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October 16 2004 1000 - after much "persistence" Tom and his crew of Dan, Bob & Sheila passed under the Golden Gate and headed south. The first stop will be LA Yacht Club where Bob and Sheila will say their goodbyes and Georgie the kids and I will join he and Dan to head south.

October 18 2004 2350 - a wet bash to LA - wind on the nose but the boat and crew arrive safely at LA Yacht Club to make the final preparations.

October 22 2004 0330 - we arrived in LA with Dan's truck and Jesse's car both packed full. I have no idea where everything is going to get stashed! Georgie and I just keep packing stuff away and it keeps disappearing! Jesse comes from Port Huenemme to have a good-bye dinner - I was glad to get to see him one last time.

October 23 2004 2230 - we are finally ready? to go - we will really have to push to make it to the Kick-Off party for the Baja HaHa. We will do our best as the kids are looking forward to the Halloween costume contest!

October 24 2004 1200 - at noon we pull into the police dock at San Diego. Tom misses the skippers meeting but Georgie, Lola the kids and I catch a cab to the party. Tom and Dan take the boat to anchor out and bring the dinghy to shore. Anais & Lola both win prizes! Tom & Dan arrive, almost too late for the food and I finally track Richard down to get the rally instructions. We still have a lot to do before an 1100 start tomorrow.

October 25 2004 - we have yet to get our fishing licences or Mexican liability insurance so, the chore, before the 1100 start, is to figure that out! Dan, Georgie and I take it on - If I had only known!! Downwind Marine was a big help they lent Dan a bike to get to the boat quickly and me the phone and info to get the insurance. The fishing licenses were not that easy. After much frustration and $366.70 we had our licenses and finally crossed the start line at 1225 - 1 1/2 hours late!!! Oh well - we could fish!!!!!

October 25 - 28 2004 0524 - after 3 days of rocking, rolling and sick stomachs we finally ended the first leg at Turtle Bay. The weather was pretty crumby, we had wind from the south, again, and the weather deteriorated as we went. Anais did catch us a nice fish dinner of Yellow Fin and we did manage to pass up quite a few boats though we spent about half the leg motoring. We came in next to Dr. John and anchored. The anchorage was pretty rolly - not what anyone was hoping for! After cleaning up a bit we hit town! We had sodas and beers on the beach and did a little shopping. Dan arranged to get us some lobsters from a local fisherman - I was really looking forward to that.

October 29 2004 - at anchor Turtle Bay - there is a beach party planned for today with a potluck and games. Anais gets together from Maddie, from Dr. John, and they have fun roaming around town and the beach and figuring out how popular 2 cute blondes are with the Mexican boys! Georgie and I make a scrumptious Chinese chicken salad and we head for the beach. Thomas had great fun and spent 2 hours on the volleyball court. We walk up the cliffs and get some nice pictures looking out at all the boats in the anchorage. Dan & Tom continue the laundry fiasco Dan started earlier in the day and still have no results by midnight. There is an 0800 start tomorrow so I guess they will be going back to town EARLY!

0ctober 30 2004 0730 - $30 and 24 hours later, Dan finally retrieves the laundry. We get ready to hoist anchor. I help Georgie put on a patch to see if that will help the seasick thing. Apparently I touched my eye after touching the patch and one of my pupils got dilated. Luckily the Drs on "Jellybean" were able to figure it out and set my mind at ease but it meant spending the next day below decks in the dark. Not too much fun. Again, we were a little late crossing the start line but finally did at 0900. By 1000 Tom had our beautiful new gennaker flying and we were enjoying the first really nice sailing of the trip!

October 31 2004 - underway - Not much wind in the AM - feels like we're a cork. By afternoon the wind picks up and we have all the linens flying. We have the jib on the pole wing and wing with the main and the staysail out there too - just because! We are making over 7 knots and the fish are biting!! We got a nice 12-14# Dorado and a 24# Ahi - fish and chips for dinner!! Tom catches his fingers against a shroud while taking the pole down. He will need to have it looked at when we get in. He will definitely lose a finger nail at least.

November 1 2004 0200 - we pulled into Bahia Santa Maria at 0200 (after sailing the entire leg!) and set the anchor about 0500. The kids swim back and forth between our boat and Dr. John. Cliff and Courtney take the girls surfing. The "Jellybean" docs check out Tom's finger and think it will be fine.

November 2 2004 - at anchor Bahia Santa Maria - Dan went diving with Cliff and brought home a bag full of dinner! In the afternoon there is a beach party/Lobster dinner. We waited in line for 2 hours for our food - it was ok but not worth the wait! Anais spends the night aboard Dr. John and we prepare for a 0600 start.

November 3 2004 0600 - we weigh anchor at 0600 and cross the start at 0710. There is really no wind to speak of but Tom is determined to sail, so, we bob along. Dan did catch a 38# Wahoo to liven up the trip but by now most of the fleet was motoring on ahead.

November 4 2004 - underway - Everyone is anxious to be in Cabo and you can feel the tension. Tom finally gives in and starts the engine about mid-day. We cross the finish line at 1510 and pull into the marina at Cabo. Cabo looks like a disco Disneyland and there are pangas, powerboats and jet skis flying everywhere! We eat an unexciting dinner at the Baja Cantina and then get ready for the party at Squid Roe. Thomas is prepared to party till he drops & does!!! He danced on the tables until his feet were sore. Anais missed it!! but had fun spending the night on Dr. John again.

November 5 2004 - Marina Cabo San Lucas - We went to town to the mercado - not too impressive! In the afternoon we went to the beach party at Mangos. The kids went swimming in the very blue, very warm water! We bought a couple of pretty blankets and ended the day with an ice cream dinner. The girls came to our boat and ate Ramen and watched a movie, just like home!!

November 6 2004 - Marina Cabo San Lucas - Tonight is the awards ceremony and some of Richard's best moments - lots of fun! We got 3+ place - top of the third place pack. That felt good. The girls find a couple of boys to hang out with and manage to get everyone worried. Juan and Emerson will be remembered for a long time!!!

November 7 2004 1330 - we filled up with fuel and said our goodbyes (Anais reluctantly) and headed for La Paz. As seems to be our luck we are heading dead into the wind so looks like another 24 hours of motoring.

November 8 2004 mid-day - luckily we pulled into La Paz in the middle of the day, good thing, it would be treacherous at night. We eat some longed for burgers at the Dock Cafe and then walk to town. La Paz is a large city, but mellow compared with Cabo. The Marina de La Paz is nice though a bit expensive. We will stay until after Thanksgiving so we can catch up on schoolwork and boat projects.

November 9 2004 - Marina de La Paz - Tom & Dan take the kids snorkeling and exploring the beach by dinghy while Georgie and I explore town. Lots of Baja HaHa people have showed up.

November 10 2004 - Marina de La Paz - Lazy Mexixo day.

November 11 2004 - MLP - Thomas and Anais celebrate their 13th Birthday with a scuba lesson with Dan and swimming with the sea lions. We then had a chili dinner with brownies and cheesecake for dessert! Georgie and Dan arrange for a rental car, they go home - manana!

November 12 2004 - MLP - after a bit of a harrowing drive we make it to the airport in San Jose del Cabo and say our goodbyes to Dan & Georgie. We stop at Costco on the way back to La Paz and stock up on a few things. We make it home after dark - a bit of a scary experience driving at night in Mexico! Tomorrow we start the experience of living - vacation's over !!

November 24 2004 - MLP - We are learning our way around La Paz which includes where to find the best helado, perros caliente y hamburguesas! We are still in search of the best tacos pescado y ceviche. Thanksgiving is tomorrow and it will not be the same without all the family around. Quite a few places here put out a Turkey dinner for us Americanos - I think we will go to the Gorilla Grill, a cruiser hot spot (supposedly) I will critique Mexican Thanksgiving in a few days!! Rosie left today to head to Southern California for the holiday. She is taking Melody and will pick up Jesse at Port Huenemme on the way to Yucaipa where they will spend a few days with Grandma & Grandpa. I am a bit jealous! This will be Jesse's last holiday in the US for awhile as he heads for Okinawa on the 12th of December. I am very proud of him and will be thinking of him and sending my love each and every day. Hopefully we will be able to keep up with him via e-mail and he will take pictures there which I can post for everyone. We send all our best wishes to our friends and family on this Thanksgiving!

December 1 2004 - MLP - Thanksgiving was shared with about 140 other cruisers at a potluck held at the Marina Palmira. The food was pretty tasty but not the same as hanging around with family and playing cards etc. We did talk to the kids on the telephone while they were enjoying the holiday with Tom's parents. We had hoped to leave for the mainland early this week but the Northers began to blow and we are holed up with the wind howling, waiting for a window to make the crossing, maybe friday. I look forward to a change in scenery and some warmer weather - obviously I am getting spoiled! Small trade for not having an Advent Calender to start December. Old habits die hard!

December 3 2004 - MLP - We are still waiting for a weather window to get out of town. We had hoped for today but are contemplating the wind and Don's Weather forecast before we cast off the docklines again. I talked to Jesse last night and the Navy has had a change in plans as far as Jesse is concerned. Just yesterday they changed his orders from Okinawa to Diego Garcia. I guess we are not the only ones heading for more tropical climates! It seems the Navy thinks Jesse is very together and deserves six months to go fishing!!! We look forward to hearing all about the Indian Ocean and seeing pictures (hint hint) as I don't think the military will let us visit him there!! Rosie is planning her trip to Puerta Vallarta to spend Christmas with us. We are looking forward to all the news from home. Our Grandson Rilely turns 2 today and we are thinking of him and sending him hugs!

December 5 2004 - MLP - After nearly a month of being in La Paz - we are finally ready to cast off the docklines again. The weather looks like it might stay calm enough to make a crossing. We'll head south along the Baja coast before making the leap. We got a leisurely start and once again the wind was on the nose and we had to motor much of the way to Bahia de los Muertos, where we dropped anchor for the night. It rained a little bit but nothing significant. We met up with Pat and Terry on "Mystique", they will be heading across with us. I like the day trips - anchoring at night!

December 6 2004 - Los Muertos - After a quiet night and a morning walk on the beach for Lola we headed for Los Frailles. This will be just another day sail. The wind is favorable and we were able to make great speed under sail. We dropped anchor in Los Frailles at about 5PM. On the way, Anais hooked a couple of Dorado. The smaller of the two she released while the larger one will be dinner! Tom was a great sport and did his best at cleaning and fileting - we all missed Dan today especially! The weather is cloudy but the anchorage is pleasant.

December 7 2004 - Los Frailles - We got up this morning to a perfect sunny day. Tom and the kids went to the beach while I stayed on board to relax and do some boat chores. This has to be the prettiest place we have been yet. There are rock cliffs and white sandy beaches and the baby rays use the anchorage like a playground, leaping and splashing everywhere. This place is what cruising is all about.

December 8-10 2004 - Los Frailles - Well, once again the weather for the crossing is pretty gnarly so we are here until we get a good weather window. We could be stuck in a way way worse spot. The kids enjoyed the snorkeling and did a bit of dinghy surfing. We got the town figured out, learning on which days the different supply trucks come so that we could keep the reefer full!

December 11-13 2004 - Los Frailles to Puerta Vallarta crossing - The weather finally started to improve and we were ready to lift anchor. The first 12 hours out of Los Frailles were great sailing. At about 9PM the wind died and the sea became glassy. Over the next 36 hours the wind came and went as did the hum of the motor running. All in all though, it was a good crossing and just over 48 hours after leaving Frailles we were in Banderas Bay with a whole herd of dolphins leading the way. We pulled into Marina Vallarta around noon. The marina facilities are pretty run down but the new marina, Paradise Village, is full until mid January. Rosie will be coming on the 23rd so this will be home until the new year anyway.

December 14-20 2004 - PV - We have worked on getting the boat decorated for the holiday and taken several trips to Downtown and one to Nuevo Vallarta. Pat & Terry took us on a journey to their favorite fish taco stand in the Zona Romantica - it was quite a walk but the fish was great! We poked around in a bunch of little shops trying to get some Christmas ideas. We are looking forward to seeing Rosie and we did hear from Jesse that he made it safely to Diego Garcia.

December 25 2004 - Christmas Aboard Persistence

December 25 2004 - PV - Christmas is pretty much like usual except smaller & quieter! There were not too many gifts but everyone was happy! We made some of Tom's favorite Christmas cookies and some food to share at the potluck dinner we will go to at the Yacht Club in Paradise Village. Stan and Rhia, from "Vagari" join us for dinner. The food and company are very enjoyable.

December 26 2004 - PV - We had a pretty lazy day today in the aftermath of the holiday. We heard the news about the earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean and I feel really worried as I did not hear from Jesse on Christmas.

December 27 2004 - PV - One of my Christmas gifts was a horseback ride with the girls. We got picked up by a bus that took us out in the hills to Capoma Ranch where we spent the day riding, hiking and eating. The horses, scenery and food were all great. What a super present! When we got back Tom went go-kart racing with Thomas and Anais (one of Thomas' gifts) and they had lots of fun as well.

December 28 2004 - PV - John Schwarz (Tom's business partner) and his wife Maria came for a quick visit. It was good to catch up on news from home and work. We went out for a nice dinner downtown and a walk along the malecon. I finally heard from Jesse, much to my relief. Diego Garcia was spared from any damage in the disaster in the Indian Ocean. Apparently they had some increase in the tides but Jesse had spent the day of the tsunami fishing and didn't notice a thing!

December 29 2004 - PV - Today Russell (Thomas and Anais' dad) arrived. The kids were happy to see him and dive into his suitcase full of all their favorite snacks we haven't been able to find here. The whole gang of us went to Marismos for our favorite fish tacos and then sat around the cockpit drinking Tequilla Sunrises and catching up on all that has gone on over the past few months.

December 30 2004 - PV - We did a quick town trip before John and Maria headed out. I finished up some shopping so that Rosie and Russell can carry some gifts back with them for the kids at home. Afterwards, everyone but me went bowling and really enjoyed that.

December 31 2004 - PV - New Years Eve - We had a pretty laid back evening. We went out early for pizza because Anais had a babysitting job for the kids on "Kanaloa". After dinner we hung out just enjoying a warm evening and at midnight watched a spectacular display of fireworks going off all around us!

January 1 2005 - PV - New Years Day - Rosie and Russell both left today. The crowds at the airport were horrendous and getting them both safely off was an all day job. It was quiet after all the visitors but feels like we can stretch out a bit again! We were happy to share time and our new lifestyle with friends and family though.

January 2 2005 - PV - Tom spent much of the day working on the watermaker installation which is finally getting close to done. Everyone else spent the last day of "vacation" getting ready to get back to business as usual!

January 3 2005 - PV - Today we decided to go to the water park since it was hot and we had been promsing the kids. We figured that it would not be too crowded since most people were done vacationing. We pretty much had the place to ourselves and cooled off whipping around all the slides and then the kids got into a fun game of water volleyball, PE for today! We ate dinner at a great Vegetarian Buffet with Terry, Pat, Angie and Pete from "Mystique".

January 4 2005 - PV - Anais has been campaigning for a kitty since we saw the myriad of stray ones that live on the Island in Old Town PV. She finally broke down all our defenses and we agreed she could have one if she promised to care for it and give a commitment that her and the kitty would crew again next season. She wasn't too sure she was ready to commit but she finally gave a reluctant ok and we began the search. We had read about Ken Seeley, a gentleman who cares for many stray cats on the Island and here in Marina Vallarta. We got in touch with him and sure enough he did have some kittens ready to be adopted. We went to check them out and couldn't help falling in love with an adorable little calico x siamese baby girl. A few minutes of cuddling and Anais knew she was "the one". So, we now have one more 4 legged crew member - "Vela Vienta"!

January 5 2005 - PV - I am looking forward to soon being under way again. The kids are back to their school routine and I am ready to exchange the hub-bub of the marina and Puerto Vallarta for a peaceful anchorage somewhere. As soon as Tom is finished with the boat chores he's working on, we'll head out to La Cruz and Punta de Mita for some surfing before we head to Z-fest.

January 7 - 12, 2005 - PV - Tom has been working diligently on getting the watermaker installed while the kids have been perfecting their eye/hand co-ordination by playing pool at Brando’s! I can see that future anchorages are likely to be rated by the number of pool tables!!! We’ve enjoyed spending time with John, our good friend on s/v “Denali”, a fun companion for shopping, eating, snorkeling and partnering with Thomas (a winning combo) at the pool table.

January 13, 2005 - PV - We’ve been in PV for a month and are longing to lift the sails and find a quiet anchorage somewhere. Pat & Terry, “Mystique”, left today for Chemala. We will leave tomorrow in the company of John on “Denali”. We’ll check the surf in La Cruz and Punta Mita before turning south.

January 14, 2005 - PV to La Cruz - After some last goodbyes with our friends on “Aviva” we pulled out of PV at around noon. The cat was seasick before we even cleared the marina! The sailing was brisk and we were in La Cruz in less than 2 hours. We put the dinghy in the water and hit town! LaCruz is very quaint, especially after a month in PV. We headed to the famous cruiser “hot spot”, Philo’s! It was quiet at first but by dinner time it was packed with a bunch of salty types. They had good live music (they even have a recording studio there) and a pool table!!! We met some nice folks, enjoyed a good dinner and the kids got in some pool practice. We’re hoping for surf tomorrow.

January 15, 2005 - La Cruz - NO SURF = LONG BOARDS AND LONG FACES !!! We tried to go snorkeling but the jellyfish won. After listening to Don’s weather (The Amigo Net), we decide on a midnight departure for Chemala. “Denali” and “Zephyrus” will buddy boat with us.

January 16, 2005 - Midnight - La Cruz - Chemala - We hauled anchor at midnight and I took the first watch. There was no wind and we did a lot of rolling. I felt only slightly better than the cat! By the end of my watch all creatures 2 legged and 4 had joined me in the cockpit, except Tom, who was attempting sleep. It was a long and bobbing trip and for the first time, so far, our electronic charts were not very useful in helping us find the anchorage. (we ended up anchored ½ mile inland according to the chart!) We dropped anchor in Chemala at about 1530 - it’s beautiful. The kids went skim boarding and Lola met all the local 4-leggers. As long as there’s a dinghy and a beach Lola is one happy dog! John cooked us a fabulous dinner on “Denali” and we all went to bed early. We will stay here and play for a few days. Tom had a major victory today, we turned on the watermaker and HOORAY - Water!!

January 17, 2005 - Chemala - We spent the entire day playing on the beach. The kids went skim boarding, played soccer and built sandcastles. The water was incredibly warm and I got my first sunburn - ouch!

January 18, 2005 - Isla Colorado - We lifted anchor about noon and went just a couple of miles to Isla Colorado, which has a small beach and lots of wildlife. The small islands here are nesting areas for booby’s and pelicano’s and provide some wonderful snorkeling. We headed back to the main anchorage for the night, tired from another long day of water play. We discussed departure for Tenacatita but, everyone is having fun and are reluctant to commit to leaving.

January 19, 2005 - Chemala - We got up slowly today, listened to the Amigo Net and then did some town stuff. There are only tiny little “mini-mercados” but we found most of what we needed. When we got back, John took everyone, but me, out on “Denali” for some fishing. The fishing was not productive this time so luckily I had worked on a back-up plan. We had a delicious meal of Enchiladas rice and fresh green bean salad aboard “Persistence”. No one really even missed the fish!!!

January 20, 2005 - Chemala - We are having some odd (unsettled) weather here in the Mexican Riviera so we will wait to leave for one more day. There is a humpback whale with a calf swimming amongst the boats in the anchorage and Tom took the kids out in the dinghy for a really close up view. They were not disappointed as the whales spent a long time playing with them breaching and waving their flukes! Anais then got some “advanced” skim boarding lessons from a boy on the beach - soon she will be giving lessons, she is getting really good! We had cocktails and munchies on “Denali” with Roger and Sally. (Sally in from Tasmania and Roger elsewhere in New Zealand) We are planning to leave for Tenacatita in the morning.

January 21, 2005 - Chemala to Tenacatita We lifted anchor at 0945. “Mystique” and “Sweet Witch” are in front of us and “Denali” is with us. We will be joining about 40 some other boats already there! We entered the forest of masts in Tenacatita at about 1430 and dropped our anchor next to “Mija” (our neighbors from La Paz). There are lots of other familiar faces out there as well and Anais is anxious to get to the beach, as always! There are a few rain sprinkles but, not enough to wash the salt off of everything or delay the dinghy raft-up/pot-luck. Tom and Anais joined about 25 other dinghies, passing food around. The kids got invited to game-night for teenagers, hosted by “Comfort Zone”. They had fun meeting all the teenage types in the anchorage.

January 22, 2005 - Tenacatita This anchorage has a “Jungle Ride”, a passage carved through the mangroves and up a river. It leads to a town on the other side where a grocery truck will be coming today. We lead a procession of dinghies up the river. It is very cool with lots of birds and we saw one big green iguana swimming along. At the end, we had a delicious lunch at one of the palapas and stocked up on a good selection of groceries that “Maria” had picked up at a Costco somewhere! We then dinghied back and Thomas went over to “Doggone” to continue games while Tom and Anais went surfing - finally! Later, all the teenagers came to our boat for movie night!

January 23, 2005 - Tenacatitia Thomas hosted the local net this morning - he did a great job of it and I was really proud of how brave he was to volunteer! Today is the birthday of John from “Pangea” - there will be a potluck party on the beach tonight in his honor. We did some trip planning with John and then headed to the beach for some surfing and surf-fishing. Later, I made some guacamole/bean dip and John made cole slaw and we hit the beach for the party. There was lots of good food and company. Then, all of a sudden, out of nowhere, a squall came through accompanied by lightening, winds over 25 knots and sideways, stinging rain! The dinghy ride was frightening, searching for our boat in the outer anchorage. Luckily, Tom had brought our searchlight and we were finally able to locate our boat and all made it aboard - even shivering Lola! It was a scarier experience than I care for! All the hatches had been left open so every bunk was soggy and we were all soaked to the bone from our harrowing dinghy ride. The anchor was holding though so, we were luckier than some. “Denali” had dragged her anchor and when John tried to move her, found himself without steering and moving dangerously closer to the boats around him. He finally got another anchor set with the help of Nick from “Stargazer” and got the chain back on his steering linkage and was able to ride it out until morning. It was certainly an experience we won’t soon forget and will cause us to put out a little more scope and keep a little more distance from our friends in the anchorages!

January 24, 2005 - Tenacatita It is glorious and sunny today after last nights brief carnage. Many boats have the bedding hanging on the life rails, as do we! Tom and Anais dropped of a ton of laundry this morning at the palapa on the beach and then they all headed off aboard “Denali” to go into the town across the bay, La Manzanilla. I stayed aboard to clean up a bit and catch up on preparing school assignments for the coming week as well as my own journal notes. It is possible we will head south tomorrow. This is a neat spot and not easy to leave.

January 25, 2005 - Tenacatita We went to pick up our laundry in preparation to leave and, amidst some confusion, we got ours back but John did not. Looks like we’ll be here another day! Stuck in paradise - bummer! We decided to go up the “Jungle Ride” again and go to the “Aquarium” for some snorkeling. The snorkeling was outstanding - my favorites are the little black fish that look as though they are decorated with fluorescent blue lights. Hopefully John’s laundry will be done manana so we can head south!

January 26, 2005 - Tenacatita to Santiago (via Barra de Navidad) - Success! With John’s laundry stowed aboard “Denali” We pull our anchors up at about 1030 and head south. We stopped in Barra de Navidad to get fuel. What a gorgeous resort - looks too expensive for the cruising budget! After fueling, we continue south and finally get some great sailing weather. Winds from aft let us practice with our pole and we were making a very comfortable 7.5 + knots - wing ‘ n’ wing. We made it to Bahia Santiago at about 1830 - in time to enjoy the rays jumping all around us as we set the anchor. John came in just behind us. It is a beautiful clean anchorage and we are the only boats here.

January 27, 2005 - Bahia Santiago - We heard there was a good Commercial Mexicana (grocery/department store) here and since the shopping lately has only been sketchy we decide to make the trip. We caught a cab to Manzanillo and the mall! It was fun and the shopping successful! { John is not feeling well - possibly a kidney stone - so we will spend another day here to make sure he’s okay before we go further. } I cooked dinner for all of us - John brought steak and fish for the barbecue and I made more fresh green bean salad (everyone’s favorite) curried rice and cookies! It was yummy.

January 28, 2005 - Bahia Santiago - Melody turned 15 today and Tom had a nice chance to talk to her on the phone. John is feeling some better and we have made plans to go snorkeling this morning before we lift anchor around 1700. We snorkeled on a ship wreck - it was the niftiest snorkeling yet. Anais was nervous about it, she has been watching too much JAWS!! At 1730 we headed out for Caleta de Campos.

January 29, 2005 - underway to Caleta de Campos - There has been little or no wind and what we’ve had has been on the nose. Our big excitement was catching a huge sailfish!!! Tom and Anais fought him for at least 30 minutes each with John on the radio offering advice and moral support. Thomas drove the boat. It fought like crazy - leaping out of the water and running with the line. In the midst of all the excitement we did manage to get some video footage. Anais got the fish up right against the boat, it was easily 6-8’ long and likely over 100#. While we were trying to figure out how we’d be able to get the hook out to release it - it dove under the boat and finally broke the line which had just a nylon leader. Unhappily it was our favorite and most successful blue feather lure and with its loss we lost the chance for a trophy picture with the fish! It was still an experience we won’t soon forget! Anyway, after 21 hours of motoring we finally dropped anchor at Caleta de Campos. It’s a delightful little cove and once again, “Denali” is the only other boat except for an old fishing trawler which departed soon after we arrived. We went ashore where we met a really nice couple from Oregon - Rich and Ginger - We had a delicious Langosta dinner and the kids played in the waves. We hit the rack early and the anchorage is pretty rolly but, we are tired enough not to let it bother us. If all goes well we will leave for Zihuatanejo tomorrow.

January 30, 2005 - Caleta de Campos - Tom, John and Anais took the surf and boogey boards and caught a cab to a local surf spot. Thomas and I stayed aboard to relax and do homework. They got back about 1730 after finally finding some BIG waves, Lola had one last walk, we ate dinner and at 1900 we lifted the anchor.

January 31, 2005 - underway to Isla Grande - We spent the night motoring - again - no wind. There was a bit of boat traffic but nothing eventful. Anais and I watched Blue Crush in the cockpit while on watch. We arrived at Isla Grand before sunrise and so we circled until sun-up so we could safely find our way in. We are in a small anchorage with “Denali” and a whole bunch of pangas. We will do some snorkeling later and move to Zihuatanejo tonight or in the morning. We walked to the other side of the island to snorkel on the reef there. It was excellent. We had some snacks on the beach and Anais, Tom and I all ended up sick by later that night. We spent a sick, rolly night at Isla Grande.

February 1, 2005 - Isla Grande to Zihuatanejo - We finally managed to get the anchor up at about 1400 - only Thomas feeling okay. We made the short trip to Z-town and Tom took the kids in to Rick’s Bar to sign up for Z-fest activities. I am getting sicker.

February 2, 2005 - Z-town - Z-fest - Today is the kick off for Z-fest. Tom went to the Northbounders Seminar in the morning and we all went to the Party at Rick’s Bar in the evening. We won a dinner for 2 at the raffle. Tom & Anais are feeling better - I am still feeling lousy.

February 3, 2005 - Z-town - Z-fest - There is a beach party today - I continue to try and recover on the boat. Tom and the kids went to the party which was pretty disorganized but they stayed for a while and won us Breakfast for 2 this time! I gave John a haircut, he is moving his boat to Ixtapa tomorrow and leaving for the states on Saturday. Tom also got a haircut!

February 4, 2005 - Z-town - Z-fest - Today is the Pursuit Race. We’re racing! Kate from “Carmelita” (another KP44) is coming along to share her gennaker handling expertise. We got to the start line in pretty good shape, considering not much breeze, only to get cut off by someone with even less race knowledge than us! (This race has no fouls so we have to just suck it up!) When we just about get recovered from that, a panga dropped anchor right in front of us and we had to tack early! We did manage to set the gennaker three times and came in just the other side of the middle of the pack and way ahead of Po Oina Roa (another KP44).We had fun and learned a lot! Later, we went to the Pot-Luck Raft-up. I ate for almost the 1st time in days - my stomach was not that happy, but I lived to tell! Afterwards, Anais and Kate made goodies for the bake sale tomorrow. Tom took our mail to John who is leaving manana.

February 5, 2005 - Z-town - Z-fest - There was a Chili cook-off - Bake Sale - Street Fair today as well as the Dinghy Poker Chase. The kids took our dinghy - Lousy hand - lots of fun! I did laundry, not very satisfying (if laundry ever is) It was a do-it-yourself place but they assign washers and dryers and they made me stuff 3 big washer loads into 1 dryer which was not enough! Makes for wrinkly - wet laundry. The kids won a food gift certificate for there third place poker hand!

February 6, 2005 - Z-town - Z-fest - Today is the last day of Z-fest. We got the boat dressed with every flag we could tie on and joined the long procession of boats behind the Capitan de Puerto! He led us all around the bay and then over to Ixtapa. It was an awesome sight - all those boats in a row! Later in the afternoon, we went to the wrap-up barbecue. The food was mediocre but luck was with us in the raffle. We won another dinner for two and then (with Thomas drawing the tickets) we got the Grand Prize - 4 days and 3 nights at a fancy resort in Ixtapa!!! WOW - REAL SHOWERS As if all this was not exciting enough, we then headed into town to watch the Super Bowl - GO PATS!! It was also election day here and obviously the right candidate won because all of a sudden the streets erupted into one huge party EVERYWHERE - it was quite a day. All in all Z-fest was quite a success and raised over 400,000 pesos ($40,000) for the local school for indigenous Indian children. That’s big!

February 7, 2005 - Z-town - I am looking forward to some down time and to having a chance to explore town. On the 20th John, Maria and Matt will be coming for a visit. The kids are really looking forward to seeing Matt and getting news of their friends. Paul, Carol and Kate, “Carmelita” come for a nice dinner aboard “Persistence” and the kids watch movies while the grown-ups trade travel stories.

February 8, 2005 - Z-town - Today we cruised town a bit and I finally got a few minutes to check my e-mail. It’s been nearly a month and it really piles up - sorry friends! We then used one of our restaurant gift certificates and “ANY”. It was one of, if not THE best meals we’ve had yet. They made all sorts of interesting tamales, quesadillas and chile rellenos. Everything was delicious - my favorite was the quesadilla that I had stuffed with squash blossom and cheese. YUM. We will go back to this one! We shared some dessert tarts form the "French Baker" (he sells french pastry boat-to-boat) with Paul and Carol- not bad but not France!!!

February 9, 2005 - Z-town - We all really like it here and are settling in to a calmer routine of school and play. The kids already are talking about wanting to hurry down here after we leave San Carlos next season. I agree - there is a lot going on without the Disney Land effect like in Cabo and PV.

February 10, 2005 - Z-town - Tonight we enjoyed a night out at "ANY" and saw their show of dancing, singing and a cock fight exhibition. We had lots of fun and, as before, the food was excellent! Carol, Paul and Kate joined us.

February 11, 2005 - Z-town - We had a pretty quiet day. We went to Rick's Bar in the evening to listen to the Friday Night Jam Session. The music was fun and the kids got a chance to cruise town and find a video arcade where they enjoyed playing games and making some new friends.

February 12, 2005 - Z-town - Today we actually set the alarm and got up early to join a work party at the only local school for the indigenous Indian children. 15 cruisers, including the 4 of us, Kate (Anais' friend off "Carmelita") and Lola, all piled into the back of a pick up truck and made the trek up the hill to the school. Our mission was to paint the desks from 2 classrooms and the walls of 2 others along with some other cleaning and organizing chores. I thought it would be good for the kids to see what school was like here. What we saw was pretty amazing. Cruisers and some other gringos have done a lot of work already and there is still a long way to go! The kindergarten, which has 80 students, is still housed in a chicken coop - literally. It was really encouraging to see how many people turned out to help. There were parents and kids both from the school as well as from our cruisers group along with other locals who turned out to paint and organize. Our kids had fun and, I'm sure, gained a new appreciation for how lucky they are. It was also good to get a chance to see "real" Mexico as opposed to the tourist view. This was about as real as it gets. I'm glad we could be a part of the experience and, I hope we can find more opportunities, like this, to get involved.

February 13, 2005 - Z-town - Today was girls day out! Anais and I went with Carol and Kate, "Carmelita", out to breakfast and to do a little shopping. Didn't find much but we had fun. In the evening we went back to town where there is some sort of festival going on. Anais got roses from the, as yet, mystery boyfriend!

February 14, 2005 - Z-town - Valentines Day - Missing my son & conversation hearts!

February 15, 2005 - Z-town - We did some grocery shopping at Commercial today and then went to the opening night of Carnaval. Tonight they scared off the evil spirits by burning an effigy of Osama Bin Laden! We got to meet the mystery boyfriend - Daniel !

February 16, 2005 - Z-town - This morning Tom and I kayaked to the beach for a walk with the dog. In the afternoon we met Fred Davis and Cher (friends from Humboldt) for a drink at Rossy’s before heading off for Carnaval. Thomas got asked , by a cute little girl, to try to climb the greased pole. How could he say no? His group of boys did not make the top but they had greasy fun trying!

February 17, 2005 - Z-town - Took a long walk on the beach this morning before meeting up with Fred and Cher for lunch. Tonight at Carnaval they crowned the “crocodile guy” (a local character) the Ugly King!! The kids got to run around with their new friends, Daniel & Nattie, and practice a little Spanish! We hung around with our big friends.

February 19, 2005 - Z-town - Happy 19th Birthday Jesse - We ate breakfast out - one of our free meals - it was good. I worked on the website all day! didn't quite finish- Finally talked to Jesse and was able to wish him a belated Happy Birthday as it is 12 hours later in Diego Garcia! It was really good to hear his voice. He will be home in June!

February 20, 2005 - Z-town - John got back tonight and came for a curry dinner. Then we went to Carnaval - quite the wild party tonight. It is Ayden's birthday today and Faith's on the 22nd so we called to give them our best wishes.

February 21, 2005 - Z-town - John, Maria and Matt got in last night. We met them on the beach with Fred and Cher. Maria, Cher, Matt and Anais all went parasailing! Then we went to Las Gatas Beach for snorkeling, swimming and dinner. We went to Carnaval but not much was happening. The kids hung out with their friends while we had ice cream!

February 22, 2005 - Z-town - This morning John, Fred, Matt and Tom all helped John bring "Denali" back from Ixtapa Marina to Playa La Ropa. Afterwards, the kids went to the beach to play. Daniel came to visit Anais. For dinner, we went to an interesting place out of town, in Coacoyul, called Pollocoa. They were closed when we got there but they brought out plenty of barbecued chicken and fresh tortillas to serve the 10 of us anyway! Afterwards, the kids went to the last night of Carnaval.

February 23, 2005 - Z-town - Today we took all the visitors over to Isla Grande in the boat. We did some snorkeling. John was sick and just lay on the beach while we played. Bummer to be sick on vacation. That night Matt spent the night with us and John ("Denali") came to dinner. We had steaks and fish on the grill- yum.

February 24, 2005 - Z-town - We had the bottom cleaned this morning and Tom worked on a watermaker leak. I did laundry and then we went with the whole gang to see the show at ANY's. We had quite the fun - again.

February 25, 2005 - Z-town - Daniel came to the boat to visit with Anais. Later, we went to town to do shopping. We got some gifts to send home with John. The weather is supposed to get bad in the next day or two so we are going to go into Ixtapa Marina for a few days, until we can head north. Hopefully we can get a few boat chores done while we're there. John, Maria and Matt leave tomorrow.

February 26, 2005 - Z-town - This morning we moved the boat to Ixtapa Marina. Our guests joined us for the trip and left from there. We got to meet "Dundee", the 8ft Croc that lives in the marina. We all took a turn feeding him steak! Later, John's wife Susan arrived with his sister Peggy and her husband Roger. We took the bus back into Zihuat and went to Blue Mamou. We had some excellent barbecued ribs and even better blues - best music we've heard yet!

February 27, 2005 - Ixtapa - We did some boat chores today and then got together with a bunch of friends and went back to Coyacoul and Pollocoa! We met Daniel at the restaurant, he lives close to there. After dinner, the kids went back to Ixtapa with Anna from "Redwood Coast" while we went into Zihuat to check our e-mail and show Peggy, Roger and Susan the sights. The kids watched movies on the boat!

February 28, 2005 - Ixtapa - Daniel arrived early to spend one last day with Anais. We went to town to do some provisioning at the Bodega (Mexican WalMart!) I got a rug and a plate that I've been wanting (early birthday) and we got back to the marina in time that I could call Jesse. I was happy to hear his voice. Then Roger treated us to dinner in Ixtapa - good luck for the journey!! Anais said a sad goodbye to Daniel and we cast off the docklines at 2330!

March 1, 2005 - underway - It was a rough and chilly night - BIG SWELLS - We got the sails up during the day but the winds were pretty light. At least the seas started to lay down for our second night out.

March 2, 2005 -underway - The second night was much smoother - we arrived at Las Hadas before sunrise - it was the most fantastic sunrise yet. We hung off shore waiting for light and got in to find the anchorage had a pretty big swell so we decided to continue on to Barra de Navidad. We pulled into Barra around 1300 and found that Mystique was at anchor in the lagoon. We decided to go in there as well and promptly ran aground - apparently a common occurrence! Luckily Tom from "Misty Seas" was able to push us back into deeper water with his dinghy. We finally got safely in and anchored amidst quite a crowd of familiar boats. It sounds as if weather might be tough the next few days for rounding Cabo Corrientes - the timing is close for John and his guests, so we'll be listening carefully to Don. Tom and Anais went surfing. Anais got a wave "as tall as me" - Tom agreed! March 3, 2005 - Barra de Navidad - The anchorage here is so calm that I woke up this morning thinking we were aground. We will do school and laundry and possibly head out tomorrow - we're still undecided. Anais is quickly learning Spanish by text message! We had a yummy dinner on Denali including Peggy's Killer Chocolate Cake - it WAS to die for!!

March 4, 2005 - Barra de Navidad - As usual, the laundry is a difficult issue! Won't be done until noon today. Barra is a nice little town though, with a good surf spot, so it could be worse!! Tom and Anais go surfing and get some BIG waves - Big fun!! The kids got to go swimming at the big hotel pool with Kiley "Doggone" (thanks to Tom and Joanne on "Misty Seas").

March 5, 2005 - Barra de Navidad - Today we went to Melaque to do shopping while the kids went swimming at the pool again. Melaque was not that impressive though I was able to pick up the bare necessities. We had a quiet dinner and watched "6 Feet Under" (our new addiction thanks to Audrey on "OZ")

March 6, 2005 - Barra de Navidad - Tom and Anais went early to surf but it was high tide and no waves. John heard a favorable forecast so it looks like we'll be heading for PV tonight to catch a window for rounding C.C. Were we ever stupid, it was the worst passage ever. 20-25knots on the nose, seas 4+ feet. Pat and Terry, "Mystique", bailed at Tenacatita while we continued on to Chemala. I was hating life - along with everyone else. The boat took on water everywhere and everything launched from every surface. The whole boat took a major beating. Somewhere along the way Anais' nailpolish took flight - smashed and spilled everywhere - what a mess. Things were no better on Denali - Roger fell just as we were leaving and probably fractured his wrist. Pat put him into a splint - he's being very tough. We got into Chemala in the dark - the anchorage was very busy with boats coming and going but we found a place to anchor in the dark and were glad to shut down the engine and try to sort things out.

March 7, 2005 - Chemala - The anchorage is pretty rolly but it looks like we better get used to it since the C.C. weather looks bad through Wed-Thu. Roger, Peggy and Susan will catch a bus from here to PV this afternoon. I wish we could just "beam" ourselves back to PV. Things in the boat only look worse in the light of day. John came for a spaghetti dinner and a movie after his company got off. It was a nice quiet evening even if it was rolling!! March 8, 2005 - Chemala - We got in some good school talk this AM. It was good to get to interact pleasantly! It is not always that fun being teacher. We made a school plan for the last 6 weeks of the adventure, can't believe the time is going so quickly. It has gotten very windy in the anchorage- couldn't hear Don's weather, but the fill sounds like the first window will be on Thurs. I will just be happy to have the boat and my stomach sit still somewhere for a while.

March 9, 2005 - Chemala - The weather has really cooled off. Sleeping begins to require a blanket! The water has gotten suddenly below 70 degrees. No more swimming for me!! The beach was warm though, so we had a nice walk and made a couple of phone calls. We hit town for a pizza dinner. It was chilly at our outside table so we moved it into the little store where they were making the pizza and enjoyed our dinner among the canned goods and drink coolers - only in Mexico!!

March 10, 2005 - Chemala - The weather sounds very favorable so we will be heading out this afternoon. PV tomorrow! I am hoping like crazy for a smooth passage - a non-rolly night and a hot shower! Maybe a lot to ask - but I can dream! We got in a nice hike at the Booby bird sanctuary before we hauled anchor at 1700. There is pretty much NO wind, just lots of traffic.

March 11, 2005 - underway to PV - It got cold overnight and the traffic was a pain. We always had at least 6 targets on the radar. Sometime during the night a bird hit our sail (one of the white ones with the long tail) It spent a few hours recovering on the deck and flew off when the sun came up. We rounded Cabo Corrientes without any problem and were at the dock in Paradise Village by 1100 - HOT SHOWERS - yipee

March12, 2005 - PV - Today was the start of the Banderas Bay Regatta. Tom and Lola raced in the Optimist Sailing dinghy race just for fun. In the evening we went to the opening night festivities which included a finger food buffet and a performance of the Ballet Folklorico. The food and entertainment were both good. We got reunited with some old friends and that was good too. Stan and Rhea from "Vagari" will crew with us for the big boat race tomorrow but John is not feeling well and will probably not join us.

March 13, 2005 - PV - We cleared of the decks and parked the dinks at "Denali" to get ready for racing. We were pretty short handed but had fun and managed to successfully set the gennaker 3 times. Not only is it good practice, but confidence building! We came in 4th in our division which wasn't bad considering we were racing against some lighter, quicker boats and one just way bigger! Bit of a strange rating and handicap system - but we did okay considering we were racing our house!!! We went to the Yacht Club for dinner and signed on one more crew for tomorrow's race - Doug from "Basta" - we can sure use a couple more hands.

March 14, 2005 - PV - Another day of racing - Doug was a big asset and helped Anais and I improve our foredeck skills. We hit over 8knots on more than one occasion and had a lot of fun - we were third across the finish line but 4th after the handicap - we felt good out there though! We all went out for dinner afterwards - the company was most enjoyable!

March 15, 2005 - PV - John rounded out the crew today along with Doug, Stan and the 4 of us. Unfortunately mother nature did not co-operate and there was no wind. We did get in some good light air practice including jibing the gennaker - Mike from "Finistere" had given Anais and I a crash course before we went out on the race course. The race got called after 4 hours and only 1 boat had finished. So - we ended 4th overall - we had a great learning experience and lots of fun with our super crew! We went to the awards banquet and enjoyed some fancy food and, as usual, good company. Now that the excitement is over we'll have to get back to business as usual.

March 16, 2005 - PV - Business as usual - I did laundry - fun - then we took the bus to Marina Vallarta where the kids and I went to the vet to get Vela a worming pill and some Science Diet kitty food while John and Tom went to Zaragossa (the boat store) to do some guy shopping. Then we went out to one of our favorite spots - Marismo's - we were not disappointed!

March 17, 2005 - PV - St Patrick's Day - We worked on some schoolwork and then were invited to "Capella" for some St Patty's Day cheer. Lola inherited a dog bed from Craig and Barb's dog Chelsea - she loves it!

March 18, 2005 - PV - After a bus breakdown we finally made our way to WalMart to do some much needed provisioning. The kids have been craving beef stew so I got the ingredients and made it for them. It was a hit! We filled up the cupboards in expectation of leaving in the next few days to head up to Mazatlan and San Blas.

March 19, 2005 - PV - Waiting for weather - catching up on school and enjoying friends. Barbecued on "Persistence" with John, Stan & Rhea.

March 20, 2005 - PV - More waiting - Tonight John cooked and we ate on "Vagari."

March 21, 2005 - PV - Today I lettered John's new dink - he took me for an ice cream lunch! Then I spent 5 hours trying to catch up the website (didn't quite finish before they kicked me out of the Yacht club, where I was using their Ethernet connection) Tomorrow we leave.

March 22, 2005 - PV - This morning "Persistence, "Denali" & "Vagari" are all leaving PV together heading for Punta de Mita. John is without crew, so Thomas will be getting on with him to help him get the boat to Mazatlan. The autopilot is giving him fits so they will wait for Barry to come look at it before they leave. We headed for the fuel dock at Marina Vallarta while Stan and Rhea left straight for Punta de Mita. We ended up in the anchorage about 1700 after a rollicking sail in Banderas Bay! John and Thomas arrived a couple hours later. "Finisterre" was already in the anchorage when we got there, and Mike joined Tom and Anais for a little surfing before dinner. Anais had her "best ride ever"! John joined us for a quiet dinner aboard "Persistence" and we made our plans for an AM departure for Mantanchen Bay (one of Tom's old surf hang outs!) The anchorage was very rolly and sleeping was a challenge!

March 23, 2005 - Punta de Mita - We got up pretty early to leave (after Lola's beach walk) and John's autopilot is still acting up but, he finally got it going. Thomas is again aboard with him for the trip to Mantanchen Bay. It is calm but rolly, better with the main up. We saw lots of tortugas along the way and all arrived in Mantanchen Bay about 1600. Tom walked his old surf spot but the waves weren't breaking. (I guess it breaks best in summer) John and Thomas came for dinner and John told us T is good crew! I am proud of him for helping out.

March 24, 2005 - Mantanchen Bay - We got up early and all, except sleepy Anais, went to shore to accompany Lola on her walk. We had breakfast at Neptuno's, a restaurant on the beach that is owned by an American, Cliff. Tom enjoyed reminiscing about the "old days" with him. At 1030 we SAILED off the anchor in a very light breeze - "Vagari" and "Finisterre" are ahead of us. T is crewing aboard Denali again. He's learning a lot and really helpful to John. I am glad for both of them. The light wind didn't last long and within a few hours we were bashing - wind on the nose - 20knots. A booby spent the night on our blustery foredeck!

March 25, 2005 - underway - During the night we had an hourly radio check in with several of the other boats we were traveling with. It really helps to make a watch go by more quickly when you spend part of it chatting and looking forward to the next check in. By about 0300 the wind died and things mellowed out. At sun up our booby friend departed and at 0830 we were at the dock in Marina Mazatlan with "Denali", "Basta" and "Vagari" just ahead of us and "Finisterre" and "Rod Lee" just behind us. We went to a potluck for dinner and got to meet all our neighbors. I enjoyed talking to Joan from "Mildred Kane", she is a veterinarian in the Bay Area in her other life so, we had stories to share and things in common. There are lots of kids and Anais is thrilled! "Tea Leaves" has 2 girls, Jessi 17 and Kristi 15 while "Manu" has Sophie who is 13. They made plans to go surfing tomorrow at Playa Bruha.

March 26, 2005 - Mazatlan - The kids got up really early and took their surf and boogey boards to the beach for some wave play. They had a great time and caught some good waves. Later, we went out to dinner with John, Stan, Rhea, Doug and his crew Charlie. Anais stayed on the boat since she was not feeling well. Downtown was wild as everyone was celebrating Holy Week and Easter Eve! We took a bus and got caught in the gridlock of partiers. Finally we just got off the bus and found a restaurant closer to home than the one we were headed for. We went to Guadalajara Grill, it was loud and fun and everyone got into the party mood. Instead of the bus, we caught a pick-up with benches in the back to get us home. The driver put on loud music and we sang and danced our way all the way back to the Marina just to show we were in the spirit of the holiday!

March 27, 2005 - Easter in Mazatlan - (Feliz Huevos as Tom named it) The Easter Bunny arrived - Mexican Style - and without Peeps or Jelly Belly's, pastel M&M's or those little blue malted Robin's Eggs that I love so much. But, the bunny tried!, and goodie bags were stashed in the boat for the kids to find. Thomas went with John to the Juarez flea market and Tom took a bike ride with Mike to check out the surf spots. Anais went dinghy sailing with Blake. For Easter dinner we got together with about 30 other cruisers and went out to dinner. We got to meet some new people and share more sea stories. The kids got to socialize with some of their new friends and share their own experiences and a movie!

March 28, 2005 - Mazatlan - Everyone got up early this morning and went to the beach to surf and boogey! They must have had fun because they were all pooped out and needing naps when they got back! I tried out a new laundry experience! In Mexico, it's a different challenge every time. It's hardly fair that I get all the fun!!! Lucky for me - there's only one washer for the whole marina so I will be able to continue the fun for several days. John took a spill off his boat and hit the dock and a can of paint with his head. I was really worried about him but he seemed to be okay once the paint was washed off.

March 29, 2005 - Mazatlan - Thomas went boogeying with some of his friends while Anais had to stay out of the water as she has not been feeling up to par and I started her on antibiotics. (she did do some dingy sailing) Tom, John and I went into town to do some shopping. We picked up some supplies at Office Depot and the grocery store and then I continued my laundry experience while Tom and John fixed dinner on "Denali"

March 30, 2005 - Mazatlan - Today John took us into town to a favorite restaurant of his in the Central Mercado. 7 of us ate for 190pesos - less the $18. I had a delicious shrimp dish while John, Stan and Tom had whole fish, Sierra, which they cook head, tail, eyeballs, the whole 9 yards! Afterwards we went to "miercoles - cheap movie day" and saw "Million Dollar Baby". It was great if you don't mind crying!

March 31, 2005 - Mazatlan - (my 50th - yikes - Birthday!) There was no avoiding that no one was going to cut me any slack here on my black day!! I was treated to a donut and an egg for breakfast! and am looking forward to a special night out on the town tonight with Tom and the kids, John, Pat and Terry. John treated us all to a splendid dinner at a Mediterranean restaurant near the cathedral. They made me this lovely flaming swan dessert to cap off a really tasty meal. John leaves tomorrow to head up to the states for a couple of weeks which means that we will be heading out without him. We are going to miss him more than we can say. He has become a special part of our family and we have all gotten so close that we will really notice the loss everywhere we go.

John we really really love you !

April 1, 2005 - Mazatlan - (April Fools Day) What a day! Anais has not shown much improvement, even on anti-biotics, so I am going to take her to a doctor here that has come highly recommended. Tom and Stan are taking the boats to El Cid for fuel and John is packing to leave. We say some sad goodbyes to John with promises that we will see each other over the summer. It will not be the same without him. After a bit of being lost, we finally found Dr. Levid only to get the news that Anais has the MUMPS. She has been unlucky when it comes to all those nasty things that she was supposedly vaccinated for. She already suffered whooping cough when she was younger! Anyway, we came back armed with all the medication Dr. Levid had prescribed and instructions that Anais should rest for several weeks! This will be the hardest part! The President of Mexico arrived in the Marina to do a dedication while we were in town so, security stopped our bus and we had to walk the last part of the way to the Marina (so much for rest!) We did get to check out the entourage! Mazatlan has been more festive than we hoped for - since we've been here it has been Holy Week - spring break - biker week - the President made an appearance and all Mexico has there eyes on the Vatican. Tomorrow we leave - I doubt Mazatlan will miss us!

April 2, 2005 - Mazatlan - we woke up to a beautiful warm day and started packing up the boat. We went over to El Cid to say our good-byes to Terry and Pat "Mystique" and Ivan and Tony "Aviva". We got the sad news that Wharf had died while Aviva has been in Mazatlan. Apparently he was poisoned by something he ate. I know that he will be missed on many a dock! It was good to see, the now, Captain Ivan and 1st Mate Tony. We had fun with them in Puerto Vallarta and are always hoping to see "Aviva" whenever we pull into a marina somewhere ! They will be bringing Aviva to San Diego for the summer and we hope to get together with them in CA. We got underway at about 4PM - we will be in La Paz the day after tomorrow. The evening has been as mellow as it gets! John and Owen on "Rod Lee" were a few hours in front of us but had autopilot difficulties and had to turn around. We are making good time but not getting anything close to enough wind to put the sails up.

April 3, 2005 - underway - The sea was like a lake all night and has continued that way all day. Anais and I played cards in the cockpit while Tom did some boat chores. Lots more of the boats from Mazatlan are behind us now and the propagation is so good that we are able to talk to Pat and Terry in Mazatlan from 150+ miles off as well as all the boats in between. We are seeing Baja and talking to the mainland on VHF Wow!! The Puerto Vallarta radio nazi even was able to reprimand Tom for his channel choice. John on "Rod Lee" had a few words for him!!! Time goes by much quicker when the ride is smooth and there are lots of people to talk to!

April 4, 2005 - underway - The passage continued to be pretty quiet until during the night when the wind picked up a bit. It was nothing unbearable and we were doing good until we got into the channel just outside LaPaz. We had to transfer fuel while floating in the channel amongst the traffic and while we were doing that "Vagari" lost their radio and then had a fuel filter clog and had to shut down. Stan was able to get the filter changed but then the motor wouldn't start. We hung with them until they finally got underway again. We all breathed a sigh of relief when we were tied up at the dock in Marina Palmira! It is HOT here - when we left LaPaz in December we were wearing fleece - not anymore!

April 5, 2005 - La Paz - It's kind of nice to be back in La Paz. The weather is beautiful and warm with way less humidity than we experienced on the mainland. Stan and Rhea took us to one of our old favorite curbside restaurants, Picho's and then out for an ice cream - YUM

April 6, 2005 - La Paz - We hung about and did more boat chores again today. Then, we met Doug and went to a French Bistro Restaurant for dinner. The food was really nice, different! and the company superb. Doug has "Basta" on the hard and leaves for a kayak trip on the Salt River tomorrow. I wish we'd had a chance to spend more time with him as he is a special friend and truly a joy to be around. I hope the future gives us more chances!

April 7, 2005 - La Paz - Rhea, Anais and I did some provisioning at CCC - we didn't want to do too much as the days are growing fewer but, La Paz is great for things I haven't found anywhere else - like bagels & tofu!!! Tomorrow we leave.

April 8, 2005 - La Paz - We left Palmira about 1030 - got some fuel and headed out. The weather was gorgeous but no wind - a motor boat ride to Caleta Partida. It is very desert like here and the water is sparkling turquoise and crystal clear. Awesome! We could see the hook when we dropped it! We went to the beach with Stan and Rhea and played and relaxed. Then we all had dinner on "Persistence". There's lots of little bugs but they don't seem to bite - thank heavens! It's fun to be someplace new! The wind picked up during the night but we have no problem staying put.

April 9, 2005 - Partida - Lifted anchor in the morning and went SAILING - all the practice with the gennaker paid off and we got it set easily. It was so pretty I took a nap on the foredeck and got a sunburn. When the wind went aft we took down the gennaker and put out the pole and went wing 'n' wing. The dolphins were numerous and I had a great show put on by a big somersaulting ray. We dropped the hook at Evarista about 1700. Rhea made dinner on "Vagari" and we hit the rack early. The wind picked up again during the night but we stayed stuck.

April 10, 2005 - Evarista - Took off from Evarista about 1000. We bashed our way 40+ miles north to Agua Verde. NO FUN! It is very pretty but the anchorage was a bit difficult. It took us 3 tries to stick the anchor and we rolled all night.

April 11,2005 - Agua Verde - It's Rock'n'Roll here day and night! Not my favorite. I had a nice walk on the beach and picked up some shells and skeletons for the kids to identify. Thomas and Anais explored some caves and other spectacular rock formations. Afterwards, Tom took them into the little town and they found the tienda where they got some fresh fruit while I had a nice warm "sun shower" and worked on school assignments.

April 12, 2005 - Agua Verde - Headed our early, 0730, and found the sea to be like a big lake. The scenery was the best yet - I love the desert landscape and all the islands and coves with turquoise water. The wind began to pick up from the north but the seas were very comfortable and by 1330 we were anchored at Ballandra on Isla Carmen. Tom and Anais took Lola for a hike.

April 13, 2005 - Ballandra - Got a bit later start today, about 0900. Again, the sea was like a lake. We saw lots of big jelly fish floating around and then thousands of dolphins. It was an amazing show. We slowed down and did circles amongst them just marveling at their playful antics. I never get tired of watching dolphins. We got into San Juanico at 1330. We put the dink in and went to the beach for some exploring. I added our mark to the "cruisers shrine" (a tree full of various stuff left by cruisers) while Stan, Tom and the kids hiked to another cove and went swimming and obsidian collecting. Each anchorage is more spectacular than the one before, it's getting hard to think about the fact that we only have another week before the boat is on the hard and we will be headed back to Norte California! I look forward to seeing friends and relatives BUT the rest!?

April 14, 2005 - San Juanico - Tom has not had his fill of fish so took the dinghy out fishing this morning! A couple hours later he came back with a nice Leopard Grouper. We will be eating fish tonight in Pulpito! Anais drove the boat off the anchor in San Juanico at about 1300 and we made the 10 mile jump to Pulpito where we will spend the afternoon and jump off about midnight to head for San Carlos. Our last passage - sigh! As usual the kids are anxious to explore Pulpito and leave their last footprints in Baja for this season. So, they all went to shore to collect more obsidian (you might call it an obsidian obsession) and explore. The whole time we were there we had the Mexican Army and Navy looking at us from the air, the water and from behind the bushes and rocks. Needless to say, after dinner we decided to pick up anchor and leave a bit earlier than planned.

April 15, 2005 - underway - We crossed the Sea and it was smooth going the entire way. As we got close to San Carlos our farewell show began!! First we saw big fins which we thought might be sharks - they turned out to be huge swordfish! They swam right up to the boat so we could get a close look. Then there were whales - we were able to get quite near to them and get that, always sought after, photo of the big flukes. And next, for a spectacular finish, came a gazillion dolphins as far as you could see. We motored back and forth in the midst of them with pelicans diving all around and just got a final huge thrill at what this life offers up every day!! After the last dolphin swam off towards the horizon we turned into the channel in San Carlos and into our slip at Marina Real. {sigh}

April 16, 2005 - San Carlos - Now is the sad job of getting the boat ready to put on the hard for the summer. Everyone that walks past has a tip for something that you just shouldn't forget to do. It is a bit overwhelming. Anyway, I don't want to bore anyone with the next week worth of boat preparation so, I will close the log for now with the hope that everyone has found something to smile about or inspire them to follow their dreams. If the world smiles on us, we will be back in the fall to start the adventure anew and we hope all our friends will join us here or back out in the anchorages to continue where we left off. With our Love to All - Wendy and the rest of the Crew of Persistence!

For any of you that want to get in touch with us over the summer we will continue to check our e-mail at the same addresses or we can be contacted by phone or snail mail too!

Tom and Wendy Hoffman
Thomas and Anais Dobson
Post Office Box 859
Redway, CA 95560
707 923 - 7224

May 2005 - Benbow CA - After what turned out to be quite a long and frustrating trip, we finally ended up back in Benbow about a week after we left San Carlos. We did get a chance to stop along the way and check out Stan and Rhea's beautiful home in Saddlebrook, AZ and visit with Tom's parents for a few days where Tom helped to do some clean-up from last winter's snowstorm. When we got back to the house it was kind of a sad sight. We had to face the, less than wonderful, job we had done of packing up the house. With no furniture or pictures there was nothing to distract us from the fact that the house could really benefit from a little remodeling work. We jumped right in tearing up carpeting and tile and pulling out cupboards and old light fixtures etc. Needless to say, it has become a bigger project than we bargained for and I am tired of washing dishes in the bathroom and eating microwave meals. The rain has been a constant companion since we got back and we all long for the warm sunny days we enjoyed in Mexico. Anais wasted no time getting back to all her activities. She is playing on a softball team, practicing with the AAU girls basketball team and will play soccer in a 6 on 6 tournament in June. The High School soccer coach was thrilled to see her and happy to know that she will be a force on this years Varsity Girls Soccer squad! Thomas has spent some time catching up on all the latest tech advances with his dad. I am lonely, missing all our friends we met along the way and watching my tan fade in this gray existence. I do look forward to a visit in June from Jesse. He will be done with his first deployment and has 10 days at home to catch up with friends and family before he begins his 10 month stint in Pt.Huenneme. Anais leaves on the 17th of June to visit with her camp friend, Jennifer, in Florida before heading to North Carolina for her annual summer adventure. Thomas is hoping to spend some time in Texas with his sister Ren while Tom and I will be working with John Benbow to help him retire and do some long planned development here in Benbow. We are hoping to visit with some of our cruising buddies over the summer and get everything in order so that we can get back to Persistence and the sunshine.