Ensenada Grande- AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!! <3

Around noon, when we were about to head to the next anchorage which was only 4 miles away, we saw a familiar catamaran passing into the same direction. Our friends Fantasy. We called them on the radio and learned that they had the same destination.

Now even more excited, we headed out and informed SV Isabella as well. Even though it was only 4 NM, we had to watch out carefully due to volcanic reefs under water.

Approaching Ensenada Grande, we found a good anchor spot close to Fantasy. There were a few other boats already and we immediately liked the spot. SV Isabella arrived soon after and Nick from Fantasy came over and told us, they had a bottle of rum and wanted to get together by the beach at sunset.

We chilled on the boat for a while, Mats took a nap and around 6:30pm we packed our bottle of Vodka and some juice and headed over to the beach.

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One dinghy after the other came to the beach from 4 different sailing vessels (Fantasy, Isabella. The Answer and Alsager) and the glasses were filled a few times. The 3 teenage girls climbed all over the cliffs and I was glad, I did not have to watch Mats do that just yet.

It turned out to be one of the nicest evenings on the whole trip! Noah ran around like crazy eating fish skulls being chased by Mats who tried to make him stop eating all that crap.

The sunset was beautiful and bathed the anchorage in magnificent light and soon after the moon was rising over the horizon. I took lots of pictures and had great conversations with friendly like-minded people. I hoped we can do this soon again, what a memory!

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Caleta Partida/Espiritu Santu

Our first stop north into Sea de cortez was a big and protected anchorage between the Islands of Espiritu Santu and Caleta Partida. We left the Marina around 10am, went out into the La Paz Channel and pulled up the main sail and motor sailed a bit.

The fishing lines were out, but we did not catch anything all the way to the islands. We anchored on the south/east side, even though most boats were on the north side. It seems a bit of a gamble, as the wind switches a lot in the Sea de Cortez.

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We were called on the radio from SV Isabella, who wanted to have us over for dinner. We were very excited, packed up some beers and when the wind got a bit more mellow, we got into our rowing dinghy. Isabella was anchored on the other side, but the Captain is a good rower.

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We had a wonderful first evening, Isabella is a big boat and lots of love put into it. Julie was so good to Mats, showed him her little treasures she finds on the beaches and I got a bit nervous when Mats held a fragile seahorse skeleton in his hands. She knows a ton about sea life due to her former profession and we learned a lot.

Another moment I remember very well, when we rowed back to Alsager, the phosphorescent was unbelievable. It looked as the boat was creating a green glowpath, while the bow was splitting the water. And lots of green sparkles all over the pedals. It was insane and felt like a different world.

Everyone had a good night in either anchorage.

The next morning while it was nice and calm, we rowed Noah to shore and explored a bit. The beach was full of shells, left by pearl hunters long ago.

Alsager looked nice in the morning sun in the calm waters. We headed back and ones again cleaned the hull of the boat as much as we could reach. Around noon we headed out towards Ensenada Grande, another anchorage on Caleta Partida.

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La Paz-Mats Birthday and more! MOVIE

YAY, Mats is 4 years old! Happy, happy Birthday, cutie!

After we had checked into the Costa Baja Marina, where a not so friendly lady gave us the hardest time due to a missing paper and let us sit for 1 1/2, we had a chill day by the pool in Costa Baja. The Sushi place “Odayaka” is AMAZING! Order the Tuna Nigiri, should you ever make it there. It just melts on your tongue. 🙂

It was pretty remote though, no kid boats around and since Mats Birthday was approaching, we decided to go to another Marina and Palmira had a spot for us. Also a pool and a playground close by. So, after we had Mats unwrap his presents, we motored through the La Paz channel to the Marina not far away.

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By the pool at Palmira Marina, we hung up Mats Pinata full of candy and he beat onto it, for about an hour, to get all the candies out. He had a blast!

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A nice lady told us about a restaurant just past the playground and we had a great birthday dinner with beautiful sunset. Lovely day!

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After Mats birthday, his buddy Charlie from SV Lea Scotia arrived in La Paz. We got together at a wine tasting and all had dinner at El Mesquite Grill. It was very good and Michele and myself continued drinking red wine. I suffered the next day with a big hungover.

 

 

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We enjoyed the Palmira Marina in La Paz. Despite that they did not have a key for us for about 4 days and we had to wait for people with keys letting us on and off the dock and bathrooms. Boat owners had not returned there keys despite a $ 50,- deposit and it seems difficult for the Marina to get new ones. So, we had to wait till someone checks out, which did not happen due to a strong northerly. Everyone, including us, stayed put.

But they had a lounge area with good Wifi, I could complete all the bookings of flights and an Airbnb. We have an adventure ahead. The Captain got us a flight with his miles out of Cabo to San Francisco, which took a while, as it had to be done via phone.

In San Francisco we get to stay with one of my best friends and hang out with more and I need to take care of a few things while we are there. After 3 days we fly from Oakland to Barcelona, just because I found this stellar deal on Norwegian Air. Mats and I will stay in an Airbnb for 2 days and I booked a photo session, where we get to see different parts of the city. Than onto Basel, where my Dad will pick us up, he only lives an hour away.

I wanted to have all of that done before heading to nowhere land. I knew, I would enjoy my time more, knowing all is set for the next step.

I also did a lot of blogging prep and we had food at great restaurants and started running into cruising buddies here and there. Mats enjoyed the playground and pool several times.

On the last day, we went to La Paz and checked out the whale museum and stocked up on provisions.

Someone by the Marina had arranged a movie for kids by the pool called “Coco”. It was a very cute one, but when the holiday “day of the dead” was displayed with lots of skeletons, Mats got scared and wanted to go back to Alsager.

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We are now ready for new places!

Below are some pics from the Costa Baja Marina and the impressive former Yacht fr””om Steve Jobs called “Venus”!

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Sail from La Ventana to La Paz

When we sailed out of La Ventana, our planned destination was only about 7 miles away. That’s why we had taken it easy in the morning. The wind came up quickly, certainly conditions which called for a reef in the main. But this scenario was short lived. About 20min later we were in a bubble and the boat literally went backwards and did a 180. That was so weird. From super windy, to absolutely none. We had to start the motor and steer further into the channel for better wind. However, it was all over the place and not ideal.

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When we reached the anchor spot, we did not feel comfortable staying, it seemed to unprotected. We continued, passed one anchor possibility after the next and kept going towards La Paz.

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All of a sudden, we saw a catamaran far in the distance and the Captain said right away, I think that’s “FANTASY”! I did not believe him, as they were still very far away. But at one point we just tried on the Radio and it was them! We were happy to see some cruiser friends.

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On this trip we learned the hard way, that you should NOT trust your NAVIONICS. All of a sudden, the water started to have a different color and it went from over 100 feet to “15”! This was a very rare moment, where I saw the Captain in, well, not panic, but definitely having a moment, jumping behind the steering wheel and pulling the boat around. That was a very scary moment, especially since it was supposed to be over 100 feet all around.

We went the same way back we came for a while and turned deeper into the channel. A talk with Fantasy calmed us down a little, they had done the route many times and had not experienced anything lower the 15 feet. Still, super sketchy!

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Fantasy went to an anchorage and we wanted to join them, but due to a misunderstanding we had already continued passed it and decided, we just wanted to make it into Costa Baja Marina before dark. And we made it and had a nice neighbor! Venus, used to be Steve Jobs Yacht.

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Costa Baja turned out to be quite expensive, but in the resort we were allowed to use a super nice pool and the Marina had a fantastic Sushi place.

It was a very long day, unexpected and we were just happy we had a protected spot, after sailing through big winds in the La Paz channel!

Sail Muertos-La Ventana and more! MOVIE

First a little clip, this is what happened when we motored out of the anchorage!

Little Manta’s jumping all over the place. They are so fast, it’s hard to get it on camera, lots of times they jump only 2 times. But I got lucky that day!

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Before heading out of the anchorage, we had cleaned the hull of the boat. The water is so clear in Muertos, I usually do the top part and the Captain dives further down. Trying to keep up with it, the growth is insane sometime in the warm waters.

There wasn’t a lot of wind and the sail went by like a chewing gum. It took FOREVER, sometimes we just drifted around in 1.5 knots and I just wanted to scream “TURN THE MOTOR ON”!

But, I kept my mouth shut and was glad when we finally arrived at…. my happy place “LA VENTANA”! 🙂 Again, and again, and again.

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We went for a swim and than rowed over to Palapas Ventana, it was nice to see Tim and his wife again and they even have a nice German waitress, who was super accommodating. We got some ice from them and were able to stock up on eggs.

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Dinghy “donkey”

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We stayed the next day too and I really enjoyed it. We walked over to Baja Joes, had a big Margarita and made it to the fantastic restaurant “Marlin Azul” for an early dinner.

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At the little store from Pablo where we bought some provisioning, we talked to this nice guy and he was so nice to give us a lift back to Palapas.

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The next morning before we continued our journey, Tim and his wife Jimena came over on there SUP’s with there dogs to check out Alsager.

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La Ventana never disappoints. 🙂

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!