Muertos fun!

When we woke up after that crazy windy night, we were very tired, except Mats, who had slept through all of it. We rowed to shore and had a mellow day at the resort, having a few beers and a yummy fish burger. We caught up on messages and the waiters are already greeting us with a hug. They are just super nice and sold us ice and some water.

We had a long walk back to the dinghy with heavy bags and the beach was busier than usual. It was due to the Mexican holiday Semana Santa. When we arrived at our little rowing dinghy named “donkey”, we found the vents open. The air was still halfway in and we had brought our pump. We weren’t sure if someone had messed with the dinghy and might have tried to take it.

We rowed back and when we tried to tie the dinghy to Alsager, the rope was gone! So, there was indeed somebody messing around. We were very surprised, as we did not have any theft experience through all those months. Well, we could live with a stolen rope, but it was still kinda shitty, bad people even in the most beautiful places.

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The next day our friend Peter came out to Muertos to have lunch with us. It was a super nice day, I went snorkeling in the morning and we had to rush a bit to make it in time, but it worked out perfect. For some reason I always forget to take a pic with Peter, I guess we are just too busy talking and catching up. Grateful that he could come out, as he has been the closest friend I have seen in the past 6 months. 🙂

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After he left, we checked the weather and Mats found some friends. It’s so cool, as soon as he sees kids, he does this excitement noise and looks at me and when I assure him that it’s ok to walk over, he does not hesitate. He got really great with that through the cruising time. Taking every chance to be around kids. They sat down together at a little kid table. We do like Muertos!

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Making a decision!

We now explored some of Mexico’s and the US coast. Looking back of how much we sailed and how much ground we have made in a sailboat, we can be proud of us! The Captain has sailed us everywhere safely. We trust him with our lives. He would not have done it without having us around and it had been an insane experience!

But, there are things we miss. Mats is missing his buddies at home, he is missing Mercy and all his toys. Maybe he craves some normality or steadiness, I am not sure. I think, I do. I miss my friends, I miss my Family in Germany. I miss Team Handball and doing sports in general. The independence of just hopping into your car and going places. But is it silly? Is it the phenomenon of craving things you don’t have?

We have rented out our home in Sausalito to a friend and that now gives us possibilities. It was not planned this way and simply fell into our lap. But we love, that it gives us new perspectives and it would be silly to just skip these, just because we miss certain things. Or could combine both?

However, we had talked and thought a lot. And when I learned that the Dad of a very good friend of mine had passed, another good friend in Germany had lost both her parents within 6 months, I burst out in tears. I felt terrible not being able to be there for my friends to comfort them! And it is haunting me, the idea, that one day I must face losing one or both of my parents. It’s a horrible thought. I had to do something! I owe that to myself and my loved ones.

Giving the fact, that we had been cruising for many months now and that our Visa’s would run out in a month, I looked for flight options. It felt like the absolute right thing to do! It is important for Mats, myself and my folks to have that time.

When we started the journey, it was not expected from Mats and myself to bring the boat back North. Time would tell over the next weeks, what would happen with the sailboat.

What we wanted for the last weeks, was to explore Sea de Cortez some more. After chatting to other cruisers, we created a list of “must see when weather permits”. We were not certain yet, what we would do with our sailing vessel. Putting it on the hard? (Haul it out over the summer and leave it in Mexico) Putting it into a Marina? Being able to continue cruising in the winter, depending on how much we liked what we were about to explore in the following weeks? I could not imagine that The Captain would be happy leaving the boat, as much as he loves Alsager and cared for over so many years. It’s always work in progress.

Another possibility was trying to find crew and bringing the Sailboat back North, so that we could visit the Channel islands over the summer and extend our cruising before bringing the boat back. Getting Alsager out of the Hurricane area and being closer to friends. We hadn’t visited them on the way down, as the weather didn’t permit. So many people love the islands.

But for now, let’s continue and enjoy our last weeks in BAJA MEXICO!

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.