Monday, November 21, 2016

Just added a "Follow" button to the blog.

Ok, I know this is not the most interesting post ever conceived of but we just wanted to inform those out there that do enjoy our blog posts (both of you! haha) that we have added a "Follow" widget to the blog so you can click on that widget and automatically follow our blog through Google +.

The "follow" widget is found at the top right of our blog homepage.  Just click on the link and you will be added to the follow list.  Sorry for the boring post, we are just trying to make the blog easier and more useful.

On a side note...we are still in La Paz having the new bimini and sun shade made which is a lengthy process and we will definitely do a post on the process and results of that project.  Until then, ciao for now!

SV Liahona
Bret and Marne

Thursday, November 17, 2016

A visit with the whale sharks. La Paz, BCS.

We had most of our day planned out today taking care of chores as well as having two workers coming aboard to do a couple of repairs that were above my pay grade.  The first one showed up, even on time, to help sort out the issue of the alternator not charging the appropriate battery banks.  At the beginning of the season we installed a new battery isolator and I figured there was something amiss with the install but couldn't figure out what.  It wound up being an incorrect connection of wires and within a half hour or so we had the wires swapped around and charge heading to all three battery banks.  Problem solved.

The other worker was going to help with our Raymarine wind instruments.  When Hurricane Newton blew through San Carlos this summer it took my wind speed transducer on top of the mast with it as it stormed through town.  I replaced the transducer with a new one but we still are not squared away.   Our wind speed shows correctly but the wind direction does not.  I have spent plenty of time researching the internet and talking to Raymarine tech support but still have not figured it out.  Anyway, that worker had problems with his dinghy so he was unable to make it.

So, around 1pm or so Marne and I decided to take a little dinghy trip out to the Magote to see if we could find some whale sharks.  We traveled much farther than we thought and almost ran out of gas on the way back to the boat which is anchored out front of Marina La Paz.  We got home with about 2 cups of fuel in the tank.  It would have been a LONG paddle.

However, we did find a large group of 10-15 whale sharks and hung out there visiting most of them over the course of about an hour or so.  The are amazing animals.  Slowly moving along opening and closing their enormous mouth to scoop up huge amounts of plankton and krill. They are very passive, very gentle, very LARGE animals.  One of the ones we saw was easily 35+ feet long.  I hope we never take experiences like this for granted because...who gets to do that?  Right?

No bad days!

SV Liahona
Bret and Marne

Monday, November 14, 2016

Finally getting our feet wet in the Sea of Cortez!

 One of two Dorados that we caught 2 days before getting into La Paz.  The sail was amazing.  All down wind.  It doesn't get any better than that. (This photo is out of order but was a much better header than some fiberglass repair pic.  The rest of the pics are mostly in chronological order.)

Dry dock repairs update:

 Abran, Jorge and another prepping the final layers of glass.

 This was not a small project and although it took a lot of time we wated to get it done right.

 The last layers going on before final sanding, a barrier coat then the red primer coat.

Primer is on and now ready for the bottom paint.  

 Welding the stainless pole and supports for the new wind gen.  I will most likely do an entire post on our first impressions of the D400 wind generator.  (A sneak preview...we love it!) More later on this subject.

 Salvador making some last connections before more green power starts to flow into our battery banks.

Final bottom paint was done around the 26th or so of Oct.  At this point we are ready to hit the water!

 Dia de los Muertos is a big deal here in Mexico and throughout Latin America.  It is much more than our Halloween costumes and trucks loads of candy.  Here they celebrate and honor their relatives who have passed into the next realm.  We went to a seminar put on by the local college in Guaymas that gave us an overview of their beliefs and why they do what they do on these important few days.  Very interesting and so much deeper than our Halloween.

 The cathedral in Guaymas lit up in lavender for the celebration.

 Many of the skeletons had puppy skeletons along side.  Their belief is that you should be buried with a dog and he will protect you and watch after you in the afterlife.  Marne loves the thought and sentiment of this tradition.

 As we wandered the streets of Guaymas we were among thousands of Latins with nay a Gringo in sight all evening .  It was pretty awesome.  Good food, great people, wonderful traditions.

This is our buddy Brian on S/V Cat 2 Fold.  A very unique folding catamaran that he can put on a trailer.  He went out for a short day sail that afternoon to make sure everything was working ok and wound up just never turning back into San Carlos harbor crossing the Sea of Cortez overnight and landing on the Baja side somewhere near Loreto.  We look forward to spending more time with him.

 Marne on the bow enjoying one of MANY of our wonderful downwind sails as we head south toward La Paz.  The water was about 82 degrees and crystal clear.  You gotta love this place!

 We ran into several pods of dolphin who shared the waters with us.  The water clarity made it a magical experience.

 Snorkeling at one of our favorite anchorages in the Sea, Isla Danzante.  The diving was fantastic but we arrived back to the boat to find a massive swarm of bees on board.  They come looking for fresh water and I guess they found what they were looking for.  Marne went to the bow while I tried not to step on or sit on one of thousands of bees that were sharing the boat with us.  They forced us out.  We picked up anchor and headed toward Puerto Escondido.  After about 30 minutes the last of them had left and we managed to somewhat coexist receiving not a single sting.  They really are not aggressive and are just looking for water, fresh water.

 More dolphin.

 The above and below pics are of S/V Harmony.  Some of our dearest friends.  They, along with Jeff and Pamela from S/V China Cloud came over for dinner as we shared our Dorado catch with them, Marne outdoing herself whipping up Coconut Encrusted Dorado and curry cauliflower.  Before dinner we had this amazing display played out over 30 minutes or so.  Gorgeous.

And last but not least for this post is the captain lounging on the foredeck as we sail wing on wing with the genoa and the drifter quietly but swiftly toward Isla San Francisco just north of La Paz.  

We love the Sea of Cortez in the fall.  It is an amazing and magical place.  Soon the northers will start to blow more consistently stirring the waters, cooling them down and sending the cruisers seeking the warmer waters of Pacific Mexico.  We will follow them in time but will hang here as long as the conditions permit.  We are so grateful to be able to experience the joy, peace and beauties of cruising.  Leaving behind the stresses, expenses and worries of the "real world" back on the hard stuff.  There is no other place we would rather be.  

Ciao for now.

SV Liahona
Bret and Marne

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Launching the boat for the coming cruising season.

It is definitely a little late as we launched the boat at the end of Oct but we have not had good enough internet until now to be able to post.  It was a long 3 1/2 weeks on dry dock taking care of several smaller projects and one large, unanticipated one in order to splash.  Here is a quick vid of the splash.

We are currently in La Paz, BCS and enjoying amazing water and weather here in the Sea of Cortez. We will post again soon to update with some of the happenings along the way.

SV Liahona
Bret and Marne