Iguanas, Tigers & Crocodiles… OH MY!!!! …#21

I love going to new locations, it’s part of the adventure. But leaving La Paz was bittersweet. We made new friends that were staying in La Paz, John and Janet Harrington on the Sailboat Tango, and we also love hanging in this city. We didn’t want to leave yet. But we were excited to travel with our friends from Portland, Ken and Cheryl to Puerto Vallarta. So off we went.

“La Paz is a small city in comparison to Cabo San Lucas”

We had a 30+ hour run from La Paz to Mazatlan, which was our first stop on our way to PV. We took advantage of a little bit slower cruising to get some fishing done while underway. Dan and Ken worked on getting the lines out and we were lucky on the first day and caught 3 small tuna, 1 big Mahi Mahi & a Spanish Mackerel. The 4 of us easily changed roles between manning the helm, fishing, cleaning the fish and quick freezing them with a vacuum food saver. We had fresh Tuna sandwiches for lunch that afternoon and enjoyed the first day at sea.

Around dinner time we had a bird plop himself on our front bow railing. He was not leaving no matter how many times we tried to chase him away. It looked like he was very tired and the frigatebirds were chasing him. So, Cheryl and I agree to clean up the poop mess the next morning if the boys would agree to let him stay on. Welcome aboard to our “booby” bird. 

During Cheryl’s watch, while Dan and I slept, she had an odd encounter from another boat. Ken and Cheryl were both awake and at the helm when they noticed a boat on the radar moving at a very fast pace (35 knots) towards Angelique. As they neared, within a couple miles, Ken and Cheryl started looking for them with binoculars. Being that close to us, they should have been able to see some type of lights on their boat. The boat was dark. The boat then started hailing us on the radio, in Spanish of course. Unsure what to do, they woke up Dan. At this point the vessel turned on navigation lights. We all couldn’t quite tell what was going on, but Dan decided to tell the boat…. “This is Angelique Motor Yacht, we will pass you Port to Port” The Spanish speaking boat seemed fine and repeated “Port to Port, Aye”. So Dan went back to sleeping. A few minutes later we were hailed again by the same boat. This time with an english speaking person that asked us to repeat and explain who we were. Dan gave a detailed description of registry, people on board, from and to location, and was given a polite reply from the Mexican Navy wishing us well. Dan wished them a safe patrol from a retired Navy sailor and the cruising resumed.

“You never really know what can happen at midnight”

I was ready to take over for my watch from Cheryl at 3am…. When I took watch the moon was out and casting shadows on the glass calm water. The only movement was the up and down with the small swells of the sea. The bow was very visible, which is not normal for a night run. The stars were unbelievably bright with such a light cloud cover. 

As the sun peeked over the horizon around 6am, we could see our bird was still on the front railing. He was starting to invite his other friends. Which Cheryl and I were not happy with. We had cleaned all the poop off the deck that our “booby” had left over night and were not willing to have his crew do the same. Chasing them off with a broom or hands was not even phasing them. They didn’t move. I had a hose out from cleaning the deck and decided to use it to keep them off. It was a joke trying to keep them off. Cheryl and I were laughing pretty hard. The Birds would dive bomb the bow and attempt to sit on the railing as I was taking the hose and chasing them away before they landed. It took a couple hours before they realized they weren’t welcome aboard Angelique and the humans won! 

When we arrived at Mazatlán, at the El CID Marina, they put us on the outside of a busy marina dock. It was an easy to dock the boat but the ocean opening was close to the marina. This made for a rocky moorage due to lots of surge. We had many lines holding us to the dock. We did have good dinners at the hotel within El CID resort. The next day we had great entertainment with the iguana’s at the pool. They would hop up on the lounge chair if they thought they could get some food. 

During the next day we visited a indoor vendor market, headed to a cool place for a snack and drink near the malecon. The attention we received at the outdoor venue, Mr Lionso Restaurante, was amazing. We asked the waiter to take a pic of the 4 of us, which turned into a selfie with the 2 waiters flipping the camera on us and themselves. We had so much fun! 

On our to next leg to Puerto Vallarta we had a similar length of time and watch rotation. I also had very similar experience with the night sky and stars. It is truly impossible to explain how bright the stars and planets are when you are at sea. You forget living in the city how many small stars we have in our universe. I was able to see Mars above the horizon that looked like a bright light on a sailing mast a few miles away. Shooting stars and the Milky Way. I’m all alone at the helm waiting for 3:55am when the moon is scheduled to come up and lighten up my view.  When the reddish shaped cradle of a moon arrived it was not the bright light I was expecting. Mars was dominated the sky but the moon was putting on the show with her reddish cradle shape. The clouds & wind picked up a bit and I’m forced back to my helm duties and watching radar for fishing boats.

6am sunrise!

We were greeted at Paradise Village Marina by Dick Markie, Harbor Master/Manager of the marina. We were grateful to be in Nuevo Vallarta, which is a suburb of Puerto Vallarta. Dan and I were planning on having some work done on the boat in Puerto Vallarta shipyard, so the guys (Dan and Ken) went off to check out the different boatyards, so we could schedule the work.

Dan and I are always grateful to have help with transit of our boat. It makes the cruise safer and more fun too. Ken and Cheryl had to leave soon and that part is always hard. We all had so much fun and the sun and 80 degree weather didn’t hurt either. 

Rihanna’s Casa

As we said goodbye we looked for other boaters to visit with and learn lots about the marina and took a dinghy cruise and saw the vacation casa of “Rihanna” and a crocodile.  


Our Son Chase and his buddies joined us for a week and they had fun in the city with a bikini contest at a local bar, tequila pool volleyball at the resort and waverunner in the bay with dolphins few feet away from them.  

Dan had a shock of a life when he was walking in the Resort (Paradise Village) an turned to see 2 very large Tigers staring at him. He found out later that Dick & Gina, the Manager of the Marina, raised them from kittens and they now reside at the resort.  

All our guest were gone and the Christmas Holiday was approaching. We had worked with Jorge Servin a Marine Project Manager owner at SYS to schedule all our haul out and work on Angelique when we return from our 2 week holiday in Oregon. 

Our trip home was full of holiday time with family, visiting with my Mom and my Sister from Spokane, doctor appointments, finance appointments, (gotta stay on budget) and family time with kids. The kids and I visited my brother who was in the hospital with life treating issues. He is doing much better now.  We did a 2 day trip to Bend to see Dan’s Parents and a couple dinners with a few friends. Our trip was over quick and we were coming back to PV. Excited and sad at the same time. 

Angelique had started her transformation when we arrived back in PV. Opequimar boatyard was in 2 days and we had prep to do…. 

Next blog is our Boat yard adventures…. 

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                        Adios for now muchachos 


Picking up Pieces in Puerto Los Cabos, Whale Sharks & Thanksgiving in La Paz….#20

Our nerves and weak tummies were grateful for our arrival into Puerto Los Cabos Marina. The large swells and high winds were overwhelming us and others…..as the marina was trying to squeeze in as many boats as they could.

The sun would be going down with just a small amount of twilight to motor into the marina. Dan had just woke up from a short nap after getting a bit seasick. I was glad his nap made him feel better. We really weren’t sure exactly where our moorage location was and the waves, wind and current were still fighting us and keeping us on our “A” game as we were heading in.  We were lucky in that we had a nice Mexican dock guy waiting to help and direct us once inside. Fighting the waves had reduced but the current and wind were still hitting us hard. We finally made it in safely and felt very lucky to have a place to get out of the elements.

The next morning I pulled out the vacuum cleaner and braved the opening of my galley cupboards. During the rough seas the day before I could hear the dishes, glasses, bowls, etc. moving and sliding as we were taking hits to the port and starboard sides of our boat. We weren’t rigged for sea, which I normally stuff towels into the cupboards to keep it all from moving and sliding and breaking. I had broken one glass already by just opening one of the doors too fast and it fell out. I could only imagine the mess of glass and such. i was fearing disaster, and carefully opened up the cupboards. I was shocked. Totally and amazingly shocked at what I saw…… Nothing was broken. Plates had slid across and on top of glasses and all my glasses were tipped over or laying down on top of something but nothing more was broken. What a blessing!

Dan was working on our AC Power outage. While we were getting hit with waves in Cabo our inverter snapped and went out.  At the time we really weren’t sure what happened except with one hard hit to our Port side it snapped and all our AC power went out.  Dan did his investigation while trying to get it going again. His theory is that while the inverter was under load, the wave hit us and vibrated the batteries/case which blew the main DC fuse and shut down our AC power. We are looking at more secure battery and cable tie downs for this issue.  Back in business with new fuses installed, and more spares.

We spent a few days at Puerto Los Cabos and found an easy and nice cantina at the head of the dock that we enjoyed afternoon margaritas and nachos, with a great view of course. We just took it easy for a couple of days and planned our jump to Marina de La Paz. We hadn’t decided if we wanted to do it in 1 long day or 2 short days and anchor someplace halfway. We were a bit shy of anchoring after what just had happened to us. So we decided to make the jump in one day and travel a bit faster to get in through the La Paz Harbor channel at sunset.

We had a beautiful run but knew getting through the unknown channel would be the hard part. Finding the mouth where the first buoy was the hardest part as the sun was setting and object looked different with shadows, clouds and dusk impacting our view. But we made it with Dans careful motoring and I was pointing out each buoy with a large spot light.

La Paz - one long trip channel pic

The “Baja Ha-Ha’er” had a one last event in La Paz the next day, with food, dancing and celebrations. We were really glad we went as we met some nice folks Janet and John from Tango and Jan and Dave from Severance sailboats. 

We invited them all over for dinner and a view of what our motoryacht looks like.

Dan and I spent Thanksgiving day mostly apart from each other. I had my final day of my open water scuba diving certification with “Cortez Expeditions”. Two days and 4 dives later I’m a certified scuba diver. I was so exhausted but we went to the cafe in the marina for a Thanksgiving Turkey dinner. I didn’t eat much and quickly went to bed and slept for 12+ hours…. But we are so thankful that on this Thanksgiving day we are in paradise and I was conquering just one more of my fears. Dan and I missed our wonderful family during the holiday but are excited to be home for Christmas time.

John and Janet from the Tango sailboat invited us for celebration champagne on their vessel a few nights later for my successful scuba certification. They have a beautiful boat and we got to know them better. A few nights later we got together with our friends from Portland, Deborah and Bob. They live 50% of the time in thier La Paz home.

We went to an amazing restaurant and Dan ordered one of their most expensive appetizers, 20 month aged pork sliced very thin.

Our friends Ken and Cheryl joined us for our last couple days in La Paz. We asked them to help us with the trip to to Mazatlan & Puerto Vallarta. We planned some fun activities in La Paz which included snorkeling with the whale sharks. It is an amazing & unforgettable experience. I would highly recommend it, if you haven’t done it.

Whale Sharks are the largest fish in the world. They come to La Paz in winter/spring to feed in the rich waters. They move slowly through the water, filtering thousands of gallons of water, gleaning nutrients from the rich waters of the sea of cortez. 

Great photo on our trip with “On Board Baja” I recommend this company if you get a chance to come to La Paz.

We also did a bit of grocery shopping before heading out. Which I quickly get reminded of how different it is here in Mexico. One way you can purchase your meat here is on on open table, unwrapped, help yourself. They were frozen and on ice, but I choose not to get any.

The next morning we were up before the sun and preparing to leave just as the daylight broke. Our plan was 34 hours to Mazatlán, stay a few days in El CID Marina, then a 32 hour run to Puerto Vallarta at Paradise Village resort and Marina, as our final destination for this leg of our trip.

Adios La Paz, we hope to see you again someday!

Next is our adventures in Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta with Tigers, iguanas, & crocodiles OH MY!!!!! 


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