Tuesday, December 10, 2013

December 10, 2013 - Anchorage, Alaska.

 I had intended to post this before leaving La Paz but ran into technical problems.  First while I was trying to load up the video of the mobulas, Earl helpfully sabotaged me by unplugging the modem.  Then when I did finally get the video loaded, I found I could not open it on line.  Nuts!  I will get one of my techno kids to work on it and may get it posted later.  So instead of posting this from sunny La Paz, it comes from icy Anchorage where the sun will rise after 10 and set well before 4. Nevertheless, we are in holiday mode and off to get a tree.  Merry Christmas to everyone!

December 7, 2013 – Marina Costa Baja
Today we leave for Anchorage, ice, snow and family.  While I could happily skip the ice, I am looking forward to the rest and to celebrating Christmas with 4 of our sons.  Stuart, his wife, daughter and her friend will be joining us.  What a treat to have them in Alaska again after 10 plus years.

Of course, since Earl is involved, we are ready to go 90 minutes before our ride will come to get us.  So I have plenty of time to bring this up to date before we leave for Cabo, Seattle and ultimately Anchorage.

As if to make up for the weather we enjoyed during Jon and Becky’s visit, our visit with Richard and Britt was not been blessed by the gods.  They arrived as scheduled, around 9 on Saturday night, and we went up to Azul for dinner.  The next morning we took off early to show them the islands.  The weather report indicated that we would have a day of bad weather on Monday, but we hoped to get as far as San Francisco before it hit.  We started off to check out the whale sharks, but quickly found that the seas were lumpy and headed off to Bahia San Gabriel to anchor up for the day.  After naps, Earl took them for a tour of the frigate bird rookery, we swam and all enjoyed the sunset.   

Unsettled seas

After a peaceful night, we headed north and got as far as Ensenada Grande.  It was cool and windy, and as evening approached we moved to a more secure anchorage at Caleta Partida.  And a wise move it was.  It howled!

We will need a new flag - the wind killed this one

Tuesday it was still blowing and, much more serious, Britt was very much under the weather and in bed.  We headed back to the marina.
Captain Rick
The next day, while Britt was feeling better, she was nowhere nearly 100% so we took it easy.  While Earl did some boat work related to the water pump, Richard and I took a quick tour of town.

Finally Thursday, Thanksgiving, weather and health improved we took off for an overnight on the islands.  We ran up the east side of the Espiritu Santo and Isla Partida.  Earl caught a lovely dorado and had the chance to test the tequila method.  We were prepared with a squeeze bottle full of cheap tequila.  Earl squirted it into the fish’s mouth and, sure enough, out he went.  No blood splattered back deck.  Now that we have mastered the technique, this is definitely a trick we will be using in the future. 

Tequila delivery system

Giving the dorado the micky!

We stopped at Los Islotes to see the sea lions.  We found it full of other boats and many people swimming with the sea lions.  None of us was brave enough to try, but we heard later from our friends on Paradise Found that it was wonderful.  Not only were the seals very playful, but the variety and number of fish was the best they had seen in the Sea of Cortez. 


Britt and Richard

Sightseers at Islotas
We split our fish with Paradise Found.  Thanksgiving dinner was grilled dorado and steak.  Pretty good! 

That night, Earl was up and wander as usual and was treated to a mobula ballet in our blue lights.  He woke me and we enjoyed a very special display.  We made a video, and Peter on the Solana cut it down so that I can post it here.

But then, it was Friday and time to go back to the Marina.  We had just enough time to take Britt and Richard for a quick trip around time and have a farewell dinner with them before they took the 8 am shuttle to Cabo for a long day’s trip to San Miguel.  

The weather has continued unsettled and we have stayed at the dock. Earl finds many tasks.  He fixed our head.  It was not broken, but had never worked as well as the forward head.  He dug out the instructions and determined that we needed more water in the bowl that in turn required changes to the discharge hose.  A complicated (and not particularly pleasant) task, but what a difference! 

While at the dock, we had the chance to visit with other boaters.  We enjoyed a fun evening with Peter and Mary Rose (Solana) and Jay and Lisa on Paradise Found.  Sarah and Darrel on Tiburon are tied down the dock from us.  We first met them in 2009 on our way south in Monterey.  Great to see them and their lovely dog Sparky.  And last night was another fun night with David and Sharon on Cipango across from us.  There are some wonderful people that we have met while cruising.

While Earl was busy with the boat jobs, I loaded up on ‘princess’ dresses for little girls and pottery for me.  Now they are all stowed and ready for our trip.  And in another hour, it will be time to go.