Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ready to leave La Paz

After over 2 weeks in La Paz, we are restocked with food and the maintenance chores are complete. We're ready to untie the docklines and head to new to us ports and anchorages on the mainland side of Mexico. We're excited!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

We are currently in La Paz waiting for weather to improve before we continue our journey.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Santa Rosalia to California 10/25-11/06/08

11/06/08 - We managed to sleep some through the night
which surprised us.The morning was getting light by
the time we approached Ensenada and it was
a beautiful day as we passed through the coastal
communities south of Tijuana. I've never been to
Tijuana. The outskirts are dirty, trash just
thrown off the sides of roads and piling up.
Building codes seem non existent.

By 9am we were pulling in to the main bus terminal,
recoveringour baggage and wondering how to find the
Greyhound facility. A lady with a clipboard was
standing by and directed us just a few hundred feet
away tothe Greyhound/Cruceros ticket office. I asked
for the next bus to Visaliaand was told cinco minutos.
Geez; we were on the next bus without time for
a pit stop. This bus was not as luxuriously appointed,
but clean.

At the border we got off the bus with all our baggage
and went through US Customs.Welcome home. We walked
across and down to the right to the US Greyhound
terminal in San Ysidro and there was our bus waiting
for us. David tossedour bags in the luggage compartment
and we found a seat. I quickly used thefacilities,
hopefully before the bus got underway, but the driver
was too quick.

We bounced around a few corners on our way out of town,
but at least the light worked. We stopped in San Diego,
Oceanside, changed busses in Los Angeles and got a bite
to eat, stopped in Hollywood, then North Hollywood
where two memorable fruitcakes, as David calls them,
joined us, one with faux leopard attire and a Tinkerbelle
wand completing the outfit, San Fernando Valley, Bakersfield
and then Visalia. Incredibly, our rear ends
weren't sore and the bus arrived only 15 minutes behind
schedule after 24 hours. All in all, a better experience
than we expected.

Mom, Dad and my brother and his wife were waiting to
pick us up. I steered David away from any hugs, due to
his contagion, and we headedto a local Chinese restaurant.
It was great to be home even if David did have
to report for jury duty on Monday.

11/05/08 - This morning, first thing, we finish our packing,
trying to pack light, knowing we'll be carrying back more
than we're taking with us. I doa last flurry of emails and
internet and walk downtown to the farmacia to
purchase some cough syrup for David. Anything left in the
fridge we give to Roger on Hipnautical.

We walked over to the bus station to purchase our
tickets ahead of time and to confirm the time the bus leaves.
The ticketsays 6:30pm but the counter personnel indicate it
will be 7pm, mas o menos. We finish stuffing the interior of
Juniata with sails, fuel cans, solar panels, etc. We don't
want to leave anything on deck if possible. We take
our last Santa Rosalia cold shower. David checks the dock
lines and locksexterior lockers while I scramble our last
eggs for an early dinner. We eat quickly, clean up the mess,
unhook the power cord, toss our bags on the dock
and lock up our floating home for our absence.

We've been warned that theMexican busses run their air
conditioningat a temperature to hang meat. Wedress in jeans,
warm socks, long sleeve shirts and our winter jackets.

We're plenty warmed up by the time we lug our bags over to
the bus stationwhich is just next door to the marina and very
convenient. Shortly after7 pm our luxury bus arrives and
we're assigned a seat. The seats are very comfortable and a
movie is playing on the overhead screens. It's dark out
and we climb aboard wondering what is in store for us on
the road to Tijuana.

Many of the riders on the bus already have the curtains drawn
and they areby all appearances asleep. We watch the lights
of town pass by as the bus leaves Santa Rosalia. Once out
of town there is really nothing to see, it'sdark out there.
The bus twists and turns up a hill outside of town.

I have the window seat and can feel the chilly air conditioned
air blowing up the wall. I wrap my jacket around my legs and
across my feet and we both try to sleep. We're awakened often
as the bus slows through towns, hopping overspeed bumps. Some
times the bus stops, we have no clue where. Nothing is
announced. The two lane highway goes up and down hills,
curves and switch back turns. The bus has two drivers that
rotate. There are 3 military stops where camouflaged personnel
come aboard with their guns and walk upand down the aisle.
The luggage doors are opened and the baggage receives
some sort of inspection.

Then the bus is permitted to proceed. At the fourth military
stop, we werewaved through. We'd brought water bottles for
thirst and to wash down our snacks. David made the first trip
to therestroom in the rear and returned to announce
there is no interior light. I brought a small flashlight,
but the battery was weak.

We started waterrationing and sip water as little as possible.
I hold outas long as I can. At one stop I eventually brave the
facilities with my flashlightin hand. Even with the mini mag
light, it was a real challenge. I didn't want to touch anything
or break a tooth because I had a vice grip hold on my light
in my mouth so both hands were free.

And thank goodness the bus wasn't moving. I have no idea
how David did his potty stop in complete darkness. When the
4-P.A.C.K. crew took their bus ride up to Tijuana,
their bus ran into a cow. We had no such excitement. And no,
there weren't any chickens on the bus either. David coughed
into a handkerchief every mile of the ride
along with at least a dozen more riders doing the same without a
handkerchief. We laced our water rations with Airborne.

11/04/08 - David is definitely feeling sick. Thankfully
I am not, yet. Welay low today, just attending to packing
chores, checking our "to do" lists
and commence a strategic move of items from the outside decks
into theinterior. We're careful not to cover up lockers that
contain items we maystill need to pack. We eat up leftovers.

11/03/08 - David wakes up coughing this morning and I wake up
with aheadache. We're told that the bus station in Tijuana
may not take credit cards and that precipitates another trip
to the bank for more pesos. It's another 35 minute wait in
line. Mondays are no less busy that Fridays. I stop in a
couple stores to pick up packable snacks for our bus trip on

Checking at the bus station, the ride to Tijuana is 14
hours andleaves around 6:30pm. My internet browsing of the
Greyhound web site indicates we can have an arrival in
Visalia by 6:30pm on Thursday, if all goes as planned.
We spend part of the afternoon taking naps and the rest of
the time setting things aside that need to be packed.

11/1/08 - It's windy again today. David wakes up feeling
suspicious that hemay be getting sick. I have set my sights
on purging old emails, doing computer updates and writing
emails. David sets off with a list of 16 small
items that he hopes to purchase downtown. Whatever he can't
find locallywe'll add to our quickly lengthening list of
things to buy while we're in California.

With the language barrier a severe handicap but David's skill
in creative sign language a force to be reckoned with, he has
crossed off 5of the 16 items. We boycott the fiesta tonight
and have soup for dinner and borrow 2 DVD's for our evening
entertainment. The music in the plaza went
till 5am. The fiesta is in full swing.

11/02/08 - Today we hose down the spinnaker and gennaker and
let them drybefore restuffing them in their bags. David sets
up barber shop today and we give each other haircuts and Chuck
and Linda also line up for David'scutting skills. Since
this is Chuck and Linda's second trip to David's
barbershop, they were more comfortable and went with shorter
cuts. Theyboth looked fabulous. We headed for the showers,
still no hot water, andmade plans to head to town for the last
night of the anniversary fiesta.

We enjoyed dinner downtown, tacos pastor, and then took a
seat to watch this evening's entertainment. The royal court
was once again put through their paces and then a procession
of local entertainment took their turns at the
microphone. Clearly, the entertainment budget was all blown
on the first two nights of the fiesta. If you can't sing on
key, then louder must be better. The sound technicians had
all controls on max output it seemed. We tired of this quickly
and sought refuge inside the walls of the Thrifty Ice
Cream shop. I'm hooked on their pineapple and coconut ice
cream. We walkedback to the boat, thankful to leave tonight's
music behind.

10/31/08 - It's Halloween today and we hung up our pumpkin
windsock. Duringmy walks downtown I thought I would see more
Dia de los Muertos items, butthe focus in Santa Rosalia was
their 120 year town anniversary and the accompanying fiesta.
Today we scrub the interior of the boat and wash our
interior throw rugs. They dry quickly in today's windy
conditions. I alsomade a trip to the bank today to
exchange some US dollars into pesos. Not a very good idea,
it's Friday. It must be payday and the town's business
people had their bank bags full of money to deposit.

As I waited in line for 35 minutes I was curiously stumped
by the processionof paper that went back and forth
between teller and depositor, each pass of
paper receiving signatures and a requisite thump of a stamp,
over and over.How many pieces of paper can it take? With a
pocket full of pesos to pay forour bus tickets, I get back to
Juniata and we finally have our pot of chili for

Then we set off to the town plaza this evening to see what's
happening. The downtown streets are full of people and the
plaza has a hugestage set to house the royal court and a
second large stage for the variousbands that will be playing.
Being "gringo" and "cruisers", we are under dressed.
David has no cowboy hat and boots to wear and I don't own a
pair of spiked heels and my pants aren't tight enough.
Seriously, this is acelebration supported by the entire
community and they honor it by dressing well. White plastic
chairs cover the plaza area and the streets lining the
plaza are displaying booths on both sides of the streets.

The booths are occupied by various food vendors and by
businesses that operate in the area,largely mining concerns
and some crafts. We are given a bag of salt from the Guerrero
Negro Salt mine and are told it is the largest operation in "el
todo mundo". At least we think that's what we were told.
We stake out aspot in the plaza by occupying two of the
plastic chairs that are neatly lined up in carefully spaced
rows. As the evening progresses and a band blasts music from
the speakers during their warm up, we watch the Santa
Rosalia version of musical chairs.

Over the course of an hour the neatly and evenly spaced rows
of chairs were moved beyond all recognition. By the time we
gave up on the music ever beginning to start officially, our
two chairs must have been the only chairs still in their
original positions. After the crowning of the queen and her
court, we called it anight. The dresses were beautiful, but
how could they breathe in dresses that tight
and walk in heels that tall? We are old fuddy duds for sure.

10/30/08 - It's another early morning for us as we leave the
dock again so Ican run the Sonrisa ham net. This time David
has borrowed Chuck's squid lure. Maybe we'll get lucky and
pull in a squid for dinner. No squid, just a black skipjack
that David let go. A fin whale passed close to our port
stern which was a thrill. Safely returned to our slip in
the marina, Daviddecides to go up the mast to remove the
wind instrument and the windex.

Boats that sit in the marina any length of time sport broken
instruments onthe tops of their masts as a result of the
resident cormorants that take up residence. It seemed a
good idea to remove our expensive mast top toys and
cover the mast tri-color light with an old sock. David took
the hose upwith him and washed the rigging and mast from
top to bottom.

He had already hosed off a significant amount of dirt from
the rigging byspraying skywardfrom deck level. However,
the gutters were running with yucky,sedimentladen water with
this up close and personal high pressure hose down.
Next we took off the headsails, hose them off on the dock,
let them dry andfolded them for storage. We were invited
to a Dorado dinner aboardMasquerade. Our pot of chili will
age one more day in our fridge.

10/29/08 - We're up and at 'em early this morning. It's a
beautifulmorning, flat and clear. We start up Juniata and
escape the aluminum jungleand dock transformers so I can run
the Amigo Net this morning. David isquite happy to toss a
fishing line overboard while the net is in progress.
Tucked back in our slip, I made a pot of chili today with
some of ourfreezer meat and a batch of pico de gallo. David
and I continued with"assorted get the boat ready to leave
tasks" and then enjoyed a cold cervezain our cockpit
while we scooped up pico de gallowith tortilla chips.

Roger, left to bachelor-it on Hipnautical while Bobbi Jo
and Robin returnedto the states, joined us. We never got to
our freshly made pot of chili, wejoined Chuck and Linda from
Jacaranda, and John and Sandy from Masquerade,
for a Chuyitas bacon wrapped hot dog dinner.

10/28/08 - First thing this morning we returned our borrowed
video libraryand waved goodbye to the crew of 4-P.A.C.K. as
they continued their journey south. We moved Juniata over to
4-P.A.C.K.'s vacated slip. This new sliphas its dock
anchored by steel pilings fore and aft. The other slips
simplyattach to the main dock with no pilings. We wanted
to leave Juniata on this more secure dock while we were gone.
Next on David's list is changing the
oil, so I headed to town for an errand run.

I was tracked down by a Mexican gentleman that insisted my
husband was lookingfor me. He indicated my husband was tall
and that he needed me. I was from the marina, Si? Well,most
all gringos in Santa Rosalia are from the marina.

I was suspicious,but he was out of breath from chasing around
town looking forthe lady thatwas needed by her tall husband
and he seemed very sincere and concerned. So, I walked back
to the boat to find David still immersed in the changing
of the oil and he most certainly did not need me. I was ever
so thankful to once again be gone. My concerned and friendly
Mexican once again crossed paths with me and I assured him it
must be someone else's husband and thanked him for his concern.

During the afternoon Jacaranda, Swamp Angel,a Krogen, a
Hallberg Rassy 42 and one cute Compac trailerable sailboat
arrived. That's a significant increase to the aluminum jungle
of masts tofoul up radio reception. There are rain showers
over the mountains this afternoon. Tonight we watch and
chuckle over City Slickers courtesy of the marina's meager
library selections.

10/27/08 - We tried to listen to the morning radio nets, but
we're in a forest of masts and electrical noise and hear mostly
fizzing and crackling noises with an occasional squeal.
I stick with computer tasks today, making trips up to the
office to check the internet and recharge. David begins the
process of taking apart many of the exterior deck items so
we can store thembelow for safety while we're gone.

We'd been told about another hot dog stand and go in search
of it this evening. It remained invisible to us,possibly not
operating tonight, and we try the tacospastor at Mr. Danny's
instead. It was a delicious alternative. Tonight's movie
entertainment,courtesy of the 4-P.A.C.K. kids, Casey and
Patrick, are Indiana Jones andthe Last Crusade and the Big
Auto Plant. We briefly watched some of School House Rock's
Top Ten. You can probably recall some of their catchy tunes -
which I will not even mention as they tend to stay with you
and you can't get them out of your head. They tend to replay
through your mind on a
continuous loop, unbidden.

0/26/08 - John and Sandy, Masquerade, parked next to us this
morning, just arrived during the night from their trip down
from San Francisquito. David commandeered the hose to wash
the jib and the shrouds while I purged limp and questionable
vegetables from the refrigerator's bowels. When it was my
turn for the hose I put it to good use.

It had been suggested to me to use a hose with a spray nozzle
to defrost the cold plate. An option never available to us
while at anchor, but here in the marina? You bet! I blast
away with zeal to the stubborn, tenacious ice build up.

I got a facial andthe cold plate got naked. I didn't have
to conserve water or repeatedly fill up cups to pour over
the plate. The hose reached areas that haven't
been defrosted since June when the system was shut down.
After lunch I focused on computer duties with trepidation.
The news on the dock was that4-P.A.C.K.'s resident computer
whiz kid's hard drives had crashed from a power surge on
the dock. Casey was totally bummed over the loss of his
super duper mach drives. I decided not to use any on board
power to run thelaptop, just in case. I am no whiz kid.

David took possession of the hoseand scrubbed and
disassembled the dinghy. Then David hit the jackpot. While
canvassing the docked vessels for VHS tapes to provide our
evening entertainment, 4-P.A.C.K. was a Blockbuster Video
find.We had many tochoose from - Captain Kid, Jungle Book,
Caves, Baby CPR, assorted comic bookvideos, Indiana Jones,
School House Rock and more. You get the idea, they
have 2 kids on board. We kept our eyes open through the
first three on the

10/25/08 - Our arrival in Santa Rosalia started a focused
course ofactivity. David's highest priority was a thorough
cleansing of Juniata. My priority was to stay out of his way,
accomplished by hauling 3 loads of laundry up to the marina's
laundry facility. While the accumulated Baja dust rained off
Juniata in muddy rivulets of water, our equally dirty laundry
swished and then tumbled in the laundromat's machines.

By afternoon we attempted a nap, but our minds coursed with
thoughts of things we should be doing. We took a cold shower
(the marina doesn't seem to be heating the water yet) and
then joined Rick and Sherrie, off Tigger, for a meal of
Chuyitas bacon wrapped hotdogs. Our mouths watered just
thinking about them.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year 2009!

We are having a wonderful time in Mexico! Wish you were here.