Stolen Kiss

Stolen Kiss

February 1, 2010

Simply Charming San Carlos

On our return from our first visit to Mexico to purchase the boat in October 09, we decided to ship our personal effects to Mexico, which included our safety gear, some electronics, wet weather gear and other bits and bobs that one collects. This has been a lengthy and painful process in terms of dealing with customs in LA, with January 29 being the day it all came to fruition. We hired a ‘manly vehicle’ (Peter’s description) or ‘truck’, of which there are many in the USA. Huge, massive 4x4’s in Australian terminology! It took us 7 weeks to prove we were not a security risk, with customs kindly charging us a hefty $650 for storage for that time. Had we first been assigned a customs officer who had no personal grief with either the clearing agent or ourselves in our absence, the process would have been smoother. However, we now have all our bits and Peter has been busy installing them.

Even though our departure from San Carlos has been delayed, the upside has been having time to make several trips up to Phoenix to collect other boat necessities like anchor chain, finding a new anchor, dodging storms, installing a watermaker as well as a new windlass, having Oscar replace some of our rig, but most importantly, enjoying all that San Carlos has to offer!

Peter did a sterling job re-painting the stern by hand. Apart from changing the name, the stern was in such bad condition that it made the whole boat look in disrepair. So now with a scrubbed botty, painted stern, polished stainless and a new radar post, she is good to go!

We were rather happy to be in the marina when a series of serious storms lashed the Californian coast, with the tail end coming down here. It was the lowest pressure ever experienced in California. We had a maximum of 50 knots in the Bahia and sadly some yachts that were left on moorings unattended ended up on the beach. A sad sight. The local yachties were quick to get most off within the following days.

Marisa (a yachtie who lives in San Carlos) organized a ‘girl posse’ as an alternative to doing boat stuff. Some were great riders whilst others..well let’s just say that after not having been on a horse for 30 years there were sore knees! I was very happy to have been assigned a horse that was rather sleepy and took a lot of encouragement to get to a trot. There was much relief that I could (almost) alight on my own accord as opposed to a previous time, in a previous life, the bolting horse went one way, me another, resulting in a broken (now arthritic) ankle!

However, another sensational day riding through the Catch 22 ruins (many films have been made here)

and the mountains.

With the rugged mountainous terrain, there are some great hikes, one of which is Nacapule Canyon. After taking an hour to drive 6 km over and around the track which had been washed away in Hurricane Jimena last year, we found the newly graded one on the way back! (10 minutes to get back to town!)

Apparently the canyon was even more spectacular last year before the hurricane washed away some of the beautiful palms and the walk track.

Another great hike is up the Tetas, which overlook the marina. Doing this on one’s birthday is by folk lore (not sure whose) supposed to give you longevity, if that is what you want! What could be more appropriate for a 50th birthday treat? This pleasure was left to Sam and me. Whilst the track was marked at the start with yellow arrows, the persons doing this either ran out of paint half way up or decided not to climb any further!

Having found evidence of other hikers, Sam and I thought we were on the right track (possibly all have been lost up there??) but somehow near the top we must have missed something as we ended up having to climb on all fours up a rocky outcrop, not to mention scree slopes, and not near the saddle where we expected to be.

Sam and Bill from Blue Banana fame (BB wintering in Tunisia) decided to drive down from California to see us. It was just fantastic to catch up with such wonderful friends whom we last saw in Phuket. Being both both avid writers and story tellers, with humour to boot, there was much talking and laughter. Although we have done some land travel with these guys, to cruise with them would be a hoot.

One of the great local restaurants is the Soggy Peso (a tip from Marisa and Allan), which is also a wonderful anchorage at Bahia Algodones, 6 miles from San Carlos. Apart from the food, there is something that is good for the soul about eating with your feet in the sand!

As timing is everything, they were here to share in the christening of the new ‘Stolen Kiss’ which was done on a stunning day at sea. We hope that she brings us fair winds like her predecessor. It is perhaps a combination of luck and good judgment that you can sail 30,000nm with fair winds and relatively calm seas?

Unfortunately, our beautiful, relaxing sail could not last forever..well, at least not today!

Wandering around the abodes of San Carlos is interesting and colourful. Mexicans live their life with colour, music and attitude reflecting their joy de vivre (which is probably also why AA is so well attended here!).

Murals are very much part of the landscape

and the houses a mix of both Spanish and Moorish architecture. No surprises there.

The views that these houses afford are sensational…

With many of the gardens reflecting the environment….

With palapas to enjoy the view..(the thatch making us feel like we are in the tropics!)

Some even have a little more than their house numbers for identification. No guesses where the money came from for this casa!!

Within a week we should be out at anchor in the Bahia then it’s off to the Baja to enjoy the wonderful anchorages with, we hope, glorious weather. We have 5 weeks to do 250 miles to La Paz. That is almost ‘doable’!

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