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 18, 2015



The brand new ICOM 802 system is sitting in boxes and Kelly's list of things to do once he arrives in San Carlos is ever at hand.  Our main challenge is determining if 'we three' - Kelly, Carol and Rosie can realistically make the journey together, having acquired a "new to us" 28 foot travel trailer.  Kelly would love to have company after three boat project seasons on his own; Carol would love to spend some time on her home away from home; Rosie, she has never been a traveler.   Wish us success!

Carol spent hours, days, editing our sailing blogs describing those first years of planning, preparation and actually setting sail, from 2006 through early 2010.  We discovered a site called "Blog2Print" which provided an opportunity to produce a book with postings in chronological order.  It isn't perfect; there are problems with captions not sitting in the ideal place, headings can't always be on the same page as text, but all in all it is rewarding to 'be published'.  Volume 2 is being readied.  The downside is the cost, but we want to ensure we have a printed account of our cruising adventures.

We REALLY want to see some sunshine!  There have been wave upon wave of heavy rain showers, high winds and steel-grey skies.  Snow has hit the Island at higher elevations.  The neighbourhood Christmas lights are a much needed cheerful beacon in the early darkness.  

Our hope is that you have a joy-filled, special Christmas celebration wherever you may be.  Sunshine and successes in 2016.  And just maybe our paths will cross once again.  Cheers!

September 18, 2015

A sad farewell to an Intrepid Sebastian - August


Those of you who were fortunate to know our Sebastian in person, or heard of his dynamic personality from us over the years will understand how deeply we feel his loss.  It has been a sad, poignant month since we said our regretful farewell to a brave, feisty, affectionate, unpredictable, handsome 14 1/2 year old tan and white feline who declined so suddenly in the first weeks of August. Our supportive and compassionate vet, Dr. Lesley Langford, comforted and helped us as much as Sebastian through his peaceful departure, which was while safe at home with his tearful people.

Although having senior cats who needed 'just the right people' to care for them if we were to again embark on another cruising season has truthfully complicated our lives, we gained so much from their companionship and affection.  Rosie just turned 17 and has become very much an indoor cat which gives us some hope that we might be able to convince her to travel with us,  Sebastian always presented an incredible challenge to do so as he loved to explore and had considerable strength.

Thank you to everyone who offered comfort and kind thoughts; we know so many of you have had to deal with challenges to or the loss of your own pets.  Their their memories all live on in our hearts.

July 30, 2015

How we are spending our summer

Fuschias - hummingbirds love it
We really aren't auditioning to be hermits but realize that we haven't been very communicative these past months.  Here's a quick update and we hope your summer is going well wherever this finds you.

We are keeping busy with house and garden projects.  All those projects that replace the boat projects once the Captain returned home from time spent with INTREPID II.

Today we've just returned from visiting Garden Works, a local nursery, to pick up a few flowering plants to fill in the patchy spots on our deck and what should be a showy sunny flower bed.  The heat we've been experiencing is hard on even sun loving plants.  As we do enjoy watching butterflies, bees and our hummingbird neighbours visit the blossoms, we try to have an abundance of plants which attract them.  We stopped by the Root Cellar for fresh veggies and ingredients to make crab cakes, which we've been craving for a few days.  Finally we donned long sleeve denim shirts to hunt for any remaining blackberries on a trail Kelly frequents but anything ripe has been picked clean.  There should be a great crop in another few weeks however.
Abundant petunias
At times we put up our feet, read a novel or travel book or another intriguing publication. We've stripped the last of the wallpaper that came with our house and have the paint ready to apply once the walls are smoothed and re-taped.  There are new cellular blinds on several windows, which were primed and painted and look fresh and bright.  The yard always needs attention.  The west coast greenery grows and grows and we have yet to learn how to teach a plant to stay pruned.

Way back in mid June we attended the annual Bluewater Cruising Association barbeque.  As in past years, we enjoyed catching up with cruising friends who have made it 'back home' as well as encouraging this year's Fleet of 'doers' as they prepare to head south.  It will be a treat to read of their exploits as we recall our own initial cruising journey 'way back' in September 2009.

March 22, 2015

Homeward once again - March 21

Kelly left San Carlos very early Saturday, March 21st.  He arrived in Santa Ana by 9:30 am for a fuel stop and to call home; leaving about 06:00 am made for a quicker drive through Hermosilla.  At the border crossing in Nogales, it was a 25 minute wait with no problems.  Rojo Grande headed on towards Blythe, just into California across the Arizona border.  The hotel room was waiting and comfortable, dinner was a favorite:  Popeye's Fried Chicken!  Later, another planning session, checking weather and sight-seeing options; Joshua Tree National Park looked interesting. Kelly booked a hotel at the north end of the Park at Twentynine Palms and turned in for some well earned sleep.

This morning (Sunday) after a filling breakfast provided by the hotel, it was a short drive from Blythe westward on I-10 to the south entrance to the Joshua Tree National Park, arriving about 8:30 am.  The National Parks Service site describes the park as encompassing two distinct desert ecosystems, the Mohave and the Colorado and covers 794,000 acres.  There is considerable elevation climb from the highway, through the Cottonwood Spring campground area in the south and along the Park Boulevard which then turns northwest as it gains in altitude.  The pictures shown here are courtesy of the National Park Service Flickr site, primarily taken by NPS staff, and are in the public domain.


Cottonwood Spring (National Parks Service photo)

Joshua Tree and boulders (NPS)

Rock formations near Skull Rock (NPS)

Great Basin Collard Lizard (NPS)

Acton's Brittlebrush (NPS)
The Hi-View nature trail apparently lived up to its name as it rose quite steeply at times before it offered an excellent view of the surrounding area.  Kelly found it to be a windy summit however; hang on to your hats! As with visits to all of these stunning national parks, there is never adequate time when one is travelling home.  It often seems a toss-up between seeing something new and spending more on accommodations,  or just eating up the highway miles.

An add-on to keep the travels in the right order:

Kelly said he was up bright and early for breakfast and left Twenty Nine Palms, California heading west and then northward; the mountain parks are calling.  Passing by Bakersfield and on to Three Rivers by noon, he mad a fuel stop as there is nowhere to top up once you enter Sequoia National Park and adjacent Kings Canyon.   Quoting from the National Parks Service site:

General Sherman Tree, Sequoia National Park.
General Sherman - Sequoia (NPS photo)
 "this landscape testifies to nature's size, beauty and diversity - huge mountains, rugged foothills, deep canyons, vast caverns and the world's largest trees.....(the parks) lie side by side in the southern Sierra Nevada.....elevation ranges from 1370 to 14494 feet."

The wonders of nature demand alertness on the roads; apparently "the 16 steep, narrow road miles from Ash Mountain (south entrance) to the Giant Forest area include 130 curves and 12 switchbacks...."   One goal of this visit was to stand before General Sherman...by volume, the largest tree in the world!  In 1975 a calculation determined it to be slightly over 52,5000 cubic feet.  And that he did.

Accommodations in the Lodge were cozy and the hikes were at times challenging.  The opportunity to view these ancient 'sentinels' of the forest was not to be missed.  Each National Park has its treasures and there are many more to explore.

Here are a few of Kelly's photos:

March 20, 2015

INTREPID II - "What do you mean you are putting me back on the hard already?"

Sad but true.   The past month was a busy one for Captain Kelly.  He had planned to stay at least one week longer before hauling out then heading homeward.

INTREPID II once again settled into dry storage
However, "time and tides wait for no boat or captain".  While checking for a suitable depth in the shallow marina, during working hours, Kelly determined that the entire last week of March was no-go!  The next best option was this current week and in order to have a 'Plan B' (apologies to Ken S.) to allow for any unforeseen 'oops', INTREPID II was lifted out of the water yesterday (March 19th) at 10;)) a.m.  The works yard at Marina Seca was the first stop to finalize, organize, stow and take off any extraneous items.  Kelly managed to book a cozy room down the way at the R.V. park for two nights.  It's at the very back of the property, so hopefully quieter than the 5th wheel which was home base at the beginning of this sojourn.

A link for anyone who might want to check out the accommodations:

Today (Friday) was part two of moving INTREPID II back into the dry storage yard. Kelly ensured she was settled in and secured for the Sonoran spring, summer, fall.  There will be blazing sun (it is already hot), gritty winds, thunderstorms; hopefully no hurricanes track this far north!  

Although the sailing opportunities did not arise, there was time to make new friends, connect with a few from previous years, battle the "bo-bos" and wish for the air conditioning unit that was sold for a song last season.  He pondered the whys and wherefores of what kept causing the Internet to go down at the marina.  Thank goodness for the cell phone data plan!  Kelly took on the task of 'weather reader' on the morning net when most people could not get wifi.

Happily, after many attempts, the stars aligned to actually do the hike in the Nacapule Canyon with intrepid fellow hiker Ken H.  Pictures to be downloaded; in the meantime here's a link:
Looking forward to hearing about the hike details...stay tuned.

This event comes "Highly Recommended":  the annual 'melodrama' to raise funds for the Rescate services of San Carlos area.  Lots of fun, laughter and for a good cause.  Keep it in mind for next year if you are in San Carlos at this time.

Tomorrow (Saturday) is Departure Day.  The Captain is still sorting out his itinerary it seems.

February 19, 2015

Progress Report - or lack of?

The Captain intends to provide his hands-on, personal commentary on his 2 weeks plus efforts to resolve the through hull and hose challenges on INTREPID II.  On the meantime, here is a quick summary.

Saturday, February 14th:  Valentine's Day started with INTREPID II loaded onto the transport trailer and trucked the short distance from Marina Seca to the marina.  First vessel of the day in, so no waiting.  Thanks to Ken of S/V Rosebud for assisting; always great to have someone helping with lines and docking.  Home now is on A Dock - A14 - halfway down on the inside.  Too bad the gate cards don't seem to be allowing access to B dock and vice-versa, as that doesn't allow for easy visits and seeing if 'anyone is home' when you need second pair of hands for a few minutes on a project.

There have been numerous trips up and down the dock and ramp to haul up jerry cans, extra canvas and other items stowed in the cabin and now stored in the truck.  This was necessary to free up a spot to sleep.  Slowly the cabin will become more liveable and less crowded!  Saturday evening there was more rain and even a thunderstorm; power went out, which impacted the wifi system on the dock and at the marina office.  Having cell phone access to emails and Internet is so helpful in situations like this. The deck and the truck are clean from all the rain.  Days are sunny and that make a big difference when thinking about the weather back home and all those snowy parts of the country.

Since then, Kelly has been challenged by several issues to do with hoses in the head and the sink drain and related conundrums.  He has made trips into Guaymas, found that a favorite hardware store is now closed, with no indication of whether it has relocated or simply shut down.  With the required hoses needing to be of marine quality there are limited sources.  Star Marine in San Carlos continues to remain closed, supposedly for inventory taking?  They were to have opened earlier this week.

However, the sun shines, the days are warm; actually the days are hot!  Since it is problematic to prepare meals onboard at the moment, that is an excellent reason to check out the various restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  He has also picked up a few staples from Santa Rosalia market and the surrounding bakeries.  A nearby gym offers a good deal on a drop-in pass and that is a good way to become focused on something other than boat project puzzles.

We have been able to stay in touch by phone quite inexpensively so far through an AT and T phone plan.  I am glad Kelly's research discovered this option, as our existing Telus options became so much more expensive this year.

All is well here at home.  We had some sunny days which encouraged the spring blooms to continue; now we have the expected drizzle and cloudy skies, but Spring is in the air.  Our hummingbird feeder is visited regularly by this active hummer at rest on our budding red flowering current.

Gung Hay Fat Choy - Year of the Ram!

February 7, 2015

Found the sunshine in San Carlos - February 2015

The Captain's road trip went smoothly and without any major issues.  This year Kelly was driving south through Portland, Salem, Sacramento, Palm Desert and on to Nogales, Arizona.  He was crossing into Mexico last Tuesday (February 3rd); got a  green light this time.  Onward through Hermosilla and into San Carlos, destination Marina Seca.  Total time of  4.5 days of driving and Rojo Grande did a fine job handling the U.S highways.  Kelly mentione one item of interest; on his arrival Monday late afternoon in Nogales, there were large numbers of vehicles lined up at the gas stations. Obviously gas prices were cheaper on the U.S. side of the border, which is not always the case.  He topped up Tuesday morning before heading for the border crossing.

The Marina Seca crew had INTREPID II in the works yard as requested.  Kelly located her way down the line near the big garage and painting area; the place is busy and full. The security guards 'released' a ladder for him.  He was pleased to see that the rains had washed away much of the grit and dust off the deck. As the cabin is far too stuffed at the moment to live aboard, home for the Captian is the Totanaka RV park down the road. His accommodations are basic, but offer a place to sleep, shower and make coffee in the mornings.

Ladders - in short supply and very necessary in the works yard
With input from our surveyor, Allen, and discussions with Eduardo of Star Marine, the boat projects were underway.  Unfortunately the seacock which 'froze' last season is still not cooperating.  Plans to 'splash' into Marina San Carlos today (Saturday) are delayed a week due to low tide -of course it would be this coming Wednesday.  Thank goodness for online searches and internet communication; marine parts supplier Defender will be sending replacement parts to Nogales asap. Thanks to Mike and Judy for offering to pick up the package on their own trip for parcels.

In the meantime, the Captain walked the docks at the marina to see who is still in residence.  He met up with Ken of S/V Rosebud; just missed Mac and Wendy of S/V Kookaburra by a half hour.  Once INTREPID II is in the water it will be easier to be on the morning net to find out who is in the area.  He is making time to check out what's new in San Carlos and what has changed. 

The marina feral cats are still residence. Kelly observed it almost seems like they recognize Rojo Grande from last season.  The monthly swap meet is on this morning in the San Carlos storage yard.  Perhaps a drive down south to Empalme for the weekly Sunday market.  Never know what treasures you might find, even if you weren't looking for them!

January 31, 2015

Roadtrip to San Carlos - January 2015

Hang in there INTREPID II!  Our land vessel "Rojo Grande" is finally heading south. The Captain is hoping for 'smooth sailing' on the highways and byways of Oregon, California, Arizona and into Sonora, Mexico.  The snowdrops, crocuses and buds on the red flowering currant are hopeful signs of Spring showing up here in Victoria. However, there is not enough warmth for my liking. It is winter weather: damp, chilly, with heavy fog in spots.

Super Bowl Sunday is tomorrow;  Kelly is hoping that his hotel has great reception and a comfortable spot to unwind and enjoy the game. The Seattle Seahawks have considerable support from our part of the world.

If 'the plan' for this land voyage goes accordingly, INTREPID II will be moved from dry storage into the works yard on Tuesday, February 3rd  She is in need of much overdue TLC and maintenance. Hopefully a chance to feel the splash of sea water around her hull and an opportunity to actually sail? This is our 6th 'cruising season' and we hope that there are some sea voyages to come in the months ahead.