4/18/2013 – Hiding out at Ballandra

Looks like I’m a few days behind in letting you all know what’s up. And I also see that I forgot to change the message on my position report when I changed the report to our present position. AGAIN!!! Anyway, we’re currently anchored at Puerto Ballandra on Isla Carmen where we spent some time a few weeks ago. We came here from Puerto La Lancha on Carmen’s north side because of the predictions for high winds out of the N-NW starting about mid-week. We got here on Monday, found the anchorage emptier than expected and got ourselves a nice position at the north end of the bay where there were no other boats. There were 4 other boats here when we arrived with a couple more arriving after us, but they all chose to sit at the south end of the bay due to the, at the time, prevailing S-SW winds. Since then, several boats have come and gone and this morning we find ourselves in the company of only 2 other boats: s/v Iver, a Pearson Triton 28 who we’ve shared other anchorages with and a nice looking power boat that doesn’t look like the regulation trawler but rather more along the lines of the power yachts designed after New England lobster boats.

Yesterday we rowed over to officially meet Mary Ellen on Iver. She’s a single-hander who has apparently been doing this for a long time. We didn’t get a lot of details but we did find out, partly from her and partly from Don who has commented on this blog from time to time, that she has either completed or almost completed a circumnavigation at some time in her past. She has just recently published a book, presumably available from Amazon, about her adventures. It’s not yet available as a Kindle book so we haven’t gotten it yet. I don’t know the title but her name is Mary Ellen White if you want to check it out and, hopefully, buy a copy.

The wind is supposed to continue out of the north until Saturday when it will start to abate and then shift around to the south. By Sunday it’s supposed to be blowing 10-15 knots out of the SE. We’ll head back to Puerto Escondido sometime Saturday, probably. We could skip PE and just go straight to Candaleros and reprovision there but Pedro makes it so easy to do at PE and besides, we have to return the leather belt that Lulu turned into a guitar strap for Richard on s/v Trinity. We don’t plan to be in PE any longer than necessary. Hopefully we’ll get a spot in the waiting room and hopefully we won’t have an algae-grass harvest this time. In the meantime, we’ll sit here snugly at anchor. Today, Lulu is making her second batch of flour tortillas. That’s one of my staples that ran out but that can be made onboard. We’ve got enough beer, mineral water, and rum to get us through until we head back to Puerto Escondido but we’re out of all our fresh produce except for half an onion, half a head of cabbage, a few spuds and a couple of carrots. But we have lots of other stuff on board including half a Polish sausage, bacon, salami, cheese, coffee, GatorAde, granola and the makings for more, beans, rice, pasta and canned goods, as well as the makings for bread and tortillas. And, even more importantly, we have plenty of toilet paper left. Just thought you’d want to know.

Even down here where we’re off the internet, we get some news whether we seek it out or not. On the Sonrisa Net (SSB Radio) a few days ago, we learned about the Boston Marathon bombings. We then turned to our Sirius radio to fill in details. This morning on the Net I heard about the fertilizer factory explosion in Texas. Probably get some fill on that from Sirius later as well. Also got an e-mail from a friend a few days ago telling me about the death of one of my friends from high school. Totally unexpected, at least on my part. Not sure what this all has to do with anything other than to point out than life can definitely be too short sometimes. I’m not one of those cruisers who, having finally started cruising, preaches: “Life’s too short – drop everything and go now!” I know that’s not realistic for everyone. It wasn’t for us. However, if you’ve got a dream, do everything you can to fulfill it because you just never know what’s around the corner.


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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12 Responses to 4/18/2013 – Hiding out at Ballandra

  1. Jay says:

    Steve, I don’t know if you are aware of it, but you can get internet in Balandra if you anchor in a direct line from Loreto through the entrance to the Bay. You can line up the sign, the entrance and Loreto. We had great reception there a week or so ago!

    • sryoder says:

      I had okay reception there if I took my computer outside. But, since then, my banda ancha has expired and I don’t think I’ll renew it again until La Paz.

  2. Shelly says:

    We echo your sentiments, dear bearded friend. Let’s keep dreaming and fulfilling!

  3. Don says:

    Steve: Cool that Mary Ellen is there. I bought her book, “At Less Than Walking Speed” on Amazon and am half way through it. Remarkable woman. Do say “hi” to her from me. I will email her about your post (triangular communication!).

  4. Even Trinidad is wonderful place to visit which is the home country of our founding partners and Balandra is one of their favourite beaches!

  5. Joan/Raymond Yoder says:

    Good thing you checked in. I was about to send out one of those “have you seen?”. Love, Mom

  6. nobo says:

    Sirius radio for cruisers.

    Please expound it’s virtues. How about it’s music offerings. Anything other than inane mainstream or hoary old, way overplayed top 50s?

    And regarding reception, and radio/satellite modems? Any inexpensive,low draw devices available that would entice a barebones cruiser?

    Steve, anyone … please give your feedback.
    Should it be on a cruisers short list?

    • sryoder says:

      We enjoy our Sirius radio. There’s all kinds of music including, but certainly not limited to, the stuff you referred to. There are stations with music from whichever decade you like, starting in the 40s, there are acoustic only stations, there are eclectic stations, classic country as well as seldom-heard country, etc. We could easily get by w/o Sirius as our music collection is huge. However, we enjoy the NPR station although I miss a lot of my favorite NPR programs which seem to only be available in one of the premium packages. BBC news is good. I’d like it if there were a few more news stations other than the aforementioned as well as CNN, MSNBC, etc.

      I don’t know what the amp draw of the devices is but I think it’s fairly low. The Sirius radio we use has no amplifier. We run it through the boat’s stereo, a standard car stereo. Reception has been excellent so far.

      I’m not sure I’d put Sirius/XM radio on my short list as we go for weeks at a time w/o turning it on. But that’s partly because we have a lot of our own music, we mostly don’t care about the news unless something really big happens, and we download a lot of podcasts whenever we’re somewhere with an internet connection.

      Others may disagree.

  7. parrot17 says:

    Thanks, Don, for the title of the book. Amazon has her as Mary Ellen White (I guess someone must know why)
    Nobo: I have been using a Sirius/XM radio for years on the Sea of Cortez (but never below latitude 30). When he was in Penasco last year, Steve told me it worked all the way down to La Paz (can’t wait to see myself). Can’t help you with the power issue, except to say that you can actually plug in a set of earbuds to the receiver and by-pass the energy demands of an amp and stereo. Being a news junkie, I need this radio; and there is nothing like a gentle passage during an extra-innings Red Sox game!

    • sryoder says:

      Just got an e-mail from Mary Ellen letting me know that I had her name wrong. As parrot17 says, it’s actually Mary Ellen White on the book. I’ve corrected the blog.

  8. Tate says:

    “However, if you’ve got a dream, do everything you can to fulfill it because you just never know what’s around the corner.”

    Working on it. =)

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