3/21/2012 – Almost time to go

Note: Just to confuse things a bit, I wrote this blog entry on the 21st and 22nd of March. But, as I was getting ready to post it, I started looking at some photos I took and decided that I really needed to post the St. Paddy’s blog first. Of course, unless you’re keeping up with the blog in near-real time, you’ll never notice. -SRY

It’s just beginning to hit me that in a little more than a week, we could be setting off on our summer adventure. I realize that it probably doesn’t seem like summer yet to those of you in our old Oregon/Washington stomping grounds, but down here it’s beginning to seem like sumer can’t be too far away. It still gets a little bit chilly in the evenings when a strong north wind blows but it’s warm and sunny most days. Daytime temperatures are in the mid-70s to low-80s right now, Depends a lot on whether or not you’re in the wind.

The first sign of pending summer is that a lot, and I mean a lot of gringo snowbirds are putting their boats to bed and hitting the road or the airways to head “home”. A lot of these folks are Canadians and have to spend a certain amount of the year in Canada to hang on to their health insurance, or so I’m told. Anyway, watching all these folks head out puts one in the mood to go.

We are waiting for a new depth sounder transducer to arrive. It should be here next Tuesday. Should be a snap to install as it’s identical to the one we already have. Hardest part will be running the wires. We’re paid up at the marina through Saturday, March 31. With luck, the weather will cooperate to let us leave sometime between when the transducer gets installed and when the rent is due. If necessary, we can pay a day at a time or we could just go out to the Old Harbor and drop the anchor. I’ve been watching the weather patterns and it looks like we get a fairly good blow out of the NW for 3-4 days, then it calms down for 3-4 days, give or take a few. That’s plenty of time to make our crossing. At least we hope it is since we plan to do more sailing this time. Yeah, yeah, I know you’ve read that before but this time we really mean it. Really!

The current plan is to skip La Paz and head directly to “the islands”. We’ll make either Bahia Bonanza (Isla Espiritu Santo) or Ensenada Grande (Isla Partida) our first landfall after Mazatlán. Just depends on what’s happening weather-wise at that point.

All of our projects are done, except the transducer installation. We need Ruben the diver to drop by next week and clean the bottom one last time and we need to get a few more provisions.

We’re pretty relaxed about provisioning this time out. We now know that we can still buy stuff along the way. Might have a pretty sparse selection, but we’re not expecting to find dried tree ears in the tienda in San Evaristo. But we will be able to find cerveza, agua mineral, some fresh produce, salsa, meat sometimes, tortillas, etc. The things we’re stocking up on are the things that we either know we won’t find, or, as in the case of coffee, won’t be able to find the specific kind we want. Coffee is available everywhere, usually in whole bean form. But we’ve gotten very fond of Blasón Espresso coffee. It’s ground super-fine and is a nice dark roast. We’ve got a bunch of bags aboard but, when it runs out, we’ll have no problem switching to whatever is available.

One of the cool things about provisioning now is that there are products in Mexico that make it so much easier than it used to be. Not sure if the US has gotten these products yet. The first item is milk. You can by paper cartons of super-pasteurized milk that can be stored a long time without refrigeration, as long as it isn’t opened. Same thing with crema mediana which is just thick cream that Lulu mixes with milk to make half & half for her coffee. Just the other day, we discovered that you can buy tofu in the same kind of packaging with a long non-refrigerated shelf life. Pretty freakin’ cool.

Yesterday and today we did a little bit of provisioning. Yesterday we found an Asian market (thanks to the Mazinfo Yahoo group) and stocked up on dried shitake mushrooms (whole and sliced), dried tree ears, oyster sauce, and chili paste. These are all things that we would be unlikely to find in the tienda at Agua Verde. Today we got coffee, butter, tofu, toilet paper and paper towels. Tomorrow, it’s boxed fruit juice, flour, cheese, and yeast. And then, other than last minute on-loading of beer, agua mineral and fresh fruit, we’re ready to split.

As I wrote earlier (I think), we’ve already gotten our tickets to Circus Mexicus in Puerto Peñasco. Good thing, too, because the platinum and gold wristbands are already sold out. We went for the gold, not needing to get the limited edition t-shirt or schmooz with the band. We want to have Siempre Sabado in a marina when we’re there because it’ll be easier and safer while we’re attending the shows. There are 2 marinas in PP. One is very expensive and the other is very small (maybe 20 slips). However, I e-mailed the smaller marina, which is a Fonatur facility, and was able to make reservations. We’re set.

I’ve started looking through the cruising guides to get a handle on what the next few months have in store. It’s pretty exciting to know we’re about to get going again and to new places. A few places we’re familiar with at first to help us get back in the cruising groove and then new anchorages. New challenges, too, as the further north we get, the further apart the anchorages are and the more extreme the tides get.

(note: it’s now 3/22/2012, the day after I started writing this entry, so don’t get all mixed by the seeming contradictions when I talk about “today” ,”tomorrow”, and “yesterday”)

Today we continued our provisioning by heading out to the farmácias and getting stocked up on drugs to see us through the next 6 months. Between us we only have 4 prescription-type drugs to worry about which makes it pretty easy. We had to go to several different farmácias to get what we needed but that was fine since they’re all close together and it was a great day for walking around.

We also stopped in to the Mega store to get some “green can” parmesan cheese, eggs, some pot scrubbers and refried beans. I’ve been making my own refritos lately but I figure I’m not going to always be in the mood to do that. And, since I have a bean and cheese quesadilla for breakfast about 95% of the time, it can’t hurt to have a few packets on hand.

While at Mega, we noticed that they had CHEDDAR CHEESE! Granted, it’s just mild cheddar but still, you seldom see orange cheese down here. So we grabbed about 1/2 a kilo. Afterwards, we walked down to a gringo-owned burger joint called “Mary’s” where Lulu had an excellent bacon cheeseburger and I had an equally excellent patty melt. Then it was back to the boat.

While Lulu was putting stuff away, I walked over to the Santa Fe market to get our favorite Mexican cheese, Queso Chihuahua Tipo Chester, and a dozen flour tortillas. They make the tortillas right there in the store and these were just off the burner. The guy behind the panaderia counter grabbed a dozen tortillas for me and was tossing them from hand to hand as he put them on the scale. He packed them up and warned me that they were caliente and he wasn’t kidding. It was like playing ‘hot potato’ carrying them up to the checkout. Three things I’ll miss the most when we leave Mazatlán is the Tipo Chester cheese, the fresh flour tortillas from Santa Fe, and the fruteria where we buy our produce, especially my fresh pineapple (although Lulu will miss her mangos every bit as much as I’ll miss my pineapple). It’s not that we won’t be able to get pineapples and mangos over in Baja, it just won’t be as easy and probably not as cheap.

Okay, this has rambled on long enough. Tomorrow we have to venture out again and get a few more items. Then it’ll just be fresh produce at the last minute sometime next week

Dinner the last 3 nights has been homemade pizza. Sausage (homemade Jimmy Dean clone), salami, black olives, mushrooms, and some of Lulu’s boat-grown fresh basil. We have it three nights in a row because the crust recipe makes enough for 3 pizzas. Bummer, huh? Tonight we’re going easy after the burgers. Dressed-up ramen (celery, onions, garlic, ginger, carrots, cauliflower, red pepper flakes, and peanuts). Hoping to be hungry enough to nuke up a bowl of palomitos de maiz with our movie tonight.

Apropos of nothing, here’s a nice shot of Siempre Sabado and her neighbor, the diminutive Narwhal, a 22′ Falmouth Cutter.


About sryoder

Steve & Lulu... retired. Had enough of the cold wet dreary fall/winter/spring in the Pacific Northwest. Bought a boat, fixed it up, sold our home and sailed to Mexico in November, 2010. Been here ever since except for occasional forays to the States (summer only, thank you) to visit the kids, parents and siblings. If you're looking for a sailing blog, this is the wrong place. This is a traveling, hunkering in, eating blog. Sailing is just how we get from place to place when we can't walk.
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5 Responses to 3/21/2012 – Almost time to go

  1. Raoul says:

    SRY, In every day life with just you and LuLu on the boat…do you call it agua mineral or are you just being fancy when writing on the blog. Do you speak much Spanish on the boat? Have you ever had a dream in Spanish? Do you find that you hear all your neighbors talking and such being fairly close? Are you messing with us about the pizza…. because you both appear to be pretty smart and a dough recipe would be pretty darn easy to cut in half. Just asking ……. Raoul

    • sryoder says:

      Hola Raul… -We call it agua mineral because that’s what carbonated water is called down here and that’s how we always refer to it now. -We speak virtually no Spanish onboard other than a few words here and there. Pineapples are always pias, but other than that, we refer to the occasional item in Spanish but we’re not very consistent about it. -Haven’t had a dream in Spanish yet. Good thing as I probably wouldn’t understand it. Of course, I don’t understand my dreams anyway, so… -We hear people talking as they walk down the dock alongside the boat but that’s mainly because where we are now, our port side is next to a major walkway rather than the way it is between us and Narwhal. We can’t hear people who are down below on their boats talking at all. -Regarding the pizza, we’re smart enough to NOT cut the recipe in half. Our old crust recipe made enough dough for 2 pizzas. We like this one better. Three pizzas in three days, what’s not to like?


  2. Dani says:

    Love pizza with homemade crust.

    I am excited for you that you are leaving soon:) How fun it will be to start someplace new, meet new people etc.

    It’s even cooler that you can move your house! Looking forward to the rare and elusive, but undoubtedly hilarious post about sailing there.

    • sryoder says:

      I might even post more often over in the Sea. More to report on and, when I post via HF radio, since I can’t include photos anyway, I don’t have the pressure of having to illustrate each post. Less pressure may equal more, but shorter, posts. Maybe.


      • Dani says:

        I am typically not a fan of wordy blog posts(hangs head in shame over Engine Refit posts), but I like them if the author is engaging and interesting. There are few of these however

        You somehow are easy and enjoyable to read. Must be your well timed comic reliefs.

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