2011-12-11

Firedust - Book 1 of The Adventures of Josh Bronsky

With Christmas just a couple of weeks away, this is a good time to plug Scott's sister's book "Firedust" - Book 1 of The Adventures Of Josh Bronsky by Katherine Emmons.


If you have 8-12 year old children on your Christmas shopping list, you should really check it out! It's a great adventure story, with more books coming in the Josh Bronsky series...

A BAD DAY... 
... GETS WORSE

Josh Bronsky is whisked off to the world of Lumira in a dune buggy stolen right out of the school parking lot.

His accomplice is the stubborn Isabel, better known as the Sock Princess. This whole fiasco is her fault.

A strange man warns Josh about an upcoming battle, and tells him about the firedust, ...

You can preview the first chapter of the book, and get more information, at www.firedust.org. You can purchase the book directly from Amazon, or to get the ebook on Nook and Kindle.

2011-07-29

Let the pounding begin!

We had a great time at the homecoming party for Blue Sky before continuing our voyage up the coast.  Great people. On the wall of the Port Royal Yacht Club we saw a picture of a familiar boat - Jane'O! The previous owner was a member of this yacht club, which was neat to run across. Dale (our crew) took a picture, which we'll post later.

Again, we got lots of "Jane'O is back!" comments and such, being in a high density of people who knew her and the previous owner Dave. After the party, Jim and Peter, who have more miles on Jane'O than we do, came by for a visit and to relive a few memories and tell some great stories of their trips aboard. We had a couple of items that came with the boat, but which we have since learned belonged to them, and it was neat to get these things back to them.

Past and Present Jane'O Crew
At 3AM we awoke to push off and continue on our trip. Timing passages around Point Conception and Big Sur is an important factor for both comfort and safety. As Point Conception is almost 24 hours from Redondo Beach at our average 5kt speed, this was when we needed to leave to make it around in the wee hours of the morning when seas and wind conditions are typically best.

Once a bit past Santa Barbara, seas started to get choppy resulting in pounding conditions Jane'O. Bridgedeck pounding is something that doesn't happen to monohulls, and is when chop is forced up between the two hulls and has no place to go but slam into the bottom of the bridge deck. The force of the water makes a very loud BANG and has enough power to cause things on the table to bounce a couple of inches. This is one of the few conditions where we have to actually worry about stowing things so they don't bounce around and onto the floor. Sleeping in these conditions is a challenge as well, especially for anyone in the forward berths. We gave Dale the best bed on the boat, in the aft cabin while Jacob and I practiced our levitation in the forwards berths.

Conditions were rough with winds in the high 20s all the way around Point Conception and Point Arguello - and all the way to the mouth of San Luis Bay. It was only once we got inside the protection of the jetty and the surrounding hills that we found smooth water.

Port San Luis is a great anchorage - at least with prevailing northerly and northwesterly weather, don't ever come in here during a southerly storm! We anchored right between the two piers, in roughly the same place we anchored on our southbound trip in the fall.

We knew there was some nasty weather off the coast for a couple of days, so planned on staying in Port San Luis until it passed. Outside the bay we could see big rollers and whitecaps (you could see the horizon was quite a bit higher than water in the bay), while at anchor it was flat and calm. This is a great place to hang out for a couple of days, with lots to do.

We launched the dingy and rowed over to the municipal pier and walked around town for awhile. Dale and Scott did some wine tasting, and then we all walked along the inlet and beach before going to the little store for a few provisions.

The next day we were still waiting for weather, so Dale and Jacob had fun rowing the kayak and dingy to the beach and up the river, and again later to another beach adjacent to the mooring field. Scott stayed on the boat and did some reading.

Starfish on the anchor chain
The weather forecast showed things would start to improve overnight, so we decided to leave Port San Luis at 8pm, which would get us into San Francisco Bay before dark two days later. The first night was another really rough nite of pounding and winds in the high 20s, but there wasn't a whole lot of current so we still made good progress. The next day we broke into the forecasted calm conditions, and had nice weather for the rest of the trip - we got some great sleep the next night!

Conditions were so good, and we were making such good speed that we arrived at the San Francisco bar around 4am. This is not a good time to cross the bar and enter the bay - at night and in the fog, but at least waves were small and we were at slack tide, making the ride comfortable and safe. What wasn't comfortable and safe was all the shipping traffic! We were really surprised how much big shipping traffic there is between 4-6am through the gate! We had 5 big ships inbound and 2 outbound, plus a number of fishing boats and one tug. Without radar and a chartplotter we'd have had to loiter offshore for daylight.

By 7:30am Jane'O was docked at her new slip, finishing up our trip that started at the beginning of September 2010, when we left San Francisco Bay for Mexico! What a great trip!!

Randy and Dale, thank you guys for crewing for us - you are both great, easy to get along with, lots of fun, and trustworthy. Thank you so much!!

Jane'O, thank you for a great adventure and keeping us safe. Now you get to rest and play around on the Bay until our next trip.

Dave, thanks for watching over us.

More pictures soon!

Avila Beach and Municipal Pier
Cal Poly Pier (the old Unocal Pier)

2011-07-23

Having a good trip up the Southern California Coast

So far, it's been an easy trip up the coast, but all we've done is the easy part. Jane'O survived her 6 months on mooring well, and other than being covered in a thick layer of black grime, was how we left her. Everything is black from this grime, so doing pretty much anything like hoisting the main or trimming the jib results in black hands. Rogelio, the harbormaster at Baja Naval is one of the nicest guys you could ever meet, and while Ensenada has some negatives, Rogelio and Baja Naval is a huge positive.

We left Ensenada on schedule with friend Randy, Jacob, and myself aboard for an uneventful overnight motor to San Diego. At the US border we were hailed by a USCG cutter doing picket patrol requesting information about the boat, documentation, where we were headed, where we left from, and our next port of call. Satisfied with our information, they cleared us on our way.

In the entrance channel into San Diego, we came across Warship 18 doing maneuvers across the degaussing field.  In the channel are underwater magnetic degaussers, which are used to reduce the magnetic signature of warships. Warship 18 had tugs on either side of it, spinning it in it's own axis - this is a big ship, and basically took up the entire channel when sideways. By the time we got up to them, they were pointed back out the channel, but I hailed them on VHF to make sure we were clear. I got a muffled response (c'mon Navy guys, speak clearly), and ultimately decided we were clear anyway, as we continued up the channel. We like coming into San Diego and seeing all the cool military boats, helicopters, and planes - lots to see here.

We headed to the Police Dock for our US Customs inspection, required of any vessel returning to the US from foreign ports. The folks that do this spend most of the time at the airport, and only come down to check in boats on request. Sometimes this can take some time if there are international flights coming in, but I guess we had a good window as we only waited 40 minutes or so for the customs officers to arrive. The inspection was easy and went well, and the officers were a couple of really nice guys. They asked a few questions, checked our passports, documentation, and took our zarpe (clearance to leave Mexico), and spent just a couple of minutes looking over the boat. I gave them a check for $27 and at that point we were clear to be in the US!

From there, we moved a couple of hundred feet to a side tie at the transient marina adjacent to the Police dock. Only $11 a night, what a deal! But the rates go up significantly August 1st.

The three of us had a great brunch at The Red Sails Inn, then Randy and I hiked up to the grocery store for a few provisions - about a 6 mile round-trip walk. Meanwhile, additional crew Dale flew in to join us for the rest of the trip up to San Francisco. We met Dale and his wife Dena on the Baja Haha, and spent numerous wonderful evenings with them during our trip down the coast of California and up to the Sea of Cortez.

The next morning we headed for Redondo Beach and got several hours of nice sailing in before getting headed and deciding that while the sailing was nice, we wanted to arrive sometime in the morning. At around 12:30am during Jacob's watch, a bit southwest of Long Beach, I woke up when the mainsail wasn't sounding right (this is one of those things where you have to be a sailor to really understand, but we get attuned to the sounds and motion of the boat, and if anything isn't right it will wake us up). As the wind had shifted and died, we just needed to adjust the main a bit to keep it from banging, and at about that point we see bright lights just off our port bow, coming toward us. They circle our stern and hail us on the VHF - the USCG on night patrol in one of their big, fast RIB boats. They paced along side us and asked for the same information as the cutter at the US border. Once again satisfied with our information they wished us a good voyage and zipped away, a short time later extinguishing all their running lights. Looks like they loiter with no lights, patrolling for suspicious vessels. The RIBs have basically no radar signature, so I imagine they work well for this role.

We made it into Redondo Beach at around 7:45am, making a brief stop at the fuel dock before tying up at the guest dock at King Harbor Yacht Club. We stayed here for a few nights on our trip South, they are a great, accommodating club for cruisers.

As Jane'O was in Redondo Beach for over 15 years, many people know her, so we got lots of "Jane'O is back!" comments from various people at the fuel dock and the yacht club.

At this point, we had to say goodbye to Randy, unfortunately, who had to head on home. Thanks Randy for crewing with us, looking for the next time we can have you aboard!!

Dale, Jacob, and I went up to the supermarket for a provisioning run, then up to the yacht club for a short time. Dale cooked up an incredible veggie+chicken stirfry for dinner, and then we went in search of the crew of Blue Sky. Finally, Dale taught Jacob and I how to play Blind Luck before we turned in for the night. How is that for a busy few days!

Blue Sky just completed a 5 year circumnavigation on their 44' ketch, and have a very strong Jane'O connection as they were good friends with the previous owner and likely have more miles on our boat than we do! Jim and Emma, thanks for letting us crash your dinner, it was great chatting with you! Today, Blue Sky is having a big homecoming party which we will attend before continuing our trip around Point Conception and on up the California coast!

Hazy morning in Redondo Beach

2011-06-04

Article and pictures published in June Latitude 38

I sent our May 7th blog entitled "Why you should do the Baja Haha" to Latitude 38 - and it was published in the June magazine along with a couple of pictures - including one of our favorites, taken by Dan from Loose Pointer, of Jane'O anchored in Cardoncito, our favorite little cove at Isla Partida in the Sea of Cortez.

You can read the entire June magazine for free at http://www.latitude38.com/ebooks.html


Dan, if you are reading this, we gave you full credit for the photo, although Latitude 38 didn't publish that bit.

The magazine asked for a picture of us as well, and we were a bit surprised that we only had 2 pictures of all three of us from our entire 6 month trip! Well, we know what we look like, but each of the 100's of sunsets and sunrises are unique!

2011-05-28

Blue Sky and Pura Vida have both finished their circumnavigations!

Congratulations to both Blue Sky and Pura Vida for finishing their respective circumnavigations!!

The crew of the the Down Easter 45 Blue Sky was good friends with the former owner of Jane'O.

The Privilege 39 Pura Vida is a sister boat to Jane'O and we've followed their blog for some time.

Well done to both of you, it's quite an accomplishment and you've got lots to be proud of!

2011-05-07

Why you should do the Baja Haha

One year ago we were trying to make a decision - do we join the Baja Haha, or make the trip alone? We even wrote a blog post about it and our thoughts at the time.

We had heard stories about the Haha being a big, crazy party. And the trip so fast, that the schedule doesn't give you time to explore, or rest. And heck, why give $350 to Latitude 38 for a trip we were going to take anyway?

The 'crazy party' reports, oddly, were from people who had never done the Haha. Everyone we talked to who had actually done it said that simply wasn't the case. Yes, there is a fairly aggressive schedule, but that's OK - it gets you to the Sea of Cortez fast, which in our opinion is a lot better place to explore than the Pacific Coast of the Baja Peninsula anyway. And finally, $350 is cheap for all we got out of the Haha.

So what did we get out of the Haha? Here's just a few highlights.

We met dozens of other cruisers and made close friends with a number of them. We had Thanksgiving and Christmas with these folks. We buddy boated with them throughout the Sea of Cortez. We shared taxis, shopping, meals, went snorkeling, hiking, and so on. These are friends that we plan on getting together with now that we have returned to the US, and others that we look forward to running into in the future - some how and some way.

In the Haha packet is a flag. Amazing things happen when you run this flag up. We left SF Bay in early September for a leisurely trip down the California coast. By doing nothing other than flying this flag we met other Haha'ers in nearly every place we stopped - Half Moon Bay, Monterey, Port San Luis, Ventura, Catalina Island, Redondo Beach, Oceanside, San Diego, and a few others we've forgotten along the way. By the time we got to San Diego we already had met a couple dozen boats and we were sharing rental cars, shopping trips, meals, and evenings aboard each other's boats.

Since we had a teenager aboard, we weren't sure if we would meet too many other families. This turned out to be a non-issue - there are lots of families, children, and teenagers that do the Haha. Our son had no trouble making friends and finding other kids to hang out with - not just during the Haha, but for the following months as we cruised the Sea of Cortez.

Would we do the Haha again? It's not a question of if, it's a question of when!

2011-03-19

Baja Bash Log Book

During passages we are meticulous about keeping an hourly log. We log GPS position, course, speed, and wind speed, along with a note. Our rule is that the note should never be empty - There's always something to write about - whether it's a ship sighting, interesting sealife, present weather conditions, what we ate, or just how we are feeling. At the end of each passage this gives a total leg distance so we can easily calculate average speed, which is useful for future planning in similar conditions.

Below are the log book pages for our Baja Bash trip. Note we use the 'Miles' column for wind speed. When the log wheel is working we use true wind. As there was something fouling the log wheel (despite several attempts to clean it underway), we used apparent wind during these passages.










2011-03-08

Great Sailing Stories

A recent post on S/V Del Viento's blog reminded us of the tragic story of Donald Crowhurst, along with some of the other great sailing stories we've read (or watched) over the years. Here's a quick list of some of our favorites.

Donald Crowhurst

In 1968, Donald Crowhurst was one of the entrants in the Golden Globe Race - a singlehanded circumnavigation. He basically mortgaged his entire estate to enter, but neither he nor his boat was prepared. Realizing this, he decided to fake his position reports so he could basically cheat and win the race. Ultimately this put him in a pickle where there was no way he'd be able to get away with it.

The book "The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst" and the more recent movie "Deep Water" approach the story from different angles and both are well worth it.

Dove - Robin Lee Graham

No story has inspired more teenage boys to sail than this one. In 1965, sixteen year old Robin Lee Graham set off to sail around the world, alone. National Geographic did a series on his travels, but Robin's book "Dove" is a great read. There are a few movie adaptations of the book, but really we don't feel any of them are very good.

Adrift - Steven Callahan

This is the incredible autobiography of a single-hander who's boat "Napoleon Solo" was holed and sunk in a storm. He spent 76 days in his liferaft before being rescued. Not many people in similar situations have survived for so long and lived to write about it.

Three Good Racing Stories

"Morning Light" is a movie about a Transpac boat sponsored by Roy Disney. He wanted to put together a crew of younger sailors for the race, and they did very well. It's a great documentary.

"Wind" is a fictional movie about a low-budget America's Cup team. It's inspired by real events, but is very much a fictional move. Still a great story, and worth watching.

"The Race" is a story about the 2000 circumnavigation race. This race had no rules aside from being a non-stop circumnavigation. Definitely worth reading.

And Finally

No list of sailing stories would be complete without mentioning "Captain Ron"!

2011-03-05

2011-03-03

Video of Baja Bash 2011

Video of our trip from Cabo San Lucas back to Ensenada. Some fantastic whale and dolphin footage. This was all taken during some of the better conditions we saw, so we didn't end up getting any video of the nasty periods, especially the last night coming into Ensenada.

2011-03-02

Video from cruising in the Sea of Cortez

Some video of cruising various places in the Sea of Cortez - La Paz, Isla Partida, Isla Espiritu Santo, Isla San Francisco, and a few other places.

2011-03-01

2011-02-28

Video from leg 2 of the Baja Haha

Video from leg 2 of the Baja Haha 2010 - from Turtle Bay to Bahia Santa Maria.

2011-02-27

Video from leg 1 of the Baja Haha

Finally getting around to putting together all of our video of the Baja Haha and cruising in Mexico. Here's the first segment: Leg 1 of the Baja Haha 2010 - from San Diego to Turtle Bay. Enjoy!

2011-02-16

We made it! Well, most of the way, anyway...

We've made it as far as Ensenada... For us, the Baja Bash didn't begin until the night before Ensenada, as the rest of the trip, while bumpy at times, wasn't bad at all. We'll write more later, but for now here's a quick synopsis and a few pictures from along the way and of Baja Bash carnage...

Our initial plan was to go to Cabo, update our crew paperwork, and check out of the country. We found out that it was a holiday due to elections, so we elected (haha) to skip Cabo and just do our crew paperwork and check out in Ensenada (this turned out to be a bit of a fiasco, but the full story on that will have to wait for another time).

The run from Cabo to Bahia Santa Maria was a super easy and pleasant trip. We saw at least 15 whales, and seas and winds were nice.

Next, from Bahia Santa Maria to Turtle Bay wasn't too bad. It was a bit lumpier, with a bit of pounding and bridge deck slamming, but other than making it a bit hard to sleep, wasn't too bad at all.

In Turtle Bay we went ashore and poked around, eating a late lunch at Veracruz hotel restaurant, which was pretty good.

Turtle Bay to San Quintin got a bit rougher, but despite the crossings notoriety, it wasn't too bad, other than some pounding and slamming. Trying to anchor in San Quintin was a bit exciting, as we arrived after dark and headed for the 'preferred' anchorage (according to 3 guide books) only to find water depth suddenly drop from 16' to 7' in a matter of seconds - long before we were at the anchorage. We quickly turned the boat around searching for deeper water, and went to another area of the anchorage where we were able to safely put the hook down for the night. Coming into strange anchorages at night is no fun at all.

The exciting part of the trip was from San Quintin to Ensenada. During the afternoon the wind and seas really started to build, and we took a real pounding all night. During 6 hours overnight, we only made a total of 6 miles, at times actually getting blown backward for a few seconds after crashing down a wave. We took massive amounts of water over the bow, flooding the cockpit and blowing out our portside trampoline. By morning things started to calm and we made it to Ensenada in the afternoon.

Now, our additional crew has headed back home and we are deciding exactly on the best plan of action for the boat and us, as Scott has to be back to work in less than two weeks.

Ron and DeWayn - Thank you guys SO MUCH for crewing. We could not have made it without you, and really appreciate the both of you a ton!

Here's a few pictures:

San Jose del Cabo, our starting point for the bash

Goodbye Cabo

Krill found on deck one morning

Our fabulous crew

Ensenada

Trampoline carnage from big waves

2011-02-04

Prepping for the Baja Bash, and a goodbye to all our cruising buddies

We are in San Jose del Cabo and preparing to do the 800 mile trip around the cape and back to San Diego. This trip is known as the Baja Bash for the pounding the boat and crew typically take on it, beating against the prevailing winds, waves, and swells for days at a time.

The weather has been downright nasty. It's 46 degrees outside as I write this, about the lowest temperature we've seen during our trip. On our run down from Bahia Frailes yesterday we saw 25-35kt winds, gusting above 40-  with breaking 6-10' seas. If we weren't going dead downwind, we would have stayed hunkered down in Frailes. Chris says this is just to remind us what sort of weather we'll get once we are back in the Bay Area. The good news is this should all dissipate over the next 48 hours and our weather window to go around the cape and start the bash North looks really good.

We left La Paz on Monday, stopping for a couple of days in Ensenada de los Muertos and a day in Bahia Frailes. We visited both of these anchorages on our trip up the cape, but it was a whole different experience this time around. On the trip up, we were with about a dozen other Baja Haha boats - swimming, snorkling, kayaking, walking on the beach, hanging out in the evenings with other hahaers for potlucks and beverages. This time around it was lonely - just us, and too cold to swim or do much of anything. On the trip up, we packed the cantina at Muertos full of hahaers all day long, but on the trip down we were the only customers in the place one night.

Maybe that's the hardest part of cruising - saying goodbye to all the buddy boats and friends met along the way. At some point cruising plans diverge and people go off in different directions. Some of our friends have crossed over to the mainland and gone South, while others have already gone back to the USA. Others are still cruising the Sea of Cortez, and many never even left La Paz. The good side is that "goodbye" really means "goodbye for now", as we seem to eventually run into our friends once again.

So, to all our Baja Haha and other cruising buddies: Goodbye for now, hope you have wonderful adventures and great cruising. We will meet again!

For us, we are switching from "cruising" to "delivery" mode for the bash, and working out the details of switching back to a 'normal' life back in the USA - at least for now, but we are already thinking Baja Haha 2013!

We'll certainly have stories and pictures of our bash to share when we get back, but until then wish us good weather and calm seas!

2011-01-25

Partida - the final visit

A few more pictures from our final visit to Isla Partida for this trip:

Great picture of Cardoncito. Taken by Loose Pointer

Incredible picture of Jane'O taken by Loose Pointer


Moonrise

Sunset

Red tide coming in

Hike up the canyon

Cardoncito beach from the canyon

2011-01-24

The Sunglasses Story - by Scott

Sean, on S/V Adventure has mentioned our blog doesn't have enough stories. Well that's probably true, so Sean - this one's for you.

I'm pretty careful about losing my glasses - and not just while aboard the boat. I always put my prescription sunglasses in their case and in a good spot, and if I'm wearing my sunglasses, then my regular glasses go in the same case and in the same spot. Now, I really need my glasses. I'm nearsighted with about a -5 prescription. Without my glasses I really can't function at all, and can't see anything but shapes. Being this blind is why I'm so particularly OCD about my glasses. And I have lost a few pairs of glasses over the years. About a decade ago, on two separate occassions, I lost them while at the beach in San Diego - and got lucky the first time, when they happened to snag on my toes - and the second time had a backup pair in the car. Two years ago I was wearing my sunglasses with my regular glasses in my pocket (yes, in the case) as I got off the boat - and they slipped out of my pocket and into the marina. There's a whole story about this incident too, but to summarize - at the end of it I ended up with two pairs of regular glasses, plus my sunglasses, as they were fished out of the marina by Jacob at the exact same moment I had my overpriced one-hour rush glasses in hand. Last year, our car was broken into (while having dinner with Sean from S/V Adventure and Charlie from Island Sailing Adventures in Berkeley). Maybe the thieves have really poor eyesight too.

Anyway, so while I'm generally very careful about taking good care of my glasses, there have been some incidents. And, well, this week was the latest one. I jumped overboard for a quick swim - wearing my sunglasses with a croakie strap, like I always do. I've jumped overboard numerous times wearing them, so I guess I let my guard down about making sure they didn't get swept off my head as I jumped in the water - as that's exactly what happened when I came up only to find that the world was not only very suddenly bright, but also quite blurry. I quickly crawled aboard to grab my regular glasses while Chris scanned the surface of the water looking for them - hoping they were just floating on the surface. Well, of course they were nowhere to be seen, which can mean only one thing - they've sunk to the bottom. It's about 5:15PM and the sun is low on the horizon, which means we couldn't see to the bottom. I grabbed my snorkle gear, but quickly realized there was simply no point, without being able to see the bottom. Never mind the fact that with the snorkle mask on (i.e. no glasses), I can't see anything anyway.

Oh no, this is bad... As I dry off, I'm running things through my mind. Having sunglasses while sailing is pretty important, especially with all the bright sun here in Mexico. I do have a pair of clip-on sunglasses, but they are more annoying than helpful. And then there's the expense, when we get back to the states, of buying a new pair of prescription sunglasses. And finally just feeling stupid, stupid, stupid for jumping overboard with them on anyway. What was I thinking?

So there we are, as it's getting dark, looking overboard for a pair of glasses and trying to figure out how to recover them. In the morning, with the kayak, maybe we can see them if it's calm and the water is clear. Our friends on Loose Pointer are arriving in two days - they have scuba gear, maybe they would dive and look for them. With the tides, would the glasses even be anywhere close after 48 hours? The options didn't look good. However, I did mark a waypoint on the GPS, hoping that would help find them. At least I'd forever have a log of where I did something stupid.

The next day it was calm, and the visibility was quite excellent. Chris and I both paddled around in the kayak, scanning the bottom for my missing pair of sunglasses. I kayaked by the beach, hoping they may have washed ashore and been left by the falling tide. I transferred the GPS waypoint to the handheld and did a search pattern all around. Some very nice rocks, coral, and shells... And lots and lots of sand... But no sunglasses...

The third day the water was pretty murky thanks to a red tide, so we couldn't see the bottom - and didn't really try to look for my missing sunglasses. There is a bit of a side story here, though. Chris had paddled the kayak to go hang out on the beach for a while, but there were so many jellyfish in the water by the beach that she couldn't get out of the kayak for fear of getting stung. There are some really nasty jellyfish that you don't want to get stung by - we've learned this from experience. OUCH! So if they are in the water, we aren't - that simple.

Later, it's about 6:15PM - the sun is down and it's dusk, it's a beautiful calm and warm evening. Chris and I are hanging out on deck, and she notices a big jellyfish in the water, floating about 20 feet off the side of the boat. It's dark enough that we couldn't really see it very well, aside from a vague shape, but there it is floating alongside the boat. We see stuff floating alongside the boat all of the time, but with nothing better to do I grabbed a flashlight so we could get a better look at the jellyfish. The flashlight wasn't bright enough, so I grabbed the million candlepower spotlight and shined it on the jellyfish. Chris exclaims "Ewwww" as it has unusual brown tenticals for a jellyfish. And that's when I realize - it's not a jellyfish, it's a pair of glasses!

Not mine of course, as mine went straight to the bottom, but at least I can recover these - whoever they may belong to. I jump in the kayak and pull them out of the water. Hey, these look really familiar... In fact, these ARE my missing sunglasses, floating right next to the boat!

Yep, that's right - exactly 49 hours after losing them, they were miraculously floating alongside the boat. Through 8 tide changes, with various wind, countless waves and swells - somehow there they were. If we weren't looking overboard at that exact moment, and decided to investigate with the spotlight, they would have drifted by us unnoticed.

We can only assume they were floating the whole time, but don't know how we couldn't find them initially, as we did look around on the water in case they were floating. Maybe they went between the hulls and we didn't see them in the waning light? Did they initially sink only to refloat later through some bizarre occurance? Did a seagull or jellyfish realize they didn't have that bad of eyesight and returned them to us? I don't really know, but I am very happy to have my sunglasses back. There are some mysterious scratches around the frames, but the lenses are in perfect shape.

Did I learn my lesson? Well maybe, but there will be plenty of other opportunities to do something else that's stupid, stupid, stupid! That I'm pretty sure of...

2011-01-14

Sunsets from Isla Partida

Here's a collection of sunsets from various days in early January, all taken at Isla Partida. It's a rough life, isn't it? Enjoy!








2011-01-12

Isla Partida - Hike across the island at Ensenada Grande

On a beautiful, clear day Jacob and Scott took a hike across Isla Partida at the Ensenada Grande anchorage. This is a relatively strenuous, but amazing, hike up the arroyo across large boulders and waterfalls a bit more than a mile each way. Wow, what a gorgeous place!

East side of the island

A cool rock

Hiking up the arroyo

East side of the island

Hiking back down

A naturally stone-paved portion of the trail

2011-01-01

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Jane'O!

We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

The crew of Jane'O spent Christmas with two of our friend boats - a wonderful meal and great company, as usual.

New Years was spent at Isla Partida in the Ensenada Grande anchorage, very quiet but peaceful.

That's it for now, we'll be back to La Paz in mid-January.
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