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JULY 2004

photos at bottom of page (text that refers to a photo is followed by O)

The first day  of July found us out at Isla Danzante off the east coast of Baja, just south of Loreto.  It is a small island with a few anchorages on the western shore.  We snorkeled and had fish and clams for dinner.  At this point we realized that all of us like to get clams, but none of us really loved eating them.  They are o.k., but we just don't love them!  We sailed back over to restock ice and stayed off of Juncalito where we were invited to a cocktail party.  Lots of fun, you go in your bathing suit and hang out in the water with all kinds of floating objects.  The adults and kids are all up to the same antics, so it really does not matter what age you are.  Lots of fun and laughter.  We snorkeled around a small island that was just offshore and then went in to the beach for the Fourth of July pot luck/celebration that one family hosts every year O.  They set up fireworks, serve hotdogs, have a boat to take people skurfing or inner-tubing, and just have fun, fun, fun O.  There were some other kids there, local mexican families as well as some gringo (white) kids.  We were wondering what we would do for the Fourth with the kids, but, not to worry, it was just like in the states.  The next day we headed south to another anchorage along the mainland coast called, Candaleros.  It is a beautiful beach with a couple of small gringo inns.  We went for a long beach walk and explored.  We studied Mexican Culture for a school assignment and made authentic corncakes and chili for dinner.  The kids really like the Mexican culture work that we have on board.  The next couple of weeks were spent doing more of the same O, a little bit of exploring, a little bit of snorkeling, a little bit of school and a little bit of boat projects.  We got rides into town with a couple of other folks.  We would get supplies, check e-mail and just take care of whatever needed taking care of.  The closest town is Loreto, which is about a half hour away by car.  From where the boat is anchored, it is about a mile walk up the road to the highway, where there is a small store, Willy's.  At Willy's, they will do your laundry, they have a small area where they serve food and some basic food supplies.  They actually have quite a few items for such a small store and they cater to the gringo tastes, since the boaters are the main shoppers there!  We end up getting a ride into town about once a week, but we do a lot of shopping at Willy's also.  Remember, we can only keep about two days worth of cold food now since most of the fridge now is holding the ice to keep it cool.   The cruising fleet meets at Willy's on Sundays for breakfast, Bloody Mary's and general good times.  One time it was a dress up theme and boy did we all look silly!  We occasionally have folks over for dinner, which is fun and the kids really like having people over.

Preparing a boat to leave for a couple of weeks is very different than leaving a house.  There is so much work and prep to do.  We were taking sails down, completely clearing the deck and stowing everything below.  We found a wonderful woman to watch the animals in her palapa/trailer on Juncalito beach.  Nancy went in a couple of days before departure to spend the night with the animals and make them feel more comfortable.  This was Sia's first time off of the boat since we left in November!  Nancy was sleeping outside on the patio with the animals when all of a sudden this huge wind came up and did not stop.  It had been perfectly, uncomfortably, still only moments before and suddenly at almost midnight, wind and rain and big waves were upon us..  Nancy watched from shore as Mike and Fletcher struggled with the sunshade to get it down.  Mike had the engine running in case they had to make a run for it.  No body got much sleep.  The worst of it only lasted a couple of hours, but then your blood was flowing so fast, there was no sleeping anyway.  This weather pattern is known as a Chubasco and is common in this area in the summer time.  So, we survived our first Chubasco with Nancy on shore.  Because of the waves that had quickly built with the big wind, even Mike felt sick.  Nancy was secretly glad that she had been on shore that night, even though she felt bad about not being there to help out.  The next day we (and all of the other boats that had been in Juncalito)  moved back over to the protection of Puerto Escondido where we continued to pack and prep the boat.  The kids were so excited to be going on a trip and to see family.  The last couple of days were difficult since the kids were full of it and Mike and Nancy were so busy with boat stuff. During this last couple of days, a refrigeration guy appeared.  We had heard that he was scheduled to be here, but he had not shown up until now.  Since we were leaving, he put us on the top of his work list.  He had all of the parts, equipment and knowledge and he built and installed a new fridge for us.  Yea!!  So, the day before we left, we finally had a working fridge.  In case you are wondering about the one that we had ordered from the states, there was a mix up in shipping and it was going to end up arriving the week we were leaving.  Since it is expensive to ship down to Mexico, we had told the company to hold it for us in San Diego for pick up while we were there.  Since we had it working by the time we left, we returned the other parts.  It all worked out for the best and it was quite an experience to live with a family and no refrigeration during a Mexican summer!  

Anyway, we got everything stowed down below and ready to go and had a ride arranged into town to catch the bus.  The bus left a bit late, and we were glad that we had brought snacks with us since there did not end up being any dinner stop.  The bus was crowded O and and showed non stop scary and violent movies.  That was another new experience for the kids!  There was screaming all night on the movies, so even if you got comfortable enough to fall asleep, you were soon woken up by the blood curdling screams in the movie.  There were many stops and searches throughout the night.  One of us would get off the bus each time to watch as they opened and searched the bags.  They are mostly looking for drugs being smuggled to the states.  We made it across the border and into San Diego.  We picked up our rental car and started hitting the boat stores.  We forgot that it was Sunday, so many of the places that we had planned to go were closed, but it was a good thing we did not take as much time as we had planned to shop that first day as there was a surprise welcome home BBQ at Mike's sisters and we were late as it was.  It was good to see everyone, many of the kids cousins were there and they had a great time in the pool and playing around O.  We got a great nights sleep before heading back to San Diego the next day to research and purchase boat equipment.  It was another busy and full day of running around.  The next day was water park day with the cousins O.  Nancy spent much of the time on the cell phone, checking up on business stuff and making contact with people for the next couple of days. The next morning we headed north for appointments.  One was with the school program that we are doing.  We needed to trade in last years books and get all of the materials that we will need for the coming year.  We ended up spending hours gathering materials and even had a swearing in ceremony for the kids O.  After we finished there, we went to the book store to buy lots of other supplemental and reading materials.  It was a full day of books!  Some of the other stops in the area were:  going through storage and grabbing what we needed and also putting stuff back that we did not need, checking the house in Santa Barbara and meeting with the accountant/property manager/mail collector, and visiting some friends.  In Santa Barbara, we stayed with some old friends of Nancy's and their two kids.  The kids played and played and rolled around in the yard.  They had so much fun.  It was so great to see friends and hang out.  The next morning we were back on the road headed for Los Angeles for breakfast with Nancy's brother and cousins O and then headed to Sacramento for dinner.  We were all over the place.  We arrived in Sacramento just in time for dinner and it was a feast!  It felt like Thanksgiving!  Lots of people and amazing food.  Again, the kids played and played with the other kids.  Water fights, wrestling, videos, you name it.  They had a blast.  We felt good that we were making contact with almost everyone that we had wanted to so far and we were only a week into the trip and at the end of July.



Please click to enlarge!

  Juncalito Beach set up for July 4th

   There were all kinds of water activities

  Even sparklers were provided

  Desiderata anchored at Pyramid Cove on the east side of Isla Danzante off of Loreto

  Fletcher and Mike hiked to the top of the hill

  Darn, another beautiful sunset

  Sorting and classifying our shell plunder

  We love it when Fletcher catches fish for dinner

  Fletcher practicing the ukelele in his room

  This pelican decided that Mike was his kind of guy

  Cocktail hour at cocktail cove

  On the bus, California bound

  Back with family, the cousins play in Aunt Paula's pool

  Raging Waters with some of the cousins

  Getting next years school supplies and the swearing in for the new school year

  Breakfast with Nancy's brother and cousins

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