3/31/2012 – Time to shift gears (and gear)

We’re still on track to head out tomorrow. We’re getting pretty excited. This will be a much bigger change than when we came to Mazatlán from La Paz last December. This time we’re not just heading to another big city marina. Or even a big city for that matter. For the next 2 months we’ll be anchoring on our way north to Puerto Peñasco. That means it’s time to stow the mooring lines, the shore power cord, the water hose, the potable water filters, etc. Time to break out the anchor, the dinghy, the oars and outboard, the Honda generator and the solar shower. Time to aim the solar panels at the sun and only use lights when we need them. Time to keep an eye on the battery monitor and run the watermaker every couple of days. Time to turn the computer on only when there’s a reason to and to shut it off immediately afterwards.

We’ll no longer be able to take the internet for granted. There are few spots in Baja north of La Paz where our banda ancha card will work so we’ll probably not renew it until July when we’re in Guaymas. That means we break out the long range wifi antenna and hope to find unsecured wifi occasionally. No longer will we be able to while away a couple hours every morning catching up on blogs, e-mail, and favorite websites. When we do get to banda ancha country again, we’ll have a LOT of catching up to do. Won’t have to worry about getting the perfect photos for my blog posts since most of the postings will be done via the SSB radio where photos are verboten because of the (literally) hours it would take to upload even one picture.

Since a lot of our correspondence will be via the SSB radio and Sailmail, we also won’t see your comments on the blogs. But please keep commenting anyway as we’ll see them eventually and getting comments is one of the best parts of writing a blog. It lets me know that someone out there is reading my stuff and even enjoying it. We also won’t see any e-mail sent to our normal e-mail address, at least not until we reach a wifi hotspot. We can receive e-mail at our Sailmail account but we keep that address pretty private as it would be too easy for someone to accidentally screw up and send us a long-winded e-mail with a coupe of attachments which would just bring our Sailmail account to a grinding halt. And since we use Sailmail to receive weather reports, we need it to NOT come to a grinding halt. So don’t be insulted if we don’t give you the address.

While a lot of this stuff sounds like kind of a hardship, we are really looking forward to slipping back into island life. The pace is slower (as if we were racing around now), and things are just a bit simpler. We’re looking forward to looking over the side of the boat and being able to see the bottom in 20′ of water. That’s something that’s just not possible here in Mazatlán. When we look over the side here at La Isla, we see the surface of the water with a nice sheen of spilled diesel on it as well as the occasional floating fish carcass and lots of plastic bags, cups, and soft drink bottles. Pretty yucky. In the islands, our uniform of the day is a swimming suit, all day every day. And, unless you happen to be somewhere with a tienda, there’s no reason to carry anything in your pockets. We expect to gets lots more reading done, although we already do pretty well on that front. Lulu will also probably finish about a thousand friendship bracelets in the next 2 months.

I ran the engine for awhile today. No leaks. Filled the water tank and the solar shower, got the decks squared away, and bought some last minute produce. The frutería on Avenida La Marina will be one thing we’ll really miss when we leave Mazatlán. Today we bought:
6 potatoes
2 pieces of ginger root
4 white onions
5 mangos
8 fat carrots
1 head of cabbage
3 poblano chiles
3 pineapples in varying stages of ripeness


And here’s why we’ll miss the place: this haul cost us $74 pesos ($5.92 US). We felt like we had robbed the guy. This variety and quality of fruits and vegetables, especially at these prices, is simply not available for the most part as we wend our way up the Baja. But that’s OK. Can’t have everything.

I plotted out our course today. We’re sailing from here to Isla San Francisco. The rhumb line distance is 254 nautical miles. If the winds require us to sail a course other than the rhumb line (a pretty good bet), we may cover half again that many miles before we get there. So, at the absolute shortest, our trip will take 2-1/2 days. In reality, it’ll probably take us 4-5 days. At least that’s my guess. We’ll try to keep our position updated daily so click on the “Where in the world are we?” links on the right hand side of the page to find us. We’re leaving room for adjustment. If we’re plumb tuckered out by the time we spot land to the west, we can alter course and rest up for a couple days at Playa Bonanza on the SE side of Isla Espiritu Santo. On the other hand, if we get to Isla San Francisco and the San Jose channel looks good and the time of day is right, we may just scoot over to San Evaristo without stopping at Isla San Francisco. Who knows?

My next entry will probably be tomorrow afternoon or evening, after we’ve been out long enough to get a feel for how things are going.

As always: Not hearing from us when you expect to is NOT a cause for alarm. There are all kinds of reasons why we may not make contact: batteries too low to use the SSB, unable to get a good signal on the SSB, too rough to be able to sit below and type on the computer, forgot, etc. We’re fine.

10-4, over and out.


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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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7 Responses to 3/31/2012 – Time to shift gears (and gear)

  1. Hope you have outstandingly perfect weather for your passage. Enjoy your time away from it all. I look forward to hearing about your adventures on thehook.

  2. Joan/Raymond Yoder says:

    Okay, you know that Dad and I wish you the very best on this next leg of your trip. I promise not to worry too much and will not worry for at least a couple days, ha. Love, Mom

  3. sailmama says:

    We will be watching your progress and know you will have a great trip! And, if you need any “help” out there, you let us know…we’ll send the Mexican Navy ASAP!! (Just kidding…but we could always come out and tow you in if anything goes wrong.)…love you guys, and sorry but understand totally why you are not coming all the way down into La Paz. Enjoy the peace…the malecon has been unbelievably noisy lately, and oh yeah. yesterday and today were finally HOT with on/off breezes today from the south/southeast – very weird but should make for great sailing for you, we think!

    • sryoder says:

      Semana Santa starts tomorrow. Basically spring break for all the Mexican kids. Stand by for heavy rolls! Things are beginning to get busy and noisy here in Mazatln. Getting out at just the right time. And it’s starting to heat up here as well. The Canadian snowbirds are all heading home and complaining about the heat. See you guys along the way. Hopefully we won’t need a tow. But nice to know it’s there if we need it.

      -Steve & Lulu

  4. MWhite:LittleCunningPlan says:

    Fair winds! Read a few books for us, and enjoy that beautiful weather and water. I know you will. We’ll catch up with you one of these days.

  5. Tate says:

    Can’t wait for the sailmail reports.

  6. Dani says:

    Woohoo!! Tate weather dance worked. I made fun of him in the different silly positions, but lo and behold you guys are on your way.

    I bet it’ll be nice to see some clear water:)
    Dani

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