Squeezing out the last bit of a PNW summer! – part one

Summer was very slow to start this year and so I guess it turned out ok when we needed to stay dock side until late August…but we wanted to take Cariba out at least one more time before heading south…so this is our abbreviated summer cruise.

Continue reading “Squeezing out the last bit of a PNW summer! – part one”

Summer at the dock!?!!

Not the summer weather we hoped to come home to!

As you can see in the video above the weather on our return was not the best…and this went on for some weeks! As I started to write the first drafts of this post it is feeling more like summer. As you may recall our goal was “perpetual summer” with our winters in the Sea of Cortez and summers here at home. Can someone cue summer and turn up the heat!

Continue reading “Summer at the dock!?!!”

Hauled out and hauling home!

Well we are truly on the home stretch of our first season cruising the Sea of Cortez – aka avoiding the PNW winter rain and cold. I am sitting in our last hotel in the US since leaving Guaymas. Tomorrow we will with cross the border into Canada after driving nearly 3600 kms from Mexico. We will have traveled through 6 states, 2 provinces and two borders by the time we finally make it home to Vancouver in mid May. But before filling you in on the long haul home, let me fill you in on the haul out!

We had arrived at the Fonatur Marina Guaymas and the work of getting Calidris ready for storage “on the hard” began. We needed to prepare her for a long hot summer in the desert heat and the list of chores seemed endless. And to add to the list, we decided to start a galley renovation as well! But first let’s get her out of the water……and wait…isn’t the car still in Puerto Penasco??!!

Our last stop in the Sea of Cortez!
Continue reading “Hauled out and hauling home!”

Winding up our Sea of Cortez season

View of Aqua Verde

As I write this I am sitting in a small hotel room in Guaymas and not on Calidris. I am amazed at how quickly the last month has passed. When I last posted we were in the beautiful anchorage of Aqua Verde. The best part of cruising life is the people you meet and make connections with…. and Aqua Verde introduced us to some more great people!

Continue reading “Winding up our Sea of Cortez season”

🌞 Let the sunshine in!!

View of the anchorage from our hike

It feels like the time left here in the Sea of Cortez is melting away.. appropriate choice of word considering it’s starting to get really warm now. I’m sitting at anchor in the beautiful Bahia Aqua Verde to write this blog update. This will be our furthest point south but we have lots of stories to tell you about our journey here and how the sunshine and the need for power directed our path

Continue reading “🌞 Let the sunshine in!!”

Adjusting expectations…and moving south in search of warmer waters!

Santa Rosalia harbour

So boat plans and timelines are so fluid it makes me wonder why we make plans at all. If this trip south has taught me anything..it should be to not have expectations and plans need to be liquid – pun intended.

I am writing this from an anchorage with no cell and only sketchy wifi from a restaurant on shore so not sure when I will upload this post. As our regular readers already know it took much longer to splash in Puerto Penasco than planned…so why should leaving Santa Rosalia be any different!? The dock lines at Santa Rosalia felt like they were made of velcro because the held us there for nearly three weeks waiting for the strong ‘northers’ to ease.

Two Canadian boats in the wind at the dock!

But let’s not sell Santa Rosalia short…we loved this town and with all the time we had there we explored it thoroughly. We hiked the old mine sites, the local cemetery and explored the shops and restaurants. It is an amazing historical site rich with history and culture. The pics really don’t do it justice..but I will try.

We also took a road trip via bus to the town of Mulege. It was like a trip down memory lane for Brian and I. We travelled some of the Baja by car with our kakaks over a decade ago. It is fascinating how little things have changed. We had a great lunch in the courtyard garden restaurant of the hotel we stayed in all those years ago. Fantastc food and lovely setting. Highly recommend you check out Las Casitas Hotel if ever in Mulege. Here are some of the pics from around town as well as the historic mission built in the 1700’s.

So after lots of fun hiking and good company (thank Iris and Cliff) we finally had a weather window to head south. We set sail along with several other boats and ended anchoring at Punto Chivato. We spent two nights there before moving on.

Calidris at anchor…thanks Iris for the lovely picture

Our next “velcro” stop has been Playa Santispac in Bahia de Concepcion. The strong northers keep blowing and even though it is downwind sailing…the waves stack up here and make it uncomfortable. So why push on when you have this lovely safe and pretty anchorage.


Santispac has a large contingent of RV campers on the beach. Similar to boats the sizes range from small tent trailers to massive motorhomes. There are two restaurants on the beach but we would only recommend Armandos. The food is great and the beer is cold.

Hike above the anchorage

Further down Concepcion bay there are a series of playas/anchorages to explore. Most are not great for anchoring in north winds but we took Puff the dinghy down for a day trip to El Burro. There is a good hike there that Brian wanted us to try. It was a tough hike in the heat …and of course I forgot my hiking poles on the boat! But the views from the top were spectacular. The rock formations on the top were quite interesting. The rocks look rusty in colour and when you tap on them they sound like a bell. Apparently this is because they have such a high iron content.

We did move the boat for one night of our over 2 1/2 week stay here. Predictwind was showing a night of southerly winds and this would make Santispac a lumpy anchorage overnight. We motored 45 mins south to Playa Santa Barbara and enjoyed a calm anchorage with dolphins to entertain us while we tried to fish…no fish caught again.

Apologies for the poor cinematography!

We have met some love other cruisers…Caleb from Taos New Mexico and Marcia and Peter from Chile. We have shared lots of laughs, dinners, trips to town together …and of course lots of sailing and life stories. I think it is on of the blessings this cruising life affords us. We meet and share great times with people we otherwise would never meet.

After such a long gap since our last post I was struggling to know how much detail to include. Suffice to say I hope the pictures tell the stories. The days run into each other and we stay busy it is hard to describe the day to day life. We have been kayaking, dinghy sailing, swimming, fishing (unsuccessfully) and even a few boat jobs here and there.

I love the sparkles in the water…no special effects added!

Floods, splashing, sailing, night watches and more!

First sunset of the first passage

I am sitting in Santa Rosalia and reflecting on all that has transpired in the last two weeks and almost don’t know where to start to tell the stories! The 25 hours 126nm passage here from Puerto Don Juan Brian described as some of the most challenging sailing he has experienced in years….. and as newbie to longer and night passages, well my emotions ranged from “OMG” to “WHEEEE”… but more about that after I fill in the gaps leading up to that dramatic passage.

Continue reading “Floods, splashing, sailing, night watches and more!”

Ball valves with no balls, boosters and road trips!

Sunset over the boatyard

Yes we are still in the boatyard…. but we have good reasons. It has been a bit of an emotional roller-coaster ride for the last month, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. We will be spending the holidays on the hard. But before I elaborate on why we are still here, let’s fill you in on what we have been up to in the meantime.

Continue reading “Ball valves with no balls, boosters and road trips!”

Kindred spirits in S#*T Guest blog post from Suddenlysailing

View of the entrance out to the Sea of Cortez. We hope to be out there soon!

We are still in the boatyard in Puerto Penasco and the work to get Calidris ready to hit the water continues. We (note we means Brian) just started this week’s smelly messy task – changing out the toilet pump and sewage hoses. I will spare you any pics… it ain’t pretty. Remember we did the same thing on Cariba not so long ago when we put in a new holding tank….ewwww . That story can be found under the heading “Where do old holding tanks go to die?” – Feb 18, 2020.

Well then it was interesting when last night I got a request from a fellow sailing blogger to swap posts and guest blog on each others’ site. Apparently unbeknownst to her, our “shitty” worlds were aligning even though we are several 1000 miles apart – but as we our both up to our elbows in shit, I thought it was appropriate! Enjoy the read, Ruth is a great writer.

Some pics to show what else we have been up to!

Are we crazy! Two boats!!

As most of you know we have a great boat at home in Vancouver… and any boat is a labour of love …..and a hole in the water in which you pour cash, frequently. So why on earth would somebody want to double that type of trouble? Let’s just say we look at it differently… it is double the fun and adventure! And did I mention no more PNW winters for a while!!!!

A first glimpse of our new “home” in Mexico
Continue reading “Are we crazy! Two boats!!”
Leaky Little Boat

Adventures of Mapache

Adjusting Our Sails

The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails. - William Arthur Ward. We've lived on sailboats for 34 years. In February of 2020, I retired and we were finally free to start our dream of cruising, both on land and by sea. Then Covid hit. Since then, we've simply been adjusting our sails.

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