Anchorage gone wild

The Captain has done a huge amount of sailing and we are getting closer to Muertos and finishing up our crossing. We would be there by dark and I tried hard to do my part, but it only works, when the wind is not changing much. I never do the sails by myself and he also tries to have me help, especially taking the main down. I am still confused how to read the wind for example and feel I should know so much more after the past months.

On the other hand, it was good, that I created a different interest within the sailing, writing into my journal, taking photos and filming and combining all of that into the blog. It will be a nice memory for all of us and was especially great for family and friends interested in following our adventure. It kept me sane. There were just so many impressions, all the time, every day, that it will take a long time to process all of it. This way, there were always times in between to process at least some of it.

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Shortly after the Mahi Mahi experience, a school of dolphins were chasing through the water. Our bodies were tired, but the fishing excitement and sea life around us, was refreshing.

Your senses come to a weird stage and you start seeing things, which turn out to be just water movements.

When we were close to Muertos and a beautiful sunset was ahead of us, it all off a sudden got hectic on the boat. I could not quite grasp what was going on, the moment was magical and we had almost finished our crossing. I was in a happy place taking photos. I still don’t know, if that was the problem, or if it was the lack of sleep, sailing conditions or expectations not met.

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The Captain lost his cool and we had a fight. We later had a conversation that there were just more things to be prepared this time and the Captain did not want to throttle back to make it before dark.

It was still a real bummer to have such an ending.

He anchored by himself, I just stood by in case he changed his mind and wanted my help. The anchorage was crowded for the first time with approx. 12 boats. He threw the anchor and Captain, Mats and Noah took the dinghy to shore. I needed some time to myself and went to bed and was in my thoughts before exhaustion took over and I drifted into sleep. The guys came back a couple hours later and went to bed too.

At 1:45am we woke up from howling wind. The Captain looked outside, then turned the light on and said with serious tone: “Emergency”! I jumped out of bed and ran up. I saw the boat next to us WAY TOO CLOSE! I tried to figure out in a moment of shock, if he was dragging, or us, or what was happening?

Nothing changed fast, so we could collect our thoughts and just watch the surrounding. We put on more clothes, the wind was freezing cold, blowing sideways through the anchorage, Northwest, towards the rocks next to us. We were in between a mooring ball and an anchored boat, which was Isabella, who later became our good friends! Still sorry guys, totally our fault for anchoring so close.

We had been in Muertos many times before and had never experienced such a wind. I believe the Captain even checked the weather while ashore, but that wasn’t in the forecast. We also just came from the mainland, where the wind is way more predictable and usually calm at night. That just as side note. There were gusts now over 30mph!

We stood by the anchor and ran through different scenarios and solutions; the key was ready in the ignition switch. We watched all boats around us and lots of owners checked out their equipment and surrounding like us. Due to the heavy winds, the chain of each boat had fully expanded, so boats who were further away by the time we anchored, were now suddenly closer. We were not able to just let out more chain, as there was this mooring ball we could have dragged onto. The Captain looked at Isabella and told me, that is a great boat, they will have a huge anchor, we don’t need to worry about them. So, we stood there for about 2 hours and since nothing changed, the Captain send me back to bed. I was so cold, that I just laid there a bit nervous, listening to the howling wind, trying to warm up. The little man was next to me sound asleep, good not to have worries and full trust in your parents. J

The Captain stayed in the cockpit in a sleeping bag and by sunrise, the wind finally mellowed down a little. Most boats, also Isabella, left the anchorage.

When we became friends to Shane and Julie from Arizona later, we talked about our crazy anchor experience and their mouths popped open in disbelieve and they were like “Wow, it was you being so close to us?”

Ayayayayay! We learned a lesson!

That night was not what we hoped for, after the crossing. We were very tired, when Mats woke up in the morning.

Crossing Sea de Cortez… again!

After those two nights in the Isla Isabel anchorage, we got up early to get going to continue our approx. 270 Mile crossing. We had a little scare when we found out, that the anchor chain had wrapped around a rock. But the Captain did a good job telling me which way to steer and we managed to unwrap the chain while driving it back around the rock. Lots of boats in the area had lost their anchors around Isla Isabel, so we got lucky this time!

Off we went into the sunrise.

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We felt well rested and the first day went by mellow, we switched shifts and saw turtles, dolphins and I even saw a shark! Sometimes we saw a bird sitting on a turtle back, as you sea in the featured image. Turtle back often looked like logs floating in the water. The first part of the night I did a 4h shift and had to motor. Mats woke up a lot and I managed to calm him so he fell back asleep. The last time, he did not want to sleep without me anymore, wind had also come up, so I woke the Captain. We pulled up the sails and he sailed us through the rest of the night and I had a good 5-hour sleep with Mats.

It was Easter now and I cooked some eggs and later colored them with Mats. Not ignoring holidays on a boat, even though everything seems so far away, seems important. It feels good to not forget, what family and friends do on those days ashore and think about them. Giving the little man and us a cute memory. The Captain is not so much into holidays, so it is mostly up to me to create the atmosphere. So fun to hide the eggs and some candy for Mats and watch him hunt them down. The Captain watched how much joy it was for Mats and I saw in his impression that he was thankful for the moment.

We caught a little fish and thought it was a Tuna, but realized later that it must have been a Bonita, the meat did not taste great. When I cleaned the fish, I was a bit groced out by it already, still not used to that part of fishing. Mats liked the fish though and he is always interested in watching and participating.

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The following night was a tough one. The wind constantly shifted and we tried about everything we could to get moving. Wing on wing, pole up, pole down, sails up, sails down, motoring. The Captain couldn’t get his rest. But he was in good spirits.

All off a sudden the fishing line went out like crazy. The Captain yelled “fish on” and tried to stop the wheel from spinning and bruised up his hands. There was a whole lot of cursing happening and the fishing rod was slowly dissolving. The eyelets were busting off one by one and the rod was bending like crazy and we thought it would break any second. We had a BIG one on the hook! The old rod was hanging in. After a long fight the Captain managed to get the fish close to the boat and we started discussing who would do what job. I just looked at that huge Mahi Mahi in his colorful green and blue and just could not imagine us getting him aboard. I did not want to gaff him, had no idea where to set the gaff and did not think I could carry the fishing rod with that big fish up the boat under sail.

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So, at the end the good soul decided for us. He bounced up and down one more time and in that moment, he became free. Damn! Dinner bye- bye, but that guy deserved it for his life and we were happy for him! The fishing rod is now retired and the Captain drank the last well-deserved beer aboard. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thoughts – jetzt einmal auf Deutsch – google translation button on bottom right

From my diary:

Ich moechte einmal meine Gedanken auf Deutsch aufschreiben. Meine Eindruecke, einmal nicht viel nachdenken und nach Worten suchen. Wir ueberqueren gerade Sea de Cortez, haben noch ungefaehr 200 Seemeilen vor uns. Wir haben auf guenstiges Wetter gewartet, da es zurueck gen Norden geht, versuchen wir die heftigsten Nordwinde zu vermeiden. Wenn es in Mexico auf die heissen Sommermonate zugeht, ergeben sich oefter guenstige Wetterfenster fuer die Reise in den Norden, bei denen in guenstigstem Fall der Wind aus Sueden kommt, oder West und auch Ost.

Wir werden 2 1/2 Tage oder laenger unterwegs sein und versuchen so oft wie moeglich die Segel zu hissen. Das wird soweit die laengste Reise sein, bei der wir uns nun nur zu zweit in Schichten abwechseln werden. Es ist Vollmond, was die Naechte wesentlich angenehmer gestalten wird. Dennoch macht es mich nach wie vor nervoes. Wir hatten eine erholsame Nacht in Isla Isabel, dann allerdings einen etwas turbulenten morgen, da sich die Ankerkette um einen Stein gewickelt hatte. Mit geschicktem Lenk -Manoever bekamen wir; nach genauer Anweisung vom Captain vom Bug zu mir hinterm Steuer; die Kette wieder frei. Nochmal Glueck gehabt. Aber wirklich!

Der Tag ist erst halb vorbei und wir noch frisch. Die Angelschnur ist ausgerollt und die Spannung ist gross, ob wir uns ein Abendessen fangen koennen. Das Angeln geht uns beiden nicht unbedingt leicht ab, wir sind nicht sehr geübt und mögen beide eigentlich nur den kleinen Kampf an der Angel und das Essen.

Wenn ein Fisch anbeißt, vergesse ich oft, das wir ja segeln. So aufgeregt bin ich jedes Mal. Aber wenn keiner anbeisst, kein Problem, dann gibt es eben Pasta. 🙂

Ich habe heute mal wieder mehr vom Segeln gelernt. Wenn man allein an Deck ist, kann man auch mal Dinge leicht veraendern und dank einer App (Navionics) erkennen, ob das Segelboot schneller wird oder umgekehrt. Es wirkt sich definitiv positiv auf mein Ego aus, wenn der Captain erst nach 2 Stunden wieder aus seiner Koje auftaucht und nur wenig an den Segeln veraendern muss.

Ich habe heute leider keinen Wal gesehen, hoffentlich war das nicht vorerst das Ende. Ich liebe diese Riesen. Aber dafuer habe ich zum ersten Mal einen Hai direkt hinterm Boot gesehen. Naja, Wale sind mir schon lieber. Schildkroeten und Delphine sind öfter neben dem Segelboot aufgetaucht.

Ich freue mich schon auf neue Orte zwischen La Paz und Loreto in der Sea de Cortez. Es soll dort wunderschoen sein, bildschoene einsame Straende und Inseln. Ich bin gespannt.

Morgen ist Ostern und ich koche gleich noch ein paar Eier, um sie dann mit Mats zu bemalen. Gestern hab ich noch ein Brot gebacken, klasse, das das mit dem Omnia Ofen auch an Bord geht. Wir haben keinen richtigen Ofen. In dem Omnia bereitet man alles genauso vor und stellt es dann auf den Brenner. Hab jetzt gut raus wie hoch ich die Flamme stellen kann und auf das Ergebnis bin ich ein kleines bischen stolz. 🙂

Ich bin mir sicher, das ich auf dieses grosse Abenteuer mit Respekt zurueckblicken werde. Es war gar nicht einfach den Entschluss zu fassen, den sicheren Hafen und die Umgebung und Freunde die man liebt, das Leben das man sich aufgebaut hat, auf ungewisse Zeit den Ruecken zu kehren. Der Reiz und der Stolz die Angst zu ueberwinden und das Vertrauen sich in gute und erfahrene Haende des Captains zu begeben, haben dann letztendlich gewonnen. Naja, ein bischen Verruecktheit ist da wohl auch im Spiel, oder Abenteuerlust? Man kann da wohl unterschiedliche Woerter fuer finden… vielleicht , bescheuert? LOL…

Die Gewissheit, das das Leben in Sausalito wahrscheinlich auch noch so da ist, wie wir es verlassen haben, wenn wir dann mit der Reiserei fertig sind, beruhigt ein bischen.

Dem kleinen Mats tut es gut, beide Elternteile um sich zu haben. Zumindest hoffe ich das, denn es sind leider oft kleine oder groessere Kabbeleien an der Tagesordnung. Man versteht sich nicht auf einmal besser, wenn man 24h am Tag zusammen ist. Kleine Auszeiten sind fuer mich notwendig, aber sehr selten moeglich. Der Sport fehlt mir total um mich auszutoben und besser zu fuehlen.

Mensch, das hoert sich fuer den ein oder anderen jetzt bestimmt ganz schoen negativ an. Von wegen, was hat die denn da zu meckern, segelt durch die Welt und arbeitet nicht. Kann nonstop mit der Familie zusammen sein. Die hat es doch wohl gut. Und ihr habt recht. Ich habe es gut, solang nix schief geht und man sich versteht. 🙂

Also moechte ich mich in diesem Sinne vorerst verabschieden. ICH HAB ES GUT und werde weiterhin versuchen dieses mit coolen Photo’s und Video’s zu beschreiben. Fuer mich, uns und die, die immer noch am Ball sind! FROHE OSTERN!

Danke an alle, die an mich glauben und unterstuetzen! ❤

Isla Isabel on our return-MOVIE TIME!

MOVIE CLIP AT END!!!

We had to motor quite a bit out of San Blas and it was shallow for the first 10 miles. Luckily there were some cruising boats ahead of us and this way we were able to find out about a fishing long line and managed to stay on a better course and not having to make a 5 mile detour, like the other boat in front of us.

We had a good sail, had a big fish on the line, which we lost, but than we caught a perfect size Mackerel, which we had for dinner with some rice after our arrival. There were way more boats in the anchorage and we didn’t really like the spot we had to anchor. But it worked out ok for that night.DSCF7895DSCF7900DSCF7905DSCF7908DSCF7909 DSCF7914

And here the clip from our next day by the beach. IT WAS SO SUPER!

 

San Blas – nice surprise!

Due to everyone saying, that the Mosquito’s were insane in San Blas, we tried to avoid that place on our way down south. After talking to some cruising friends who really like San Blas and said it wasn’t that bad with the insects, we wanted to give it a try.

We had a nice sail, only tacked 2 times from Chamela, had a big Jack fish on the line but decided it was too big for us and let it go. Mats even had a good sleep on my lap while we were sitting by the bow.

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We headed into Matanchen Bay around 5pm to be a little away from shore and immediately put up our Mosquito Nettings and closed up the boats. As soon as the sunset, you could tell those little beasts were coming to find you. The next morning we set up our dinghy and talked to some Powerboat owners next to us, trying to find out, where the best spot would be to get ashore. They mentioned, that it wasn’t that far to the dinghy dock and the Marina and we decided since it was still early in the day, to check it our. It took about 35 minutes to get there. Here are some pics along the ride.

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We even saw our friends boat on the hard, he had left there about 2 months ago. All looks good, Robbie!

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The walk towards the town wasn’t pretty. Lots of trash laying around everywhere. I almost decided, that I didn’t like San Blas.

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But than we got closer to town and it changed. The little town is actually quite nice, boutique hotels and a cute Plaza.

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After we walked around a little, we seriously walked into a restaurant called “Mac Donald” and I felt a little ashamed. The food wasn’t great and the Wifi either.

Back in the anchorage, our friends from Lea Scotia had made it to San Blas as well and Mats and I rowed over to say “Hi”.

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After Evan checked out the surf, he talked to a local who gave us some tips on where to dinghy in and that one of the restaurant owners was super friendly and we could even leave into town and he would meanwhile watch the dinghy. We took his advise, Evan went surfing on this little wave that lasted forever and Mats and myself chilled a little by the restaurant. San Blas grew more and more on me!

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These ladies liked our dinghy for some posing… 🙂

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This guy was fascinating!

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We stayed about 3 days in San Blas, stocked up on provisions and ice, as we were than planning to head to Isla Isabel before crossing Sea de Cortez. The weather looked good for it.

Punta Mita onto Chacala

We motored out of Punta Mita at 7:30am with the sunrise. The captain felt even more comfortable steering around the reef, since he had just done that path with Chim Chim on the delivery. The Shipwreck was still visible after all those months and gave me a shiver just imagining…

The water was like a mirror for many hours and we saw so much sea life. I could not stop looking and spotting yellow/black striped sea snakes, jelly fish, bigger fish, whales, many turtles which looked like logs floating. All off a sudden we saw some fins floating in the water and we are guessing, it could have been some Marlins floating. Evan saw a big shark when Mats and I were in the cabin.

The wind picked up around noon as forecasted. When we were 5 miles away from Chacala, we were slowly drifting  through the water with only 3 knots and when we finally arrived, I was ready to finish the hot sail. Schools of fish greeted us, but we had already wheeled our fishing lines in and went for Pizza to shore.

Lea Scotia arrived just when we went to shore and joined us soon later.

We stayed a few days in Chacala, before continuing to San Blas.

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Marlins?

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After the Captain returned-MOVIE

Mats and I prepared the boat for the Captains return thoroughly. The boat was washed, Laundry done, lots of provisions filled and a Birthday table ready for him. When he entered, he was so excited of his return, that all he wanted to do was gifting US.

Finally we had exchanged all our gifts, he had a nice Schnitzel dinner and lots of talking. He was ready to Rock ‘n Roll, not as I expected needing some rest after the delivery and not being able to get a lot of sleep.

We basically only had one day to prepare, as the weather looked good to continue and leave the Marina. It was ideal, that I tried to prepare already most of it, beforehand, just in case. We had a nice dinner, celebrated Evan’s Birthday Pinata and Mats and some other kids had fun beating some candy out of it.

Early in the morning before the wind picked up, we went to the fuel dock to fill up our tanks. I went to grab an ice block and some last groceries I could think off. Had a last fresh water shower until who knows and checked out at 11:30am. Mats had a play with his buddy Charlie and right when we left, the wind picked up big time.

To get a peak of that sail from La Cruz Marina to our first stop Punta Mita, check out the clip below. We had a big scare along the way, as we all off a sudden heard a whale sound. When I jumped up to look at the Starboard side, I saw a big boil in the water, he just made it diving away before us hitting it, probably while he was sleeping right below the water surface. 😦 

We made it to Punta Mita around 6:15pm, cooked some Pasta and checked the weather. We were planning to continue to Chacala the next morning, about 33 NM.