SOBER OCTOBER 

1-24 OCTOBER 2021

First on the agenda. We want to thank Sandra and Roy for the round of beers. We miss ya both. Chris says “cheers!”

SOBER OCTOBER

Our return bus trip back was pretty uneventful, although we did find ourselves with four hours to kill at the bus terminal in Phoenix. We also learned the hard way that the bus drivers often refuse to stop at the Kilometer 21 immigration office for those needing their tourist cards stamped. But getting through customs with a cooler of boat parts and all our duffle bags of stuff was no problem.

One full-size suitcase, one cooler, two backpacks, and two carry-ons.

SAN CARLOS

It was good to be back on Dharma Girl after our long trip in the States. We found her in really good shape thanks to our boat minder Jimmy. She was even washed before we got there!

The temps were still rather on the warm side, getting into the low 90s by mid-day but the humidity was lower. We decided to just take our time putting the boat back together; that boiled down to one big job in the morning, then one or two smaller ones until about lunchtime. After that, it was just too hot to be outside toiling away with the sun beating down on you. We pushed our slip reservation out a few extra days and were glad we did.

Once we were done at the dock, we moved out to the anchorage for a few more days – it was a real mood changer to be back in an anchorage. Just a little more privacy and personal space I think. Our friends Brian and Brianne were just across the dock from us and we had them out to the boat for dinner and game night one or twice. They taught us how to play Exploding Kittens. We nicknamed them B-Squad. I don’t think they know that but if you are reading this Rocinante, you’re the leader of B Squad.  (a Steve Zissou reference)

So with everything pretty much done, we set off for an overnight crossing back to Bahia Concepcion. We had a full moon and light westerly winds and made it to Santo Domingo, then into Playa Santispac the following morning.

SANTASPAC

Looking west as we cross from San Carlos to Bahia Conception

From a sunrise crossing to twelve hours later, a sunrise anchorage. We enjoy each one as if it’s the first. So special.

The quality of the movie is improved when you click on ‘full screen’ located in lower right corner of video.

We stayed in Playa Santispac for a few days; it was nice to see the campground full. We dinghied over to Playa Coyote and did the now notorious Petroglyphs Hike. Carrie got to experience it first-hand. We even did our typical hike mode – scramble up the rocky cliffside, only to discover the trail on the other side of the canyon. (photo of trail on other side)  I stepped on a big sticker that went right trough my shoe bottom. It was a dramatic and painful few minutes. However, we did time it pretty well by avoiding the afternoon wind chop on the way back to the boat.

We are chilling out with our morning coffees before our hike.

No, that is not DharmaGirl. We have topped the hill, naturally off the trail, but this view was eye candy as we ate lunch.

The other highlight of our stay here as the seam on the SUP blew shortly after we pumped it up one morning — Boom!  Pssssss   What the heck was that!?  The SUP popped and there is a 2” gap in the seam. Ah well, Carrie gooped it up with some sealant, we’ll see if it holds up under pressure. She remains a little gun shy about the test ride, particularly in green waters.

Do you see the bee?

SANTA BARBARA

Moved south to Santa Barbara.  The quiet we do not experience often. We visited this anchorage at the end of our last season.  In fact, we left here last July to sail across to San Carlos.  

Woke early one morning, staring out the hatch above our berth (bed). The dark pre-morning skies,  I see Orion and the Moon I remember that when I see Orion, I know to look the opposite direction in the sky to see the big dipper. Hello to both of you. I remember this.

So the life on the boat in Mexico, or anywhere for that matter, isn’t always so glorious as one would imagine.  It isn’t always palm trees and margaritas.  Living on a boat provides unique challenges different from living on land.  For example, the paint job on your house can last a few years.  After the paint job is completed, you don’t think about it for a while.  

A boat with varnished teak that is exposed to tropical sunlight typically lasts one year.  So annually, we top off last year’s coat with a little light sanding and a coat or two of our favorite, Epifanes (add link) varnish.  Good as new again.  But for some reason, the coats on the teak rub rail didn’t keep so well.  While in La Paz, Chris worked long warm mornings to renew the rub rail. With the rich and warm finished rub rail, Dharma Girl looked as if she had a facelift.  We talked about it for days.  

The bowl measure 5″ across. So calculated the wingspan of this moth is ~7-8″ wide.

Three months later and the varnish shows worn spots on the inside edge.  We have a couple of reasons why but nothing for certain.  So unlike painting a house and forgetting about it for a few years, we cannot overlook this.  We will rectify this with light sanding and a couple of coats of varnish. Cross your fingers for us – we want a really pretty finish again.

And off-topic, would you enjoy walking in your home at 4:40 in the morning and spot this beauty on your ceiling. Ours is 6’4″ so this moth was close enough for me to get a photo.

Onto the fun. Carrie went for a kayak paddle around the anchorage.  She explored the east side, she’s alone exploring the shoreline. And, well, the hello there! Fellow kayakers coming in from around the NE tip of the cove.

So Carrie went around the northeast end to see what was on the other side.  Sounds like a joke we have heard. After her exploration, she returns and acrosses the mouth of the anchorage to the west beach.  With an easy beach landing, she explored and found a dirt road.  This road would be useful for us to stretch our legs.  

(24th B/W photos.  

Back into the kayak with a quiet beach launch, she paddled to the south end.  From the water, she checks out the large yurts for any changes since the July visit.

Nothing special. I’m super excited about the opportunity to video some of the amazing fish we see while snorkeling.

Our first so call, underwater videos. I gave it a try and think I’ll get more creative. Thanks to Ann Walls for the awesome DiCAPac Waterproof phone pouch. I’m looking forward to sharing some videos of fish we speak about.  Instead of inserting photos from websites. 😉

Back to the boat and time for a little boat work; cleaning and polishing the exterior portlights until they sparkle. The nap follows.  

Have you been wondering while we titled this post Sober October? We made a pack with each other to avoid alcohol for the month of October. The timing just seemed natural. We were reminded how often we want to celebrate with an alcoholic drink when a mocktail worked just as well. It also reflected how much the social aspect of the cruising life is focused on sundowners, social drinking, or stating we’ll catch up over a beer. We are glad we did it. I would consider doing it again in January 2022.

Alright, tomorrow we sail north out of Bahia Conception, turn the corner, and head south for our next stop, San Nicolas.  

See ya there.

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