Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas aboard Malachi

We had a wonderful Christmas celebration aboard Malachi (our first one ever!), we put lights up outside, and we even had a tree! We were really happy to have Grandma Laura join us for the holidays and our good friends Steve & Linda from Warren Peace joined us for a delicious dinner of turkey, stuffing, yams, mashed potatoes, corn & carrots, coleslaw, cranberries and pumpkin and apple pies for dessert - thanks Linda, they were rico sabrosso! Just before Christmas, we visited a neighbouring marina and watched a Christmas show put on by the Salvation Army orphanage. There were about 70 very talented young singers and dancers who entertained us all and Isreal, the Major, sang several solos - what a wonderful voice! Thanks to the cruisers who attended along with several observers from the condo next door, over $3000 was raised for the orphanage!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Feliz Navidad!

To all of our wonderful friends and family, may you be richly blessed this season and always and may the wonder of the saviors birth ignite in you a joy beyond measure.

Love: Jay, Marg, Jocelyn, Jenny & Diesel

Feliz Navidad!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Malachi under sail!

BURP! aka Bluewater Unofficial Rendezvous Point

There are many Bluewater Cruisers tied to the same dock as us at the El Cid Marina in Mazatlan, the other night 20 of us went out for pizza to celebrate the season. It's really nice to have a mobile community, especially when you arrive at a new port and run into friends your first time in town!

Saturday, December 15, 2007


After a few days at anchor in Los Frailles where we swam, dove, snorkelled and enjoyed a bonfire and potluck on the beach, we crossed the Sea of Cortez. After an excellent sail, we arrived in Mazatlan at 8:30 pm and braved the narrow entrance into the El Cid marina. There are several Canadians here and probably eight or so Bluewater Cruisers. Last night we enjoyed dinner a Fat Fish, a local rib restaurant, with three other Bluewater boats thus experiencing our first real BURP! A great time was had by all. We'll be here in Mazatlan until the first week of January, then we'll be heading back into the Sea of Cortez.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Baja Bound

Well everyone, first thing I'll say is that internet is tough to find on the Baja! And when you do, it's at a cafe on a desktop computer and it's a dial up connection....remember that?

Anyway, we have arrived! Yesterday, we arrived in Cabo San Lucas, the Southernmost tip of the Baja also known as Lands End. We visited several anchorages along the way, Turtle Bay and Santa Maria being our favorites. The weather has not been what we expected, it's been cool and overcast and the water's really been too cold for swimming. During our trip down, we saw lots of aquatic life, whales, dolphins, sea lions and even marlins! We fished and seem to be able to catch tuna just fine, but we're holding out for wahoo or dorado, actually our first catch was a blue shark!

We've been travelling with a fleet of 7-10 boats mostly from Canada and will likely dispurse in the next week as some will head North into the Sea of Cortez while others will head South towards Puerta Vallarta. We will be spending Christmas in Mazatlan and are looking forward to meeting up with several cruising friends from home.

Our Spanish language skills are getting a good workout as we ask for directions, order a meal or converse with the Capitan del Puerto. While we were in Magdalena Bay, the Port Captain gave us a ride in his Panga so we could provision in San was a fast exciting trip. There were to mercados there and we were able to buy simple groceries only. The port captain hauled and launched his panga instead of leaving it in the water, so when we finished shopping, we walked to his house, loaded our groceries in the panga which was on the trailer and connected to his truck and hopped in, he drove us through town and launched the boat with us five ladies and our groceries - it was quite the adventure!

This morning we observed about 50 bat rays, just about 100 feet from the boat, trying to fly out of the water! They made huges splashes and sometimes did somersaults, what a fun way to start the morning! Cabo San Lucas is a busy tourist town and we'll be exploring today and getting some more groceries as our supplies are getting low again. It's sunny and the water's finally warm enough for a pleasant swim - a balmy 78 degrees. We're looking forward to going up into the Sea of Cortez to Las Frailles which is supposedly a great dive and snorkleing location.

Friday, November 16, 2007


We crossed the US/Mexico border at 5am on November 15th and arrived in Ensenda in the early afternoon and were able to complete our entry before the office closed at five o'clock.

After motoring almost the entire time, the wind finally picked up enough to sail, but we were only about 45 minutes out. We arrived just ahead of a thick fog bank which blanketed the entire city.

Checking in at the Centro Integral de Servicios was a simple and friendly process. It's good to speak some Spanish, have lots of patience and copies of all of your documents including insurance

San Diego

We spent a week in San Diego and got a tremendous amout of work done thanks to the car we rented for the week. Most of our time was spent restocking and repairing and Christmas shopping, so much so that we were seldom at the boat, but the dock were were tied to was always full of cruisers who had lots of useful information to share and much to the girls delight, there were lots of kids! Finally!

The kids from Shambala (Australia) and from Aquarelle (Vancouver Island) organized a cricket match for all of the cruising kids and their parents, there were about 30 of us who participated - it was a lot of fun!

We had such a fun time visiting with several fellow Canadian cruisers and meeting many others. The cruising community is so wonderful, everyone helps everyone and it's so fun to show up in a new place and run into people that you know!

We spent a day at Sea World which was so much fun! We never tire of that place! Thanks to our friends on Maryke Violet who watched Diesel for the day and to our friends on Warren Peace who were our chauffers for the day.

NOTE TO FELLOW CANADIAN CRUISERS: Downwind Marine publishes a cruising guide that states that HAM radio operators need to get a permit to operate their radios in Mexico. We went through the process described in their guide only to be told that the requirement was for Americans not Canadians. Save your time and your money and skip this step.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Happy Halloween!

We spent halloween on Catalina Island at Two Harbors where residents of the town worked together to create an awesome haunted house! Being cruisers means you sometimes have a little extra time on your hands to make costumes and play dress up and we took advantage of the day and visited the haunted house dressed as the Incredibles! (Diesel too!).

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Pumpkin Carving!

The folks here at Pacific Mariners Yacht Club in Marina Del Rey take halloween very seriously. The members spent the entire day and evening decorating for their big party tomorrow night. We were invited to join them carving pumpkins and we had a great time doing so.

Friday, October 26, 2007


Wow, we've finally cleaned up all of the ash from the boat and are looking much more respectable! We are currently guests at the Pacific Mariners Yacht Club in Marina Del Rey and the people here are most welcoming. We are getting ready to go carve pumpkins for decoration at the halloween party tomorrow night. Tomorrow or Sunday we're planning to explore Venice Beach. Us girls wanted to go see Ellen Degeneres, but she never called back to sad!

We've finally got all of our scuba gear and are set to explore the deep blue sea. We're really looking forward to our next stop at Catalina Island which is reported to have amazing aquatic life....we'll report on that soon.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Malibu Fire

The clear blue skies we've become accustomed to since arriving in California were darkend today as a result of a huge fire burning in the Malibu Canyon. As I write, the skies are thick with smoke and ash and the sun looks like a red fireball obscured by the haze. Even with the hatches and port holes closed, a film of ash covers all surfaces down below and cleaning efforts are futile

Santa Barbara

Think you've seen it all? Well take a look at Booger, Kitty and Mousie, three of the most unusual characters we've met thus far!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


I am pleased to let you all know that Jay, Jocelyn and Jenny are now all certified PADI Open Water Divers! After a grueling week of intense study and diving, all three passed with flying colours! I managed to complete everything but the ocean dives (phobia issues) which I'll attempt to complete somewhere that has clear warm water but until that time I'm happy to snorkel on the surface while watching my family below.

It's Lobster season in Southern California and Jay can't wait to go hunting all we need now is some dive gear and a bigger boat to keep it all in!

We'll be moving on from Santa Barbara tomorrow and would like to visit Channel Islands Harbour, Santa Monica and Catalina Island. We are having the time of our lives!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Santa Barbara

We are in beautiful Santa Barbara and it is sunny and warm! Our overnight trip here from San Luis Obispso started out very rolly and windy but evened out sometime in the middle of the night. Diesel faired well and looks mighty handsome in his life jacket. He, like the rest of us girls, always breathes a sigh of relieve once we're secured in port.

We have arranged for SCUBA lessons for next week and will be spending the weekend doing all of the text book work on the boat and will hit the water on Monday, by Thursday we'll all be certified!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

San Simeon and Beyond!

It's interesting you home we would all be watching the clock waiting for our favorite show to start all the while missing the awesome shows of nature created just for us.

We did an overnight trip from beautiful Monterey to San Simeon, home of the extraordinary Hearst Castle, and once the anchor was set we sat back and watch our favorite show! A large group of dolphins danced and played around the five boats in the anchorage while the sea otters swam lazily by munching on whatever shellfish they had brought up from the bottom. What a surreal experience! At one point, three dolphins swam right towards the side of the boat then swooped beneath the keel and leapt up on the other side! No TV show can beat this kind of entertainment!

For all of you fellow cruisers contemplating a stop in San Simeon, we would just like to let you know that, while there is a large pier in San Simeon (20 feet tall)the only way ashore is to beach your dinghy in the surf. Thus said, we would go again as we all enjoyed the tour of the Hearst Castle.

Today we travelled from San Simeon to Morro Bay and are presently at the Morro Bay Yacht Club. Diesel loves it here, he gets to spend his days harassing the Pelicans and Sea Lions that dare to come anywhere near the boat!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


We had a great sail across the bay to Monterey and the light West winds offered the perfect opportunity to fly our gennaker a sail which we are very glad we have. We were treated to yet another private dolphin show, this time a pod of 6 or so Risso's Dolphins - we thought they were baby grey whales as they look quite different from common dolphins.

The girls took in the Monterey Bay Aquarium on Tuesday as a Science field trip and had a great time. Favorite exhibits included the sea otters and the jellies but the young white shark was cool too!

Monterey has an excellent farmers market on Tuesday nights and we took the opportunity to pick up some fresh fruits an veggies, the best we've had yet!

Marg & Jay took a tour of the Chateau Julien winery and vinyard while the girls and Diesel played at the beach and visited fishermans wharf. Diesel loves the water and is becoming quite the surfer dog!

More of Santa Cruz

Well, we had a first rainy day on Saturday - the day Jay and the girls had planned to go to the amusement park. Everyone was all dressed in rain gear and ready to go when we learned that Sunday's forcast was for sun, so we decided to stay another day so that the fair could be enjoyed in fair weather! Everyone had so much fun, they didn't want to come back! Averaging 8 rides per hour was a major accomplishment! Among the favorite rides were the antique carousel and the roller coaster and after dining on garlic fries and corn dogs and riding for over six hours the clan decided to call it a day.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Santa Cruz

We are now in Santa Cruz after a rolly sail down from Halfmoon Bay. It's really nice nere with a great beach and great surf. On the way, we were visited by about thirty sea lions who jumped and played in the water right beside us, click on the link to the left to watch a video clip they are really funny!

Yesterday was Jenny's 14th birthday and we celebrated with decorations, crepes for breakfast and an night in at the movies. We had hoped to visit the amusement park at the Santa Cruz pier but it's not open until the weekend so Jay and the girls will go at that time.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Heading South

Well we're getting ready to leave Sausalito after another few days in paradise. Our time here these past few days were marked by some excellent events: Us gals took the bus about an hour North of here to visit the Guide Dogs for the Blind and enjoyed a great tour, what a remarkable organization! Both Jocelyn and Jenny are thinking that they would like to work there in the future. We also met up with our some of our Vancouver friends, Steve & Linda and Peter & Dianna and we even briefly met a fellow from another Canadian boat that is cruising with two kids, 14 & 12. I hope we connect more with them along the way.

We had the great pleasure to meet up with our HAM Radio pal, Peter who lives here in Berkely,and together with Steve and Linda, we enjoyed a tour of the Bay model which is a huge (warehouse sized) model of the San Francisco Bay area, and a had a really nice time getting to know one another a little better. We always look forward to talking to Peter on the radio. Ron and Peter are there for us every night to make contact and relay any information necessary.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

More of San Francisco

Well we've really been enjoying the past week here in San Francisco. We walked up and down Lombard St. which is know as the "crookedest" street, we rode the bus and the F which is an old restored trolly, and we visited the Martin Luther King memorial and we walked through China Town.

China town was so much fun! There were buildings with paper lanterns on the side and there was a street with lanterns strung across it and I guess we hit the main street at the most popular time (after work and before dinner). Delivery trucks stopped in the middle of the street to unload fresh produce were swarmed by patrons wishing to buy the first pick! People were buying fresh fish (really fresh - still swimming fresh!) from a rubbermaid bucket. We even saw a rubbermaid filled with live frogs! Bins of dried fish and herbs were everywhere and fruits and vegetables like we've never seen before.

We had our dinner while we were walking around, we had BBQ Pork (a family favorite) from one shop then stopped in at another for some Dim Sum and another for some Sweet and Sour Pork yet another for some egg tarts and lastly we picked up some egg rolls for later. Some of the vendors were really funny, we couldn't understand one another but we were all laughing, it was really fun. When we stopped for egg rolls, Jocelyn said we wanted four but she kept putting more into the bag, when Jocelyn reminded her that we only wanted four she stated "No! you save money! $2 for four, $2.50 for seven!" who could argue! We went home with seven!

As if that was not enough fun for one day, we decided to top it all off with an ice cream from Ben & Jerry's at Pier 39. I tell you, when you're on a tight budget you sure think twice about dropping $5 on an ice cream cone when you can buy a whole bucket for $3 at the grocery store - but we had travelled so far to get it we had it anyway - it was really good!

Last Thursday was the best of all! After renting a car in the morning and stocking up at Costco, we headed to the airport to pick up Diesel. We were so excited! Marg couldn't hold back the tears and was pacing while we waited.

I think the airline people were great but I don't think Diesel could get out of the crate fast enough! We really missed him, our family feels complete again. Life is too simple and fur free without him. He just curled up by my feet in likely, the smallest little floor space on the boat - under the chart table, he just wants to be touching, it's very nice.

We spent a few nights in Alameda at the Oakland Yacht Club where the people were most welcoming and friendly but decided to go explore Angel Island. Unfortunately, upon our arrival at Angel Island, we learned that dogs are not permitted, so we continued on and back to the Sausalito Yacht Club where they have been very accommodating. It's funny, the weather here always seems to be better than the weather just across the bay. The fog rolls in and stays on the city side but doesn't seem to round the corner into Sausalito. Hmmmmm?

We will likely leave here on Saturday to head South to Half Moon Bay and then on to Monterey where we hope to visit the Aquarium.

Oh yes, when we were at Pier 39 Jocelyn used a public restroom on the street - Here's a picture. You press a button to go in and out and after you come out, it automatically cleans the toilet and the floor! Jenny thinks this is an awesome port-a-potty upgrade!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

San Francisco - Adventure

We are now moored in the Marina District of San Francisco, quite an exclusive neighborhood. There is a beautiful beach right next to us and we walked out yesterday to watch the windsurfers and kite surfers. The wind was really blowing and they were sure fast! We got to enjoy an absolutely gorgeous sunset after taking a stroll across the street to the Palace of the Arts and the Exploratorium. The Dome and pillars are almost 100 years old and are undergoing extensive restoration.

Today we spent another beautiful day at Alcatraz after riding the bus and the F trolley through downtown SF. The tour was excellent, and highly recommended if you visit. We saw the carousel on pier 39 and the fishermen at Fishermans Wharf. All along the streets you can find souvenirs and clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. (I had that for lunch, it was really yummy!)