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It is Tuesday, 5/18/21 and things are going well here. After exploring the area around our anchorage via kayak and dingy we upped anchors and made our way to Isla San Francisco. Very light winds from the NE meant no sailing but the flat water made for a perfect motor boat ride. At 1556 our anchor was set at 24 49.294’N, 110 34.121’W in 18′ of very clear water over sand. Water visibility here is about 25′ so the anchor is clearly visible where she’s set. OAT is 85F, the pool is 78F (I even gave it the spash test and it felt good enough to stay for a while. Yay!) and the NE breeze is now up to 8 knts. The talk on the the buddy boat is that they may stay put here tomorrow to enjoy some hiking and snorkeling so next report may be on Thursday. That’s also the day they will need to start back towards La Paz and we will say our goodbyes and continue north.

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Milagro Position Report

It is Tuesday, 5/18/21 and all is well here. I’m a day behind but all is well. Yesterday we moved about 5 miles north up the east side of Isla Espiritu Santo and landed on the east side of the well known and very popular anchorage at Caleta Partida. Daily winds have been light and variable before becoming 12-15kts from the WSW during the night. High daytime temps in the mid80’s and the pool temp ranges from 74 to 77. Our friends aboard their rented catamaran are setting the travel itinerary, it’s THEIR vacation after all, and at this moment we don’t know yet if they’ve decided to move along today or stay here to explore and play. Currently we are at 24 32.069’N, 110 21.761’W anchored in 17′ over sand at El Portico. Whether we move today or tomorrow, i’ll update our location when we do. Probably 🙂

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Milagro Position Report

It is Sunday, 16May21 and all is well here on the Milagro. Got out of the marina this morning and, as planned, joined up with our friends who on their charter boat. After an uneventful passage that even included a little actual sailing, we are anchored now on the east side of Isla Espiritu Santo at the unamed cove we call Liahona Cove. The Liahona’s introduced us to it in 2019 so that’s what we call it. At 1400MDT our anchor was set at 24 29.290’N, 110 18.299’W in 20′ over sand/gravel. The OAT is 81F and it’s 73F in the pool. A brief dip determined that the little string of pearl stinging jellyfish are present so wear your full body suits, kids. Wind is NW to NE at 4 to 7 knts. Tomorrow will find us somewhere a little north of here as they explore the area. Hasta manana.

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A Happy Ending?

It is said that God takes care of drunks and fools. In spite of the fact that we are not drunks (mostly) nor are we fools (mostly), it seems we may have fallen under the same grace.

No, the wandering dinghy has not yet been found however, we are going to be OK.

Good friends of ours here in La Paz have provided us the unlimited use of their 10’2” hard bottomed Avon RIB. It’s an oldie but a goodie that has sat covered and unused on the foredeck of their boat for +/- 10 years. With that in mind, and realizing that nothing in their plans was likely to lead to ever using the dinghy again, they have offered it for our use. Of course, we are extremely grateful for their generosity and, after some initial reluctance driven mostly by disbelief, we have accepted their kind offer.

After so many years of storage she benefited from a bit of love but is now ready for service. Fortunately the outboard motor lost with our wandering dinghy was the small and relatively inexpensive one leaving us still in possession of our 15HP Yamaha. A motor very appropriate for this “new” dinghy.

Thusly armed, we are well equipped to resume our cruising, on schedule and with many thanks to our benefactors. While this may not be the last chapter in “The Case Of The Wandering Dinghy” it is certainly the next chapter.

Next weekend we will begin buddy boating with friends from our former life in San Francisco Bay who have rented a catamaran from here in La Paz. When we have to part company with them at the end of their week of charter, we will continue north and resume our normal cruising patterns.

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Sad Times on the High Seas

It was a dark and stormy night filled with strange shapes and unsettling noises. Wait. THAT doesn’t sound quite right, that must be some other story. How ‘bout we hear the real deal.

Last Monday evening, April 26, we joined friends on a nearby boat for Happy Hour, tying our dinghy to their stern alongside their dinghy. Just about the time the sun set we took our leave and made our way up into the cockpit. Upon arriving there we stood dumbfounded staring at the water where our dinghy should be but seeing nothing. It was gone.

Conditions during this time were a bit sloppy. There was a flooding tidal current making nearly 2 knots toward the South as the moon was full and causing tidal swings near the biggest of the year. At the same time, the wind was blowing the opposite direction at 15 knots. As a consequence, the sea was sloppy and confused with small whitecapped waves. Which direction should we even look? South where the current would have taken it or North where it would have been driven by the wind? And, at the time of discovery we had only about 20 minutes of fading daylight left.

Even so, we did look. Right away we jumped into our friend’s dinghy and spent what little dusk light remained looking to the South where the current would have taken her. Of course, we saw nothing. Then, the next morning and using borrowed dinghies, I searched more. North about 6 miles to include Bahia Pichilingue and Bahia Falsa as well as South about 5 miles to well past where the estuary opens up to become a large, shallow bay. Nothing. There are a large number of fishermen operating here using Pangas and several of them were flagged down, informed and asked to pass the word. Plus, I checked all of the beaches they use for coming and going. Several times.

The Port Captain has been informed, the diving/tour boat people have been advised, the cruising fleet has been advised, there is an organized group of professional yacht Captains and they, too have been informed.

It has now been more than 4 days and our hope of seeing her returned wanes a little bit each day. Although, another dinghy that went adrift here recently was found and retuned about a week later so, it could still happen.

It is hard to express to anyone who is not a cruiser just what an impact the loss of your dinghy is. We’ve been surprised at the emotions we’ve experienced – so very like having lost someone close. Then there are the practical implications. Unless tied to a marina, a dinghy is your connection to every thing not on your boat. Provisioning, social exchanges, exploring, parts for repairs, etc. It’s how you get ANYWHERE. I could go on but you get the idea; it’s crippling and emotionally devastating.

Now what? The short answer is that we don’t know. At least, not yet. As remote as the possibility may be, she still just might find her way back to us so we are reluctant to commit to any particular response too quickly. And there are a number of options to consider. Although none of the choices are convenient or inexpensive, some are simply too expensive to contemplate seriously. In addition to the dinghy itself we are also out an outboard motor and a portable VHF radio.

So, we will leave it at that for now. Once it all plays out we will return to share with you the details. For now, we are in Marina de La Paz until May 15 so we have 2 weeks to make a choice.

On the beach at Bahia Salinas on Isla Carmen, Judy maintains dinghy security.

At Puerto Escondido, Michael heads north toward the “Windows”.

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La Paz Landing

Today is Wednesday, 4/21/21 and things are good here. As advertised, we made our way this morning from Cabeza de Mechudo to La Paz. Except for SE swell overnight from about 2 to 4 causing uncomfortable hobby-horsing it was a nice stop. Today’s passage was much like the last several days. We are now parked on our mooring just outside the entrance to Marina De La Paz. It’s located at 24°09.343’N, 110°19.837’W and conditions now are: OAT 84F, pool 74F and wind is NE at 9kts. We will be in La Paz until about May 15 when we head out again to buddy boat with friends who are renting a catamaran here. We will resume updates at that time. Hasta entonces, y’all.

On approach to La Paz we found 8 cruise ships moored in the bay, just waiting for COVID restrictions to ease so they can get back to work.

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Position Update

Greetings Farkwarians! It is Tuesday afternoon, 4/20/21 and all is well here. After a quiet and peaceful night at Los Gatos we moved south today to Cabeza de Mechudo, about 6nm S of San Evaristo and apx 5nm across the San Jose Channel from Isla San Francisco. Today was a flat water passage against a 5-7kt noserly. At 1420MDT our anchor was set in 17′ over sand at 24 48.768’N, 110 39.784’W. OAT is 79F, the pool is 70F and a SE breeze is running 5-8kts over flat water. Coromuel winds from the W are a probability tonight and we will be well protected here should they develop. Tomorrow we will proceed on into La Paz.

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Position Report

It is Monday, 4/19/21 and everything is fine here. We enjoyed having cell and WiFi signal for a few days at Candeleros and got to visit with good friends also anchored there. This morning we weighed anchor and continued our move south. Light airs mostly from right behind us became easterly by midday, but never grew beyond 5kts. A NW swell developed last night and remained with us all day giving us quartering seas that rolled us around a bit. Not bad but life is always better without quartering seas. We had several sizable pods of dolphins visit us at Candeleros and today we spied a pair of Orcas moving north. Even managed a few photos as they paused to feed. Cool, eh? Now we are set in Los Gatos at 25 18.172’N, 110 56.736’W in 17′ over sand. OAT here is 82F and it’s 72F in the pool. After overnighting here we will continue south tomorrow. Hasta entonces.

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Or Is Milagro even that kind of girl?

It is Friday, 4/16/21 and, again, things are mostly OK. The fairly good ship Milagro has apparently decided to punish us for leaving her for so long, after all. The watermaker failed to work yesterday so time was spent chasing down the issue and trying to correct it. Two separate problems were discovered, one was able to be corrected, the other was not. At least, out here. Sooooo, we went in to Puerto Escondido and topped off our water tanks then moved south about 7 miles to anchor at Bahia Candeleros – right in front of the Villa Del Palmar resort. We have friends also anchored here so will spend time with them tomorrow before continuing on south on Sunday. At 1657MDT, our anchor was set in 25’ over sand at 25°43.404’N, 111°14.344’W. OAT is 79F, the pool is 72F and wind is NE at 6 kts. There’s a wee, close spaced swell causing some boat motion but it’s only noticeable because Rattlesnake and Coronados were so completely flat.

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Rattlesnake Beach

It is Friday, 4/16/21 and things here are mostly good. We enjoyed our stay at Isla Coronados reconnecting with old friends and making several new ones in the process. There was Bocce Ball on the beach and cocktails in cockpits along with pleasant conditions, although the sea temp is still too cold for voluntary swimming. Yesterday we moved south about 20 miles to anchor at Rattlesnake Beach near the entrance to Puerto Escondido. Our anchor is set in 50′ over gravel at 25 48.108’N, 111 18.552’W. On the way the feed pump for our watermaker refused to do its duty so today will include efforts to resurrect it. Cruising=working on your boat in “exotic” locations therefore I guess we are cruising again for sure. We met up here with first year cruisers Gary and Angie on the SV Nivasi. We met them several years ago as landwelling wannabe cruisers so it was really special to see their dreams realized and find them here. Should we need to, we can fill with water here at PE before moving along, postponing the WM problem to solve when we get to La Paz.

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