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June 2004

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

June had lots and lots of beach time.  We have used a lot of sunscreen too.  No matter how much or how often we put it on the kids they still get sunburned noses.  Not sure what to do about that?!  The beginning of June found us racing up the coast to meet up with the Sutters (the kids Aunt Karen, Uncle Rick and cousins Ryan and Cory).  On the way up we would sail most of the day until we reached our next planned anchorage.  Most days we would get up very early and leave at sunrise to make sure that we made it to the next anchorage by night.  It usually took less time, but you need to make sure that you are anchored by dark when you are around islands and rocks and shoals.  Often there would be time for a snorkel or beach exploration.   Sometimes we got in right at sunset.  Traveling is very different on a sailboat.  Everything takes much longer than on the land and you have to allow extra time, just in case.  On the way up we had pilot whales O come and play pretty close to the boat.  We saw many beautiful sunrise O and sunset scenes as you could imagine.  Along the way we were working hard to finish up the school year so that while the family was here we would not have to worry.  Boy did we accomplish a lot during that travel week!  Our anchorages along the way were:  Isla San Francisco, Aqua Verde, Isla Carmen, San Jaunico, San Domingo, Mulege, Santispac, and then finally caught up with the Sutters at Burro Beach.  The islands were beautiful, but it turned out that our favorite spots were on the mainland of Baja.  We loved Aqua Verde (south of Loreto) and San Juanico had great snorkeling.  We will definitely be going back to these two spots. We needed to stop in Mulege on the way to restock fresh supplies.  We have lots of canned and dry goods on board, but we need to get fresh food about every week or so.  It is not easy to get into Mulege from the water.  The town is upriver a bit and the river is very shallow.  We anchored offshore and tried to take the dingy into somewhere along the river so that we could walk into town.  It was so shallow that we could not even manage this.  As we were pushing off the bottom trying to get back down river a man living along the shore that had watched our progress (or lack of it) called us over.  He said to tie up the dingy and take his truck into town.  Wow, what a  great thing that was!  We had not driven a car in quite a while.  We checked email, stocked up and ate some lunch before returning the truck with profuse thanks and gratitude.  We got back to Desiderata, stowed the supplies and headed into the bay. 

Conception Bay was wonderful.  Warm, clear water, nice beaches.  The first night we stayed in Santispac and the next day the Sutters were scheduled to come in.  We were all so excited.  Visitors are wonderful.  While in Santispac we met another kid boat and talked and went for a beach walk.  The next day we got up early to get ready for visitors and jumped in the dingy to meet up at the camp spot that had been designated.  We did a pretty good tour of the bay and finally found the Sutters on Burro Beach.  There were some large palapas there available for camping O.  They were so large you could drive your vehicle right in and  the shade was most welcome,  so that was camp.  We played and played on the beach O.  While there we also ran into another boat family that we had originally met while out in the Channel Islands in California.  They took off a couple of months before us and boy were we jealous that they had already cut their ties.  We were in the midst of our frantic push to get out and we just wanted to be where they were, already gone.  Anyway, they had two kids also, so the kids had a blast and they were a fun addition to the week of visiting.  We hung out on Burro Beach for the first couple of days, barbequed steaks on the beach and ate so'mores.  Then we went and explored another small bay that we heard was beautiful that was about an hours sail away O.  It was called Bahia Santa Barbara O.  It was really nice.  We got clams and scallops O from the sandy bottom and also had some luck spearfishing.  Mostly we just snorkeled around, the kids played and played and the grownups explored and relaxed.  We sailed back to Burro, but left the kids at Santa Barbara with the other kid boat for a sleep over.  We had all of the adults out to the boat for dinner which was nice.  Fresh scallops for appetizer and then fresh clam linguini for dinner O.  Very yummy.  The next day we sailed back over to Santa Barbara to reclaim the kids and to hang out at this beautiful bay some more.  That night we had a big pot luck on the beach with two other boats and the Sutters.  The kids really wanted to have their cousins over for dinner and a movie, so the next night that was the big event.  Fletcher went in to pick everyone up and bring them out to the boat O.  Fletcher is quite the boatman, capable of handling the dingy quite well.  Nancy spent some time getting correspondence done for the next couple of months.  Now that we are in the sea and not near alot of other boaters that are going back to the states, it is more difficult to get mail out.  So, we took advantage of the Sutters to hand off our mail to for posting on appropriate dates.  One day we all piled into the vehicle and went into Mulege for a town day and to restock fresh food again.  We went out for lunch and had a great time.  All too soon, the visit was over and the Sutters were leaving. 

We spent one more day in Conception, snorkeling some islands before taking off back south to explore the possibility of leaving the boat in Puerto Escondido while we are in California next month and to hit some spots that we had missed on the way up.  We heard on the radio that some friends of ours were at Isla Coronado, so we headed off that direction to try to catch up with them.  We made it into the anchorage before dark and then heard some other friends of ours from Ventura were nearby.  We convinced them to come on out.  We went snorkeling with our friends from Encanto that we had spent so much time with in Mazatlan.  That night, there was a big beach potluck O already organized for all the boaters in the anchorage.  There were many boats that we had run into earlier in the season, so it was fun to visit with everyone, and especially to see our friends from Ventura.  Everyone brought wonderful dishes to the potluck and we finally got to see and taste the small clams that we had heard about from another boat.  These are the wedgies.  They are very small and sweet.  We also had fresh squid while we were there O.  We had Calamari Piccata one night and the next day a Calamari stew.  We socialized for a couple of days and then it was back to completing school for the kids.  Nancy really wanted to get this out of the way and done already.  We did some testing and deemed that the kids had passed their classes.  That night we had a big celebration.  We had a dress up dinner with candles and cake O.  Mike had made certificates for us while I was testing O.  It was alot of work and alot of fun.  The next day we headed in to Loreto to re-supply and realized that our fridge was not working.  We did not know what to do.  There is not much in the way of boat supplies in Loreto.  We got ice and explored some options.  We found one fellow to come out to the boat and check everything, but he ended up getting seasick.  Loreto is an open anchorage and it was very rough.  He could not do anything, so the next day we headed for Puerto Escondido, not sure what was there.  We asked around and there really is not much there either.  Nancy went back into Loreto with some other cruisers with a car and explored another person who might be able to help.  He agreed to come down a couple of days later.  So there we were waiting it out.  It is very hot and while Puerto Escondido is beautiful it is not the easiest place on foot.  The store is small but well stocked, however, it is far from the anchorage.  There is also laundry service, but again pretty far to walk.  We got lucky and got rides in.  While there we celebrated our first anniversary as a family.  We went to dinner, hung out at a pool and ate fried ice cream for dessert.  While we were waiting to figure out the fridge, we would go in and out to the islands that were a couple of hours sail away.  We would stay out for a couple of days and then come back in to get ice.  We got to see alot of spots that we might have blazed right past.  We spent time at many anchorages off of Isla Carmen and Danzante.  We snorkel almost every day and get lots of exercise.  We also started some summer school activities, the kids have lots of workbooks and are having fun.  We ended up doing a bunch of research on getting the fridge working and spending about $50 on phone calls to the states and ordering a new compressor and evaporation plate to be sent down from the states.  It will take almost two weeks for everything to get here and then Mike has to pull apart much of the galley to install the new system.  It will be interesting.  On another note, it had been hot, yea, really hot.  Some nights it stays in the 90's all night.  Nancy is not doing real well getting much sleep in the heat.  We have been having winds at night off of Baja, so they are hot, not cooling.  The spray bottle sits next to the bed and has been getting a workout!  The kids have been having fun fishing O, playing pirates O, doing art projects O and trying to stay cool also.



Please click to enlarge!

Some friendly pilot whales

Moonset over Baja

  A sunrise lit Gigante range

 Casa Sutter, the family visit in Conception Bay

  The fun island was a hit

  Hopper was in heaven as he could play on the beach all day long, and he did

  The cousins hanging out

  Eating raw scallops prepared by another boater

  Desiderata flying all her sails with all the family on board

  The beautiful beach at Santa Barbara anchorage where we spent a couple of days

  The kids are never lacking for something to do

  Scurfing in Burro Bay

  More scurfing

... and more exercise and play

  All the women go for a snorkel at an offshore island

  The daily afternoon cool off

  The whole group that hung out for the week, McConnells, Sutters and family from s/v Mariposa

  Everybody on board after a day of play

  Coming out for dinner with shuttle driver Fletcher

  The adult feast of fresh clam linguini after a fresh scallop appetizer (the kids were having a sleep over on another boat)

  A cruiser potluck at Isla Coronado

  Catching squid in the evening for the next days dinner

  Graduation night, dress up candlelit dinner and cake too!

  Including certificates of completion

  And even one for the teacher

  Dana and Fletcher often go out fishing in the mornings in the dingy or..

  Fishing off the bow

  More fishing

  Fletchers catch of the day

  Dana's first cleaning and scaling lesson on a fish she caught

  And then when all else fails there is always art projects

  Playing dress up is another fun past time

  Desiderata at anchor in another beautiful bay, this one is La Lancha on the north end of Isla Carmen

Couldn't resist this one of Sia peeking over the edge of the bed

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