Culture is shocking..

We just Todo Santos doorway comreturned from our trip to Northern California to visit family and attend a major interview.   As usual things didn’t turn out quite like we expected.   The interview went good but the job will not be ready till perhaps January 2014 or perhaps a bit later so we are continuing to find something that might fit our situation a little more succinctly.  The family was all in good condition and everyone seems to be doing as well or better than when we left them two years ago.   We were hoping to visit friends while in Northern California but nobody’s life stops when the crew of Beyond Reason leaves a state or city and like the last time we returned back to California, everybody seems to be busy with their own lives and it takes a good amount of time to schedule their lives with ours.  Essentially we are saying that folks were busy and we just couldn’t match up our “weekday” schedule of time off, with their “weekend” schedule of time off.   We will catch up next time.

On the culture shock side of things, we found out that having an open hearth fire in Northern California is now an educational event.   Last time we were home there were “No burn days” which seemed to correspond with the coldest days of the years and Christmas.  So on those days you were not allowed to have a fire in your fireplace.   This time we found out that you actually have to apply for a permit to have a home fireplace fire.  Prior to applying you need to have attended a special class (on line or in person) regarding the hazards of Particulate Matter, i.e. smoke from your fire place.   Having left the Baja world of virtually no regulations on anything, this new requirement really caught our attention.

Even with the oddities of having to attend a class to burn wood in your fireplace, San Diego has hit us as the strangest place we have been to in a while.  Last night while having a glass of wine in the cockpit we met a neighbor who asked us if we were prepared for the storm coming in on Monday.  “Storm, what Storm!” was Lisa’s response.  The neighbor explained that the National Weather Service was reporting San Diego would be pummeled with winds to 20 knots on Monday and he suggested we re-tie or add additional ropes to the dock to be sure we would not be swept from the dock, really?   Lisa and I reminisced about our time sitting on the front deck and enjoying our anchorage at San Hipolito with 20 – 25 knot winds coming over the bow.  We were relaxed and happy to be hanging off an anchor.   We will need to change our attitude if we are to become more San Diegan’.   20 knots use to be time to go sailing, but I guess now we will have to clear the decks of the boat and attach “hurricane” cables if we are to be accepted, sailing is for winds of 10 knots or less, or so we have been told.

Speaking of San Diego and Acceptance, La Jolla beach was in the news today as well.   It seems us Californians just can’t keep our beaches clean enough.  In the news cast they were reporting on how La Jolla beach has spent $60,000 to clean off the rocks just off the beach which had been covered in Cormorant poop (for our friends in Winters those that is bird poop) for perhaps 10,000 years.  The Cormorants are still here, but apparently the local restaurants and beach dwellers love the thought of going to the ocean but need it to be just a bit more sterile for them to enjoy it.  In response La Jolla spent the money to steam clean the rocks!  The mass of guano was washed into the sea and the Cormorants are now working on a clean slate.  I can’t even guess what the crabs, oysters and other filter feeders in the small cove must have thought of that.  Our guess is that Mother Nature has set a balance between the amount of bird effluent that usually washes into the sea that wash which the feeders, bacteria and other ocean dwellers can effectively neutralize.  Time to step up your game critters.  The human residents seemed pleased but not yet satisfied.

Seal training comApparently there is a local sea lion rookery that also puts off quite an odor near a viewing area that overlooks the seals.   The town mayor has promised to work on acquiring more money to try and rid the area of the smell in this natural area as well.  From the regular city workers that we have seen in the San Diego area we are pretty sure that Potty Trainer for Seals will soon become a new job description for the county of San Diego.

We are not sure which California City we will land in but you can be assured that we will do our best to adapt to the strange customs we are seeing here in the Land of the Free.

San Diego..U.S.A!

We have been at anchor in San Diego for about 3 days now.   We are just getting comfortable with large sums of money departing our account and going into somebody customs comelse’s hands.   Welcome to the land of plenty:  Plenty of rules to go around (you must be inspected before you can anchor in San Diego, and not just a customs inspection but by the harbor police as well), plenty of boats in the anchorage; we are currently at the La Playa anchorage.   For us this place is probably good for 5 to 10 boats.   We have 3 boats within 30 feet of ours and another 17 boats in the anchorage.   It is not just us that are crowded, everyone is crowded, there is even plenty of good food around; we can easily find tomato paste, fennel seed and a good selection of cheap wine.   What there is not plenty of is Chihuahua Mennonita Cheese and Bill is going into withdrawals over that.

On the business front we have secured a slip at Harbor Island West.  If you are in the area and want to come on down we are in the #137 slip at the far end of the dock between the two big 100’ behemoths that reside there.  We have also sold off some cattle and secured the simoles to purchase the “cast in gold” exhaust manifold that we need.   We could no doubt have made another trip to Cabo with our cobbled and epoxied manifold but we love the old boat too much to allow here to sit in a soiled skirt for too long, so that project is next on the list of things to do, but first a trip north in the rental car to visit family and get Bill off to his first major interview.

On the project list, we have been adding and subtracting just about as fast as we can.   Crossing the border there must be some type of force field that disrupts boat lighting.  We have worked on the refrigerator light (we still don’t know if it turns off when the door is shut, but we do know that unshielded scissors do not mix with 680 volts of low amperage power), panel lighting and kitchen lighting ever since we crossed the border.   Everything is functioning as it was before now so that is good.   Additionally we had some troubles coming into the San Diego channel.

As we were entering the channel after a near perfect transit from Ensenada Lisa peeked into the engine compartment and heard an odd sound.  Bill heard it to, but being so close to the end of the trip neither of us wanted to acknowledge the noise so we shut the door and dawdled a bit down stairs hoping the noise would either seize or quiet down.   Surprisingly it did stop and we continued chugging up the channel.  A couple of minutes later the Heat/Oil Pressure alarm that we installed a month ago started squealing.   We quickly checked all the gauges and saw that everything was normal.  We watched the gauges for a minute or two while cupping our ears closed and then figured that another connection had come loose and so we disabled the alarm.   Once that was done Lisa suggested that perhaps we had trouble again with the fan belt so we pulled the couch out of the way and saw with no surprise that we had lost the belt.   The big surprise was that we hadn’t fried the engine yet so we shut the boat down and drifted just off the fairway to hopefully anchor out of the way of the USS Abraham Lincoln  (an Aircraft Carrier that was following us.

20 minutes later we were on our way for a final approach to the police docks and re-entry to the U.S.A!  Since then we have met up with so many of our old friends it has been like a scheduled reunion, but honestly we just keep running into people.   The most helpful have been Beth and Larry who own the big Lagoon catamaran Sun Baby.   They have driven us around the town, feed us dinner and set us up at the San Diego Yacht Club where we even saw Mr. Americas Cup, Dennis Conner.

For now we are set and next week we hope to have some local interviews if they are still needed.   We haven’t gotten any wheels yet, but at $11 a day the rental car is coming in handy when we really need to be somewhere.

We have probably left out some of the stuff that has been going on, but we did want to thank a couple of special people that helped us along the way;  Bob and Sherry, who did weather routing, counseling and helping to keep our spirits up, Chip and Katie; who shared indispensible  knowledge about the trip north and what to avoid, Terry and Diane, who helped to work the internet and Facebook when we didn’t have connectivity, and Baja Geary for 30 days of weather routing even though most of the weather was lousy, but he doesn’t control that.   Lastly we were sent so many emails while underway from people that we knew or just barely knew.  Everyone was full of well wishes and having that type of support really helped us both to push through the tough times knowing there were folks around that were pulling and pushing for us to get back home.

We are getting ready to start our own commutes now, look for us on the freeways; we are the ones with big grins, tanned faces and a twinkle in our eyes.


Dollars must be handed out free in the U.S.

Ah, we are experiencing a little return remorse already.   We have checked pricing on our money gone comnew manifold for our old engine and found that people must be being overpaid in the U.S.   Our parts guy was pricing exhaust manifolds like they were made of gold (like all the paved golden streets in the U.S. I guess).  Anyway figures like $11,000, $5,000 and finally our figure of $2,100 dollars were being thrown out.   Last time we priced the manifold it was about $450, what happened while we were gone.  Please don’t tell us that milk cost more than $2.50 a gallon?   We’re scared now.

For another perspective on the cost of things that are way out of whack take a look at the Dudes View.


Well that was one of the nicest legs we have traveled so far on this tip.   It wasn’t fast (because of our concern for the manifold) but it was relaxing.   With only 60 miles to San Diego we are thinking we have this on licked.

Our location today is Marina Coral.  We were met by the security guards last night around midnight and tied up into a nice double finger berth.   This morning we have been met by more security guards and a couple of neighbors so if worst case scenario’s happened we would be happy to hang out here for a while.   Unfortunately we have checked out of the country already so I am sure that Mexico is ready to expel us if they even find out we are here

Will update later with out finds on a new manifold (custom or sent from Washington), any legal issues we have deal with and perhaps a couple of more pictures.  For now it is off to breakfast and the marina office.

//WL2K Makin’ Steam, Salt Crystals and a bit of headway.

All is well this morning. Our little Miracle in a Box may have given the old gal a bit more life and we are chugging along at 4.5 knots and we will be passing our nemisis Punta Colnett in the next hour. We are looking for landfall in Ensenada about 2 AM this coming morning, October 10, 2013. Although things look ok with just some minor leaking and steaming around the manifold fix area we may just stop in Ensenada for a week to effect real repairs. We do have a line on a new manifold from Blue Ridge Marine in Washington. We haven’t worked out the details but if we can get internet or cell coverage this afternoon we will try to seal the deal on that. Bill’s guess is it will take about 3 hours to make the replacement, plus another $1,000 U.S. On the hurricane front, hurricane Octave has hit Magdelena Bay and should be harassing Conception Bay a bit later this afternoon, very similar to hurricane Paul last year (See our October 2012 reports on how that fun factor pegged).

The Big Push

We have done our best to prepare,Upper broken raw water nipple repaired with marine tex glue and wait for our Marine Tex epoxy to bond nipples, manifolds and hose together.   The bond looks secure and nearly every person we have talked to has given us a positive story about how this little Miracle has saved them in some extreme situation where nails and screws could not do the job.   We are 26 hours from us making the same claim, or at least we hope so.

Approx 6 PM today we will depart from San Quintin and head for Ensenada.   It is not a direct route as we will be shooting almost directly south at first till we hit an arbitrary point about 14 mile off the coast of Baja before heading north west to Ensenada.   We are making this next to last leg as a night trip to pass up Punta Colnett during the calmer hours of the day (approximately 4 AM).  We had trouble with Colnett on the way down to Mexico years ago and are a bit shy of hitting the point Santo Tomas when the wind can really be up, so we are taking the easy way out and hoping that the smaller Punta will not provide us with any trouble as we round it for the entrance to Ensenada early tomorrow evening.   Yes we will be entering the harbor of Ensenada during the nighttime hours but even though we have not made landfall there in the past we figure it is the lesser of all the evils, heck, if we get really confused we will just switch fuel tanks and carry on to San Diego for a before noon arrival on Wednesday.  But all that is just a dream until we figure out if miracles really do happen.

Our point that is 14 miles off the coast is there for three reasons:  Number one it gives us the protection of being far enough off the coast that should the engine fix fail we could probably sail back to safety somewhere even in the light wind conditions.  If the wind is heavy we will just sail back south into the Hurricane Octave, or rather Turtle Bay.  Did we tell you about the Hurricane that was hunting us.  According to the National Hurricane Service Octave should drop behind us and skirt back over the Baja around Magdelena Bay some 300 miles south of here.  The second reason for the 14 mile point off the coast is due to two major water hazards that guard the point at San Quintin.   One is a 12 foot patch of water about 6 miles off the coast and the other is Ben’s Rock just south of Isla San Martin.   Because charts in this area very by ½ to even a full mile from what is actual we figured our luck say to make the error big.  The last reason is one of pure laziness.   By being 14 miles off the coast we don’t need to turn again after about 10 PM tonight.  The mileage that we see on the chart plotter will be the mileage we have left before turning right into Ensenada.  It helps to make the trip go faster for us and allows us to count down the miles.  Just the way we role.

Don’t look for another update till tomorrow, but if the weather is nice and the engine is playing well we will try to update our position as we move north.   We did notice that the “Find Us”  program from Pangolin is lagging a bit.   We put our San Quintin position in but it still has not updated.  

For those tracking us on Google Maps or something similar we are currently at 30 23.922 N by 115 55.567 W.   Our turning waypoint 14 miles from here is 30 17.514 N by 116 10.489.  From there we are a straight line to Punta Santo Tomas


If we had paid attention during DSCF9085our trip yesterday we would not be doing extra work today.   We had a plan to PUKE since our arrival at Mag Bay.  PUKE is the acronym for Prevent, Underwater, Kelp, Entanglement.  We didn’t coin the phrase, we just read about it in the Baja Bash booklet that has been accompanying us since Cabo San Lucas.   The acronym is suppose to keep us on the lookout for kelp paddies and then steer away from said paddy.   Of course we just sit back and let our auto pilot (Ron Rico) steer most of the time.  Heck we have a full keeled boat which should under most circumstances push the kelp to the side and prevent our propeller from becoming entangled.   If you know us you also know this couldn’t happen with any more regularity than asking for a day without fog in San Francisco.

Today we are dealing with the aftermath or at least we thought we would.   Bill has been working hard on breaking stuff and Lisa has been trying to keep peace in the house.  Bill did struggle into his wetsuit today to untangle the kelp we thought was on the prop.   It didn’t take him long to jump into the 61 degree water, look at the prop, proclaim it clear and get back out.   At least some of our projects are going well today.  The Dude has put a post up on his page regarding some of the other items that were on the list today.  We might or might not have a very big issue, but you will have to read the page to see what that news is about.

On a happier note we did want to share a couple of pictures from Turtle bay that we never got to present.  Turtle bay church laundry comOur favorite is the picture of our laundry hanging in front of the local church, you didn’t really think Lisa did laundry did you?’

The church is actually quite nice to look at and being a Stained Glass artist herself Lisa really loved looking at the glass that adorns the church.  DSCF9093


If you like you can click on the stained glass picture to make it bigger.

Antonio at his palapaWe never really got a chance to introduce our friend Antonio who owns the a new Palapa on the beach of Turtle Bay that we think is one of the nicest properties in the town.   We are sure he will be successful and with all the help that he provided to us there is no doubt he is accumulating a lot of positive karma.

One of the things that Antonio did help us with was with procuring propane.   propane comIt seems we are always low on propane and Antonio was more than willing to take us out to the big propane farm outside town.   What Lisa did not expect was all the attention that she got from the boys when she got out of the car in her fancy clothes.

Well that about does it for now.   If all Lisa dog attack comgoes well we will get out of here tomorrow.  We are starting to eat up the remainders of our fresh food with Ensenada in sight so tonight is Surf and Turf made with Mahi Mahi and rib-eye steak.  We love roughing it.

//WL2K Not calm, not smooth, this must be the spot.

If it wasn’t blowing 27 knots we would never believe we were coming into an anchorage. We don’t know what the deal is but ever since we left the Sea of Cortez we have yet to find an anchorage that welcomes you with flat water and light winds, San Quintin is no exception. Our guidebook shows this anchorage as 50 miles North of Fondeadaro San Carlos, hmmm. We traveled 70 miles today, our departure time was about 3:30 AM and arrival was just after 7 PM. It didn’t help that we clogged the prop up with kelp ropes somewhere along the line and we didn’t notice it till we were 10 miles from the anchorage. We eventually cleared most of it after Lisa nagged Bill to a boil-over point to backdown yet again. This last bit of encouragement had Bill backing the engine to try to clip the kelp at near redline. It is amazing what a good temper will do for you as it did the trick. Between Lisa’s insistence and Bills impatience with all things that don’t meet his primary directive of Speed, Accuracy and Safety, they got the prop spinning freely and the boat nearly on plane as they sped along to beat the retreating light of day. We are anchored now in Bahia San Quintin and will remain till at least tomorrow night before sticking our noses out again and running the 60 miles to Punta Colnet or the 110 miles to Ensenada. Time for bed.

//WL2K Smell the Barn

We left San Carlos anchorage at o’dark thirty this morning. On our way out we got lucky and were able to miss getting tangled up with a lobster trap by Bill shouting to Lisa to take the boat out of gear, while he was putting up the sail. Once the sun came out the bitter, damp cold air became tolerable and with the sun shining we were able to watch about ten whales near by. One was very near which makes Lisa quite nervous. The seas have been pleasant and winds light. It looks like the hook will be down by cocktail hour. We are not sure which cocktail hour because we crossed the time zone and have yet to change our clocks. Our current position is 29 57.819N by 115 53.582W, sent on Friday, October 11, 2013 12:09 PM

//WL2K Trip report

We figured we better put in a quick update about our crossing from Isla Cedros to Fondaedero San Carlos. Unfortunately we have to keep these Ham updates short or they get truncated. Since we made the trip mostly at night and beings as there was a lot of overcast last night the trip was pretty boring. We were supposed to be able to see Venus, The Moon, Mars and perhaps even some new and yet unnamed planet last night but all we saw were clouds. For the most of the trip we had smaller seas and 15 knot winds. Around 3 AM the winds kicked up to the mid 20’s and the seas filled in to what we had hope they would not which was between 6 and 9 feet at about 10 seconds and we had a brief rain-squall. It sounds worse that it actually was and we maintained good speed though most of it. Our oil leak never stopped but when we checked it here in the anchorage we lost an undetectable amount of oil so we will most likely let it go till Ensenada. We have all the parts but breaking stuff that works is one of Bill qualities and so we might be best just to live with it. It took 17 hours to transit the roughly 80 miles last night. We have about 50 miles to go to San Quintin, another 100 to Ensenada and then 66 or so to make San Diego, that’s a long day trip, and overnight and a Whoopie we are back to the land of plenty sail for us. Shouldn’t take us much more than a month to complete.