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Our Slog (Ships Log) with a Satelite View

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In Oaxaca

Posted on Saturday Feb 17, 2007

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We packed up the cats and together with Ocean Lady we took two rental cars and drove to Oaxaca. Perhaps you might have heard of this place on the news due to their riots and the Canadian reporter that was killed. Well, that scared off the regular tourists, leaving the place to hardy travelers.
Oaxaca has a very rich and old culture with lots of ruins and amazing artwork. When we find some time, we'll post some photos and tell you about our time here. It's been really fantastic and the place we are staying in allows us to bring all 4 of our cats and a dog. In fact there's a even bigger surprise as Ocean Lady has a new crew member! More on all that later!

Bahia Jicaral

After saying good by to Willow and Tara who headed out for their long trek to Costa Rica, we sucked it up and headed out on a grueling passage to Isla Cacaluta about 4 miles from the town. There's a massive beach that obviously gets pummeled in the summer by hurricane waves because the beach is practically a 30 foot wall of sand. We found some nice coral there, and walked the beach and the park checking out all the animals. But the wind switched and the second night was too rough to sleep.

So another tough 4 miles and we joined up with Godspeed, Get Lost and Ocean Lady in Jicaral. The coral here is really good and there's quite a few small types of tropical fish. Luck for you, Ocean Lady had an underwater little camera, so we'll soon be able to post some photos of 50% of the world we've never been able to show you before.

The water here in the Hualtulco area is amazingly clear. I can easily see the anchor at 25 feet down and the snorkeling has been some of the best we've had in Mexico -- on par with our secret spots in Isla Angel de la Guardia in the northern Sea of Cortez.

Last night we had a beach barbecue under the full moon. It was a nice mellow night and we wondered how our friends were doing sailing their boats along the lonely stretch of Guatamala heading south as we sipped cold beer and listened to music.

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Bahia Santa Cruz

We really liked La India, but our friends on Willow and Tara are departing to Costa Rica and are taking the weather window to get across the Tehuantapec in the next couple of days. So we braved the 10 miles needed to catch up with them and anchored in Santa Cruz next to Godspeed. We're pretty close to the small stores and downtown from here and we caught a 16 peso ($1.60) taxi ride to Marina Chahue to see Willow and Tara. We also met up with Con Te Partio, Homers' Odyssey and a few new people who are hanging out in the Marina.

Our plan is to be in this area for about 3 weeks, surfing, snorkeling and diving while the weather in the Tehuantapec slowly improves as we get closer to fall. During the fall the high pressure systems in the Gulf of Mexico become less frequent so less wind pours over the low lands of southern Mexico and the windows for crossing get larger.

Anyway we probably won't be posting much until we get ready to cross unless we happen across something spectacular.

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La India

Sometimes when the right wind is blowing you just have to go with it. So when the wind kept blowing from the southwest we hustled to pickup our laundry, 15 gallons of water and hoisted our sails. We had a nice sail all the way into La India. Those big swells coming from deep in the Gulf of Tehuantapec were running at about 6 feet and close together as we rounded the point. We were a little concerned that La India wouldn't provide us much protection, but we tucked deep inside the cove and it's calmer than Puerto Angel and about 10x prettier. We are the only people here and it's nice. Times like this you lay back and breath out ahhhhhhh.

Check out this spot on the google map above and zoom in to see the details!

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Updated slog with photos

Posted on Thursday Jan 25, 2007

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We found a very slooooow internet connection in Puerto Angel so we slapped up some new photos to go with the slog entries. Take a look back in the past few weeks.

Hard to bathe with the Navy Watching

Posted on Wednesday Jan 24, 2007

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For some strange reason historic traditions allows governments sovereignty at all times over boats in just about every country in the world. Who cares if it is your home and you happen to be hidden in the cockpit naked trying to wash off three days worth of salt before having a nice dinner at 6 pm at night? Well the Navy and the Port Captain didn't seem to think twice when they motored up to our boat. I think they might have been a bit surprised though when I jumped up in a towel all wet and dashed down below as they started to board our boat. Surprised enough that the Navy decided to forgo the inspection, but the Port Captain boarded and was all business. He stepped around the shampoo bottles, over the bucket and plopped down with his papers. He sat there with his shoes resting in a shallow puddle of soapy water while I was dressing down below and Sherrell was scrambling to move things out of his way. And of course Jordan pushed her way into the cockpit to see what was going on.

Sometimes boats buzz in and out of ports quickly to try to avoid checking in. So they were going to make sure they got us before we tried to take off in the morning. Since we told him we planned to stay a few days and we'd come by his office he just took copies of our paper work and said he would prepare the documents ahead of time for us. He was also relieved we could communicate completely in Spanish and told us it was a pleasure. He didn't seem phased that my hair was all wet and in a messy knot.

Well, at any rate, their visit to Sarana probably provided some stories back in the village last night. I wonder if they'll rush out to board the next boat that anchors here....

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Puerto Angel

Posted on Tuesday Jan 23, 2007

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This post contains a GPS location. Click here to see it on the map.

We managed to make the 37 mile leg to Puerto Angel (AHN-hel). It is a very pretty little bay and village, but not a spectacular anchorage. Hopefully we can find a place where we can get water and some veggies.

On the way here we saw turtles everywhere. They were swimming, mating and being tossed in the air like toys by dolphins. Pretty standard. We were minding our own business when to LARGE humpback whales surfaced 3 feet from the boat. A momma and her baby were so close they could have easily smacked our boat. In fact, Sherrell was already planning our survival escape after they sunk our boat. Because sometimes whales will agressively attack and sink boats, it's rare, but in the wild who knows what they are thinking. And a mother with a calf...well, it was enough to stop Sherrell's heart. Fortunately they went their own way because even the baby calf was almost as big as our boat.

Well, at least we survived another savage day at sea.


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Mexican Pipeline

Posted on Monday Jan 22, 2007

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World famous (to surfers at least) Puerto Escondido where the Mexican Pipeline has a huge following and surfers come to strut their stuff in hopes of getting sponsors. The wave here really thumps hard, really hard. We're going to check it out from the beach because I don't think I really want to hurt myself that badly. Not to mention there's a ton of other surfers here who probably aren't as friendly as the surfers I'm used to.

The town is a funky little tourist spot and the anchorage is super deep. We were forced to anchor not far from the breaking waves on the beach because everywhere else the depth was 100+ feet. There's lots of surf shops here where I can finally buy some more wax and if you want us to pick you up some tacky gifts, let us know they abound by the truck loads here.

Although we aren`t anchored by the main surf beach, you can see from the photo how close we were to the shore just to find a spot that was 100+ feet deep.


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A week into it.

Posted on Saturday Jan 20, 2007

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I have spaghetti arms and most of my body aches. How does something so simple as laying around on a floating piece of fiberglass become such a work out? The first couple of days here in our secret surf spot the waves were pumping like a machine. Since then they've died down a little bit, but we managed to fill the anchorage with 5 boats (Sarana, Ocean Lady, Willow, Tara and Godspeed) and there's one souped-up panga (Get Lost) who made it inside the lagoon and anchored. Between us, that's 10 surfers and most of the time we're the only ones out there surfing.

We've toured the lagoon, walked the beaches, met lots of people and we even had a big bonfire (fogata) on the beach last night with lots of music and singing. Then of course we've been able to surf everyday.

The only downside is the anchorage is a bit rough. All of us have stern anchors out to help steady our boats in the swell, but it's still a bouncy and rolly ride. So after having spent a week here, we're going to move on to Puerto Escondido (only 35 miles away) where they have a funky surf town and the world famous "Mexican Pipeline". I won't be surfing there but we'll go check it out. I'm sure the waves are too difficult and the crowd too big for me.


Check out the night heron catching lunch in the lagoon!


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Punta Galera

Posted on Saturday Jan 13, 2007

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Well we ended up just resting for about 5 hours in Dulce and then caught the afternoon winds to try to sail some more. We didn't get too far, about 20 miles or so before it died. Basically we motored for about 12 hours after that with a little sailing in between.

The plus side is we saw lots of wild life. Turtles, sea snakes, and dolphins were all over the place. And when we arrived in Punta Galera, Greg from Willow, and I caught some of the best surf either of us have ever tried. It was fantastic! We're going to try another nearby surf spot a couple of locals recommended and it has a nice left wave with tubes! The great surf usually means a rolly anchorage, but who can complain?


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