Friday, May 23, 2008


Safe BBQ

For all of you who are planning to grill hot dogs this weekend as part of the Memorial Day celebration, please practice safe BBQ!

Down here in Mexico, some of the hot dogs we buy are very, very safe. Yep, they come with their own hot dog condoms! Already installed! What will they think of next?

The first time we saw this we assumed the condom would cook off - nope - we ended up with plastic shrink-wrapped grilled dogs.

Now we know to remove the condom before grilling. Live and learn.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Rugged Beauty of Baja California Sur

The penninsula of Baja California has a vastly different landscape from that of the tropical coastal Mexico we've cruised these past 18 months. It's much more rugged, volcanic, dry, and wild.

All around us was evidence of the volcanic origins of this land - sharp mountain peaks, cinder cones, lava and ash flows and bizarre rocks. The rocks themselves were many different colors. One of our favorite anchorages was in Las Gatos. Here there are RED cliffs.

Jonesy and I took a hike up a small ravine to stretch our sea legs. We were rewarded with a marvelous view from the top of the cliff overlooking the sea. It was so quiet up there - just the sun, the heat radiating off of the dark earth, and a gentle breeze off of the sea. The water was so clear that we could see the rocks deep down under the sea. We were out of breath from being such boat-vegetables lately yet it was lovely to get onto land again.

We moved away from the cliff edge once we realized that it was undercut where we were standing. I mean that there was no earth under our feet! We were out on a ledge which, who knows?, could give way at any moment.

A little foot (goat?) trail led farther up - over onto the point overlooking the bay of Los Gatos. As we tippy-toed along the crest of the peak, I suddenly became dizzy. Wait a minute! I have a real fear of cliffs! No way can I be near the edge of a drop-off - it makes me freak. So, I had to sit down - then scoot a long ways down on my bum to "safety". Jonesy continued to the very top. You can see in the photo that there was only one way to go if he fell - straight down on both sides. And to make matters worse, the rocks there were sharp and provided lousy footing as they would slide against each other. I had already mentally planned how I would hire a fisherman to help me retrieve Jonesy's body if he fell. A Girl Scout is always prepared.

At the top of the hill Jonesy enjoyed the view. That "little" sailboat down in the bay is our Niki Wiki. Then he performed a community service task and straightened out the wooden cross. There are wooden crosses and little shrines everywhere here in Mexico.

At the base of the mountain the red rocks looked like hot pudding that had just been poured from a giant saucepan! The flows were red and thick. Along the cliffs, as seen from our dinghy, I would often "see" plump, nude "Rubenesque" women in the formations! The lumpy, flows of lava rock looked like fat rolls on large thighs, or sagging bellies, and pendulous breasts, and knees. Am I wierd or what?

So where are we now? We have made the long trip South & East across the southern end of the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California) and are now anchored in little Chacala Bay on the Mexican mainland. We had originally planned to go into the old harbor of Mazatlan, but the sea conditions were so favorable and we were feeling fine, so we decided to add another day and night to the trip and continue south.

Now we can hang out here until it is time to go into the marina in Puerto Vallarta. Weather permitting that is. A strong wind is forecasted for later this week - and there is already a tropical depression forming near Acapulco. Early hurricane perhaps? Only time will tell.

KNITTING CONTENT: Almost done with second sleeve on my FLAK cardigan.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Back to Civilization again

Yep. It's getting late in the cruising season so we've had to start sailing south again towards Puerto Vallarta to wait out the summer hurricane season. We sailed into La Paz yesterday afternoon and anchored off the city. Immediately we lowered the dinghy and took off for town. Shopping! Restaurants! Internet! Two weeks without internet - our email is overloaded.

Our first stop was the ATM to get some cash. Then we trotted off, at only a slightly controlled pace, to the "Un Precio" - one-price dollar store!!!! Whooo hoooo! Gringo goodies! There's nothing like this over on mainland Mexico where we've been for the last year and a half except for the "Waldo" stores. But they don't have the delicacies of gringolandia (US & Canada). We're talking M&M's! Tootsie Rolls! Sweet pickle relish! Mike & Ike candies! Fritos Scoops & Cheetos with no chili seasonings! We stocked up on these precious goods. Yeah, these will be the highlights of the summer potlucks in Puerto Vallarta!

It's been a wonderful couple of months up here in the Sea of Cortez and Baja California. Very laid back, isolated, quiet & lazy for the most part. We've read, quite literally, stacks of books and I've done a lot of knitting and reading of knitting books.

Sure, there was also a lot of socializing going on. We made sure to get north up to Puerto Escondido & Loreto for the annual cruiser's Loreto Fest sponsored by the Hidden Port Yacht Club. We joined the Yacht Club, picked up our burgie (flag) & t-shirts and enjoyed 3 days of activities, great music, friendship, food, and beer all to benefit the local school.

Here's a picture of friends enjoying the spaghetti feast in roman toga outfits (it's a cruiser thing?). In the next photo, Jonesy is center in his official yellow Hidden Port Yacht Club t-shirt (no togo for Jones) chatting it up with some cruising buddies.

I took a class in how to cut up our t-shirts to make them more comfortable - airy. We remove the sleeves, bottoms, and slice fringe into it. I used a Meg Swansen's knitting camp 2006 t-shirt that I can't wear because it is so HOT down here. Now it is much cooler - and pretty cute too! Yeah, it's a female cruiser thing.

Puerto Escondido is not a town - just a mooring facility for boats. Instead of anchoring, we picked up a mooring attached to a concrete block on the bottom of the cove for $20 per night. To get into the nearest tiny store and the little hotel/spa that had internet, we had to walk about a mile into the desert along this road. This is open cattle grazing land and we crossed paths with steers - with big horns. I can't like cattle near me.

We joined another couple and shared a taxi ($70 round trip! Yikes!) for the 12 mile trip into the actual town of Loreto to do some grocery shopping. It's a really old town which was the first capital of Baja California in the early 1700's. But now it is just a sleepy little place.

I finished designing, knitting, and writing up the patterns for seven (7) more 7 x 7" squares for the afghan project. My many trusty stitch dictionaries came in handy. My goal is to create designs that are relatively easy to produce, will make a nice fabric for a man's afghan, and have visual interest when assembled into a 20-square afghan. Introducing Squares #10 thru #16....Zig Zag, Umbrellas, Framed Pebbles, Stripes & Spots, Wasp's Nest, Chains, and Quad Cables.

And back to FLAK - the Follow the Leader Aran Knitalong. I've picked up this cabled cardigan sweater for me again and am determined to finish it! I had a little knitting funk last week. You know, when nothing feels right to knit. So I didn't knit for 2 whole days. Nope, just read and hung out in the hammock trying to think what was it that I really wanted to knit.

Decided to finish up some UFOs (UnFinished Objects). So out came the FLAK. I finished the first sleeve and decided to run the cable down into the cuff. Also, out came some entrelac socks that I started a couple of years ago. Although I like the look of entrelac, the technique is too fiddly. But, I'd like to get these done. (Confession: I really want the solid colored sock yarn that will be leftover after I finish these socks - to make wild "Monster Socks" combined with all the different leftover yarns I already have saved up!) Whatever the inspiration - at least another pair of socks gets finished.

Okay - enough for today - gotta go dinghy over to the dinghy dock and hike the mile or two over to the big grocery store for healthy food.

Thursday, May 01, 2008


Will Blog later...

We're safely moored here in Puerto Escondido. As you can see, we are very busy working hard...but I promise we'll blog later - knitting & sea adventures to come.

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