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s/v Code Blue = Isla Coronados, Mulege and others July 2, 2013

Posted by steveandjudy in Code Blue 2013.

6-26-31 Isla Coronados, San Juanico

Usually there has been 8 to 11 boats. We’re at 11 today. I’ll start from leaving Puerto Escondido we went to Bahia Marquer on Isla Carmen. It’s a Small bay with only one boat s/v Iver with a single circumnavigator Mary aboard. She took 12 years to sail around by herself on a Falmouth Cutter 22 footer. She’s now 75 years old. Has a son in California that helps with mail and such. We stayed one day then headed to Puerto Ballandra, sailing 7 nm, and motor 4. This is about 10 miles east of Loreto on Isla Carmen. Here we stayed 4 days, hiked up a hill for views of the bay and over to Loreto. Power boat came in next to us with about 10 girls aboard we thought just for the day. They stayed the night but since they were so close in to shore, they moved over to deeper water as the full moon tides took action overnight and we had about 4 or 5 feet less water. Saw Scott and Jerid on a 1973 Newport 41’ yellow hull, s/v Riesender, that had a fire on the port side, that was being rebuilt. They were from Portland, OR area, then moved to Newport Beach. They had a really cool Craftsman table saw that had a portable saw added to it and a router as part of the table surface.

We also met and talked with Crit on s/v JASDIP (Just Another Shitty Day In Paradise). A Passport 40’, 1987. A visitor Alice and her had just changed their alternator on the boat. So things were working better. Also on the same dingy ride visited with s/v Brandywine, Kenny and Nancy from Escondido, CA. They had a Dutch built 1968 boat, a LeCompte Fastnet 45’.

From Ballandra we motored and provisioned in Loreto 6-23 by anchoring out. Headed to the Sunday Farmers Market, stopped at the dive store again and got some advice from Jordan. Then grabbed some lunch at the Palapa. Then headed to Pescador Market for items we couldn’t find in the Farmers Market. We had our cart with us, so it was easy to haul everything. I rowed Judy back to the boat were she packed things away while I headed back for a bit of internet at the Palapa, same owners as at Domingo’s Steak House we ate at one of our other visits to Loreto. After an hour on internet I rowed back to the boat and we headed to Isla Coronados by motoring as no wind.

We’ve hiked the island some. I went to the top at 928 feet, Judy went about 2/3’s of the way. When we came back we noticed a bunch of food and picnic supplies out on the tables they have here for all the panga boats that come up from Loreto with visitors. Now there were bees all around everywhere. The first time we noticed any bees at all. Out at our boat there were none, but then we noticed a few. We stopped and visited with s/v Apolima, Gary and Phyllis. They had a hibiscus drink they shared with us with lots of ice, perfect after a hot hike. This was a 1980 Durbeck 46’ tipping the scales at 54,000 pounds, built in Florida and when ordered by the original guy he had a lot of custom stuff done. It had a Sail-O-Mat windvane, motor driven refrigeration/freezer once a day with holding plates, large hard dodger with safety windows and rain gathering system. All tanks were fiberglass built into the hull, walk around queen sized mattress and dedicated shower. Engine room was large and easy for getting around. He had 500 + watts of solar panels and about 800+ amps of golf cart batteries. One West Marine rubber dinghy with a newer Torquee electric motor and an older fiberglass dinghy. Eventually his plan is to sell both and build a 14 foot nesting dinghy that will be about 7 feet long when stored. They were from Vancouver BC. He used to be a navigator on commercial jet airplanes for crossing oceans and going over the artic. He would use a periscope device so he could see outside the airplane to shoot stars, usually three to get a position fix. Their boat has done three circumnavigations and came with over 800 charts when Gary got it. He has since sold some of them like the South American section.

S/V Chara had showed up in the anchorage so we tried calling Bob, as Joyce had to go back to work for a month. We heard a couple of chirps, that I thought sounded like his radio problems. Sure enough, when we got to the boat he had heard us but we couldn’t understand his chirps. He had a generator problem he was going to work on tomorrow. He also had HAM radio problems where his radio signal wasn’t very strong. He could hear them fine but other hams couldn’t hear him that were fairly close.

Just as I’m keying here on the computer, noon on 6-26, we have about 10 dolphins off our bow swimming around in a circle area in about 10 to 12 feet of water with about four of them that are small. It’s been 10 minutes or so and they are still in the same area. Water temp is cool at 75 F. It’s been 15 minutes now and s/v Dad’s Dreams got their snorkel gear on and headed to the dolphins. For a while the dolphins were about 60 feet off our bow. As first it looked like the dolphins were getting scared from Dad’s but the dolphins circled back between us and the couple. Now ½ an hour and they are still around but swimmers are headed back to the boat, dolphins are further away but headed back this way. Now the dolphins are further away at about 40 minutes.

We invited Bob from Chara over for dinner on the 26th. Our plans were to take off in the morning to San Juanico a big bay north about 13 miles with several anchorages. Bob was going to climb Isla Coronados in the morning like Judy and I did. Eventually we’ll meet further north, at least on the fourth of July for Geary’s party, the weather guy on Sonrisa HAM net.

The next day we got a VHF call as we were picking up our anchor at 1:06 pm. Bob had made it to the top of the mountain/hill 928 feet and wondered when we were taking off as he could see we were in the same place. We let him know our status and asked how he was doing. It was a lot hotter and steeper than he expected. He had used all his quart of water he had taken and the pack he was carrying that usually had energy bars was empty due to taking it to Seattle recently and cleaned it out for the trip. We wished each other well and signed off. Later about 5pm as we were motoring near San Juanico we heard some action on the radio that someone was lost on the mountain and needed help. Several boaters were attempting to find this person. Yep, as we were talking to Bob on the radio today the 29th when he was bringing his boat into San Juanico, we asked him about a person lost on the mountain as reported by some boaters. He was the one they were looking for. He had gotten off trail and lost the trail for good, then tried to head southeast to the water and it was much hotter and tougher than he thought. He didn’t make it back to the boat until 10pm with the help of boaters coming to his rescue. All ended well and he was feeling fine now.

There are no pumpout hoses for holding tanks north of La Paz on the Baja side. Boats either pump out directly every time they flush, or pump into a holding tank and empty when they get off shore a ways. We have a large holding tank of 105 gallons that is usually easy to drain when we get off shore. Up to now I’ve never had a problem with it. Gravity has always work for us by its self. Just open a 1 ½ inch thru hull valve and it comes out. Except this time as we are headed to San Juanico, nothing is coming out. It has compacted in the hose to the thru valve. The tank is full after checking the inspection port plate of 4 inches. I try a small stick into the thru hull from the outside of the hull. By this time we have stopped the boat and brought the dinghy alongside the starboard hull near the bow. Thus I could reach down with the stick about a foot underwater and poke in about 9 inches where the curve of the hose goes to the tank. Next we try the seawater hose I recently put in for washing off the chain and anchor. I attach a pointed nozzle and use a sponge and a towel to create pressure while turning on the hose. Some cloudy stuff comes out but that is about it. Next I get a scuba tank and a first stage regulator I have for inflating tires or with a nozzle tool I clean things with air pressure. I put the tank into the dinghy and the hose is long enough to reach but I have to dunk my head in the water with a dive mask to see what I’m doing. The dinghy is swaying back and forth so we secure the dinghy in the back and adjust the front, plus secure the tank with a line so it can’t go overboard. The air tool is the kind that you bend the rubber nozzle part and air is released. I use a sponge to help secure the nozzle in the thru hull fitting and bend the nozzle to release air. After giving it a good long shot of air I pull the hose out and notice the sponge is no longer around. But the port is cloudy with effluent and seems to be draining like normal. Then I notice the air nozzle tool is missing from the air hose fitting. At first I thought maybe it was stuck in the thru hull fitting but no such luck. It has fallen to very deep waters along with the sponge. But, the drain is working now. We double check with the inspection port. Next we fill the tank again with seawater from the anchor wash down hose about 80% full and let the tank surge with sailing motion then drain it again. The tank is pretty clean on the inside so we call it good.

Back to San Juanico when we arrived on the 26th we finally picked an anchorage behind a large rock island that we hope would block waves and swell from the Sea of Cortez. It was the best spot we could find as the rest of it looked mostly open. Anchor down at 6:03pm. The next day we explored the shore area about 10am. We noticed a sailboat in the bay on the other side (north) of this peninsula with a boat that looked like s/v Azul. We checked out the resort or buildings that were nearby. They were finished and invited us in to look around. They were expecting a bus of guests. We could not buy a drink or eat there. They had a pool with thousands of honey bees dead or dying and four teenage girls went swimming in the pool as we were in the area taking pictures and such. Chara came into the bay but anchored a ways from us and it was windy in the bay.

We headed to the North end of Conception Bay, stayed the night with 11 boats (7-1). Chibasco happened last night, winds to 33 kts all of a sudden for an hour or so at 1:30am. Then headed to the town of Mulege. But the town is up a river and they don’t recommend anchoring out all day. So we went to a bay south of town about 13 miles today 7-2. Anchored, then hitchhiked to Mulege. The third car picked us up, (the other two were too full) but there’s not much traffic on Hwy 1, so took us 25 minutes for that car. The couple (Diane driving and Francisco) passed us up, then came back to us a few minutes later. Four door new car and air conditioning working great, as it’s about 92 here. Now in Mulege which is the first place we’ve had for internet for a long while. It will be a while before we get another place. Don’t have much time since this is also a shopping trip. Pictures later.

Steve and Judy



1. Marie & Greg - July 2, 2013

You had me in stitches reading about your head problems! I’m sure both you and the tank are relieved that everything is flowing smoothly. Every day on a boat, or RV, is another adventure or has a story to be told. Hey…I even found your location in my Rand McNally Road Atlas today!!! Stay safe. Enjoy reading about your travels. Marie

2. Lar - July 2, 2013

We are enjoying reading your blog. Today we are in Vuda Point Marina in Fiji. We are returning to Seattle for a family reunion in August. You need to consider doing the Pacific next year. You would like it here, especially NZ. Larry and Karen Nelson SV Panta Rhei July 3, 2013

3. Capt.Jerry Stephenson - July 3, 2013

Hi Judy and Steve. Sounds like you need to empty the holding tank more often. Sorry to hear you lost some parts/tools. Hope you can replace them. Bob sounds like he needs to be looked after 🙂 It’s been very warm here in the PNW. The club is headed to Poulsbo today for the fireworks. I opted not to go due to the fact my dogs panic when fireworks are set off and the lady where I leave them has neighbors who set them off. Taking them on the boat tomorrow and doing some sailing, then dinner on the boat at TYC and watch the fireworks from TYC. Benadryl for the pups to help calm them down.

We’ve been getting quite a bit of sailing and racing in but missed last Wednesday’s race due to the fact I had cataract surgery on my right eye that morning. Had the left eye done on the Monday. What a difference!!! Colors, sharpness of vision and night vision are all greatly improved! Took s/v Margo to Gig Harbor last night and last Tuesday for Music in the park. Nice turnout, I had 12 people aboard…

I leave here on the 18th for Port McNeill on the north end of Vancouver Island to bring Umiak, a 48+2 Diesel Duck, back to Olympia. Paul Kurosu is coming with me and Jane is watching the dogs.

I’ll try to add to my blog (svMargo.wordpress.com) during the trip as I stop at various Canadian ports.

Stay safe and keep up the informative posts.

4. Linda Treggett - July 3, 2013

I love your stories, keep them coming. I can explain the circling dolphins for you. Went on a shore excursion off the big island of Hawaii for a dolphin viewing. The guide explained that when dolphins are circling that they are resting.

Doing the Lake Union fireworks on a boat at the dock on Lake Union tomorrow night. I have fond memories being on your boat for the 4th 3 years ago.

Happy Independence Day!


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