S/V Nereida sails around the world

More news from Marina Seca, San Carlos

27th November 2014 (US Thanksgiving)  

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Work continues in sunny but dusty San Carlos where the sliver of a new moon appeared in the lovely sunset sky over the distinctive two peaks last Sunday.

Some good work has been done over the last two weeks - the boat is looking much smarter (I even hosed the dust off the decks tonight) and I’m feeling a lot happier!   It’s great to have so many friendly, helpful people around – typical boating community here, with everyone helping one another…  (Particular thanks to Tony & Patsy of 'Forbes & Cameron'  and Brunton's in U.K. for getting a much-needed greasing nipple to me via San Diego for my Autoprop.  Also to Alain of ‘Blue Moon’,  and Ed of ‘Panacea’ - and the cheerful yard workers who have often been very helpful as well)

Five layers of a barrier coat were applied in quick succession to the underwater section Friday fortnight ago, after thorough sanding, and then a light sanding was followed by four coats of Coppercoat on the following Wednesday.   Then the low loader came along early on Monday to raise “Nereida” slightly so the blocks under her keel, as well as the supporting stands, could be moved for the process to be repeated in the uncoated places - including under the flat base of the keel (where a Black Widow spider was found on moving the wooden supports!).   

Having thoroughly primed the yard workers on the procedure beforehand - and making sure only the most experienced of them was involved - it all went beautifully smoothly, with two on each side (Jorge with Edgar and Pepe with Miguel) and Adriano mixing the batches with me helping.  Ed of 'Panacea' also gave a helping hand - he'll be applying Coppercoat to his boat and was interested to see how it all went.  It certainly created a lot of interest from nearby boat owners, other yard workers and staff of Marina Seca here in San Carlos, Mexico.  The thought of 10-12 years of no antifouling being needed raised a lot of comment!   (Photos below)

 In between that and finishing wind generator wiring, I’ve been busily painting the aft cabin bunk tops with a two-part epoxy sealant for protection, the main problem turning out to be the excessively long time taken for each coat to harden, meaning only one coat per day was possible.  I’d naively hoped to get the job completed over last weekend, since the days are still very warm, but it’s only just finishing.   With both sides of seven boards involved the job will have lasted 8 days - hopefully, they can be put back in place this weekend so the aft cabin can be organised and cleared up....

The newly completed wind generator installation has proved useful - in the usual afternoon thermally-induced winds, the rotor is whizzing around so the house batteries are regularly at a healthier voltage now.  (My 220-240V shore charger refuses to accept the high input voltage of 270V coming from the 2:1 transformer resulting from the mains power at 135V here.  I’m often having to borrow 110V equipment to do work via an extension lead in the yard.)

The new hard sprayhood over the companionway (known as a hard ‘dodger' in N.America) is looking good - the shape is identical to my old canvas awning, with Lexan windows.   The glazing sealant gave Jorge quite a problem - it’s silicone and cures to be very strong, but is difficult to apply all around and behind the windows, being runny but skinning over within 20 minutes, giving very little time to smooth it and remove the masking tape around while maintaining the positive pressure on the window for the week it needs to cure.  The stainless steel fixings - front-plates and backing-plates - have given me a lot of work in preparing to instal them, with difficult access to where each of the two backing-plates go.

A Thanksgiving ‘potluck’ Dinner was organised by ‘Shamaness’ here outside the yard last night - it included the traditional turkey and pumpkin pie and I was delighted to find some unexpected fresh-mashed potatoes - a change from tortillas!  Two good guitarists played later and we all relaxed after the day’s boatwork - all very enjoyable!

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We got going soon after 8:30am ......

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Miguel and Edgar get started :

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Jorge and Pepe relax in between coats:     

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Waiting for the third coat to dry...

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Edgar pays careful attention to the rudder area while Ed checks around the propellor and (rope) Stripper:

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Jorge and Pepe were delighted to have finished all four coats by midday - in time for lunch!

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Monday morning, after several days for drying out, the low-loader came to lift 'Nereida' slightly so the blocks beneath, and the side supports, could be moved to complete the coatings:

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The Autoprop has been thoroughly cleaned off to bare metal, ready for Propspeed coating to be applied - I had been waiting for the greaser nipple and the bearings were thoroughly greased once it came - an easy operation.

A Black Widow spider was found lurking on one of the blocks moved ...!

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More news from Marina Seca, San Carlos

27th November 2014 (US Thanksgiving)

Work continues in sunny but dusty San Carlos where the sliver of a new moon appeared in the lovely sunset sky over the distinctive two peaks last Sunday.

Some good work has been done over the last two weeks - the boat is looking much smarter (I even hosed the dust off the decks tonight) and I’m feeling a lot happier!   It’s great to have so many friendly, helpful people around – typical boating community here, with everyone helping one another…  (Particular thanks to Alain, of ‘Blue Moon’, and Ed, of ‘Panacea’ - and the cheerful yard workers have often been very helpful, also.)

Five layers of a barrier coat were applied in quick succession to the underwater section Friday fortnight ago, after thorough sanding, and then a light sanding was followed by four coats of Coppercoat on the following Wednesday.   Then the low loader came along early on Monday to raise “Nereida” slightly so the blocks under her keel, as well as the supporting stands, could be moved for the process to be repeated in the uncoated places - including under the flat base of the keel (where a Black Widow spider was found on moving the wooden supports!).   

Having thoroughly primed the yard workers on the procedure beforehand - and making sure only the most experienced of them was involved - it all went beautifully smoothly and certainly created a lot of interest from nearby boat owners, other yard workers and staff of Marina Seca here in San Carlos, Mexico.  (Photos below)

 In between that and finishing wind generator wiring, I’ve been busily painting the aft cabin bunk tops with a two-part epoxy sealant for protection, the main problem turning out to be the excessively long time taken for each coat to harden, meaning only one coat per day was possible.  I’d naively hoped to get the job completed over last weekend, since the days are still very warm, but it’s only just finishing.   With both sides of seven boards involved the job will have lasted 8 days - hopefully, they can be put back in place this weekend so the aft cabin can be organised and cleared up....

The newly completed wind generator installation has proved useful - in the usual afternoon thermally-induced winds, the rotor is whizzing around so the house batteries are regularly at a healthier voltage now.  (My 220-240V shore charger refuses to accept the high input voltage of 270V coming from the 2:1 transformer resulting from the mains power at 135V here.  I’m often having to borrow 110V equipment to do work via an extension lead.)

The new hard sprayhood over the companionway (known as a hard ‘dodger' in N.America) is looking good - the shape is identical to my old canvas awning, with Lexan windows.   The glazing sealant gave Jorge quite a problem - it’s silicone and cures to be very strong, but is difficult to apply all around and behind the windows, being runny but skinning over within 20 minutes, giving very little time to smooth it and remove the masking tape around.  The stainless steel fixings - front-plates and backing-plates - have given me a lot of work in preparing to instal them, with difficult access to where each of the two backing-plates go.

A Thanksgiving ‘potluck’ Dinner was organised by ‘Shamaness’ here outside the yard last night - it included the traditional turkey and pumpkin pie and I was delighted to find some unexpected fresh-mashed potatoes - a change from tortillas!  Two good guitarists played later and we all relaxed after the day’s boatwork - all very enjoyable!

More news from Marina Seca, San Carlos

27th November 2014 (US Thanksgiving)

Work continues in sunny but dusty San Carlos where the sliver of a new moon appeared in the lovely sunset sky over the distinctive two peaks last Sunday.

Some good work has been done over the last two weeks - the boat is looking much smarter (I even hosed the dust off the decks tonight) and I’m feeling a lot happier!   It’s great to have so many friendly, helpful people around – typical boating community here, with everyone helping one another…  (Particular thanks to Alain, of ‘Blue Moon’, and Ed, of ‘Panacea’ - and the cheerful yard workers have often been very helpful, also.)

Five layers of a barrier coat were applied in quick succession to the underwater section Friday fortnight ago, after thorough sanding, and then a light sanding was followed by four coats of Coppercoat on the following Wednesday.   Then the low loader came along early on Monday to raise “Nereida” slightly so the blocks under her keel, as well as the supporting stands, could be moved for the process to be repeated in the uncoated places - including under the flat base of the keel (where a Black Widow spider was found on moving the wooden supports!).   

Having thoroughly primed the yard workers on the procedure beforehand - and making sure only the most experienced of them was involved - it all went beautifully smoothly and certainly created a lot of interest from nearby boat owners, other yard workers and staff of Marina Seca here in San Carlos, Mexico.  (Photos below)

 In between that and finishing wind generator wiring, I’ve been busily painting the aft cabin bunk tops with a two-part epoxy sealant for protection, the main problem turning out to be the excessively long time taken for each coat to harden, meaning only one coat per day was possible.  I’d naively hoped to get the job completed over last weekend, since the days are still very warm, but it’s only just finishing.   With both sides of seven boards involved the job will have lasted 8 days - hopefully, they can be put back in place this weekend so the aft cabin can be organised and cleared up....

The newly completed wind generator installation has proved useful - in the usual afternoon thermally-induced winds, the rotor is whizzing around so the house batteries are regularly at a healthier voltage now.  (My 220-240V shore charger refuses to accept the high input voltage of 270V coming from the 2:1 transformer resulting from the mains power at 135V here.  I’m often having to borrow 110V equipment to do work via an extension lead.)

The new hard sprayhood over the companionway (known as a hard ‘dodger' in N.America) is looking good - the shape is identical to my old canvas awning, with Lexan windows.   The glazing sealant gave Jorge quite a problem - it’s silicone and cures to be very strong, but is difficult to apply all around and behind the windows, being runny but skinning over within 20 minutes, giving very little time to smooth it and remove the masking tape around.  The stainless steel fixings - front-plates and backing-plates - have given me a lot of work in preparing to instal them, with difficult access to where each of the two backing-plates go.

A Thanksgiving ‘potluck’ Dinner was organised by ‘Shamaness’ here outside the yard last night - it included the traditional turkey and pumpkin pie and I was delighted to find some unexpected fresh-mashed potatoes - a change from tortillas!  Two good guitarists played later and we all relaxed after the day’s boatwork - all very enjoyable!

Greetings from beautiful British Columbia... photos!

15th August 2014 - in warm, sunny B.C.

Having written at length a few weeks ago - and then having lost the entire file while sorting through photos - I've not felt very motivated to re-write it...!!  But it's long overdue, so here goes...

8th July came... I was reminded that one year ago I'd just arrived back on land after 259 days at sea. Rick, VE7TK, had sent me a photo of the AIS screen on 6-7th July 2013 that so many were looking at as I struggled to get back to Victoria Harbour in fog and no wind, showing us drifting backwards and in circles overnight, as I tried to complete my circumnavigation under sail alone...

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Mexico news up to my leaving 'Nereida' in dry storage on 15th July (more photos below, including Sedona area)

The new hard top, replacing the canvas awning over the companionway, was virtually complete, with Jorge taking a long time and a lot of care to produce a good finish to it - it 'just' needs Lexan windows to be cut and stuck in place and a final fixing to the top of the steel windscreen when I return in October.

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Pitt was very helpful, as he has so often been, when time came for putting 'Nereida' to bed in the dry storage area  - covering her up carefully against the UV-rays of the hot sun during my absence.

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The weather was impossibly hot - too hot to get anything useful done by way of boatwork - but the 'chubascos' came early in July, as I'd been told they would - strong gusts of N wind accompanied by heavy rain and sheet lightning - but usually for just a few hours, around midnight.  The nice end-result was the nearby Sonoran desert greening up and cacti starting to flower beautifully - big flowers on small plants & small flowers on straggly ones
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The word was of a mountain lion being seen in the nearby hills ... and deer, for sure.   1st, 4th and 14th of July were all celebrated.... but it was always a relief to make for the cool of an air-conditioned bar and/or restaurant most evenings after an essential cooling shower.     Many people had their boats brought in to the Marina Seca, to leave them in the dry storage area while they made their way north to cooler climes -  often to their air-conditioned home in Phoenix or Tucson or San Diego, but also many Canadians, looking forward to a summer in B.C. or Alberta, some driving up, occasionally trailing their (small) boat up with them.
I was busy with my  own glass fibre project (a first for me!) - forming an area of carefully-shaped fibre glass over shaped foam, the idea being to reduce the braking effect of the disturbed water-flow of the bow-thruster tunnel quite close to the bow.
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My journey to Gibsons, near Vancouver in British Columbia, from San Carlos was a bit convoluted but ended up not as bad as I feared...   A car ride to the Guaymas 'Tufesa' bus station  in the evening, to catch the overnight bus to Phoenix... a two hour wait at a crowded Mexican check point (for drugs?) well before the US border... an unexpectedly good crossing of the border with friendly officials helping to speed up the formalities  (2am might have been part of the reason!) ... Bus passing by Phoenix airport two hours late, as my plane was due to be boarded (or so I thought, from clock display on the bus) ... hurried taxi to airport from bus station... "But it's only 9 o'clock" says the woman at the Information desk ... Phew!!  Just in time to check in ... so a very happy person unexpectedly caught her flight!!  Three hours or so to Vancouver, passing snowcapped volcanic Mt St Helens on the way:
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and a delightful 'float plane' trip over the Georgia Strait, from the Fraser River to Sechelt, just up from Gibson on the 'Sunshine Coast':
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I've been stayingwith good friends Tom and Maggie since then, in their house high up, overlooking the waters of Howe Sound and the B.C. Ferries from Horseshoe Bay, Vancouver, passing to and from the nearby Langdale terminal.                                                                                                                                  m IMG 4481
I've been blessed with great weather since arriving, although two days of rain early on were accompanied from 6pm to 1.30am one night by a power cut - a tall tree had fallen onto power lines ...  I drove in to Gibsons, a commercial fishing centre, for some lovely mussels in garlic - I had no power to cook or for lighting!   Tom and Maggie were off cruising around Georgia Strait for three weeks while I 'house sat' and explored the well-forested area around (in between working hard at my computer on organising the data from my travels, ready for writing)...  "Keep an eye out for the (black) bears around!" was the warning as I walked in the nearby forest or near the many blackberry bushes, fruit ripening nicely in the hot sunshine. 
There was a carnival atmosphere during the Gibsons 'Sea Cavalcade' over one weekend ... The Grand Parade was fun, with kids of all sizes scrambling for sweets thrown out from passing floats and dressed up groups of 'paraders' and the firework display was just great.
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I met up with friends, gave a well-attended Presentation on my sailing to the Gibsons Y.C. and Power Squadron at short notice, kept the garden plants watered ... and several deer came by daily to reap the crop!  Neighbour Hana took me recently on several enjoyable hikes up steep, forested Soames Hill for a great view over Howe Sound towards Gibsons and Keats Island and over to Gambier and Bowen Islands.
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One day I decided a plant beside the steps down into the garden badly needed a good water - big mistake!  I was well and truly stung - hot, painful stings on my head, body, arms and legs - by small, black, angry wasps - several times over each time -  hurt all that night, with long-lasting effects.  I couldn't understand what was happening to begin with, it being almost dark at that time... but with lots of loud yells of "Ouch!", I very soon dropped the hose, turned tail and ran for the safety of the house!! 
Another day, I decided to explore down near the shoreline beyond the ferry terminal - it amazes me how houses here are frequently built on a very steep rocky shoreline...  Long, steep sets of wooden steps are constructed to reach houses down a near-vertical slope.  I drove along a road which looked interesting.   The asphalt gave way to gravel and it became very narrow, with a steep drop down on one side...finally ending in a small 'turn-around' area above a few rooftops of houses by the beach below in a small cove.  
The usual enormously high trees of B.C. were all around, but no people, it being early afternoon.  On turning the car around to drive back, I managed somehow to get stuck on a slight sloping path meeting the main path...  No budging, whatever I tried to do....   On investigating, not only was the side of the car now sitting on the hard stony slope, but one of the front wheels had spun a bit, spitting out earth and stones, so we'd been lowered onto a smooth boulder just behind the wheel.     
What to do??   As I pondered on my situation, I spotted a long-handled, pointed shovel leaning against a nearby tree - great!  Spent a good two hours shovelling a lot of stony soil away from around and under both the car and boulder - how else could I hope to move either?    Triumphantly, I finally levered the boulder out of the way and was able to move the car - just as local resident Scott came home from work in time to guide me in manoeuvring the car successfully around in the very confined space.  Photo shows the result of my digging - a second boulder had to be dug out, along with stones and lots of gravelly earth, in order to move the first boulder - & the car!
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I stayed to chat with Scott and a couple holidaying in his house on the shore...  He'd spent six years re-building the house and looked forward to a daily swim after work in the lovely cove below.  Turned out that the shovel was only there because he'd been working on 'improving' the bit of road leading to the steps down to his house - so I was lucky!  I was amused to see bits of bright orange tape and thin yellow posts with red reflectors on their top marking the edge of the steep drop-away on the shore side of the road - no other protection!
I've seen a shoulder specialist in Vancouver who was encouraging - seemed to think that there was a very good chance my shoulder is mending OK but it will be more clear after I see him following a CT scan next week.  From Vancouver, I'll travel on to Saltspring Island to stay with a friend in Long Harbour for 2-3weeks, when I'll also hope to meet up with friends in the Sidney/Victoria area.  I'm trying to get writing on my 'story' - but the data-organizing has taken quite a time!  It feels odd not to have 'Nereida' nearby and to travel around on - I hope she's OK down in the heat of Mexico. ..............................................................................................................................................
Sedona Red Mountains, 'Montezuma's Castle' (misnamed - several hundred years before him!) and Tuzigoot in May:
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Making the hard top in Marina Seca San Carlos during June/July involved several stages & the framework they put up while making the mould made getting down below very difficult!
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20th April 2014 - Happy Easter!!

I'm on my way back to 'Nereida' after a one-week diversion to New England for an enjoyable time meeting up with 'ham' radio friends made during my circumnavigations.

From 2011 on, I'd frequently chatted to Rick (WA1RKT), in New Hampshire, and on my last way around, from February 2013 onward, I made contact with John (W1QS), Brad (W1RQ), 'Woody' (WW1WW) and Alan (K1ALL), so it was great to meet them face to face!

Rick and Janet took me for a drive around Lake Winnipesaukee (largest lake in their home state of New Hampshire), passing through typical, lovely, wooded New England countryside, with mainly wood-clad homes everywhere.  Unlike England, from where I'd just flown into New York, trees weren't quite showing any new leaves yet and, over my second night with them, the temperature plummeted and overnight snow glistened the next morning.  Photos show Rick's snowy patio, with some of his several aerials, and his 'radio shack' from where he often chatted to me when in the S.Atlantic and S.Pacific Oceans
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On Tuesday, we had a highly sociable dinner date.  (Photo shows (L-R): Brad, Alan, Rick and Woody.)

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On Wednesday I was taken to Freeport (where I found some useful small items for 'Nereida' at L.L.Bean!) to meet with John and be driven on to his old farmhouse in Maine, where he & Marcia keep several lovely horses - a lot of work!

We had a fascinating, but all-too-short, visit to the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath where the ultra-modern lines of the newest U.S.Navy frigate(?), being finished in the Naval Yard close by the Museum, were noted as being very 'weird-looking' and totally 'un-boat-like'!  I heard it was designed to be like the Stealth fighter - almost invisible to radar.

We also had a very interesting tour around the Lyman Morse yard in Thomaston with its very comprehensive facilities.    Stanley Paris's 'Kiwi Spirit' and her construction and equipment details gave us plenty to discuss with our knowledgeable host, Drew Lyman (son of Cabot).

The snow lay around in New England all that week, with temperatures well down.  All too soon, I was on my way back to a very mild New York, with its very helpful bus drivers, from where I flew on to Hermosillo (Mexico) via Phoenix, where I was to be greeted by friends Bill & Michaela, who were to drive me down to San Carlos.

I'd had a busy few weeks back in England, trying to catch up with friends, family and paperwork, in between organising items to bring back for 'Nereida' and attending two Dinners.    One was at the Royal Thames Yacht Club in Knightsbridge, a short walk from a famous store (!), where I was presented with the Royal Cruising Club's 'Seamanship Medal'
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and the other was on board the historic vessel HQS Wellington, (home of the "Honourable Company of Master Mariners") by the Thames Embankment, where I received the Ocean Cruising Club's 'Barton Cup'.   (I also heard that I had been recognised by Guinness World Records as being the oldest woman to sail solo, nonstop, unaided around the world!)

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Postscript

I regret to say that due to an unfortunate accident early on Monday, on my way to see 'Nereida' in dry storage here in San Carlos, I broke my collar-bone.   So I'll be rather restricted in my work efforts for a few weeks, although the yard will be doing some good jobs for me in the meantime - mainly preparing the boat underwater surface ready for applying Coppercoat, applying Propspeed and making a hard top (dodger) over the companionway to replace the present canvas awning.  Fortunately, of the many jobs waiting for me, several are small ones, so I should be able to get those done, once I'm feeling a bit better.   The police and ambulance service here in San Carlos were highly efficient and I was soon being X-rayed & seen by a good doctor.   I'm now being well looked after by kind Bill & Michaela.

Arrival in San Carlos, from Ensenada via San Jose del Cabo and La Paz

23rd February 2014   A long-overdue report...

Arrival back in Ensenada from UK, via San Diego, was late in January - and Navico's local Mexican experts immediately came to help sort out my VHF radio problems - very much appreciated!   Ensenada was warm in daytime but got very cold at night but Cruiseport marina was  notable for its warm, friendly community .   Leaving was delayed - an electrical fire on board was luckily averted when the starboard navlight was found to have shorted and burnt out, with wiring overheating as a result - a certain fire hazard if left.   More rewiring problems were dealt with and we finally got away, with lots of newly-made friends to say a regretful "Goodbye" to, on Wed 12th February - with Joey and Pete coming out in a dinghy to video my departure.

I decided to pause in Bahia de Tortugas where Randy and Joy were anchored and rafted up to 'Spirit of Hanalei'.   We had a great Valentine's party with two nearby boats and another enjoyable get-together the next evening with a new arrival - most of us knew each other from San Diego and/or Ensenada - typical of cruising!  The dusty village was explored - mostly subsisting on fishing and visiting cruisers, with only a few tourists visiting by land.  I needed to find the local Telcel shop - its large towers were easily visible inland from the fuel dock, where  a dinghy landing was made among large numbers of seabirds and their 'guano'...

The wind was often too light to sail, so the motor was turned on for most of the passage south, but occasionally the wind would get up nicely and I had a particularly good downwind sail one night, heading on S down past the thoroughly arid, desert scenery of the Baja California peninsula - with its often dramatic peaks and eroded sand-coloured hillsides.  I kept a look out for whales - but only saw dolphins, always a pleasure when they keep the boat company, leaping around.  Randy and Joy later went to San Ignacio Whale Reserve, not far S of Turtle Bay, and recounted being surrounded by large numbers of greys - an amazing experience, they said.

It's never good to be sailing to a deadline as I was, needing to reach San Carlos fairly quickly, to catch a flight out to New York via Austin, Texas, soon.  I passed Bahia Magdalena where I'd had the amazing experience in 2004 of leaving my overnight anchorage at sunrise, to be surrounded by  whales near and far - even diving under the boat as I passed close to them unavoidably.  This time I passed the entrance overnight and didn't stop, making instead for Cabo San Lucas - whose increased winds gave a vigorous, lively, thoroughly enjoyable sail , albeit in rough waters until rounding into its lee, where the wind slowly dropped away almost completely.   A local 'panga' with two tourists, clearly on a 'whale-watching' outing, came speeding up to me to ask if I'd seen any whales.  I was keeping well offshore but saw a cluster of pangas at one point closer inshore - a whale there, possibly?

Cabo San Lucas is renowned for its sport fishing but is very expensive so I didn't stop, instead making for San Jose del Cabo a short distance further N, on the inside of the Baja peninsula, where I was hoping to meet up with a 'ham ' radio contact I'd spoken to at times since 2007 from the S. Atlantic.  With difficulty, I persuaded the Marina office there NOT to charge me for stopping 2-3 hours while Mike, KC0YHM, and I went for a pleasant meal and chat in the old town.  $50 for a stop of even just10 minutes seemed rather excessive to my mind!

So I took off at 10pm, without my hoped-for short sleep beforehand, to sail on up the coast towards La Paz - actually a total motoring exercise in 2-4kt of wind... There was beautiful sunset on each of the two hot days it took to get there and lovely starry nights.  Again, I was only stopping in the hope of meeting up with cruiser friends - and managed two of three...   Robert of 'Del Viento', whose family I'd first met in Victoria, B.C., came by the fuel dock next morning in Marina de La Paz, where I had been fortunate to find a lovely long, empty space on arrival there in the dark the previous night.

I'd hoped to raft up to another friend's boat that evening, in peaceful Bahia Balandra, a short distance from La Paz town with its long entrance channel bordered by extensive shoals.  But the wind and sea had got up that afternoon and the small bay was open to the swell, so it was too rolly safely to raft up, as I'd hoped to.   I then found I had a problem removing the bowsprit and releasing the anchor-pin, although I later persevered with that, and finally succeeded in freeing the anchor ready for possible use in case I couldn't find an empty dock to tie to.   Steve, of 'Westerly', who I knew from my 2006 Single-Handed Transpac Race from San Francisco to Kauai, has cruised Mexico regularly since then but is hoping to explore more of the Sea of Cortez, as I do, once repairs and other works on "Nereida' are completed - in June, hopefully.  It was good to catch up over a meal before I left late in the afternoon to head N towards San Carlos,  with several islands passed on the way meaning only short naps were possible so as to keep a frequent watch.    Another windless passage, with hot sun in the daytime - but better than bashing into a 'Norther' which could have been a distinct possibility.

In La Paz it was nice to meet up with a lot of friendly cruisers and I had a lovely arrival in San Carlos where a small group of boats, headed by Bill and Micheila on  came out to welcome me in - it still feels rather odd when people I've never met before come up to shake my hand and greet me!   Having made good time, it was very good to cut the motor and sail very gently towards the dramatic rocky headlands on either side of the entrance to San Carlos Bay where the marina lies tucked away - it's quite a well-known hurricane hole.

I made a lot of radio contacts each morning and evening while on passage - often with people I've now met face to face!   I'll be hauling the boat soon, here in San Carlos, before heading to Austin for presentations to the Yacht Club on Friday and the Radio Club on Saturday.  I'm looking forward to visiting Austin - it's well-known for its music and Brad, NA5BD, and Tom, N5TW, (who helped me a lot with radio communications while I was circumnavigating) will be hosting me.  The following Tuesday, I fly into New York to stay at the N.Y.Y.C., ready for the Cruising Club of America's Awards Dinner on Friday 7th March - when I'll be receiving their 'Blue Water Medal'.

From New York, I'll be flying to London, to take part in an ITV Show - that should be fun!  And in April I'll be receiving the OCC's Barton Cup..... and at some point I'll be receiving the Royal Cruising Club's 'Seamanship Medal' So there's lots happening just now .... and lots of people being met up with...

Work on 'Nereida' that I'd expected to have finished by now is being put 'on hold' until my return.   Typically, friends Robert and Rose, whose boat 'Tillicum' has been totally stripped and refurbished here over the last year , are still busy - each project seems to turns into another unexpected one and they're running several months beyond their expected finish date.

(Photos to be posted soon....)