Tuesday, June 4, 2013

San Diego, Back in the USA!

“…throw roses into the abyss and say: ‘here is my thanks to 
the monster who didn’t succeed in swallowing me alive.’”
Friedrich Nietzsche 

We made it! We arrived to San Diego mid-week last week and were we exhausted! We have been busy recovering, cleaning out the boat etc. in prep for the next chapter, whatever that will be! We are putting together a video with an overview of our trip along with a few photos that we took and haven't put up yet, so look out for that post soon!  It hasn't hit us yet that we are fully back on land, nor that we won't be living on a boat any longer but I'm sure it will come as we continue with the transition. It is sad but bittersweet at the same time. It definitely has been an interesting transition coming back to the states from Mexico and it's been an amazing journey overall!  Anyway, we made it safely, in case you were wondering. It was smooth sailing/motoring from Ensenada to San Diego, a great way to end our trip and have a gorgeous last passage on Rhythm. 

WIth that said, our beloved Rhythm is up for sale. She's a turnkey boat, a great offshore cruiser ready to go for the 2013 Baha Haha!  If you are interested, you can contact Ryan Helling at Swiftsure Yachts in Seattle, WA for additional details.

The video and additional pictures will be put up shortly. Check back for that (as it may be our final post for this blog!)! 

Sleeping in a luxury hotel room tonight and loving every minute of it,

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Bashing to Ensenada

So, we lied. We couldn't wait in Turtle Bay any longer! So we left last Friday, and arrived to Ensenada at 2am Monday morning (yesterday). Here is a map of the west coast of the Baja peninsula. The 'A' marker is where we were in Turtle Bay. Cedros Island is just north of it and we had to cross the giant bay to get to the mainland which made for an interesting trip!Ensenada is at the top of the map - a long way!

In order to do the bash back, you need to 1. be stubborn and persistent and 2. be a little stupid. Why do they call it a bash? Well, because on the way down to Cabo from San Diego, you are going downwind. The boat loves to go downwind and ride down the waves. You can put your sails up and haul ass. Now, on the way up, you have the opposite, which is why it is called a bash. You have the wind at your face, as well as the waves, and you hobby horse up and down over the waves and occasionally smash into one like a freight train. Pleasant? Hardly. Fast-paced? No. Uncomfortable? Yes! The bash has left us speechless. If you like to feel like you are on a carnival ride for 48 hours straight, this is for you!

Here's how it went down for us:

Last Thursday evening, we tried to leave Turtle Bay to Ensenada. The swells were 15 ft, the wind was blowing at almost 30 knots, so 5 hours in, we turned back to Turtle Bay with a 'you've got to be kidding me' look on our faces.

We arrived back to Turtle Bay at 6:30am and went back to bed. By 10am, I had gotten up and decided to have a breakfast of champions in the cockpit (a bowl of Fruity Pebbles - I was really missing the USA!) and while I was eating, I saw that 4 new sailboats had come in. I watched as 1 by 1 they fueled up and headed out. I thought 'what the heck are these people doing? are they crazy?'. So T got up, and we decided to get in on the action (this is where the 'being a little stupid' comes in). I radio'd over to s/v Scout and s/v Sisu, and voila, within an hour or two after we fueled up, we were on our way with s/v Scout. s/v Sisu left a bit later, but caught up with us after....we left at 2:30pm last Friday.

Heading north was more of the same with 20-25 knots of wind, steep but manageable swell. We went through the washing machine of Canal de Keller, and then tucked in behind Cedros Island. The Baja bash book recommends you go through Canal de Keller during the day since it is a section of sea that strong gets winds from two directions and needs to be taken with care.

We had a full moon, have I expressed yet how much I love the moon?? The moon can make or break a night passage for me. Big moon = good passage = lots of light, no moon = scary passage = can't see a damn thing!   Ok I digress ---->  so we had glassy like conditions on the inside of Cedros which was much welcomed after our washing machine experience hours earlier. It was a nice reprieve, until we hit the tip of Cedros where there is a killer "convergence zone". The zone between Cedros Island and the mainland is know for high winds and crazy seas that are so demanding that people often turn back multiple times. The book recommended that we cross at dawn because that is usually when there is the least wind and smallest waves, but along with s/v Scout, who was ahead of us and radio'ing back the weather, we arrived at midnight and decided to cross. We were greeted again with rough seas, winds blowing upwards of 28 knots. And this is where the stubbornness and persistence comes in - you just gotta keep going because getting to the other side means you're that much close to Ensenada and home!

We got through the convergence zone to the other side hours later and then hugged the coast and headed north. We made hardly any headway on Saturday during the day because of the wind and swell. We continued through the night to Sunday and slogged all day on Sunday. The wind gave us a reprieve as did the swell, so we were able to make up some mileage but were greeted with the wind and swells again in the afternoon, and a 1.5 knot current that was against us! We just wanted to get this over with and get to Ensenada, it was a bit torturous.

By 2am Monday morning, ~60 hours later, we had arrived to Ensenada. This type of passage making gets really old! It's hard on the boat and hard on the body. You get bounced around in the cabin and it makes it almost impossible to do anything let alone go to the bathroom! Even while I was brushing my teeth, I got thrown out of the head into the little hallway!

We made it safely, thankfully, but we.were.exhausted! Thank you to s/v Scout for being our beacon and s/v Sisu for buddy boating! We are leaving tomorrow morning first thing (4am) to head to San Diego! If all goes well, we should be checking in at the US customs dock in SD at 4pm. Home sweet home!


Thursday, May 23, 2013

We are alive! in Turtle Bay

What a trip! We left Cabo to be greeted by 25 knot winds at our nose with sharp steep swells. We were set to leave in the evening, but it was blowing 15+ in the marina, so we waited until 4am on Tuesday (of last week), and then left. By 5:30am, we were turning around, the seas were a mess, the wind was howling to 28 knots, and there was no point in putting ourselves in harms way. So back to the marina for a few hours to rest and then we left again, at noon that Tuesday. We were greeted to 20-25knot winds at our nose but less sharp seas and after rounding Cabo Falso, it was much smoother, calmer seas and winds.

We made it Santa Maria a day and half later, and then a big wind storm blew in, so we were stuck there for 4-5 days with 2 other boats waiting out the weather. I stood in the cockpit numerous times with my laptop held out to the 25 knot winds, point to land, trying to get an internet signal to download the weather. It was as ridiculous as it sounds. Finally, on Monday morning of this week, we pulled up anchor with our two new buddy boats and headed to Turtle Bay.

The first night was pleasant. 25 knot winds, 10-12 ft seas. I thought we were going to die. Kidding on the pleasant part. It was a full on bash. They don't called it the Baha Bash for nothing. Our Rhythm is such a champ, sturdy and meant for this. Me, not so much, or at least the bashing part, not so much. By the next morning we were part way into crossing the big bay before Turtle bay and had made good time, thanks to Tim's tactician skills.  That evening, day 2, every time it was my watch, the winds and swells picked up. Tim told me to go back down below because I was causing the bad weather - lol. By Tuesday evening, 6pm, were were in San Hippolito,  we had crossed the big bay finally, taking a break for a few hours from the bashing, we dropped anchor while the afternoon winds subsided. The 'book' says to leave after sunset, so we did. By 8:30pm we headed out again for the rest of our tour to Bahia San Barlolome aka Turtle Bay. We thankfully had almost a full moon, so tons of light, light swells and 16-18 knots of wind. It was surprisingly pleasant and a nice relief from the night before; a change of underwear was definitely needed after that night! We arrived to Turtle Bay yesterday morning at about 9:30am. Now, we are stuck here for a week because the weather is shit out there!  Gale warnings off of Ensenada = no bueno.

Here's the rundown of mileage:
Cabo to Turtle Bay = ~372 nautical miles (430nm for us due to weather and route)
Turtle Bay to Ensenada = ~367 nm
Ensenada to San Diego = 60 nm

Tim said the last time we were here that 'Being in Turtle Bay for one day, is one day too many'. Karma is a bitch! lol! At least we have internet, a small town to get food and plenty of fuel; it could be worse.

And we press onward, when the next weather window opens up....for now, we wait, patiently...


Monday, May 13, 2013

Cabo San Lucas to San Diego

Well, here we go again!
Our spare auto pilot from San Diego arrived this evening just after 5pm, a bit later than we had planned. Oh well, at least we have it now in case we need it, although Marine Group Cabo San Lucas did an awesome job servicing our current one and it's running like a champ now (as it should, it's only a 2007! just needed a little grease and a wire connection fix) -- thank you Michelle @ the Marine Group for being so awesome and helping us get the new one down here in record time!

We leave tonight at around midnight (MT) for our first leg - either to Mag Bay or to Santa Maria.
We'll check in on the weather and then head up to Turtle Bay. We have a total of 850 nm to cover to get back to San Diego - it's been done before, as recently as last week taking 5 days with an awesome weather window! We guess our trip will take a bit longer since there are some fronts coming in.

It's been fun but we're excited to get back on land!
Wish us luck.... and away we go!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

This past month

This past month has been good and bad at the same time. While we haven't enjoyed saying goodbye to our best furry friend and the grieving that comes along with that, we have had a few good times before and after that incident in this past month in Banderas Bay on the ocean and also on land in the US. We miss our little guy so much though, the boat is empty without him and we've agreed that having a dog is one of the best decisions you can make in this lifetime; the joy they bring to your life is indescribable.
So here is a hodge podge post with tons of pictures of what we've been doing this past month.

While in Banderas, in this past month we:
- Hit up Sayulita and went surfing (T got up his first time, me the second, so fun!)
- Raced in the Banderas Bay regatta on s/v Destiny
- Flew back to New England to visit family - brrrr 22 degrees! While in New England spent tons of time in Boston and also spent the weekend in Burlington, VT
- Flew back to the US again to visit some good friends in the south
- Went horseback and atv'ing with Mike & Holly
- Learned how to play tennis! We love love love it! What a great game! We took a bunch of lessons from the tennis pro, Raul, at Paradise Village and played with John & Deborah on s/v Bella Donna
- We boogie boarded in 80+ degree water at the Paradise Village beach and had a boogie boarding competition with s/v Wanuskewin - fun!
- Went to a fantastic brunch with friends at El Tigre Golf Club, T couldn't stop talking about it for days!
- Went back to La Cruz for a bit, then sailed back to Paradise Village
- Took our good friends on s/v Bella Donna, s/v Wanuskewin + Gary and Yafei to a foam party (ok we are done for this lifetime with foam!)

Race Day! Day 1 of the Banderas Bay Regatta

Checking sail trim

More sail trim checking

Looking good!
Dawn driving the boat with viking helmet!

We flew out to New England to visit
family! Me and my nephews:
 Kaiden & Carter

Can't go home without stopping here and
getting mounds of fattening delicious desserts

And then we stop at Moonlight Pizza to get wieners.
Very healthy diet when we go home! lol! YUM!

Carter and I engage in a very
intense game of CandyLand.

Coloring eggs for Easter
With Fabricio, T, Kaiden & Carter


My adorable nephew, at Newton Center just outside of Boston
Yes, that is snow on the ground behind him!

Road Trip! VT here we come!
T, K, Kaiden & Krissy (my sister)

Arrive to Burlington, VT in the evening just after sunset.
This the view of the park in front of Lake Champlain.

Downtown Burlington, VT at night - super charming!

T, K, Kaiden & Krissy - brrr it was really really cold!

The mountains of VT

A trip to VT wouldn't be complete without a visit to Ben & Jerry's!

Go Ben & Jerry's! 

The top 10 wall - Cherry Garcia at #1

Where unpopular flavors get laid to rest....

Picturesque VT

Us in front of Stowe Mountain, wish we had our snowboarding gear!

Two guys on the side of the road selling their maple syrup!

Of course, VT wouldn't be complete without a covered bridge!

Ahhhh Burton, my future employer - lol!
We visited the Burton HQ.
The history of the snowboard on the wall.

Love their mission!

T in the lobby with the Burton yeti

Me in the lobby...

Me outside, love this company!

View of the slips at the marina in Burlington on Lake Champlain
No boats, they are all on the hard, too cold!

Sugar on snow - maple syrup on ice that forms into a chewy ball of
sticky sweet goodness - it comes with a random donut and pickle too!

Maple syrup taps on the trees

Back to Boston. This is a view of Winthrop, just east of Boston.
Darling little seaside community.

Us @ Gillette Stadium - Home of the NE Patriots!

My mother promised us an xmas dinner since we
weren't home for xmas - this is my dad slicing
the pork roast!

My mom with her dinner rolls!

Flying back to Puerta Vallarta - love the mountains in Mexico!

Of course there still is a lot of churro eating going on - LOL.
John & Mike, after we all had dinner together

Tennis lessons! T with the tennis pro, Raul

Me working on my forehand

More forehand!

Me on the beach in front of Paradise Village

Releasing of the baby turtles, something they do often on the beach
as there are many turtle sanctuaries in the area

cute litte guy!

Our buds, Mike & Holly

Stuffing ourselves at Fajita Republic

Opti racing in front of Paradise Village!

Downtown PV for some fun

Sand sculpture on the beach, one of many

Drinks at the SkyBar with Mike & Holly (s/v wanuskewin)
and John & Deborah (s/v Bella Donna)
Note T in the mirror waving! lol!

Infinity pool at the SkyBar

Group shot!

Horsing around with Mike & Holly for horseback riding day!

Mike & Holly atv'ing their way through a herd of cattle

Mike, Holly and me on my own - lol - T stayed home and got some rest!

Back to the US to visit close friends.
Raheleh & me, we are always cracking up laughing!
Thank God for good friends!

Beautiful Aryana! This is a great picture, letting
it all hang out! lol! Oh to be a kid again!

Tons of food for our bbq

T & Arash at the bbq

Arash & Aryana - she is his mini-me! People ask Raheleh if she
is Aryana's nanny - lol!
Us at dinner, a delicious Persian restaurant

Back to Mexico! Drinks and music at Philo's with our cruising peeps
Check out that adorable dog sitting by it's owner, Philo

Mike, Holly, Gary, Yafei, Deborah (T&John are there but not shown)

La Cruz Carnival - Gary, T & Mike playing a game at one of the booths.
Throwing rocks at beer bottles, if you break a bottle, you win a beer!

T throwing rocks 
John throwing rocks

Winners! The guys with their beers

Fruit & goodies at the carnival

Things you can win at the carnival

Dancers in their pretty dresses

And of course, an evening wouldn't be
complete without stopping at the
churro stand! lol

Surf's up! Us surfing in Sayulita. Had a blast!!

And then it was time to say goodbye to Banderas Bay.
We did a drive by in the La Cruz marina to pick up dinner!
Holly and Mike delivered pizza to us as we all headed out
to sail back to Baja.  We are certainly going to miss these guys
when we head back to the US, they've made this trip incredible for us!
Wanuskewin passing us after the pizza delivery in the La Cruz Marina

Sunset as we headed out of Banderas Bay

Wanuskewin on the ocean with their favorite thing - birds!
Just kidding - the birds poop all over our boats; we hate it! lol
Cool picture though....

2 overnights and 1 very long day, we arrived to San Jose del Cabo
Marina as the sun was setting

Where are we now? We are in San Jose del Cabo marina ---- getting our auto pilot fixed. Yay! Not. It died on our way over from Banderas Bay half way through our trip, but thankfully we made it safely over and only had to hand steer for 1 overnight! Once that's fixed, we'll say our goodbyes to s/v Wanuskewin (who have been awesome to travel with this season!) and s/v Bella Donna (our partners in crime)! We're sure we'll keep in touch with these awesome peeps, but it's sad to say goodbye nonetheless. Mike and Holly will head north into the sea for the summer, while John and Deborah will continue up the pacific coast to San Francisco in prep for America's Cup this summer.

And us? We're heading north to San Diego where we've already been in contact with our favorite marina there who will be welcoming us back to a slip in a few weeks! :)  But for now, we'll be in Cabo probably for the week or so (heading north for a bit since marina fees here are steep!), but then back here to pick up our auto pilot and then heading out for good. More to come.