|November 17 - December 1, 2005 - San Carlos - Well after a long hot bad summer we finally made it back to Persistence unfortunately without the kids. Not too sure what it will be like without them and for sure we will really miss them. Fortunately our son Tony (we semi adopted him last year whether he likes it or not) from San Carlos with the permission of his madre y padre is going with us to La Paz. We stayed in funky Gringo Pete’s hotel the first few nights until Persistence was ready to go aboard. Wendy got the topsides looking great again while I tried putting every thing back together. We had lots of boat stuff we had brought with us, the car felt like it had been going uphill all the way there. We launched on the 21st at 8:30AM and headed to the fuel dock and then over to Marina Real, sure feels good to be back on the water again! There are new heads at the marina but the usual no hot water for showers, feels like Mexico! We dumped what went bad and slowly loaded on everything we brought with us. Wendy put on new lifelines of Amsteel instead of wire, looks great hope it works. Thanksgiving found us at JC’s with our great friends Stan & Rhea from Vigari. The eggnog was to die for the rest so-so and we missed all the kids and family. Not the same without them all. Tried putting on the new jib and it was too long for the hoist!! I worked all day trying everything to get it up and finally decided that a little slack won’t hurt because we will be sailing downwind. We broke in Rhea’s oven with cookies and played Mexican Train dominoes on Vigari. We also tried the Shrimp Festval but were to late for everything but ceviche. Oh well dinner at Jax again. Both Wendy and I suffered from some sort of malady for a couple days. We got invited to Tony’s folks for dinner on the 30th . Tony’s dad made paella and we brought good ol’ USA brownies for desert. We talked and reassured Tony’s mom we would take good care of him. Her words to us and Tony were “nada de nada” as far as beer and tequila are concerned. Of course we were good about that! Vigari left for La Paz on a fast track on the morning of the 1st, while we planned on leaving on a slow tract south the next night. We will sure miss our friends but we’re sure we will cross paths again. We had planned on leaving about midnight but overslept and left at 2AM instead.
December 2, 2005 - Santa Rosalia - Docked at the funky marina about noon, careful on the dock as ours was half sunk. Met Lou who runs the place and took off to town. SR is an old French mining town made mostly of wood. We walked to Eiffels church and had lunch near there. Lots of history here good and bad.
December 3, 2005 - Bay of Conception - We left SR around 10AM and headed south in 15 knots. Beautiful sail into the bay where Tony, Lola and I did the Tequila dance to fiesta music. We anchored in a little cove outside Santispac where Tony cooked up a great dinner of shrimp.
December 4, 2005 - Bay of Conception - Tony and I went to Santipac to check out the gringo palapas, 2000 sq. ft. beach shacks with every convenience imaginable! A norther is blowing so we will hole up here for a couple days.
December 5, 2005 - Bay of Conception - Found the hot springs on the beach next to us, poor Lola burned her paws running through them. We had pescado frito for lunch from a fish Tony caught in the anchorage then Spanish lessons from our maestro Antonio.
December 6, 2005 - San Juanico - We left early from Santispac in light building winds. We actually tacked out of the bay making 10 miles into 30! By midday rounding the point the winds had built to over 35 knots. Not wanting to backtrack that 10 miles (30!) we held on. The forecast was for light enough winds to canoe to the islands! Everybody felt a little queasy but Persistence carried us through, at one point during sustained 38 knots I walked around the decks and noticed there was not one drop of water on deck, what a great boat!! We made over 8 knots with only a double reefed main all day and got into beautiful San Juanico at sunset. I almost lost the dinghy when the tide carried it off the beach while we looked at the cruisers shrine (tree), I had to frantically swim about 200 yards to catch it.
December 7, 2005 - San Juanico - Spectacular sunrise!! Wendy worked on a new ornament for the shrine tree and fixed up last years while Tony and I went fishing - no luck. We had folks from Merlot over for shrimp lunch and chatting, we will both be heading south again in the morning.
December 8, 2005 - Pto. Escondido - Left San Juanico early with left over norther weather. Got the gennaker up and cruised all day to Escondido. Beautiful hurricane hole with matching sunset. Tony and I hitched a ride to the store with a gringo we met for groceries.
December 9, 2005 - Pto. Gato - Wow what a sunrise we had in Escondido! Made a couple of water runs as I can’t get the watermaker going yet. Tony and I showered on shore with a hose while Wendy did on the boat. We left midday for a short hop somewhere finally deciding on Pto. Gato about sunset. Had a tequila party forgetting again about the “nada de nada” we’ll try harder tomorrow.
December 10, 2005 - Isla San Francisco - Got up early to such a beautiful place, so different from all the others. Bright red sandstone cliffs all carved by wind and water. Sailed in 15 knots to start then down to 5 and suddenly up to 30+ with wing and wing. Tony and I watched the speedo hover around 8.9 knots but never quite reaching 9! Of course as usual just as we are taking down the rig we catch two beautiful Dorados. Tony took off and left me hanging onto the whisker pole, oh well the fish are more important! Anchored next to an 80’ power boat around sunset when Tony says “that’s my cousins boat!” It ends up being our friend Ivan’s brother too!
December 11, 2005 - La Paz - We pulled the hook late morning to head to La Paz. The wind was still blowing 30+ with overcast skies but it’s downwind to La Paz from Isla San Francisco. We begged Wendy to fish again as we already had a freezer full and she gave Antonio permission for one pole only! About ten minutes later we got another Dorado, but being good fishermen we put him back. Then another 10 minutes or so we hooked a big skipjack probably 15-18 #’s. Usually we toss them back as the meat is too red for us but Antonio wanted to keep him for his relatives in La Paz. The Mexicans know how to cook these guys. We docked at Palmira Marina and hiked the 6 miles or so to the polka dot tree where our favorite ice cream (La Fuerte) place is. We really enjoy La Paz as it’s not so touristy and they decorate for Feliz Navidad.
December 12, 2005 - La Paz - We met up with the crew from Vigari for dinner at the French resturant after packing and making plans to get home for Xmas. Can’t wait to see the kids again.
December 13, 2005 - La Paz - Wendy and Rhea did some xmas shopping while I worked on the boat and Tony visited relatives. Can’t talk Tony into going home with us. Later we met up with Ivan, now Captain on Aviva, and his family, it was good to see him again. We made ferry reservations to Topolambopo manana.
December 14, 2005 - Topolambopo - We left La Paz about 3:00PM on the ferry. Very modern ship but Lola and Vela had to stay in cages the whole way on another deck. We got into Topo about ten o’clock that night and got a motel. No tourist facilities here. We get a rental car tomorrow and head for San Carlos.
December 15, 2005 - San Carlos - Picked up a small Ford like Faith’s and drove towards San Carlos. Tony and I shared driving, he asks if he can drive Mexican style! Apparently stop signs are only a suggestion in Mexico as are speeding and others!! Tony went to dinner with us and then left for home in the car. Wendy tried to not let go but ended up crying as he drove off. Hard to see your kids grow up.
December 16, 2005 - Yucaipa - We returned the and drove Tony home to have some of his mothers tamale’s. We shopped a little more for xmas then headed north. The border at Nogales was very slow and crowded and after last years hassle we expected no less. When we got to the crossing they asked about dog food?? I said yes and to the search stall we went. Fortunately they were in a good mood this day and joked around with us. They asked how much dog food we needed to get home and let us keep it all, go figure. Last year they thought we were smuggling legal drugs across the border this year it’s dog food!! !5 long hours later we were in Yucaipa.