Saturday, May 28, 2016

Baja Ha-Ha 2015

I noticed that the last update to my blog was Dec. 2015........................6 months ago!  And I didn't even tell you about the Baja Ha-Ha!  It is a 2 week rally (not so much a race) beginning on Oct. 26, 2015 from San Diego where we left with 120 other boats to head for the final destination of Cabo San Lucas.  The total trip is 750 miles.
It was a beautiful sight to see all the boats hoisting their sails and spinnakers to slowly leave San Diego in VERY light wind.

This annual event is a great opportunity for novice sailors and or those who haven't sailed far from port to literally get their feet wet.  Like us, many of these sailors have been up and down the coast before.  Some participate in the Ha-Ha every year to reunite with friends and get some salt in their hair.  Others who are cruising for the first time find comfort in traveling with a group.  Every morning we have a "net" on our VHF radios with the Grand Poobah.  Each boat will check in advising their latitude and longitude, wind and wave conditions along with the condition of their crew and if they are having any sail/motor problems.........and any fish caught!

Our first top was Turtle Bay about 300 miles south and 2 1/2 days later.   Beach dinghy landings are not my favorite, but it's the only way on and off shore.  There is also the annual softball game where local participation is expected!  The kids have a blast.
 Beach parties are on the agenda, especially at Bahia Santa Maria, our 2nd stop.  A nice game of tug-a-war, girls vs. the guys.  The girls ALWAYS win!

 Fishing was the biggest part of this trip for alot of people.  Here's our attempt!

                  Oh yeah...............after a few cold beers! (Note: empty beer can under Paddy's arm???)

What's a beach party without live music?

After dropping anchor in the Cabo San Lucas anchorage, it's time to hit the beach for our final beach party and the awards dinner and party.  The boats are categorized into fleets determined by lengths of boat and types, i.e. we are a catamaran compared to monohulls.  Awards are presented to each first and second place in their fleets, and everyone else wins a third place award.  We won a 3rd place award!!!!
Here's Allie and Mike on Bay Wolf from San Francisco.  They won the award for most caught fish, The Master-Baiters!

We met some awesome people on the HaHa (we called it the Hee Haw!)  Several returned home to the states while others went south, and some even on to the South Pacific which was our original plan.  Unfortunately things didn't work out for us, so we will go next year!

After Cabo, a lot of us ventured up into the Sea of Cortez which is between the Baja and mainland Mexico.  Jacques Costeau named the Sea of Cortez "The Galapagos" of Mexico.  The sea is full of healthy marine life.  We took our time sailing north to La Paz where we hung out to celebrate Thanksgiving.  A local restaurant hosted a party with local entertainment.  These young dancers were all dolled up in their native costumes.

It is now May 2016.  We spent a few more weeks in the Sea and then sailed to our favorite winter hangout, La Cruz, about a week's sail south including a few overnight stops.  In March we left La Cruz and sailed back to the Sea to go further north and explore areas we had not yet seen.  More to follow.

 P.S. A creative idea for your bougainvillea flowers.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Another Lost Summer!

Another Lost Summer!

Not so sure what the title means except the summer went by very quickly.  I just realized I have not updated my blog since our fantastic trip through the National Parks.  So in a nut shell - here's the rest of the story.....................

After a stay in Vancouver with John and Julie, visit with Aimee and Suzie in Portland, we also spent some time with Becky and Wirt in Underwood, Mark and Wendy in Oakland, John and Marlena in Coronado and Larry in Indio.  I also had a 3 week visit to my old stomping grounds - "Crystal River" - to visit Mom, Kerry and great friends.  

Here Karen, Joanne and me kayaking through the waters in Bugs.   - my old "back yard".

Had a foot of hair cut off!  Locks of Love.

Was so glad my buddy Karen was able to visit us for a whirlwind tour of San Diego, and up the coast to La Jolla, Laguna and Newport Beach.  Here we are on the beach in front of the "del", aka the famous Del Coronado Hotel.  The main building is presently the oldest and largest wooden standing structure in the USA.  Built in 1893(?)

After spending a few days at Larry's in Indio, we took a trip north to visit his sister Karen and her husband John in Las Vegas.  It was Vegas Bike Fest!  A view of the pool overlooking the golf course.  (Yeah things are rough for the Evans!)  They also came to visit us in Coronado.

Larry and Karol

Had a lovely and cool ride from Las Vegas up to Red Rocks Canyon and Mount Charleston.  Temperature is about 15-20 degrees cooler up there!  A nice relief from the heat of Vegas.

The Strip!

One of the loveliest areas in San Diego is Balboa Park which consists of a variety of museums, restaurants, gardens and historic buildings.  The park was originally constructed in 1924 for the World's Fair.  There must have been a lot of construction going on in the 1920's as there are many building in this area of similar architecture style - the California Spanish.

 I love this photo of these sweet giggling prima ballerinas coming out from class!

We had a wonderful time with Elly and Wayne our friends from Roatan.  Another visit to the "del".  If you need a "vacation in paradise" suggestion, check out their website.

Balboa Park

San Diego's Little Italy Saturday farmers market.  Full of food, flowers and crafts.

Love - Q

Friday, July 10, 2015

Our National Parks 2015

On June 5, 2015 Paddy, Larry and I left Indio, CA for our adventure through some of America's most amazing National Parks.  While growing up, we never camped!   (My Dad's idea of camping was going to a Howard Johnson Motel with a pool and black and white TV!)  So seeing these parks was a real "eye opener" me.  I just can't express my enthusiasm for these parks.  This country offers so much diversification.  They belong to us - you and me.  Go see them.

 First stop was Lake Havasu, CA and lunch next to the London Bridge.  By the way, we hit every Harley shop along our path.  Some were just little t-shirt stores while other were major dealerships. Hence, London Bridge Harley Shop.  Then to Laughlin and dinner at this great place with a beer tap at the booth.  Dangerous!

 Next stop, Zion National Park, Utah.  Here you look up and can walk a peaceful path by the river.


 Then off to Bryce Canyon National Park where you look down unless of course you are hiking a trail down in the bottom of the canyon - looking up.  Too many pictures to show you so you'll just have to go yourself!

Hoo-doos! Those towering rock formations.

 Mesa Verde National Park,  Colorado 

-where the Pueblos created homes in natural caves in the sides of rocky mountains to protect them from the winter snows and winds.  After approximately a 24 year drought, they left the area to find a more resourceful place to live.  They were there only 150 years.

The most gorgeous ride was from Bryce Canyon through the Grand Staircase-Escalante, Glen Canyon, and Canyonlands National Park (all in southern Utah).  Put that ride on your bucket list!

Dinosaur National Park - Utah
Yes, Dorothy, there were once dinosaurs roaming the earth - in Utah. 

 Just had to go to Jackson Hole, Wyoming to visit Pat and Anita.  Go see them at their restaurant The Lift.  Charming town with a rodeo every Wednesday.  Even Gator Dave showed up. And it's down the road from Yellowstone.  I was disappointed we didn't see any bears, then again, I was relieved.

And there's the famous Mangy Moose, once owned by Pat.

Heading East from Jackson Hole through Idaho to visit the Craters of the Moon National Park. Looked like a lava field!

Continuing into eastern Oregon where it was a little warmer and drier.  Cute towns there - Wallowa, Enterprise and Joseph.  Check out the B&Bs there.  North through Hell's Canyon - that was interesting.............and up to Washington state.  Stopped and spent several days with Becky and Wirt at their lovely home and I was lucky to see Val and her fiancee Chris.  And Gator Dave!  He was visiting to pick up a 1975 BMW motorcycle.

Here's our view of Mt. Hood from the deck!  Yes, that's snow.

We arrived a few weeks ago in Vancouver to see Julie, John and Foos.
 This is sweet Foos.

 Pool party with Susie, Aimee and their clan!

It's been a wild month plus covering almost 2,700 miles, visting about 8-9 national parks and seeing way too many motels.  Thank goodness for my cushy seat and generous friends to stay with.  I fly to Florida on the 19th for 3 weeks and can't wait to see family and friends, go scalloping and sweat alot! Paddy's heading east for Sturgis. Then we'll begin our trip back to California and visit some friends on the way.  
We LOVE California!

Paddy and I miss Le Chat Beaute' and look forward to returning to our home moored 
in San Diego early September. 


Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Beauty of the Sea of Cortez

Finally - the Sea of Cortez!  The only problem is we just didn't stay long enough.

Puerto Ballandras

Mushroom Rock - of course 

                     Dinner onboard with old friends - Dennis and June from sv Shamaness.

                                            And new friends Debi and Burton on sv On Air
                                                               with their Shepard Zula!
                                                     John and Marlena's Ballou
Bahia de los Muertos (Bay of the Dead!)

The arches of  Cabo

Le Chat Beaute' is now moored in San Diego as we arrived there May 26th after a long trip from Cabo San Lucas.  We were "stuck" in Turtle Bay for a week waiting for a weather window.  The winds were blowing 15 - 20 kts.  But fortunately we met new boating buddies, Rod and Mary on Northern Lights, and Giuliano and Lisa on Serenity.  

Today is June 4, 2015 and we're at Larry's in Indio - only 97 degrees.  A few days ago the temps were in the 100's.  Whew!  Tomorrow we three leave for another Harley adventure.  The plan is to start out with a visit to Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks, then head north........where it's cooler!

P.S.  Click on Paddy's blog Le Chat Beaute' for a different angle!