Saturday, February 27, 2010

2/26/2010 Touring coast and lunch at Las Animas

After Dan prepared a lovely breakfast of eggs, thawed out meat and Craig bought "pan" from the local bakery we set out for a leisurely day of cruising and beaching. We cruised all the way to Yelapa, passing by Mismaloya, Boca de Tomatlan, Las Animas and Quimixto before heading back to Las Animas to anchor for the afternoon. Dan got out his stand up board, Craig got a beach massage and we all enjoyed the beach lounges with our lunch. We fueled up as we came into the marina so we should be all set for ferrying the crew that arrives tomorrow.

Tonight's dinner was, finally, "street tacos" from our favorite little joint with el pastor and all the trimmings. I am sure we will return with Steven.
Good day all around!!

Friday, February 26, 2010

2/25/2010 Puerta Vallarta

Craig and Dan spent the morning washing the salt and sea remnants from our Quest then we set out, once again, for the Harbor Mater's office and got checked in. We next introduced the Porters to the Mexican local bus system and headed for breakfast at Freddy's El Toucan in Old Town. Great breakfasts and the best fresh OJ ever. Walked around for a bit and went by the "famous" PV church before heading back to the Marina.
Dan and I found a big marine supply store and got some needed supplies and replaced the fan in the kitchen. Nice!! We also got the shaft zincs changed by a diver today. Have been trying to get that done since we were in Long Beach.
Had one mishap this afternoon. The freezer kind of went on the blitz. When I went for ice, I found the tray a solid mass of ice and everything defrosted. I spent a couple of hours cooking up some of the thawed meats. I think the door was kind of "sprung" during travel. Hope it is working correctly now.
We had a lovely dinner on the "new" table in the salon. First time we set that up and it worked nicely. Set out to find flan for dessert here in the marina but really had no luck. Imagine that, no flan here in the many reataurants of the Mexican marina!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

2/23 and 2/24 Sea of Cortez and on to Puerto Vallarta

Sometime in the wee hours of the morning, due to high winds and heavy seas coming from the North, we changed our direction and headed towards Puerto Vallarta instead of Mazatlan. It was a rough crossing but, with the help of all, we reached our goal. When I came on at 4:30 AM I found 3 little squid (dead) out port door and 1 little flying fish our our starboard door. They were washed up by the waves crashing upon the boat.
Our long journey saw us anchored off of La Cruz in the North end of the Bay of Banderas around midnight. The many lights were a welcoming sight. After a night's sleep, we decided to move on to the marina in Puerto Vallarta and call that home for the next week or so. We made contact with the marina via cell phone, were assigned to slip N 7, docked and secured the Quest before heading to the office to checking in with the marina. We then gathered our paperwork and attempted to check in with the Harbor Master but the seem to close around 2:00 PM. This will be our job for tomorrow morning. Glad to be here!!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

2/22/2010 Mondday Leaving Cabo San Lucas

Another beautiful morning. New bearings, new seal and impeller on the generator pump and we will be ready to go. after taking on fuel and checking out. Heading for the west coast of mainland Mexico with another over-nighter. We will be out of service again for a few days but will update when we can.

Amigo in Cabo

2/20/2010 Sunday in Cabo San Lucas

Beautiful, warm Sunday morning! By 7:30 AM we had hired two eager men to totally clean the exterior of our dirty Quest while the four of us set out to find breakfast in old town. We returned to a boat that was shiny and clean on the outside so had to spend some time doing justice to the inside. Looking good now!!
Dan had found a leak in the generator water pump and removed it so he can make a switch tomorrow.
After a wonderful dinner at Cabo's Ruth's Chris Steak House (OK, so this is totally not one of our usual Mexican haunts) we made a weather check and, once again, set down to discuss possible changes to our travel plans. Tomorrow we plan to leave from here after replacing the pump and fueling up and head directly across the Sea of Cortez to Mazatlan. We hope that all goes well and we can depart by 1:00 PM, travel all night and be on Mexico's weat coast Tuesday evening. Another "all nighter" but we all feel that this is the best plan of action.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sol Mar

2/19/2010 and 2/20/2010 San Juanico South to Cabo

Mark this day!! Dan and Craig finally caught fish this morning!!!! They realease the little buggers and we set off from San Juanico toward Magdalena Bay, about a 10 hour trip. This is the last service or anchorage for motor yachts (MY) before the 20 hour ride to Cabo San Lucas.

The waves were rather high in the morning and were retreiving rolling objects, stowing anything loose and holding on tight. Just before noon we rechecked the weather maps and decided to skip Mag Bay and continue on to Cabo in order to stay ahead of possible stormy weather.
We devided up the night shifts with Alexis and I doing the earlier (7:00 to 10:00 PM) shift, followed by Craig then Dan. Craig ended up manning the helm all night. I joined him about 3:30 AM but he stayed on for anothe hour when I took back over. Dan, sleeping in the salon, was always near at hand and up when ever we needed assistance or a course change. It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be but the spectacular sun rise was more than welcomed.

As we rounded Cabo Falso and approached our wonderful Sol Mar Hotel, we were taken aback by the scads of hotels, condos and homes that covered the hills and shore. Double wow!! We arrived at the congested marina, secured a slip, docked, did our check in and quickly made use of the marina's laundry. Sweet to have shore power and water even though we all were super conservative with the water and ended up with peanty.

2/18/2010 Abreojos to San Juanico

We awoke this morning to the sounds of the hurried departure of the beached pangas. All the guys were off to collect their lobster traps and bring back the goodies. We spent a couple of hours servicing the batteries and fuel filters. Since the filters were not overly, it appeares that we got good, clean diesel in Turtle Bay. Good news for us.

After our morning of work we took the dongy to shore to explore the town, find a late breakfast and get information about naturalist tours of the nearby whale sanctuary. After dropping Craig off at the beach, Dan returned for Alexis and me. As he was restarting the engine, he broke the starter rope and repairs had to made before we could join the patiently (maybe not) waiting Craig. Watching the pangas come ashore was so cool. There was a guy on a Ford tractor that lifted the front of the panga, two guys would then run an axel with two tires under the boat (Mexican boat trailer) and then the tractor would haul the panga up onto the beach to rest. He even hoisted our little Quest Too onto the sandy beach.

We found a tiny little restaurant where we all had machaca and egg, accompanied with fresh orange juice. How fresh was it, you ask? They had to run to the local mercado to purchase the oranges before they could make it. Needless to say, it was yummy! We found the local fish market and packing house where we bought fresh lobster for tonight's dinner. Not a single person knew anything about the whale watching so we bagged that and headed back to the dingy.
One of the facinating sights here was that of the many sea eagles and their huge nests that were perched on every available high point. Look at his beautiful, watchful eyes.

The dingy ride back to the Quest was a litter "wetter" than we expected and riding back through the breaking waves was definately an "E" ticket ride (for all you OLD Disneyland folks). We were drenched and laughing. Dan got his new, giant stand-up paddle board out and gave it a spin in the bay before be we loaded everything and pulled up anchor around 1:00 PM. We set out for San Juanico, about 66 miles south and just of of Punta Paquena.

We had our first sunset at sea and it was, of course, stunning. It was also our first time to travel after dark (except for Dan). We have seen almost no boats at sea but this evening we were bobbing and weaving through many commercial fishing boats. About 8:00 PM we anchored (26deg15'01"N X 112deg28'03"W) in the welcoming San Juanico Bay, fired up the new BBQ and cooked the lobster tails. A feast!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

2/17/2010 Turtla Bay to Puenta Abreojos

This was an early morning, pulling up anchor and setting our from Turtla Bay by 6:00 AM. Whales!! Whales!! Whales!!! We must have seen a gazillion whales today. At one time we couldn't keep up with counting all their spoutings. The dolphin are now frequent and welcome companions. We never tire of their company.

As we neared Punta Abreojos everyone had to help spot the many lobster trap bouys. We managed to avoid them and pulled into Punta Abreojos' lovely, wide bay around 4:30. We anchored at 26deg42'33"N X113deg34'06"N. The sandy beach was lined with dozens of pangas, home from their day of hauling in lobster traps.

2/16/2010 Cedros Island to Tutrtle Bay

Glorious morning!! We awoke to the rising sun, frolicking sea lions, shimmering jelly fish and mounds of bird dung all over the front deck. Thanks guys!! After cleaning off the deck and enjoying a breakfast of freshly made juices (yes, Char, we are using the juicer each day), we pulled up anchor and set for Turtle Bay. We had our first "whale sighting" shortly after 9:00 AM and continued to enjoy their company most of the day. How breath taking!! This is the first day that we have traveled with the salon doors opened and we are enjoyin the warmer weather.
We pulled into Turtle Bay around 2:00 and were charged by the "fuel salesman" in their panga boats. We chose to pull up to the floating platforam by the ancient dock and began pumping in 305 gallons of diesel. Thank you Porters!!! After fueling, we motored to our chosen anchorage spot (27deg41'NX114deg53'21W), droppen anchor, lowered the dingy and went ashore. Now the Mexican Boating Guide labels this little village as "coyote ugly" but the people were helpful and the lunch mighty tasty. We found a tiny pharmacia/internet cafe and blindly maneuvered our way into sending a quick email to family and friends to let them know we were still "OK". Our next stops down the dusty dirt streets were at 2 little mercados for fresh tortillas, fruits, veggies and Bimbo Bread. We only encountered friendly and helpful folks and found the poor but enchanting village a welcome stop.

2/15/2010 San Carlos to Cedros Island

We pulled up anchor and set out for Cedros island by 7:00 AM. Since we were crossing Bahia Vizcaino, there was a lot of time when we couldn't see land but it was a great day for sunning and enjoying the warm temperatures. During the 78 mile trip that brought us to our Cedros anchorage Dan taught us how to play Cribbage. Thanks Jackie and Ed for the supply of great games.

By 4:00 PM we had arrived at Cedros and found the"close" anchorage was extremely narrow. We set the anchor (29deg37'12"X115deg28'27") and the guys tried their hand at fishing (We had chicken and not fish for dinner.) Our evening cocktails were accompanied by the songs and antics of the Sea Lions that populated the narrow beaches around us. What entertainers!!

Around 10:00 PM, when the wind shifted, we decided to re-anchor in deeper water. It was rather scary in the total darkness. Thanks Greg for the spotlight. It was put to good use. Our new anchorage held tighght all night but Dan spent most of the night up in the salon to be close to the gages and controls in case a quick move was necessary. Think we kind of scared Alexis but she and Craig are real troopers and have really gotten into all of the boating activities. We appreciate their assistance and company.

2/14/2010 Cabo Colonet to San Carlos

We rose early this morning, pulled up anchor and were off by 6:00 AM with all hands on deck. It was quite foggy to begin with but turned out to be another gorgeous day. The aproximate 105 mile trip from Cabo Colonet to Fondeadero San Carlos (29deg35'NX115deg30'W) took about 11.5 hours, bringing us to anchor right at 5:30 and sunset. San Carlos was a big open bay. From the Quest we oserved the huge Mexican flag displayed in the middle of the small village, untouched by the development of electricity and cell phone coverage. Boy is it dark out there with only a sliver of a moon. This proved to be a great anchorage and we all got a good night's sleep.

2/13/2010 Ensenada to Cabo Colonet

This morning we were at the gas dock in Ensenada by 8:15 AM and cast off around 9:00. It was a beautiful day on the sea with whales, dolphin and Dan even saw a sea turtle swimming by. After traveling about 65 miles, we arrived at Cabo Colonet (30deg57.64'X116deg17.63W) around 4:40 PM. We anchored for the first time and toasted sunset at 5:25 PM. Since we had no shore power and relied only on 12 volt, we were all in bed early. We did delay long enough to view the spectacular display of stars in the night sky. Wow!!

The night ended up being a long one for Dan and me. Having anchored for the first time, I was nervous about drifting into the looming cliffs. Dan checked the status around 10:00 PM and drifted back asleep only to be roused by the Garmi anchor drift alarm around 1:15 AM. He scurried to the helm and monitored the situation from there for the rest of the night. You shold have seen him attemting to sleep on the helm bench with the captain's chair at the end for his feet. Even though we did some drifting, we made it through the night safe.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I quick update for everyone following. The QUEST, the Querreys, and the Porters are currently out of phone and internet service but should hopefully be reconnected to the world before the end of the week. Stay tuned, I'm sure they will have a lot of updates and pictures from their week off the grid.

Friday, February 12, 2010

2/11/2010 San Diego and 2/12/2010 Ensenada

This morning brought Robert's departure from San Diego, the Porter's arrival from Montreal and Steffi finally made it out of DC, headed to Germany to visit her family. YEA!!

With the addition of the Porter's rental car we were able to finish up all our last minute errands. We celebrated their arrival with dinner at Ruth's Chris. That is always a treat.

Thursday morning cast off about 7:00 AM and headed south. What a beautiful day! We arrived at Marina Coral in Ensenada around 1:30 PM, docked, checked in at the Marina office and headed for the Centro Integral de Servicios to check into our first Mexican Port of Entry. The people at Marina Coral were a great help and made sure that we had all the necessary documentation to help our clearing. We were also fortunate to have "Carlos Santana" (yes, that really is his name) as our fabulous taxi driver. He took us to the CIS, waited the hour it took us to clear, gave us a quick tour of the city, escorted us to a mercado and found us a great little "taco" joint. Thanks to all of you that helped welcome us into Mexico.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

2/10/10 San Diego Harbor Island West Marina

Jan and Debi got off about 5:30 AM in a taxi headed to the train station. They were both grumbling about having to go "back to work". We will miss their company and assistance.

Porters flight was canceled due to the big snow storm. They took the Amtrak back to Albany, rented a car and drove to Montreal. They are spending the night there and taking an early flight to LAX, renting a car and driving to San Diego to join us. Now those are good friends!! Steffi is still stuck in DC and Robert is trying to get on a flight from here on Thursday. Steven's flights from Albany to LGA to Wilmington were canceled and put off until Saturday. This storm sure has put a halt to East Coast air travel.

Dan and I were able to purchase the necessary Mexican Fishing License for the Porters and us. Glad to get that out of the way. We did a lot of walking today and saw the US Coast Guard and Naval Police boats and helicopters out in force. Think they may have been involved in practice maneuvers. Lots of action anyway.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

2/9/10 Dana Point to San Diego

The five of us cast off from Dana Point after a quick breakfast at the Proud Mary. All went smoothly, just like we knew what we were doing!! The skies clouded up and the waters got increasingly rougher as the day progressed. The sights we were blessed with made it all worth it though. We had dolphin skimming just beneath the surface at the bow of the boat for ages. It was breath taking to watch them. Robert got some great shots for you all. Dan stepped thing up a bit for the last hour in an attempt to out run the approaching rain but it caught up to us just as we reached the marina. Robert and I were like drowned rats.

Our weather was nothing compared to the East Coast. Steffi flew from Burlington to JFK then onto Washington where she is now stuck and unable to travel on to Germany for a day or two. Robert's 9:00 PM flight from Long Beach to JFK to BTV was cancelled too.

2/8/10 Long Beach to Dana Point

Had a wonderful cruise today with family and friends. Robert arrived at LGB from Vermont around noon and was picked up by Richard and Charlene, our saviors on numerous occasions. Jan and Debi took the train, metro and bus to Long Beach. Jay, Cheryl and Brian drove from Arcadia. Think we covered just about all modes of transportation!! After a great lunch provided by Debi and an all too brief visit with Brian, the Quest cast off around 2:00 PM with nine of us aboard.

Our journey was under clear skies and with smooth waters. Beautiful CA day! We were escorted by dolphin, saluted by whales in the distance and presented with an incredible sunset at the end of our day. Thank you "travel gods". The Colemans treated us to a tour of their wonderful Dana Point condo and cocktails before we all went out for dinner. Robert, Jan and Debi stayed on the Quest for the next leg of our adventure.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Here is Charles Parness watching over our Quest and the new (old) table we added to the salon!
Had a great Super Bowl Sunday at Debi and Richard Gubiotti's. Thanks.
After much stocking, repairing, fine tuning, rearranging, cleaning and tweaking we are finally ready to start our journey from Long Beach. Today I will return our rental car to the airport around noon, meet Robert and be picked up and transported to the Quest by Richard and Charlene. They will join us to Dana Point, as will Jay, Cheryl and Brian (hopefully) Coleman. Jan and Debi will go all the way to San Diego on Tuesday.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Long Beach 2/5

We had a great Friday!! Scott and Teresa Cuckovich drove in from Lake Havasu, Jay and Cheryl Coleman came from Arcadia and Mike drove in from Las Vegas. We talked up a storm, dined at the 555 Club in Long Beach and then said "good night" to all but Mike, who spent the night before heading back to Vegas around 8:00 AM. Great fun! Thanks to you all for making the long drive in the pouring rain.

We are still working hard at getting the boat ready for our travels. Friday we found a table and chairs for the salon. Saturday we finally obtained the necessary foreign nation flags that we will need at great store Nikki's Flag Shop, on Old Newport Blvd. Thanks for all your help! We also hauled out the ancient microwave/convection oven (which sounded like a bear in pain when we used it) and replaced it with a new one that Dan installed it this evening. (Yes, I am working him ragged.) On the fun side, he bought a demo, stand up paddle board from a shop in Seal Beach and should get the "monster" tomorrow. Of course he called Dwayne for advice and approval before agreeing to the purchase. Now he just needs some warm water to try it.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Quest

Charlene at the helm

Family and friends

Survival gear

Vince and Pam in Long Beach

Long Beach 2/1-2/4

Boy, this relaxing year off to boat is a lot of work! So far this week, Dan has repaired the hydraulic steering, mounted the BBQ and gotten the propane tank filled (at Scott Cuckovich's old gas station), replaced the broken flag mount, painted the name (Quest Two) onto the dingy and taken her out for the first trial run, changed the generator oil, had the foam in the helm seat cushion replaced, installed a new radio antennae, and made other various repairs, adjustments and installations.

Richard and Charlene joined us on Wednesday and spent the night aboard the Quest. We had their daughters and family make the grand tour and dine with us picnic style on the floor. Thursday brought nephews Andrew and David with Megan and Grandpa Ed. We made a voyage to the fuel dock in San Pedro with everyone aboard. Charlene made a superb captain and it was a struggle to get her out of the helm (ha,ha!). We even got to have a bridge raised for our passage. That's really cool. Everyone departed in the afternoon and Jan and Debbie joined us for the night.

Thanks again to Vince and Pam Markese for assisting us in obtaining this great slip here at the Shore Line Marina in Long Beach. We enjoyed a great evening out visiting with them last night.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Long Beach

The QUEST has now arrived at Long Beach and is docked at the Shoreline Marina, thanks to arrangements made by Pam and Vince Markese. Charlene Hoffstadt and I met with Vince and Pam at the marina and watched Dan bring the Quest in. Nice show! Thanks captains Greg and Todd for seeing her safely from Astoria to Long Beach and hope your flight home was uneventful.
Richard Hoffstadt joined us after his meeting and the tours began. By the time Jan, Dan's sister, arrived with Jackie (Mom) and Ed (Dad) and friends Debbie and Richard we were ready to party Querrey style. It was great to visit with family and friends in our new home. Thanks Jackie and Ed for dinner and drinks!
Dan already has the leaking helm steering unit apart and the rebuild kit ordered to repair it. That should be here tomorrow and Dan will get it rebuilt and ready to go. We plan to be here all week, leaving Monday, 2/08/10.
Thank you Richard and Charlene for your hospitality while I waited for Dan to arrive. I enjoyed my stay and visiting with Kelly, Tracy and the "grand boys". I was also grateful to see my friend, Elaine, from high school. We had a lovely morning visiting over coffee. We are blessed with good friends and family.