul out.  In this photo, Leonard, of SV Vallee Cachet joined us.
Cheryl and Frank on board 
SV Serendipity folks, whom we first met back in San Evaristo, while we all waited out a "norther", joined us for 'happy hour' on board INTREPID II.  They are busy with haul out chores too and have offered Carol a ride to Phoenix -- many thanks!
SV Sea Turtle heading for haul out
SV Sea Turtle I came in to San Carlos from Guaymas in very blustery conditions, to be hauled out, then to rush back to join friends as last minute crew to the Marquesas.  We were glad to be able to take lines and catch up for a few minutes.  See you in Victoria!

The Captain's Club is close to the marina and often has a great keyboard player and singer performing, who also accompanies the Monday night silent movies.

We enjoyed the lovely voice and music of this singer, Laura Robles, at La Palapa, an open air Greek restaurant, with new cruising friends, Dan and Shirley.

April 17, 2010

Last stop of the cruising season - Guaymas, Sonora

A quick update to advise that we left Marina San Carlos on Thursday morning (April 15th) as planned for a fairly straightforward motor sail to Marina Singlar in Guaymas. This is our "last stop" in the cruising itinerary, with just a short motor trip from the dock around to the travel lift in the dry storage area, later next week.
It took about 3.5 hours to cover the 18 nm south and eastward into Guaymas harbour.  INTREPID II was settled into her slip by 12:30 pm.  The swells are more pronounced on this eastern side of the Sea of Cortez and it was a good thing there was enough wind for us to haul out the jib to minimize the rolling motion.  We had shrimp boats "zooming" by. They were in a hurry to get back, and passed us much closer than we'd like.
Sunning Sea Lions
We saw sea lions sunning themselves on the rocks, and frigate birds, gulls and other shore birds kept us company.  We also experienced a "cape effect" as we rounded Cape Haro and felt the west wind right on our beam.  It was time to take in some sail, find the range markers and call up the marina to confirm our spot at the dock.  There was lots of Spanish discussion while we waited on the radio - now we are being directed to A dock, not B dock. INTREPID II has reached her final destination for our first most excellent cruising adventure!

Our chart plotter recording never did work well, so our intentions of showing our stops along the way were disappointed.  In summary, our first cruising adventure took us from the southern tip of Victoria, B.C. Canada, southward along the U.S. west coast to the tip of Mexico's Baja California Peninsula and north into the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California on the map below).  We are proud of INTREPID II and her accomplishments.  She carried us safely an incredible distance and allowed us to gain first hand offshore sailing experience, build our confidence, test our skills and challenge ourselves.
912P - USA West Coast - Navionics Maps and Charts
INTREPID II - from Victoria to Guaymas (near the notch above the 'l' in Gulffirst cruising adventure
Since we arrived we have been busy with all the "decommissioning" required to store INTREPID II safely and securely over the summer and fall months.  Still, we found a chance to visit with Jack of SV Moonraker and Ian of Salish Sea before they set off yesterday across the harbour to Gabriel's Marina Seca for their respective haul outs. Geoff of SV Verdia is next to us at the dock, so we've got company to compare notes and help each other out as we work through our projects.  This is a small marina, right in the centre of the city, with all the usual Singlar facilities - showers, laundry, cruisers' lounge and a restaurant.  The karaoke 'club nautico' located next to the restaurant believes in very loud music (and my point is? almost everyone believes in loud music here!).  It's just that someone forgot to tell them about cruisers' midnight.

Kelly finally had some success today finding a marine store actually located where it was supposed to be and bought nylon line to use as messenger lines in place of the halyards.  We washed the jib yesterday, but in bringing it down, we discovered glitch #1 - the foil is either bent or warped and we can't lower it.  Now we are working on a plan to go up the jib somehow to see the spot and determine the fix.  Many of the lines are now washed and dried (and smell nice - like Downy!), including our safety tethers.
Sheets washed and out to dry
The main was hauled up today very early, before the wind came up, washed, dried and is now folded and secure in its bag, for now, on deck.  Inside, we are going through clothes to take home or leave behind and sorting through medical supplies and toiletries to see what should come with us and what, if anything, can withstand the summer heat and still remain effective.
Guaymas waterfront at night
Our evenings have been to the soundtrack of "duelling bands"  along the waterfront and from our own dockside bar, as we mentioned above.  There is still a use for those earplugs when it's time for bed. We've walked up Avenida Serdan, the main street fronting the marina; found banks, a supermarket, a dollar store, Woolworth's and various other establishments. We hope to have some time for a break and see the city for fun as well.  We'll do another post with pictures of some of the historical buildings which are plentiful here in Guaymas, some of them being very architecturally impressive former temples of finance.

Bye for now...here's a bonus -- we finally have another picture of us -- usually one or the other is behind the camera - Cheers!

April 10, 2010

Singlar Marina Guaymas - Dry Storage

Singlar Marina in Guaymas
If all continues as planned, we will take INTREPID II from San Carlos Marina out and "around the corner" and into Marina Singlar Guaymas on April 15th for a week, followed by her haul out, tentatively scheduled for the 23rd.  There is quite the checklist to go through to ensure a boat is ready for "dry storage" for the hot, dry summer months during hurricane season.

As many of you know, cruisers try to find good 'hurricane holes' to leave their boats in Mexico and the San Carlos/Guaymas area is on the very northern edge of the hurricane belt.  Unfortunately, as occurred last year, hurricanes still do occur and can cause considerable damage; often times it is the rains which cause more damage than the winds.
Looking towards dry storage area
Travel Lift
Marina Singlar Guaymas is newer than many marinas, with a concrete yard, which should ensure the ground does not wash out and the stands on which the boats are supported, topple.  We visited it last Wednesday, the day after our arrival in San Carlos, to confirm that there really is space for us as there had been much confusion over our email confirmations.  At the marina we met Tony and Pat of SV Forbes and Cameron, who had been part of the BCA Fleet a few years back.  Their boat is in the picture above of the travel lift, as they were just being hauled out.

There are some convenient amenities close by - showers, laundry, a restaurant, and a great view of Guaymas harbour.
Decorative light tower
  The shrimp boat fleet is docked nearby, and the picture below shows one of the boats heading out.

April 9, 2010

Update from Marina San Carlos

We are now almost caught up with posting our descriptions and photos of the Baja California Sur Peninsula.  Hope I don't run out of time and consistent wifi connections before I finish describing our most excellent cruising adventures!

INTREPID II left Santa Rosalia at 4:30 pm MST heading towards San Carlos on the Mexican mainland.  We estimated between 13 and 16 hours to travel the 78 nautical mile crossing and wanted to arrive at first light.  Weather forecasts were saying it was 'go now" or wait until Thursday or later to do so.  That meant we barely had time to welcome SV Rosebud to the dock, as Ken and Linde and Roger arrived from a trip up from Bahia Concepcion.  We hadn't seen them since leaving La Paz in late February.  "Ships passing in the night..." We also said farewell to the Rutea crew and other cruising folk and headed out into the late afternoon with hopes for a good sail and calm seas.

Our bearing for the trip was in the 60 - 62 degree range and we kept watch all the way, as there seemed to be a significant current setting us off throughout the night.  We were only making 5.5 knots, with the wind 6 knots apparent NE, so we chose to keep the motor on.  The sun was setting, we had a light swell and it was a somewhat misty evening.  The radio crackled and we heard from SV Moonraker -- Jack was over in San Carlos and heard us earlier on the VHF.  He offered to monitor Channel 16 during our over-night crossing and check in with us later and in the morning, which was much appreciated!  Then it was time for a quick dinner of lentil soup and El Bolea Bakery bread - warm and filling.

We kept track of our position on an hourly basis, as we always do on passage. Our barometer was not moving and the winds had not increased by 18:30 (6:30 pm).  The Rutea folks called in to wish us well and ask "how it was going so far".  It's great to have fellow cruisers standing by.  The sunset was inspiring and we were now writing our log in the dark, with the lights of Santa Rosalia twinkling off the stern.
Looking back - sunset over Santa Rosalia
22:00 hours (10 pm): we had 45 nm to go and were at 27 degrees 34 N and 111 degrees 47.675 W, making 5.2 knots over the ground.  We'd tried taking cat naps below, but with little success and were keeping track of various vessels on the radar with no problems about coming too close for comfort.

23:30 hours: wind was finally picking up, so we rolled out the jib - Kelly wanted 5.7 knots or more to keep to our schedule and we could finally throttle back a bit.  Dolphins!! Phosphorescence!! a real treat in the night.

01:33 hours: moonrise to starboard - a half moon - large and orange with a cloud running through - we now had some light by which to steer.

02:50 hours: Kelly spotted some lights flashing ahead  near San Carlos, some 18 nm away. The cruising guides were not helpful here on describing the height above water, flashing sequence, or anything and the chart book not at all.  We were getting more swell and INTREPID II began to roll more, but nothing we hadn't experienced before.

04:00 hours:  it was very cool, damp -- the bimini and dodger were protecting us, but were very wet - we were yawning and the moon was exceptionally silvery bright.

05:05 hours:  Moonraker called - Jack was up and asking how we were fairing - a welcome voice.

05:40 hours:  Jib was finally flogging, so we rolled it in, which didn't help the rolling, but was necessary.  We glimpsed first light behind the mountains around Guaymas to the south and San Carlos ahead - pelicans and gulls came out greeting the morning.  Land Ho!
Pelicans and Gulls flying at dawn
06:00 hours:  A spectacle at dawn as we approach the quite hidden entrance to San Carlos - lots of masts in the distance.  Incredible rock formations to admire.  Anchorage area looked full - we spot Moonraker, Salish Sea and Vallee Cachet secure at anchor and continued on to check the mooring balls.  We had understood there were some public mooring balls available but that is a story for later.
Glorious first light over San Carlos
Left (port) entrance to Bahia San Carlos
Entrance view on starboard side
07:15 hours -- we took 4 tries to get hooked onto a usable mooring ball, still couldn't raise the marina to check in and decided to try to sleep for a brief time.
Our destination - San Carlos (courtesy of Posada Condominiums brochure)
We have taken 14.8 hours to cross and are now on the Mexican mainland, in the state of Sonora.

Photos: Santa Rosalia - Mar. 30 to Apr. 5

Beautiful blooms outside the ferry terminal
Some view of the marinas, malecon, town buildings...
From our dock to harbour entrance
Kelly checking out the popular bakery
El Boleo Bakery - great muffins, French bread and other treats
Santa Rosalia street
Fruteria - fresh fruits, veggies and other provisions
Iglesia Santa Barbara - installed in 1887 
Copper mining equipment along the Malecon near Marina Santa Rosalia
Hurricane damage seen along the Malecon

Sunset view looking north towards the harbour breakwater on right

Santa Rosalia Municipal Hall
A tree in 'bloom' with long thin pods

Underway to Santa Rosalia - Mar. 30

With the winds now forecast to come from the ESE 17 - 22 our plans to go to the anchorage at Punta Chivato, 27 nm to the north, with a 'great shelling beach', were altered to go straight towards the town of Santa Rosalia, a further 23 nm to the north.  Our journey became a 48 - 50 nm day.  It would take us 10 hours or more, less, if the winds really did their job from the right direction and let us actually sail our way there.
Santa Rosalia Location Map
Bahia Concepcion shows just below Mulege - Santa Rosalia lies north
07:45 am - INTREPID II was underway and by 08:30 we had the jib out to starboard and were making 4.7 knots against the current coming into Bahia Concepcion.  The water maker was being prepped to start filling the tank and we had a sunny start to our day.  Nearing Bahia Santo Domingo we spotted 4 dolphins heading south, going directly under the boat and onward -- with incredibly high leaps - such energy!  Cruisers on Vallee Cachet (hi Leondard) and Relax were at anchor in Santa Domingo, awaiting a chance to head out later across the Sea to San Carlos and Guaymas.  Shortly after, we spotted a sea lion lounging on his back, waving a languid flipper in the air as we passed the 27 degree latitude mark, for which there is a marker on shore.  

Seas were rippled, our rpms were up to 1800 - we rarely rev up that high, but needed to make better speed and time.  A few whitecaps started to appear, the jib was still catching some wind from the SE with 5.2 apparent wind showing on the gauge.  The stronger winds had yet to materialize.  By 15:00 (3 pm) we had passed the northern side of Isla San Marcos and called into Marina Singlar for space at the dock. Seas were picking up and getting rolly; wind was finally freshening up as well.

16:10 - lots of hands to help us dock, but very calm in the harbour behind the breakwater.  It had taken 8.5 hours - not bad, and we were at:  27 degrees 20.24 N and 112 degrees 15.786 W.  A good, long day.
Very narrow fingers at this marina
Marina Singlar Santa Rosalia - INTREPID II is towards middle left side