Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sea of Cortez

On November 6th, we left the noisy anchorage in Cabo for good, headed for La Paz. The Easterly wind had dropped off completely, leaving no wind at all. We’d been running our motor for a while when Andrew noticed it was getting hot and refusing to rev above 1500 rpm while in gear. This discovery would mark the beginning of many hours of working on, reading about, and discussion of the Marine Diesel Engine. With no wind and an ailing motor, we eventually made our way to the shore and tied up at a marina in San Jose del Cabo around 2100. A short walk along a dirt road took us to Tommy’s Barefoot Cantina, where we enjoyed some well-deserved margaritas.

In the morning we discovered we were in a beautifully designed marina, only partially completed, but carefully planned. The docks were of wide, immaculate concrete and the park-like grounds were intricately landscaped with various succulents, cacti, agave, palms, and bougainvillea. Each wrought-iron gate separating the docks from the surrounding grounds had a stone archway that dripped with tropical vines. Iron statues and prints of surrealist paintings lined the path to the showers. Definitely the nicest marina we’d ever been in.

After spending all day working on the engine, we took a taxi to downtown San Jose del Cabo. We sipped Cadillac margaritas at a sleek lounge called Tequila and John remarked that it felt like it could be a hipster bar in San Francisco. Next stop was an Argentinian steak house called La Pampa, where we sat next to the outdoor oven and enjoyed a satisfying dinner. On our way back to the taxis we stopped at the French bakery and bought a bag full of pastries and crusty bread for the morning, then wandered through the town square where much of the community had gathered on this warm night. It was a surreal scene. A teenage band was performing “Zombie” by the Cranberries while people of all ages chatted, sung along, or danced and children chased each other in pedaled go-karts. We watched for a while then left as the band was playing Judas Priest’s “Breaking the Law.”

Although Perky (as we’ve taken to calling our Perkins engine) was out of sorts, the men were confident he was well enough to get us up the coast to La Paz, where we know of a diesel mechanic who can examine him. On the 8th we rounded the cape into the Sea of Cortez. Although open to the Pacific Ocean, the Sea of Cortez a lot like a giant lake and it doesn’t get the swell from distant storms. The ride was smooth and peaceful, the sea calmer than some of our previous anchorages. After the sun went down in a fiery blaze of neon pink, the waves from our bow glowed with bioluminescence. We had a big Costco-veggie salad and baked potatoes for dinner.


  1. I love this blog like crazy! I check it every day; although I realize you can't possibly post your progress daily, clicking on this site helps me focus all the good vibes I'm sending out for your incredible journey. Much love!

  2. Thanks for the tip re: Mr Skipjack. :) Kitty gets some kind of award for canine board balancing, and sweet disposition. We love this blog, but would like a few pictures of Miss April :) The video of the dolphins brings it all home, and you had us laughing out loud a few times with your tale.

    Love, Dad and Megan

  3. PS: Megan's sister Evrith and her husband Steve will be at their home in Loreto further North in the Sea of Cortez in December, in case you'd like to stop in and visit.