Moving forward!

We are fortunate to have this lovely place to rest and recuperate!

As many of you know, the last 6 weeks have been a bit traumatic (pun intended) and an emotional roller coaster. We are doing our best to look on the bright side – it could have been much worse – and are very thankful again for the wonderful people we have encountered on this journey.

Continue reading “Moving forward!”

And our Mexican season begins!

Moments after ‘splashing’

As we get ready to leave the dock and start our season of cruising the Sea of Cortez I thought I would catch everyone up on what we have been doing to keep busy. It has been literally 1 month since we left home and it feels both like yesterday and a lifetime ago at the same time.

Continue reading “And our Mexican season begins!”

The last days of summer – Part 2

Last evening at Elworthy Island

When we last wrote we were in Rebecca Spit. We provisioned at the local grocery store in Herriot Bay, treated ourselves to dinner at the pub and had a great visit from our friend Dani and her daughter. It was lovely to host them on the boat for dinner in the sunshine!

The “taxi” back to the shore!

It was starting to get a little smokey from the forest fires in the province and reports from Vancouver was it was quite a bit worse at home. We decided to head back into Desolation Sound and hopefully find an area with less smoke. Friends on SV Callisto had recommended an anchorage on Read Island called Evan’s Bay; they had enjoyed the hiking there. On Navionics it looked really protected and it was only 10 nm away. The trip there was an uneventful motor as there was no wind. To our delight we were greeted by huge pod of dolphins feeding along the shore as we entered the bay. The pod stayed in the vicinity for hours and were still there when we went out to put down the prawn trap later in the afternoon.

Dolphins feeding in Evan’s Bay

The hiking suggested SV Callisto didn’t disappoint; we were able to hike across the island to Burdwood Bay and had great views of Sutil Channel. There was a great kayaking campsite area there complete with a cute fire pit and benches.

After a couple of nights in Evans Bay we needed to move on. The water tank was getting a bit low and the bay was filled with moon jellies – not really a great environment to run the watermaker in. We had a feeling that we may not get back to Desolation sound for a few years, given the plans we were making for 2023… so off we went to a favourite spot – Elworthy Island.We had the anchorage to ourselves for the next several nights. It was so peaceful and relaxing.

Panoramic view of the anchorage

After leaving Elworthy we retraced our track that we took when we left Vancouver. Our first stop was a couple of nights in Squirrel Cove. We went fishing in Lewis Channel and finished the crib tournament of the season. Finally Sue won after losing the last 3 years in a row!!

Oyster catchers just outside of Squirrel Cove – they look comical in a big group!

This trip was shorter that our usual summer cruising but the weather and the sailing was fantastic. The sun was warm during the day and we had only a couple of cloudy days this entire trip! And did I mention the sailing!? Often in the summer there is very little wind, but choosing to go at the end of the season made a big difference. We sailed almost 50% of the time; and we can thank our Code Zero Big Bird for that as she was able to move Cariba even in light air.

Big pod of Humpbacks on our way to Pender Harbour!

But all good things must end and our last morning in Pender Harbour made us realize the summer was rapidly coming to a close! The temperature was so cold in the cabin that we quickly had coffee, put on the warm sailing clothes and pulled up the anchor!

We have been home for a couple of weeks now and it is starting to feel like fall. We actually had some rain – though not enough really. We are running both the space heater and the dehumidifier on Cariba now. I want to get out of the PNW before it gets cold enough that we need the diesel heater as well!

With less than a month till we drive south to Mexico, there are lists of “to do’s” taped up on the saloon walls. We have to organize and pack everything we need to take with us to Calidris as well as plan for how to put Cariba to bed for the winter. We have an exciting cruising season planned for Mexico so continue to watch this space! And stay tuned for other big plans for summer 2023!

The official Cariba drink! Grapefruit Empress Gins!

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 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!
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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