2/3/2013 – Getting back into “cruising” mode

Seems like it’s been a long time since we’ve dropped the anchor instead of tying up at a marina.  And, in fact, it has been quite awhile.  Last time was when we first got to San Carlos last July 1st.  Since then we’ve had the boat hauled for 2+ months of dry storage while we visited friends and family in Oregon and Washington as well as taking a side trip to Tampa, Florida and the Florida Keys.  Then, back in Mexico, we spent 2 months working on the boat and then a month in Marina San Carlos waiting for a weather window that we deemed nice enough to make the “northern crossing” to Santa Rosalía.  We’ve now been here a little over a month, doing some repairs and taking care of our paperwork to make our continued stay in Mexico legal.  But now, it looks like we’re finally going to get going again.  We do still have to pick up our finished visas but they won’t be ready for 3-4 weeks.  We don’t plan to be too far away from here in a month’s time and will probably just take a bus or bum a ride back up here to pick up the finished paperwork when it’s ready.

Knowing we didn’t have much time left in Santa Rosalía, we felt that we owed it to ourselves to have a last meal at Rico’s.

Rico's Tacquería

Rico’s Tacquería

Lulu’s been pretty enamored of the tortas lately but I’m sticking with tacos.  Less wrap: more meat.  For our parting meal she had a carne asada torta and I had 2 carne asada tacos followed by 2 pastor tacos (see why I prefer tacos?).  It was all really good.  While we were sitting there eating, a homeless guy wrapped in a blanket hovered around on the sidewalk.  At one point he asked us for some tortillas, which we didn’t have.  He wandered away but I figured he hadn’t gone far.  When I ordered my second round of tacos, I asked them to make one for him as well and I’d pay for it.  They did, but when they went to give it to him he was gone.  One of the young ladies that works at Rico’s walked further down the block and finally located him. She came back, got the taco and delivered it.  When it came time to pay up, our waiter tallied up 4 tacos, 1 torta and 2 drinks.  I corrected him and said there were 5 tacos including the one that went to the homeless guy.  He insisted on only charging me for 4 tacos, would absolutely not let me pay for the charity one.  Needless to say, I left a larger than normal tip that night.

Last night we had a little BBQ get-together at the marina office.  Our neighbor, David, fired up the coals on the ancient used-to-be-propane BBQ and then everyone just tossed whatever meat they brought on the grill.  Lulu and I had hamburgers and they were pretty darn good if I do say so myself.  Lulu also made a big batch of potato salad to share.  Right now there are only 5 boats here with people on them and Siempre Sabado is the only one with more than one person aboard.  One of the liveaboards didn’t attend but some folks who have a trawler here but live in Punta Chivato happened to be here so they joined in.  It was a nice little group and the weather was mellow so it was very conducive to sitting around shooting the breeze while we picked our teeth.  Naturally, one of the subjects we talked about was food (big surprise there).

Everyone was talking about a place in town that made great rotisserie chicken on weekends and also great carnitas.  We had an idea where the carnitas place was but we had definitely not seen a chicken rotisserie in our explorations.  Turns out it was in the same restaurant as the carnitas, right across the street from the library.  Why do we always find out about much of the good stuff right before we plan to leave a place?

Our fridge is full right now but, nevertheless, we decided to check out the carnitas.  After all, we have to eat something for dinner tonight, right?  So, we headed to town this morning to get a few last minute items as well as maybe some carnitas para llevar (to go).

I love buying things by the kilo.  I think of the kilo in the same way that I think of the pound, as the smallest unit of measurement in that particular system.  Obviously, it’s not, but I still prefer ordering a kilo of something to ordering a half a kilo.  In my mind I’m seeing a pound but when I get my order it’s obviously so much more.  Two point two times as much as a matter of fact.  It’s a psychological thing and silly, but still…  So, we sauntered in to the outdoor cooking area of the restaurant (sorry I can’t remember the name) and asked for a kilo of carnitas para llevar.  The man behind the counter pulled a pork shoulder out of a huge stainless steel vat and started pulling the meat off the bone, shredding the meat in the process.  It was that tender and done.  He then piled a huge mound of it in a styro container and topped it off with about 10 corn tortillas.  Then he put it in a bag along with another container holding shredded cabbage, salsa mexicana, and some cucumber slices.  He added two containers of two different kinds of salsa.  Easily enough food to feed 4 people generously.  Cost? A whopping 230 pesos (~$18.40 USD).  Usually when they talk about something like a quarter pound burger, it’s a quarter pound before cooking.  This was 2.2 pound of meat after cooking or a little over 1/2 pound each if we were feeding 4 people.  And it looked SO good.

2.2 lbs of pure pork deliciosity!

2.2 lbs of pure pork deliciosity!

It was going to be tough to wait until dinner to try this stuff out.  But, as it turns out, we didn’t have to wait.  While I was putting my change in my wallet, the guy behind the counter handed us each a carnitas taco and directed us to the side table with the salsas and such.  We thanked him, left a generous tip, dressed the tacos and sat down to try them out.  Oh, sweet jeebus!  The pork was as tender as it could be and had just the right amount of crispy edges.  And he packed about as much meat as he could get onto those tortillas and still leave room to fold them more or less in half.  Oh, dinner’s going to be good tonight!  I made some beans a few nights ago and, after a dinner of beans and cornbread, we still have some beans left.  I think they’ll be a worthy side dish to our carnitas tortas (yeah, we also have some hamburger buns left).

Over the last few days we’ve been laying in whatever supplies we think we’ll need.  Since there are small stores along the way, we don’t go overboard on this anymore.  But there are some things that can’t always be found in the small stores and a few things that Santa Rosalía has been especially good at providing.  One of the things that Santa Rosalía excels in is cheese.  Granted, it’s gringo cheese, but that’s the kind you can’t get very many places.  And while I’ve learned to love Mexican cheeses, sometimes a guy just needs some cheddar or pepper jack.  In Santa Rosalía you can get both varieties as well as regular Monterey Jack in small 1 lb. packages, the 2 lb. packages we used to buy in the States, or even in 5 lb. loaves.  It’s spendy but what else do we have to spend our money on?  We laid in a 2-lb. block of cheddar and a 2-lb. block of pepper jack (both Kirkland). We also got a couple of pineapples that aren’t quite ripe yet as well as a couple of cantaloupes and 5 mangos that also aren’t quite ripe yet.  Fresh produce is the first thing we run out of and it’s not always easy to find.  We got some cabbage, potatoes, carrots, and onions but not too many as they are usually available almost everywhere.  I laid in a really good supply of good coffee (Blasón Espresso blend).  You can often find roasted coffee beans even in the smallest tiendas, and it’s pretty good coffee. But the Blasón Espresso is really good coffee.  Discovered it in Mazatlán and could get it sporadically in Guaymas.  I was completely blown away when I saw it at the government-subsidized ISSTE store here in Santa Rosalía.  And they have had it every time we’ve stopped in and lately, they’ve had a ton of it.  Needless to say, I stocked up.  Nothing like a great cup of joe in the morning at anchor in some little cove.  We now have fourteen 400 gram (14 oz.) bags on board as well as a couple bags of an espresso from Chiapas.

The reason I know exactly how much coffee is on board is because, while we’ve been here, we’ve instituted an inventory program that actually seems to work.  I pulled everything from every food locker and then did a written inventory of what’s in each locker as I put everything away.  These inventories were done on spiral notebooks with a separate notebook for each of our three food lockers.  The notebook is then kept in the appropriate locker.  Anytime anything is added or taken from the locker, the inventory is adjusted accordingly.  We’ve been doing this for almost a month and so far we’re keeping right up with it and it’s working out great.

Just finished topping off the water tank.  The fuel tank and extra jerry jugs are full, the transmission and prop shaft have been aligned, we have all our supplies laid in and the wind is supposed to be light and variable with smooth seas tomorrow.  So, we are set to go.  Our first stop will be at the southern end of Isla San Marcos, about 21 nautical miles from here.  Should take us about 5 hours to make the trip.  Not sure how cell coverage will be once we leave here but I doubt it’ll be very good.  So, blog entries may be text-only and uploaded from our single sideband (SSB) radio for the next little while.  This also means that I won’t be responding to your comments right away as I won’t even see them until we’re in cell phone or wifi range again.  But don’t let that keep you from commenting.  We love getting comments.

We’ve really enjoyed our stay here in Santa Rosalía but we are past ready to get going.

Once we’re underway, I’ll start posting position reports again so you’ll be able to see our location by clicking on one of the “Where in the world are we?” links on the right hand side of the page.

Que lo vaya bién.




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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11 Responses to 2/3/2013 – Getting back into “cruising” mode

  1. Tate says:

    Take some photos out there Steve. Glad to see you guys getting back into cruiser mode.

  2. vic says:

    Im jealous : >

  3. shabbysailor says:

    Before you run off, just a quick note to tell you (again) great blog! Just the right mix of humor, horror – damned engines! – and tour guide. We’ll be out there in 11 months, just as soon as Uncle Sam spits me out, so save some tacos!

    W32 #427

  4. I am with Lulu. I love a taco but nothing is better than a really good torta- especially when the interior of the bun is just ever so slightly toasted and they load it up with carnitas. YUM!
    Looking forward to you two being on the move again!

  5. Joan/Raymond Yoder says:

    Have a good trip kids, and keep us informed. Love, Mom

  6. Anca says:

    We’ve been following your adventures in SR and eating vicariously at Rico’s right along with you. It’s a good thing you’re leaving, though. Now the locals can start having access to coffee and carnitas again!
    Adios Palapa of Knowledge! Hola Sea of Cortez!
    Have a great cruise, guys…….
    Anca (with Ava by my side and Glenn too)

    • sryoder says:

      Hey, good to hear from you. Thanks again for turning us on to Rico’s. It’s funny… pretty much everyone here at the marina knows about Rico’s but they don’t seem to realize that it has a name. We mention Rico’s and they say “where?”. We explain and they say “Oh! you mean the pastor place!”

      Hey Ava, como estas?

  7. Jay says:

    I don’t know if it will be different in Santa Rosalia, but here in La Paz my attorney said that the new visa apps. he submitted on the first of Dec. have not been approved yet. It seems they are swamped with paperwork in Mexico City now, since it all goes there for approval before the new card is issued. What ever happened to “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

    • sryoder says:

      Well, we’ll hope it doesn’t take that long up here. I guess we could stop in Santa Rosalia on our bus ride back to the US in July and pick up our visas then. I’ve also heard about some long delays.

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