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The Logbook of White Swan....Bob & Dianna

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Return to beginning of White Swan's Logbook (August - December 2004)

This logbook is in chronological see the most recent entries click here.

Logbook: January - December 2005

January 3, 2005  Dancing On A Bed Of Diamonds Happy New Year everyone! After 4 nights in Hell town...sorry, I know some people liked Cabo, however since I was also challenged with some kind of Mexican flu bug (I had to run down below with the bucket and have a long talk with Ralf just as we were pulling into the fuel dock) I did not have a good time there. I got a bit concerned about my health after 3 more conversations with Ralf that day and my fever went up to 100.4, chills, upset stomach and of course we have to throw in the intestinal Mexican jumping bean serenade....yuck.
    Bob ended up not feeling very well either,  thankfully not as bad off as me. It was good to wake up feeling a tiny bit better the following day, at least I knew I would live, ha. We were on a mooring buoy the first two nights, $20 a night! These moorings were right in front of some big major hotels all with big open bars with tables and lots of lounge chairs on the beach. The hotels must of been full of college aged party animals and the amazingly loud music seemed to never end with lots of those stupid drinking BJ, ha). Now imagine three of these all going at the same time right dead next to each other, just nuts.
    Sleep did not come easy there. We finally moved over to an anchorage a little further away. We were thinking about going into the dock for a night, however, it was $2.75 per ft. per night...can you believe that! I saw Cabo the first time I went cruising, in 1978. It was a beautiful quaint little  town, now the American influence is every where. The whole town seems built around the entertainment of the tourists. There were two different cruise ships in every day. The other thing that was a constant onslaught was the jet skies, probably no fewer than 30 to 40 racing around at top speed, the noise was deafening and along with all the panga water taxis, like being in a non-stop squall and getting tossed around all day long. I never really did get to be a tourist there, only doing window shopping as we walked from Immigration, the bank and Port Capitan to check in (Entrada) the first day. And since we messed up and didn't do the check out (Salina) at the same time we had to go through the same steps + one more two days later. Anyway, we were out-a-there Jan. 1.
    We had a good trip up to the first anchorage at Los Frailes catching our first dorado (mahi mahi), he wasn't very big, maybe 22", and then we caught a Sierra which was bigger, maybe 32", we would be eating fish that night. The anchorage was really nice, we cleaned the fish and I wish every one of you could have tasted it with us, simply marvelous.
    We have been tuning into the "Amigo" net at 0715 on the SSB radio, you can do a radio "check-in" if you wish or just listen. there is also a weather report given by Don up in Oxnard California. He calls himself an ammeter weather forecaster, however, it's a very in depth and impressive report every day for Mexico (Sea of Cortez too) and all the way south down towards Costa Rica. 
    We were planning on continuing north towards the next anchorage the following day, however, his forecast for a bit of nasty wind coming down from the north was correct and we ended up sitting the day out at Frailes. Had a nice time on the beach, saw little sticked off arenas where turtles had laid their eggs and people who try to care for them come in and lay wire over the top of the eggs so the coyote's can't destroy them. Then we went back out to the boat and had...more fish!
    That afternoon a mega yacht ("Triton") came into the anchorage, has to be maybe 125 or so feet, big enough for a little helicopter on board. They fired the little bird right up and went off to see the sights...what a reality check. That night I spent quite a while looking into the water, lots of phosphorescence punctuated with these intense darting ambers, the eyes of needle fish as they sprinted from one place to the next...hence the Dancing in a sea of diamonds...just beautiful.
    It's the 3rd today, can't remember what day of the week it is, can't tell you all how good that feels. We had a great day motor sailing and even a bit of sailing on our way to Ensenada de los Muertos, the last anchorage before La Paz.
   We got to see a small pod of sting ray jettisoning  themselves 6' out of the water while they are madly flapping their winds and then hit the water with a giant "POP", Bob now calls them popcorn rays, we were guessing their wing span at about 3'.
    We are looking forward to some dock time in La Paz, it is way more reasonable than Cabo, I can hardly wait for a real shower, it's been since the day before we left San Diego, Dec. 9th with our beloved sun showers only. Can also hardly wait for the fresh market in La Paz, I hear it rivals Pike Place. I will let you all now what it's like. All for now...personals below

Bill Sullivan...hey...girlfriend...did you say girl friend? Do tell!
Steve and Kay, we hear you on the Amigo net every now and then, sounds like you are making tracks. Thanks for all the great info in the last email. We are still plugging along, having a good time. Thanks for staying in touch.
Craig and Evie, Hello dear friends, yes, you can go to when you get there just click on "log book". Hope all is o.k. there.
Robb Peele, I love you, I miss you, I hope I have found you again, please type me.
Hi Jer and Monica, hope Xmas was a real good experience. Have an amazing 2005 in your White Swan...hey, in espanol it's: "cisne blanco"
Brock & Mary, Can you believe in a short number of days we will be more than likely seeing Cecil? Of course we will tell him we saw you last summer. Can you send us an email and let us know what size electric pump you ended up using in order to get enough pressure to get the water (fresh) through the Dalton filter and out? We went through two that just weren't big enough. Thanks
Tom and Maggie,Thanks for staying in touch , I was hoping to see you up here!
Rick Rawls and crew...did I already say...welcome aboard!
Larry and Margaret, Thanks for all your little notes, Cecil's email is:  Of course we will say hello if he is here.
Rob and Linda, we are planning on probably a week in La Paz, what's your plan from La Cruz?
John, Sarah and Rayna, thanks for the Xmas pics, it came through huge so we had to scroll around to see it all. Sounds like Xmas went well, icing and all. I was reading your email about Christina while Bob was on the phone talking to her, what timing and what amazing news!
Hi Boucher family, Congratulations! tee hee, weeeee

January 8, 2005 Hello all, I must keep this one brief, been trying to get the wifi at the La Paz marina to work with out luck for days, now I am buried in things to address. I am sitting across from the water in a little coffee shop with free internet. The sun is out and it's probably in the upper 70's. I hear it is really cold and even snowing on some of your heads...hope it is all o.k. and even beautiful.
    We have been here in La Paz since the 4th. What a treat being at a dock, we spent hours scrubbing the boat off and ourselves! We have visited with Cecil several times already, he is coming back tomorrow and hauling us to the grocery store so we can provision...we are leaving Mon. to head back south a bit and then will jump across to the mainland side, probably sMazatlan. We just may end up coming back up this way to winter and do our decks and also paint the house top, sides etc. We shall see how all unfolds.
    Also, if anyone wants to mail us a small package of tee shirts (remember, these can be used, and preferable with some kind of logo, ball caps, kids toys, like small kites, crayons, anything "small" that would be great. I say small because shipping down to Puerto Vallarta is expensive and also we are just so limited to space on board. Also, the shipper mails out on Fridays, I am thinking if you want to mail something down and have it to him by the 21st that would be great. Here is the address: Bob and Dianna Denny c/o Mail Call 2726 Shelter Island Drive, San Diego, CA 92106   (619)222-1186   He will package all up and ship it down to us.
    Dear Brats, hey, a little bird told us you were trying to buy a, that's some cool news. Sounds like you are a bit burned with school T but doing really well, that's awesome. You go girl! Sounds like all had a good Xmas
    Julie and Aaron, thanks for all the great news, so glad you were able to entertain for the holidays and sounds like everyone liked your new place. Wish we could of been there. Thanks for staying in touch and glad you are enjoying the letters.
    Al and Sandy, wow, skiing, hard to imagine that sitting here in Mexico. Sounds like we may be doing a season up here in the Sea, stay in touch about what you find in the South Pacific.
    P & K, hey Kath, now if I could of gone to  Florida with you we would of been having a blast. Hope it goes o.k. and you find a little fun there. Also glad you are looking forward to the cruise. Let us know the itinerary, perhaps we could meet you somewhere along the way, now that would be cool! P.S., though several days had already past, yes, we did hear about the tragic events of the tsunami :(
    Bill Sullivan, You are so fun, thanks for the wonderful update...and she picks fish...on your new friend...and she picks fish..., she sounds like someone I would truly love to meet...and she picks you!
    Ron and Linda, o.k., uncle I am beginning to think we are going to cross paths as you may be heading back up this way. After talking with Cecil Lange, (the father of our boat), we may be looking at doing the work on the boat here, so I guess we will be hanging out with ya over the lay over? Hope so!!! Thanks for staying in touch, we don't want to loose track of you.
    Denise and Dan, thanks for the email Denise, I would imagine trying to work on your boat this time of the year may be a bit of a challenge. Good Luck, I don't know if you remember, but you made these cute little hand made Xmas cards while you were somewhere warm down here crusing a few (ha) years ago and sent me one, I still have it somewhere. Sweet thoughts of you.
    Merilyn...Bob tells me he sent you a quick email, this is a good place for you to hang for awhile, it is so "not" Cabo-ized. It's more a place for Mexicans on holiday plus the ordinary. Also a big network of cruisers. Miss you!!! Hurry along now :)
    Dear Marilyn from Icarian, thanks for the email! Glad to hear you are doing so well on your own and that we have another great place to look forward to ahead. We...Maggie and Tom from Aurora B and also John and Linda from the MadHatter have all realized we all know you now. Stay in touch, sounds like you will be up here in the Sea for the winter, we may very well do the same so are sure to bump into you! Hugs P.S. Guess who is here...Stan and even Dave!
    Steve and Kay, your emails are just full of great info for things to come, I am saving them all. Thanks, hope all is absolutely fabulous there, see you before too long.Note above last sentence to Icarian :)
    Hey you Dave, you are so nice to write, no, your letters don 't need to be in code, though that was pretty darn cute. Sounds like your doing good and even getting some sailing in. Wow, sounds like quite the wind storm there, glad we missed it. We are doing great, looking forward to heading further south and playing on the mainland side for awhile.  As far as the tee shirts go, we really don't have tons of room to stash a bunch of stuff, if you have a few and wanted to add them that would be cool. I will however, remember you seem to once again have an in with someone for a larger quanity.
Larry and Margaret, needless to say we told Cecil you said hello, he seems to being doing quite well,once again, his email is   he said for you to write. Shirley and Jim are leaving tomorrow, us Mon.
Rayna, Hi from Gala and Gampa, we hear you had a really fun Xmas and got lots of cool stuff from Santa! Please tell your mom we hope she no longer has that nasty cold and that we love her and your daddy very much. P.S. we are going to try and see your Grama Jackie and Gramp Dale...will let you know if we can and how that goes.
    Jeff and Jenny, thanks for the note Jenny, yes, you are not forgotten either, love you 2 lots.
    Kathy and Andy, Hi Kath, thanks for the email and all the updates, hard to think about snow, sounds like your holiday with your buds was really fun though. Glad you are liking the letters.
    Brian and Susan, Sounds like we are right kinda behind you! Surley we will catch up soon, thanks for staying in touch...we are also looking forward to a little more heat!
    Hi lil" buddy Elaine and Joe, glad to hear from you, no I do not miss owning a car! What a mess you have been through, sorry about that. Also thanks for the link to the blind sailors, I had heard of them and have been watch for them, what a trip!
    P.S. all, forgive all the miss spelling's, I lost the last long letter I wrote here by going to spell check last time, so will for go it this time.

January 21, 2005   Hello friends, it's Jan. 21st, I had the whole trip from Cabo San Lucas to La Paz and then across the Sea of Cortez to Mazatlan (which is where we are in Jan 6th) all typed out in my colorful fashion and had it saved away as I have always done, I just went in to work on it again and it had vanished. I some how can not face re-writing it all over again. Just know it was all a wonderful and most interesting journey as the rest has been.
    Many new sights, visits with old friends (Cecil Lange in La Pa) and other old cruising buds. The crossing over the Sea of Cortez was not one of the most pleasant with 30 knot gusts dead on the port beam for about 30 hours to Mazatlan. This is really a cool town, though big, def. not as big a gringo tourist Mecca as Cabo. The Mexican people are very friendly and happy.
    We are in the Marina Mazatlan which is full of blue water cruisers. Every morning except Sun. there is a morning net which is very informative and there is almost nothing you might need to know or where to get that someone else can't help you with. A lot of the folks here have been here for years. As tempting as it would be to stay for Carnival (the 3rd largest in the world) we are going to take off this coming Wed. for points south.
    Hope all are well, we have heard you folks in WA have been having some really lousy weather. It's much warmer (humid too) here on the mainland, we have all our fans running today. More soon, I promise to do my best not to loose another in-depth chapter again. Guess I have slipped into the manana mentality about re-writing the letter...we did see a huge whale on our way in here...we also caught a mahi-mahi, a sierra and a tuna, saw lots of jumping, flying sting rays and also another pod of maybe 20-30 small whales. It continues to be an adventure. Here's hoping you are all well, safe and happy.
    P.S., we have downloaded an internet phone calling Co. called "Skype", Bob has made a # of calls out while we have been on line, not sure how we get calls, someone calling us would have to know when we were on line. Anyway, I will keep all abreast, as it's a cheap way to to computer is actually free!

Personals below: P.S the spell checker from here does not seem to work, so forgive all my errors...

    Lynn DinNino, I was blown away with your description of the News Year Celebration,  truly sounded amazing, I somehow lost it, or would of forwarded it to Kathy R. Hope all is groovy in Tacoma.
    Jeff and Beach Family, Awfully nice of you to stay in touch. I like the way you are going to hook up your water maker direct , sounds like a great idea. Again, glad you have your dodger up now, I bet you have really been enjoying it with all the rain you guys have been getting, sure hope your weather is back to normal. We are a Cape George Cutter, 36'. Too bad you had to see the boat in such a mess, oh well! Take care
    Icarian, Who knows, we may see you before you take off for your next destination. We will let you know when we get closer.
    Steve and Kay, We met Chip and Kay on the Nordic Tug, too bad about your lost fuel line, we shall be taking ours with us from now on. Those little in line fuel filters indeed must be a "shinning object" that is way too tempting. See you before long.
    Sarah, you wild child...sounds like you had a blast in Seattle, glad you took off for a girl thing.
    Amber Moon, Ambermoon, Ambermoon, this is White Swan...over: Ha, just thought you might be having with drawls not being able to talk to us on the radio. We are really enjoying Mazatlan, you will too. Perhaps an even more intimate cruisers net here, and certainly everything you need to access. Certainly a dif. climate, probably a good bit warmer. Here are the rates at Marina Mazatlan short term is 1-6days, with power and water (non potable, however almost every day there is a water truck that comes around, or some cruisers are putting at least one if not 1 ceramic filters in line and filling their tanks that way from the dock water) is 40 cents a foot. only water is 36 cents a foot and no power, no water is 32 cents. 7-29 days is 38 cents, 34 cents and 30 cents same as above categories. 30-90 days goes down to 34 cents, 31 cents and 27 cents. 91 or more days is 30 cents, 25 cents, and 22 cents. We got an email from Joni and Jerry who told us you pulled into La Paz with a wounded wing, hey, what's that all about? Or is typing too difficult? Do tell...missing you!
    Rob and Linda, as you hear, we are going to pull out of here Wed., will see about Isla Isabel, we hear it's been rather busy of late and a pretty small anchorage. Are you still in La Cruz? Hey, I know we have been whining about gin, however some cruisers here have reminded us about  Mohitos (s.p.?), I may be switching. The one ingredient a bit of a challenge to find for above mentioned bebida is the fresh mint, other wise it's white rum, a little sugar and something fizzy. I swear we are going to catch you guys soon!!! 
    Ahoy Joni and Jerry, A truly pleasant surprise to get an email from you. I will have my trusty sis add your email address to our list so you will always know where we kinda are. Was really nice to hear Merilyn made it to La Paz, hope to hear from her soon about the injury. Sorry to hear about the bumper boats...never ends does it. You will find the cost at Marina Mazatlan interesting I'm sure from my note to Merilyn. We stayed at El Cid for three nights at 30 bucks a night. True, they have a pool, but I was only in it once, too much of a scene for my taste. Hope your time up north was o.k., Cyrano went that way also, but had pretty stinky weather with lots of wind and big seas. They headed out to Mazatlan from up there and after 75 miles out pretty much lost their steering and ended up turning around and heading back to Muertos where they bled the lines and got things working again. Hope you have seen more sun than sprinkles. You will enjoy the warmth here, get prepared to get pleasantly stuck here for awhile, it's really a cool place. Especially if you want to party be here by the 3rd of Feb. for the huge (3rd largest in the world) Carnival. We have been watching them begin to erect large paper mache statues (they are really cool...tiny little heads with big bodies) for the event. For us, it's just time to move on and we don't really want to wait for 2 weeks. So, knowing you will be in the Sea for the winter, no doubt we will meet again. As I said before, I really would love more time with you two. Sweet regards!

January 26, 2005 With much excitement Bob somehow stumbled onto the original Chapter  16 I thought for sure had vanished. So even though I know you have all gotten the drift of the transit across the Sea, I am going to send this on along too.
     Crossing the Sea Of Cortez on a Wing and....with a few Angulls   
    Hola from Mazatlan, you all may not no this, however, here in Mexico the manan mentality really starts to get a hold of you after awhile. We left La Paz on Dec 10th after a really nice trip up into the Sea of Cortez from Cabo San Lucas. A lot of the time the opposite is true whith many weary and sick sailors pulling into La Paz with stories of the big wind and seas they encountered trying to come up the down wave case.  We spent more than a few moments visiting with Cecil Lange, the father of Cape George Cutters. He has been living in La Paz now for over 13 years and loving it! I have always been fond of Cecil and it was nice to touch base with him again. We enjoyed our stay in La Paz, and very well may be going back to do some work on the boat for the winter...we shall see, all tends to unfold almost moment to moment.
    From La Paz we went down to Ensenada de la Muertos for the night and then into the next Bay south,  Bahia Las Palmas the next day to drop the hook in front of Los Barrelies where we visited with old friends. They got on the radio and guided us in, it's a very open bay, so we were glad the wind was settled enough to let us be there long enough for a visit. Thanks again Dale and Jackie.
    We left the next morning at 4:00 A.M. and headed across the Sea of Cortez to Mazatlan with another boat "Mary Joe", a single hander we have been cruising with off and on since Newport Oregon. The crossing was...well, lively, with sustained young to mid 20's with 30 knot gusts out of the north west, so it was dead on the beam. The seas were about 6' with the occasional rouge 10' and way too close for comfort. Once again, it's a good thing it wasn't my first time sailing or I would of wondered why these crazy sailors do it. It is a blessing for me when it is challenging out "there" and I start to almost hate it to have one of the many sea angulls come to visit, they are the sea birds that make the ocean, not the land their home. It's anything but nice out there with the froth of the seas flying everywhere, and in the distance you think you see something and then sure enough there is a seagull or the littlest of birds riding the waves from crest to trough and up to the crest again and then gently lighting on the top of a wave as if it's the most natural thing in the world. It really does help to give you a perspective and I do very much consider them my sea angles. Believe me, I know some of you may think this is the most romantic thing we are doing ever, however, there are many, many trying times of which you may be questioning your decision to give up all for the pursuit.
    Thirty Two hours later we were tied to the dock at the 5 star resort El Cid in Mazatlan. We spent 3 nights there and decided we liked Mazatlan well enough to spend more time so we moved to Marina Mazatlan which is quite a bit cheaper. We have been into the city from here several times and found it most enjoyable, there are many really fabulous sculptures along what is known as the Malacon, the tiled walk way along the water front. The city is also in preparation for the huge festival "Carnival" which starts  the 3rd of Feb. We have started a paper work process that will take at least a week, possibly more, we shall see how all plays out with how long we will stay.
    There is a rather large community of cruisers here, it's pretty darn laid back, a nice facility and easy to do projects on your boat here. We attended a fund raiser for relief funding for the tsunami victims here tonight, it said: "just come, buy a beer for one peso, a hot dog for a peso and be glad you are alive". Pretty easy to do, our heads are still reeling from the thoughts of the event. At least we were spared all the visual media coverage you all no doubt saw. We are very much enjoying the diversity of the people we meet, from Doctors and teachers to the average Joe and everything in-between all co-existing and enjoying time together because of our common passion.
    It's now Wed. the 26th, yup, had to go into the computer in order to find the date...forgive us for that. Actually I am kind of feel poppy (oop's) today and have been laying low. It's actually been raining lightly most of the day and only 68. We had planned on leaving today, but we hear it's a bit stinky out there and have decided to wait till Fri. when it should abate. We have been doing some work on the boat, making bug screens for the ports out of small copper tubing bent to shape and the netting stitched on. For the sky light hatch, well, Velcro continues to be my best friend. Probably have already mentioned this, all the art work is up with Velcro, I even have my galley sink soap dispenser velcro'ed to the bulk head and it hasn't budged yet.
    We had an adventure last Sun. catching the bus to Juarez on the outskirts of town, every Sun they have a 12 square block flea market, there is no way any of you can even begin to picture the amazing sight. Everything imaginable and more for sale. We finally got a "lot" overwhelmed  and caught a Pulmonia...o.k., better give you a visual aid on that one...they are pretty much like a giant open air golf cart, often all decked out with that wonderful tacky fringe and loud Mexican music blaring. There must be hundreds of them, as they seem to be the popular mode of transit not only by gringos, but locals also. We heard they are manufactured here and then privately owned. After a nice lunch in Playa Machado with giant Margaritas it was our  fun task to take pictures of all the amazing giant paper mache and rebar sculptures erected around the plaza and down the Malcon, the walk along the ocean front. They were taken from the work of the famous artist Bustemente who lives here, his style is tiny little heads and big bodies. I will hopefully be able to figure out how to downsize the photos so I can send them to Pam at: and she will post them on our page. 
All for now, personals below:
    Rob and Linda, yeah, quite the little birthday sea bash eh, we heard about it first on the Amigo net, tales of dragging boats. We are glad all went o.k. and no one got hurt. We are a little stuck here till this junk blows itself out, looking forward to those Blue Footed Boobies on Isabel!
    Brain and Susan, you painted a great picture of the Island for us, can hardly wait to see it for ourselves. The weather is just too snotty to leave right now and I am a bit under the weather too. Soon.
    Hi Marilyn, hey, Jerry and Jonie just pulled in this afternoon! Sorry your trip up to La Paz stunk, I truly feel lucky we hit it right for a change. Hope your new roller furler doesn't turn into a big hassel. I would imagine you are working with Mary at Marina La Paz to get your import papers? We did that here. Don't know if this will help, but you might try calling the guy we are using from San Diego, they don't use Mexican mail carriers at all. Gary, at "Mail Call" , this is his email, however the first time I tried to get info that way he didn't get right back:   his phone # is (619)222-1186. Don't know if I told you we downloaded a program called "SKYPE". It's internet phone calling using your computer (sitting there with your little head phone and mouth piece plugged into your lap top).  If you are calling a land line or cell phone it's pretty much 2 cents a min. anywhere! And if you are talking to someone else who has it downloaded and is also on line you talk to them for free. Just go on line and do a search and you will see the scoop. You just purchase a block of time and off you go. It's really quite amazing.
    Hi Jeff and beach fam, this is another truly small world meeting with a woman by the name of Jan. We met her here in Mazatlan while getting on a bus, started talking about boats and found out she had been crew on...yup, Serenity. Needless to say we had a whole evening of cocktails and stories!
    Hi Kathy Roush, I miss you
    Hello my beloved S.Q.,
    Hi Steve and Kay, can you share with me again the name of the guy who does the great job on decks? Was it Ernesto and was he here in Mazatlan?
 Into not for us (although will be good to have, ya never know).
Take care everyone, peace

February 04, 2005   N  21 degrees 09.739', W 105 degrees 13.737'  in a small Bay with Chacala at it's head. The 1.25 long beach is full of coconut palms (an abandoned plantation) it's beautiful from the anchorage. The weather has taken a down turn and for the first time in months it has actually been raining all day so far. Bob has just rowed to shore to see the Port Capitan.
    We left Mazatlan Jan 31st (Bob's 50th birthday!) in the afternoon heading for Isla Isabela about 100 miles south and approximately 40 miles off shore.  Once again it is nice to be podunkin' along with our single handing friend Stan. We arrived at Islabela by 10:30 the next morning, the Island is volcanic, about 281' tall and 2 square miles of low bushy trees and has been a National Ecological Preserve for 20 years with students from the University of Guadalajara's wildlife project volunteering time to study and protect the 100's of mating and nesting Frigate's and Boobies. It was another National Geographic moment being able to observe these amazing birds so up close and personal. The average tree height was about 7 feet and there were sometimes up to 6 nests in each with varying ages of babies, talk about white downy and cute! There were also many Blue and Brown footed Boobies who build their nest right on the ground. You would often times be right next to them walking down a trail, they have no fear of humans since they are being protected. We will email some more pictures to Pam for the web page the next time we have an internet connection and let you all know when you can see "the birds". We would of stayed longer, however we heard there were some bigger winds coming in from the S.E., 15-25 knots and would make the anchorage at the south end of the Island unsafe. So, here we are hunkered down until the weather let's up and we can continue south again.
    02/05, Couldn't get email out last night and this morning since things had started to settle down a bit weather wise we decided to make a huge 8 mile (ha) jump down into the next bay south, Jaltemba, it's a Mexican resort area. We just got back from shore leave with our bud Stan, had a beer in a Palapa with some shrimp and then walked around the town for quite awhile. Then got a recommendation for a great restaurant and had a wonderful dinner. It's my second time of ordering Tortilla Soup, although they called it Sopa Azteca. It was absolutely fabulous and only 3 pesos, a little less than 3 bucks. It is a very rich tomato base soup and just before serving they deep fry some thin cut corn tortillas and throw them in and then top with fresh cut avocado and sour cream. Hardly a weight watchers delight. We will head further south tomorrow to Punta Meda and then shortly there after be in the Puerto Vallarta area.

Personal notes:
    Cecil, really great to see an email from you. We aren't really sure how much further we will go, maybe only to Barra Navidad. We shall see how it unfolds. Here is Larry and Margaret's email address:  Small world as we were checking the internet one last time before we left the Mazatlan Marina and were sitting right across from Jerry & Cerila. They told us Carmen wouldn't even let you drive you were so sick. Sure hope your better now.
    Phil and Kath, are you still there? Let me know your itinerary for stops along this coast, I think you were coming back up this side weren't you? Miss you!
    Elaine, hey girlfriend, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! You look smashing :) Talked to Jade P and am all set with the HRT's. They will be waiting for me when we get to Puerto Vallarta. Hope winter hasn't been too brutal. Pats for Sunny, Hugs for you and Joe.
    Hi Merilyn, how's La Paz? Good thing your not at Frailes or Muertos right now! You def. need to plan a stop at Isabela, it really was fabulous, although the smell a bit overwhelming.
    Hey Bro Andy, Bob caught another Sierra, 30" long. What a feast we had! Will forward a pic soon.

February 17, 2005  Belated Happy Valentines Day all, it's now Feb. 17th. I would like to remind all you can go to the site to see lots of cool pictures (and for those of you new to the letter all our previous letters also) from the sculptures in Mazatlan for "Carnival" to the Frigates and Boobies on Isla Isabel and a couple others too.
    Unfortunately we just heard that a sailboat sunk while anchored in the same place we were at, Isabela, by swinging down on a rock. We are thinking they must of been there during a fairly big southerly which makes the anchorage pretty darn unsafe and the reason we ended up only spending one night there after hearing there was a southerly coming in. The prevailing winds are North to Northwest, the anchorage is at the southern end of the Island. The good news is the local fisherman got everyone safely off the boat.
    We enjoyed our trip from Isla Isabela over to the coast again and found some pretty quaint little bays. Then it was around Punta Mita and into Banderas Bay. We spent a night anchored off a little village called La Cruz knowing we would be going into Paradise Village the next day to pick up our greatly awaited newly repaired wind generator and a few other packages. We will look forward to checking La Cruz out when we head back up in a month or so.
    What a trip Paradise Village is, it's a hug posh development, even has a zoo! I did take advantage and relaxed by the pool more than once. The bus service into Puerto Vallarta was  pretty easy with only one transfer, my how that place has changed from 25 years ago. There are now many, many wonderful art gallery's and way too many cool little restaurants to count. Of course P.V. is the big city and we looked forward to taking off and seeing Yelapa, a sleepy little village 16 miles south on our way out of the bay.
    We left Paradise the 15th once again with our good friend Stan on S/V Mary Joe. My memory of Yelapa was of a little boy who paddled out in a dug out every morning selling fresh coconut  and lime pie. Now that's my idea of breakfast! Unfortunately the little boy wasn't there anymore, but Yelapa is still a pretty undeveloped village. The thing that saves it is no road in, it's just too remote, however they did get power 2 years ago.
    It isn't the most pleasant anchorage for motion as the cove faces northward and therefore open to the prevailing wind and swell. It is also deep right up to the steep beach which just as 25 years  ago can prove to be quite the challenge getting to shore. Stan came over in his inflatable to pick Bob and I up, we sat just outside the breakers and tried our best to time the waves before attempting a landing. Unfortunately, we got caught side ways and all got soaked. Oh well, at least it was warm.
    We decided to spend yesterday also and walked into the small village which is mostly cobble stone and cement winding steep little paths. The only hazards are making sure to get out of the way for the occasional donkey and horse caravans which seem to be the popular mode of hauling things around. We hiked up to a waterfall and heard stories from a local about seeing several dogs and Iguana's and even a Boa Constrictor at some point accidentally go over the falls...yikes! Yelapa has become world renowned for paragliding and we sat and watched many people soaring around with the buzzards.
    We said good bye to Yelapa this morn and are now rounding Cabo Corrientes, the southern point of Banderas Bay and heading for an anchorage called Punta Ipala. It's 82 in the shade today and we have about a 8/9 knot head wind, all in all it's great. The water temp in Yelapa was about 80, we did get some water line scrubbing done. Hope all are well, feel free to send a line or two, also as we are now underway and who knows when we will have internet again so use the address. Bye for now

    02/18 Since we didn't manage to get this mail out I will tell you about Ipala. There turned out to be a little town there with several little open air restaurants and one had a 15 piece Mariachis Band playing from Puerto Vallarta. Evidently they just enjoy going to Ipala every now and then, a three hour drive. Lucky us as they were really, really good. We even got to watch as they enjoyed a private ritual of drinking raw Dove eggs with hot sauce...really! We are now underway for Chamela, it's a fairly large bay and looks pretty interesting with a few dif. anchorages.

Harold, can't tell you how tickled we were to hear from you! Extremely glad to hear you sis in law is doing well, I sure hope that continues. You know, we will be in the Sea for a season working on the boat, so you will have time to catch up with us again. Hurry!!! Love you bunches

Hello Al and Sandy, Wow, do I think this coast has changed in 25 years...oh my yes. I am totally astounded. Yes, the marinas are all very nice and I get way to comfortable there. Also, we are spending a lot more money than we had planned needless to say, way too many temptations. I really didn't expect to be seeing Tigers, Panthers, Flamingos and Ostrich walking around the
Paradise Village Marina either. I just have to keep reminding myself to try and see things with new eyes. Glad Yelapa wasn't too dif. The other think I have noticed is the average age of the cruisers is now approx. my age. Also there are 100's more of us now. Are you going to be a grand parent again? We have another on the way also, Bob's youngest daughter Christina and her  husband will bring another youngin' into the world this July. I am hoping for a Leo!!! Thanks for staying in touch. Of course I can't help but think of our voyages together so many years ago.

Jerry and Joni, I am hoping to have a letter from you come in after we send this one out. We ran into Joel and the hat transfer was made. Still haven't met his wife. It's really beautiful down here, hope you can make it a little further south before you have to go north again. The good news is that we will also be in the Sea for the season. Love, he and me

Hi P & K, if you got my last mail you may of replied to the hot mail address, if you did and could resend it to this address I will probably get it quicker. If you are coming down this coast I sure don't want to miss you if possible to meet somewhere. Hope you are excited!

Dian and Bob, Hey you guys, when are you coming for a visit? Miss you an awful lot!


February 28, 2005  Earth quakes, Volcano's and French Bakers...
    We had a fabulous trip down from Yelapa, we are now in Bahia Navidad anchored in a lagoon behind the quaint little village of Barra. Yesterday afternoon I felt two pretty good "thumps" and immediately said to Bob "we are draggin", he paused for a second and said "no,  I think that was an earthquake"! Only moments later the chatter on the VHF radio was all about "did you feel that"? Within 20 min. someone had already done some research and found out it indeed was a quake with the epicenter only about 60 miles south east of us and about 30 miles off shore, with a magnitude of 5.1.
    The interesting events weren't over yet...we went back into the head of the lagoon (it's quite large) this morning in the inflatable to do some bird watching, while I had the binocs on some birds I looked up into the hills and mountains beyond and realized I was seeing a smoking volcano. We looked back to see it again later and there was no more ash/steam coming out so I am thinking we may of just happened to look up at the right second. The bird population in the back of the lagoon was extremely impressive and we just sat quietly in awe.
    I almost forgot to tell you about the French Baker (yes really) that lives here and comes out to the anchorage every morning in a Panga selling fresh baguettes, croissants and Danish. He stands right up in the bow with his arms crossed and says, "Hello", I am the French Baker", gotta love this place. We have been here 4 days, there is really quite a lot to see and do. Our plan is to spend today doing last min. errands, then tomorrow head for the fuel dock and then out to either anchor in front of Chilaque a little town in the bay here or go back up to Bahia Tenacatita. We stopped there on the way down, anchored one night behind a bite on the NW corner of the bay. There is a fabulous place to snorkel there called "the Aquarium", it was too choppy and cloudy so we headed down the bay to Tenacatita to find about 40 other cruising boats. Quite a surprise seeing that large of a number all together, though it's a very snug anchorage. We got a chance to meet some boats we haven't seen in a very long time. One in particular we hadn't seen since our mutual haul out's back in Port Townsend in July of 04'. Hi "Rob" (I promise to remember), Linda and Cubster!!! 
    We have decided this will be our turn around spot for the season and we will slowly start making our way back north to spend the summer hurricane season up in the Sea of Cortez to work on the boat. It is truly amazing how harsh the tropics are on the boat. We will be removing all the caulk out of the deck and replacing it with TDS, a teak deck system. We also plan to repaint the cabin top, sides, cockpit and a few other parts. All that will give us a chance to rebed a lot of things in need, plus we may even remove our ports and rebed them. Sounds like a lot of work huh!!! And the list goes on from there. Anyone interested in coming down and helping, ha. More soon
P.S. There are new pictures on the web site:      Thanks Pam!
     Howdy Steve and Kay, half expect to see you two soon, I know you were waiting in Z-town till things calmed down. It was hootin' up into the 20's inside the lagoon yesterday. Did you feel the earthquake there? See you soon...hope your owie's are better by now Steve.
     Hi Lotus buds, where are you? On your way north?
     Al and Sandy, I just noticed you are off to the S. Pacific March 5th, have an absolutely wonderful time, will look forward to hearing how you liked it!
     Pam, I love knowing you and Tami are having a ball even though there is 25 knots blowing up your nose!  Thanks for posting the pics. and keeping us informed. Have a great time in P.T.
     Welcome to the letter Arlis and Mike, that was just a hoot bumping into you again down here! Thanks for the books!!!
     Karen, you are in my thoughts a lot, please write and let me know what's up...squeeze for the kid!
     Merlyn, glad you are making progress on the boat...sounds like you may not be heading down this way and that we will see you when we get up there ourselves. Do you have any prospects for crew yet? Gotta run, much much love.

March 28, 2005 Crocodiles, Bats and Pink Birds Hoppy Belated Easter everyone, It's March 28th,Our location is N 20 degrees  01.979'  W 105 degrees 32.623', we finally dug ourselves out of the comfort of Barra De Navidad on the 23rd after spending a month there. It really is a  great place with just about everything you could want, yup including a French baker who delivers in a panga every morning. Another one of the many wonderful memories we have was being able to watch the Roseate Spoonbills in the back of the lagoon at low tide. There don't seem to be a whole lot of them compared to the other numbers of birds, White Egrets, many dif. kinds of Terns (some of which I recognized from my Alaska days), many dif. kinds of Heron's, Ibis, Ducks, Grebe and on and on. The most Spoonbills we counted was 18. They are about 24" tall with a beak about a foot long with that wonderful and comical spoon on the end. And the best part is they are
flamingo pink!
    We spent many long lazy days in Barra, visiting with a lot of other cruisers for sun downers (cocktail hours!) and fun trips into town.  It was also a place of saying good bye to other boats preparing to do what's called the puddle jump to the Marquesas, or heading south to Central America or the Galapagos. The rest of the boats are slowing heading back north for hurricane season. We left Barra the 23rd and headed back to the anchorage in Tenacatita. We spent another three days there, one of which was motoring over to a little village called La Manzania.
    We noticed a couple bees on the boat on the way over, unfortunately I put my left hand down right on top of one and got stung on the side of my wedding ring finger...ouch. With in moments it started to swell. We got into town and found a Farmacia and bought some anti histamines. Then we went to see the popular crocodiles that hang out on the river there, something tells me they are fed often. We have also heard stories of crocodiles right in the marina at Zihuantanejo, something about FiFi turning into Poodle Tar Tar. My now throbbing finger was continuing to swell and I finally couldn't even turn my ring and it was freaking me out. So that evening, out came the bolt cutters and in no time my trusty Capitan "Roberrrrto" had the strangling device off my finger. I
will get it fixed hopefully in P.V. and my finger is getting better.
    We spent last night in a nice anchorage called Chamela and ended up meeting up  with some friends and hitting the beach for a nice little palapa dinner. John mentioned those weren't flocks of birds we were watching at dusk, but bats!!! Cool!!! There were hundreds of them.
    The weather has been pretty fabulous, it was 78 at 9:15 this morning. We are motoring right now, not enough wind to sail and what little there is, is right on the nose. We had better get used to that going back "up" north. There are lots of turtles out here today, I hope the picture I took of a bird sitting on a turtles back comes out, if it does, I will let you know when it's posted on the web page.
    We are headed to the last anchorage (Ipala) before going around Punta Corrientes, the point can be a bit of a challenge, but we hear there is a good no weather opportunity for the next several days, so we are going for it. Then we will be back in Banderas Bay and I am hoping right on into a slip for several weeks while a couple dif. friends come down for a visit. Wow, I just looked at the log book, we haven't been to a marina since Feb. 15th. Tell me standing under a real shower isn't calling to me. The good news on the water end of things is Bob got the fresh water maker hooked up and we are merrily making about 1 & 1/2 gal. per hour while motoring. It is really kind of like magic making fresh water out of salt water.

More for you all, hugs and fond thoughts to all, Dianna and Bob

P.S., There is a letter in the Latitude 48, March issue about the Xmas rescue by the crew of White Swan in Mag Bay and the poem our good friend Jerry wrote in commemoration.

03/29  Update: we left Ipala early this morn in the fog, sheeze, thought we were back in WA. No problema getting around Corrientes, in fact we motored through hundreds of pods of skate. They showed up as approx. 1 ft. polka dots about a foot under the surface. I spent quite awhile up on the bow sprit as we were peeling them back along each side of the hull. No, don't worry, none were injured, in fact I think they were enjoying the extra rush of water. It was an amazing sight.
    The wind came up in the afternoon and we got to sail in about 14 knots for about 5 hours, it was lovely. We are now at anchor in La Cruz which is about in the N.E. corner of Banderas Bay, the home of Puerto Vallarta. Had cockpit showers and are ready to hit the beach for dinner. Life is GREAT!
    Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday Dian, I sure wish I could of been there to help you celebrate, I certainly hope Bob was, We love you!!!
    Tom and Maggie, we are having major with-out-you-drawls! We love you oodles of Chile Cheetos!!!
    Wes and Ann, we met another Union 36, couldn't help but think of you, hope all is groovy.
    Shirley and Jim, thanks for all the P.T. updates, we loved it. Hope you are settling into the routine there and all is good. How are you keeping Jim busy?! Glad things worked out so well with the boat at Paradise, especially the decks. Stay in touch, we would love to hear from you.
    Merlyn, are you still in La Paz and what's your plan?
    Pam, how did the haul out and stuff go?
    B.J. and Trish, how are you doing in the new house...we are so curious. How's the boat?
    Jerry and Joni, where are you 2 now? Something tells me you will be far north by the time we get up there :(
    Stinga, where are you and Stan and what's the plan?
    S.Q., I love you

April 2005... if you like Waterfalls, Hot Springs and "The Salsa" more...
Hello family and friends, we spent a grand total of 27 days in Marina Vallarta just outside of downtown Puerto Vallarta. It costs a whole 40 cents for a ride into town. I was excited to be able to have my wedding ring repaired since all the swelling from the bee sting was gone, only took one week and cost $12.00.  We did two pretty cool hikes outside of town a bit, one up to a waterfall having to traverse back and forth across the river 18 times and the other hike up to a natural hot springs for a much needed soak. Of course, many interesting sights along the way, butterfly's, Brama Bulls, Donkey's and the like. Have also now done two Tequila factory tours, arrrriba! It is really quite interesting how tequila is manufactured, they use the root or Pineapple of the Blue Agave plant, not the top. We were also taken on a very long hike up (and I mean up) into the mountain's behind town with some gorgeous views by our new friend Luis and his girlfriend Mily, that was quite the adventure. We met Luis on our dock, he is the lead guy on the work team for upkeep on a 98' power boat and we became fast friends.
    Our buds, Craig and Evie arrived from Seattle and we played with them often going for little adventures and walks. One day we rented a jeep and drove up to a little village called San Sabastian about a 2 and a half hour drive. Most of the road was paved, but some was a real adventure including having to drive through a small river. It was truly beautiful scenery and the town itself was really quite precious. As soon as we arrived we were greeted by our small furry black tour guide, the pero "Al". He stayed with us the whole time, even came right into the restaurant where we had a late breakfast. I am hoping to go back up there upon our return and perhaps even spend the night.
    Some how we also fitted in working on the boat now and then. Bob made our new deck awning, it looks and works great. He also made weather curtains that extend further forward to the boarding gates and did repair on the dodger. The hull was also compounded and waxed.
    We left the marina the 27th, late in the day as we had been out the night before with Luis and Mily to help celebrate her 38th birthday. We went down town and had happy hour at a water front restaurant with a great sunset view and then let Mily pick a place to have dinner. We caught a cab and started driving straight up a small steep mountain right behind P.V., it was quite a funky little road and Bob and I began to wonder where we were going. Low and behold we came to a gated off paved road with a guard who collected $10 to go in, we found out later this was applied to your meal. The view was absolutely amazing, as if you were looking almost straight down at the city, I could hardly take my eyes off it the whole time we were there. As if that wasn't enough it was time to go Salsa dancing. I hadn't been dancing in a very long time and was really excited. Off we went in the cab & back down the hill and off to Salsa away the next 2/3 hours. It was a very special night with special new friends.
    We spent the first night anchored at La Cruz and left early the next morning for a 70 mile trip to Matichan Bay just outside the town of San Blas. We had heard there was supposed to be some bigger winds heading our way(30 knots on the nose) and had expected to have to wait it out for several days, however the weather looked good this morning so we are now underway for Isla Isabela, yup, back to Frigate and Booby land. All is well. The air temp is averaging about 86 and the sea temp is now 83/84. Our position is 2134.570 west    105.32.752 north
I don't want to risk having all the personals wiped out due to this long letter, so will send them within the next two days. We do however want to say:
Andy Brown, as of 2200 tonight we are leaving for Mazatlan by 0900 tomarrow morning and should arrive the morning of May 1st and will connect with you then...Hi to Kath and Kitties
April 30th, Yup, us again. We spent a pretty darn uncomfortable night anchored off the east side of Isla Isabela due to a bit of wind and rolling sea's. Got up this morning and after talking with the boat we buddied with from La Cruz and another boat we knew in the anchorage we decided to take off for Mazatlan. We have about 8.5 knots of wind out of the NW and on a course of about 350 degrees, we are motor sailing on a close reach and heeled over just enough to make it a bit challenging, our speed is about 5 knots. If all goes the same we should be in Mazatlan by tomorrow morning.
May 2 update, after 22 hours of beating into 15 knots we arrived in  Mazatlan, dock side at the El Cid Marina. Will be here about a week before making our passage over to La Paz.
Personals below:
Tom and Maggie...are you there yet? We spent time with "Jefe" in P.V., what a lovely person he is. We didn't connect to give him our email, could you  send us his? Love and miss you tremendously.
Shirley and Jim, tried to go say Hi to Cyrano while at Paradise and saw she  had moved. With no magic key we couldn't track her...darn. All is good, it's
getting hotter, sea temp is 84 now! Kiss P.T. for us. Hugs, Dianna
Hi Meryln, nice to hear from you, sounds like we may be seeing you before long. We won't be in Mazatlan for more than a week and then have a friend who might fly in and do the crossing with us. We'll keep you posted. Glad you are getting so much done on Amber Moon. Loves
Hi Pam, stand by for new pics while we are in Mazatlan and I can do it from shore. Hope you and your favorite Spirit are having lots of fun.
Jerry and Joni, hey, a trip to the states by bus, that sounded...well, like another adventure, hope the train wasn't as scary. Wow, and a boat show, we are jealous. And more new boat stuff, cool! Yes, as we all know by now the shipping is the tricky part. We will be interested to hear how you deal with that one. We will be heading back across soon, we possibly have a bud flying down to do the trip. Just figured out we are a little ahead of schedule and will more than likely have to slow down so we arrive in Mazatlan in the light, glad that doesn't happen too often. Thanks for typing, we will always stay in touch.
Hey Stan, I think we heard you have taken off across the big "T" with 9 other boats, let us know how it was for you.
S.Q. I love you!!! Can you do me a big favor and possibly ask Jess to go over to the kids next door where Mr. Peach now lives and see if they have an email address. I would absolutely love to be able to connect with them. Hi Rickie :) Just talked to my sis and she said some of your emails to me didn't go through. The address from here is:   or:
Hi Dian and Bob much mushy heart stuff to you.
Karen, love and miss you, noogies for Ruby
Cecil, went to a talk on the up coming hurricane season given by Jeff on S/V Moon Me and he showed your La Paz video, rather sobering. Will be seeing you soon, hello to Carmen.
B.J., thanks for typing, very,very,very nice to hear from you. Glad you have your Nelle back together and ready for sailing. Did you know Andy is making noises about doing the crossing back over to the Baja side with us? I'm sure you will hear more. Take care, loves to you both
Rob and Linda, you guys are just cracking us up, really! All in all you are right, if it is a choice between this and going back to "that", for some of us "this" is better. Are you going to hang in La Paz for awhile?
Hi Elaine and Joe, did I write you back missy E? I think I did, but can't remember now, drag with out a "sent" to go back and look at. Still groovy here, hope the same there.
Harold...heart pangs when we think of you...hurry up!!!
Hey you Dave, are you there? Didn't hear back from my email to you, don't want to miss you in San Diego.
Jeff/beachfamily, went to see your web site, cool, couldn't get a midi where I was, will try again.


June 9, 2005     Hola friends from back in La Paz, We had a good crossing from Mazatlan with mild to moderate wind. The last night out I had come on watch at 11:00 P.M., the winds were quite light, Bob went down and hit the bunk. About 15 min. later the wind died and I went down to apologize for the racket I would make taking down sails and starting the engine. Then, I saw some big lights off our port bow, went down and turned on the radar and could see a huge target still miles off. As I watched the big ship I could tell we were on an unfavorable course with him then realized I needed to alter course a bit, I also realized he had stopped moving, a bit odd I thought. Then a couple min. later the whole sky lit up brilliantly with a staccato of flashes. I immediately looked up to see if we had blown out our mast head light, but all was o.k. up there. I then looked around to see if there were any clouds looming on the horizon that could be producing some  lightning…not. Then I looked back to note that the big ship was still just sitting in the same spot with huge halogen lights blaring…mystery, and I was a bit creeped out.  I finally went back down and woke Bob to let him know that if he found the cockpit empty when he woke up for his watch it would probably mean I had been abducted by aliens! It wasn’t until a few days later  in La Paz I mentioned the bright lights and someone told me there had been a huge meteor hit the atmosphere and exploded. Wow, what an experience.

    At first light the stark beauty of the Baja was now visible. That day we saw what we initially thought was a pod of small whale in a feeding frenzy. We were talking to another boat on VHF describing the creatures and they told us what we were seeing were Rissos’ Dolphin. They were about 12’ long, mostly black, some with mottled white heads. The white markings come from the stinging tendrils of the giant squid (up to 6’!)  they are pursuing for food. Shortly after seeing the Rissos’ I just happen to be looking in the right spot and got to see a huge Marlin dancing across the top of the waves on his tale, amazing.

    As we were motoring into La Paz  we had a very sweet little boat come sailing across our bow,  we realized it was a Virtue built in Port Townsend and wondered if we knew the people onboard. Several hours later at the dock I heard Bob step back onboard and say “we have company”. I looked up to see the face of an old friend, Elizabeth Sudlow, good grief, it had been many, many years since I had seen her, I think the first time I met her it must have been in 1980. We squealed and hugged and I was reminded she had a Virtue 27, and her name was “Bruja”. We also fell in love with Elizabeth’s friend Sally Gray,  the four of us really ended up hitting it off, Bob helped Elizabeth with a roller furler problem, and we also spent four days on our boats anchored out in Caleta Partida, a beautiful anchorage between Isla Espiritu Santo and Isla Partida. We took great beach walks, cave exploring, swimming and diving, and also did one of the most challenging hike/climbs I think I have almost ever done. We took time to make lovely meals and even bought fresh Sea Bass from the local fish camp. It was an especially great time.

    We have been getting many tasks done on and for the boat, like a new set of 9 volt golf cart batteries, Bob got new glasses, that was quite the experience. Bob also just finished sewing side curtains for the cockpit awning, it is getting quite hot and anything you can do to cut down on the sun coming in is a plus. It was 84 at 10 this a.m. and it’s now 94 at 2 with 100 projected for a bit later. We better get used to this, it will get hotter!

    We also recently helped another solo friend, Jeanne on a Najad 36 put her boat on Dock Wise. Dock Wise is the company shipping boat just about anywhere in the world now a days. It was quite an amazing thing to witness driving your boat into the bowels of a ship! They basically get packed in bow and stern like sardines. Then, the following day 6 divers go down and weld cradles underneath all the boat so that when they drain out all the water the boats are all sitting up sweet and secure. Shipping a 36’ boat from here to Ketchikan cost’s $7,000, my how times have changed. We have recently moved the boat down to a brand new resort/marina, “Costa Baja” on the north end of town as they were offering free moorage June, July and August. I expect they are trying their best to rum up business and hope to get people hooked. It really isn’t so bad, we are forced to go to the pool every day about 3 or 4 just in order to stay cool, it’s a tough life. There is also a free shuttle into town which is nice. We won’t be here much longer however, it’s time to head north. I would imagine by this Mon. we will be gone and looking forward to seeing new sights.

    Hope this finds all wonderfully happy and content. Love to all

P.S., I think I mentioned in my last letter we had met a wonderful Jazz musician by the name of “Jock” (last name is Budleman), he also put his boat on Dock Wise, however is picking his up in Vancover Canada with plans to cruise up north for the summer. Jock is hoping to find a semi permanent slip in Ganges and also to play there. So, if any of you are kicking around up in that neck of the woods, and you see his billing please go listen and be enchanted. Also please give him a very huge long hug from us


July 24, 2005  Hola Mi Amigos!  We hope this July 24 is finding you enjoying your summers wherever you may be. We have been underway since last Friday heading North at a fairly leisurely pace. We are traveling with another boat, S/V Eagle Dancer with Tracy and Julie onboard. The weather away from the dock in La Paz is a bit more pleasant with usually some kind of breeze blowing, though still in the upper 9o’s to 110 with the water temp about 83. As we steam along the San Jose’ Channel towards Los Gatos (our anchorage for the night) the scenery is magnificent with 3,000 / 5,000’ peaks and dolphin jumping out of the water in unison like some kind of Sea World show. We just went by a very small fishing village with a small dirt road visible as it spilled over the top of one of the peaks and then snaked down through the valleys below towards the shacks on the beach. Life out here must be a challenge with little fresh water or food.

    We are unsure how long we will be gone, we do have an up and coming time frame to plan for however. I will be flying out Sept. 1st back to WA for 15 days, Bob will be flying out the 3rd to go visit his youngest daughter Christina , extended family and to meet her new baby outside Portland Maine and will also return the 15th. We will have at least 4 weeks to play up north, so many people have told us how wonderful it is, high time we see it for ourselves.


July 27th, Do you all like the idea of schools of Dolphins playing all around the bow of our boat? Two days in a row we have had the huge pleasure of Dolphin visitations  with their wonderful antics and beautiful soft eyes rolling over to look up at us. Magic! Haven’t had much luck fishing lately, though Eagle Dancer was towing one of our set up’s yesterday and something big hit and took the lure, leader and snubber , rats.

    We have been using our water maker every day, unfortunately not a lot of wind, so a lot of motoring.  We have the Pur 40 E, and  are making about a gallon an hour, we even filled a 5 gal. container for Eagle Dancer yesterday. Can’t tell you all what a relief it is not to have to worry about running out of fresh water, always enough now even for showers.

    The mountain range that runs down this side of the coast is absolutely amazingly beautiful rising 3,000 to 5,000 ft. right out of the Sea. The mountains can sometimes be full of surprises however like last night about 1 a.m. when a Chubasco wind (25/30 knots) came ripping down out of them. It was all hands on deck to get our awning down. Just before we crawled into our bunks we sat on the deck after dark and watched an amazing light show coming from across the Sea on the mainland side. It was a constant  staccato of lightning in huge bursts that lit up the sky. Glad we are on this side and hope I continue to be glad of that fact. We spent last night in Agua Verde and are now heading for another anchorage called  Los Candeleros. We’ll be glad to get in, it’s pretty darn rolly out here today, just enough to make doing the smallest task a challenge. More to come…


Happy July 31 and HAPPY BIRTHDAY SUSIE Q…I LOVE YOU! I also celebrated my 54th birthday on the 29th. We were in Escondito. It is quite a unique spot and considered a safe Hurricane Hole in this neck of the sea. We ended up spending 3 days there lounging tied to a buoy. There is quite the community of cruisers that have comfortably found a home in one the 3 dif. anchorages with their own dilapidated building for a yacht club. Almost every day at 4:30 folks gather in Cocktail Cove for a giggling, frolicking, soggy game of water volleyball a few beers and lots of laughs. As my birthday fell on a Friday I was lucky enough to get in on Pizza night when some folks bring in pizza’s from Loreto to the cove. My friend Julie made a birthday cake for me and there was more than one rendition of the Happy Birthday song.

     The Gigante Mountains from Escondito are absolutely spectacular, right up there with the Rockies, or imagine being anchored in the bottom of the Grand Canyon surrounded by 5,000’ craggy peaks. We left Sat. morning and are now in Ballandra Bay across from Loreto by 9 miles. It’s a nice bay, well protected with lot’s of  reefs to explore and the water temp is now 87.5!

Hope all are well and happy.



Happy Birthday Joe Taffe!!!

Stan and Stinga, still in Nicaragua? Have you felt safe there and what has the average temp been? Also, is the water clear? As you can see we are doing good and nice to be seeing more of Mexico.


August 20, 2005

    Hello from back in La Paz. I thought I had successfully sent out the above letter at least a week ago, but when we got back and I checked alas my sis never received it. So I will catch you up on the rest of our trip.

    We saw much more spectacular scenery both in and out of the water. We have been having a great time using our camera in the underwater case and will have Pam add new pictures to the web site when she get back from her summer cruise. We were underway one day and saw whales off in the distance and decided to go check them out. We were able to spend quite a while watching at a fairly close range and were able to identify the pod of 10 as Bryde’s (pronounced Breedahs) averaging around 40/60 ft. At one point we noticed a herd of Dolphin racing towards the Whale’s and watched with fascination when they arrived, the Whale’s went into a wagon wheel formation as the Dolphin jumped and played around them. It was absolutely incredible to watch the symbiotic relationship between the two.

    We spent several days in several anchorages on Isla Carmen, while at the Bahia Salinas ancorage we went to shore and poked around a real live ghost town that was a thriving salt manufacturer where huge old ships would come in to load. We stopped back in Escondido for groceries and more wild water volleyball.

     We arrived back in Agua Verde a couple days later to see 4 boats we knew and decided to get together for evening cocktail hour, they were anchored on one side of the bay and we were on the other. About ˝ say across in our inflatable I saw something fairly large swimming in the water, upon closer inspection it was about a 15’ Whale Shark complete with a pilot fish firmly attached on either side. He was just lazing along and tolerated our closeness for quite awhile, it was a very cool thing to see, he must have been a young'in as I understand they can get as long as 60’!

    Our trip was very enjoyable and being back in La Paz is o.k. too, hitting the pool every afternoon is pretty darn nice. We are now in the process of getting the boat ready to be away from her while we are gone. As this is still hurricane season there is much buttoning up to do.

I will do my best to see as many of you as possible while I am back in WA., however, if I don’t get a chance to see you, please forgive me. Hope everyone is having an excellent Sept.


Hugs from Mexico, Dianna and Bob


Oct. 16, 2005
    Hello friends, Wow, we made it through the hurricane season unscathed, great! It wasn't easy sitting that long and now we are chomping on the bit to leave and head south. The danger of hurricanes isn't really over officially until the end of November, but this season it seems to be ending quite early. The temperature has dropped at least 10 degrees thank goodness and there doesn't seem to be anything forming down south that could give us trouble.
    We left Marina Costa Baja yesterday and came out and anchored in the Mogote just off La Paz, pretty interesting as there is a 2+ knot current that runs through here, the boats that anchor here are known to be well versed in doing the La Paz Waltz. We went ashore and did some provisioning today and will do laundry tomorrow morning and then take off up to the Islands north until the first of Nov. when we will meet folks who were kind enough to drive back with some much needed boat stuff from the states. So, if anyone types us please use our onboard email address:  so we can hear from you before getting  back to civilization and internet again.
    The other big new here is that we have decided to go to the South Pacific. We will plan on spending Xmas in Bara De Navidad and then jump off across the Pacific to the Marquises in mid March from probably Zihuatanejo, Mexico.  Wow, huh...big stuff. I only lament we will be running out of ice in the first 4 days, the crossing should take about 25 even up to 30 days. Hopefully all will go without a hitch....little boat across a big ocean. If I haven't mentioned this before, I couldn't feel more safe on any other boat than I do on this one, the Cape Georges are made to go across the big Oceans.
Hasn't been any other news from here really, that's what happens when your in port too long. We hope to go out now and break those bonds and see some "stuff". I will be reporting on what we see.
Hope all is really wonderful back in the states. Affectionately, Dianna and Bob

November 09, 2005
    Hello everyone and welcome to all those new to the letters of our journey. Speaking of journey's...drum roll please...we are finally underway again. As I said before we spent a welcomed uneventful hurricane season in the Sea of Cortez using La Paz as a home point. After a 5 month hurricane season it is pretty much over, I guess the real end is the end of this month, but everyone feels pretty safe to start moving around again now. We waited for some friends to arrive who had driven back down to La Paz from the states (some cruisers have cars) and brought us back 3 gallons of bottom paint they got on sale, was way cheaper back there than here. We left the anchorage in front of La Paz this morning at 1045 and have been underway for about 20 hours now. The moon is fabulous, a perfect half just like a semi wink. As it began to set it turned a perfect Halloween orange and as if looking straight down at his target sank into the Sea, really beautiful. Also had a Frigate bird try at least a dozen times to light on the top of the mast, as he would get close enough his whole under body (which is White) would light up red, white and green from the reflection of the running lights then he would fade away into the darkness. Bob just woke me for my next watch, it's about 0500 now and it will be light soon, the winds have been light and variable all night. We are very glad to be under way again and leaving The Baja behind. 
    We should be in Mazatlan mid morning on the 11th. Our most recent plan is to be at Marina Mazatlan until early December, I hope to be able to get some much needed painting done on the boat. I can't believe how brutal the tropics are on a boat, especially one that is half wood. I am actually thinking of painting the guard and cape rails, I can hear a few of you gasping that know me and how much I love my bright work.
    It's now 1100 on the 10th, we just had a little hawk figure out after many tries how to land on top of the running lights, he is a very handsome little thing and he is a long way from home, glad we can give him a much needed rest. I also stood out on the sprite for quite awhile watching the florescent antics of a small pod of dolphins playing around the bow, what a show.
    Nov. 11th, 0820 and about an hour outside Mazatlan. I awoke to Mazatlan in sight and Bob telling me our little hawk had just flown towards land.
0925 and we are now sitting tied to a dock at Marina Mazatlan. I will go check us in and hope to get a chance to send and receive emails from the office, you have to pay for computer time here, no free WiFi like La Paz. Then we will start striping everything off the outside of the boat for a good wash down before I get busy prepping for paint. Hope all is well with everyone and many good wishes for the upcoming holidays.
Love, Dianna and Bob

December 10, 2005
    Hello everyone, new and old, at present we are underway heading towards Banderas Bay, home of Puerto Vallarta. About 2 miles off shore, one to three foot swells on the Starboard quarter and unfortunately no wind to speak of so it's been a roller all the way. We should be hanging a left into the Bay in a couple hours and then it will become more comfortable. We will anchor tonight off the little town of La Cruz and then make our way into P.V. tomorrow to check out being hauled out for our bottom paint job.
    We arrived in Mazatlan on November 11th and started right in on the big paint job the next day. Pretty much for the next 21 days straight we worked on the job. Unfortunately it seems as usual we were paying for the sins of the  person who painted the boat before as we realized they hadn't bother to sand the coat underneath first. I can't imagine how you could sleep at night doing that kind of shoddy work. To make a long story short after a tremendous amount of effort the now newly painted house top, sides, coamings an cockpit look almost as if the paint were sprayed on. We also took the opportunity to repaint our nesting dingy, oars and bow sprit.
    We did take time to enjoy the festivities organized by Marina Mazatlan for Thanksgiving, the meal certainly wasn't anything to write home about, but the live music and dancing was really fun and the culminating fireworks, well you just had to be there for a great belly laugh when they set the words that were "supposed" to spell Happy Thanksgiving 2005 off, instead it said Happy Tranksgiving 2005. We love this country and forevermore it will be Tranksgiving to us. We do like Mazatlan for a city, though this time there it was all work and pretty much very little play.
    When we left Mazatlan we decided to go to San Blas about 155 miles south. It has a reputation for demonic no-see-ums so many cruisers tend to pass it by. We had heard pretty positive things about the village and decided to take our chances with the bugs. As it turned out it was an absolutely delightful little village, not for tourism, but a true Mexican town. Due to it's location on the coast it is abundant in sea food, in fact one of the local gringos that has lived there mostly for the past 40 years told us it has been an active fishing port since 1530. We saw a huge humpback breach completely out of the water on the way in. Not only is the village very charming there is also a jungle tour trip up a river our local friend help set up for all of us cruisers interested in going. 
    We were up by 5:00 and caught a taxi out to where the trip begins. We all pilled into one of the pangas and off we went with a local self-made Audubon guide that spoke wonderful English. We saw many new bird species a lot we already knew or a variety of: King fishers, Fly Catchers, Akingas, Tiger Heron, Stork, Blue Heron, Humming Birds, Falcon, Night Heron, Bow Billed Heron, Turkey Vultures, Dove, Green Heron, Cormorant, Oreo, Isibis, Big Billed Fly Catchers, Nut Catchers, Swallows, White Winged Doves, Black Hawk, White Pelicans, Black Phoebe and one of our favorite, the Rosette Spoon Bill. Our guide told us that within  15 square mile during the months of Oct. through April there are 300 variety of birds.  There were also amazing plants, water lily's, Xmas Cactus, Cat tail, huge 1000 year old Cypress trees, 4 dif. kinds of Mangrove, Bromeliad Orchids, Air plants and abundant dif. ferns, of course Philodendrons climbing in almost every tree. We also saw Iguana, turtles and even a crocodile. The guide also pointed out many dif. kinds of nests, the huge termite Condo, wasps, hummingbird and Nut Catchers. 
    The first stop was an area set aside for the purpose of making sure the cockatiel population stays healthy. There were probably twenty huge crocks in cages, they feed them once a week 30% of their body weight, this was also where they collected the money for the tour, ha. Evidently a lot of the Crocodile eggs get crushed by the shear weight of the creatures so the eggs are rescued and incubated in another area. There were also several other cages where the babies were, there seemed to be 100's of them. It was a pretty amazing thing to see.
    Then back in the panga and off we went again to see more birds and amazing sites with one more stop at an artisan spring where some of the group decided to go for a dip, no one was disappointed with the tour. Bob and I spent the afternoon checking out the town and enjoying the town square. There is a great little open market with beautiful fresh fruit and vegetables, juice bars and meat markets. Outside the Market were venders selling buckets of  Prawns (140 pesos for a Kilo, about 13 bucks for over 2 lbs), Octopus, Clams, Oysters and Lobster, and many kinds of fish, Fresh Flowers, Fresh roasted Peanuts and on and on. You could def. eat a very healthy diet here and it is very inexpensive. San Blas got a big thumbs up from us.
    We took off this morning about 6:30 and worked our way through many areas littered with water Lilly's floating every where. We saw a few Whales and at one point slowed way down to see if we could be closer to them. We were patiently waiting when all of a sudden a small Humpback (probably about 50' long) came shooting out of the water only 150' from the boat and then crashed back down, we almost got wet. It was truly an unbelievable siight. 
    Now several hours later we have  turned the corner and are steaming in towards the anchorage at La Cruz another successful voyage. We will also be looking forward to meeting friends here in P.V. who have graciously brought many things down from the states for us, yippee. Hope you are all very well and very happy and getting ready for some holiday cheer. Love, Dianna and Bob

December 23, 2005  Twas the day before Xmas eve...

Hi all and welcome to Chapter 30
As usual we have had to remain flexible with what life throws our way...We arrived in La Cruz December 10th. We were able to arrange for our haul out in Puerto Vallarta the following Tuesday. All went well with the new bottom paint, we actually gave ourselves the gift of hiring it done so we could spend time visiting with our friends Craig and Evie from Seattle. We were back in the water by Thurs. and lucky enough to find a slip at Marina Vallarta for the next 3 nights. Unfortunately I caught a cold and then even more unfortunate it turned into Bronchitis. We went back over to the anchorage in La Cruz and I was hopeful I would start to feel well enough so we could continue south in order to be in Barra De Navidad as planned for Xmas. I was feeling just rotten and Bob finally convinced me to go see a Doctor. As it turned out there was a very good Doctor here in La Cruz and he confirmed my self diagnosis and put me on Amoxicillin, the fee was $15 bucks and he has seen me for one back up visit and I will have another this Mon. with no charge!  We decided it would be a much safer plan to stay put until I feel better so we will be around here until after Xmas.
    There are many planned Xmas Eve and Day meals and there will be no lack of cruiser company as there are probably about 50 boats anchored here at the moment. I am beginning to think there are more and more people cruising every year, 26 years ago there were under 10 boat cruising down the coast of Mexico when I was here then.
    When we went to shore yesterday we noticed there was a bit more wave action than usual, we walked up to a little cafe with a view of the water where we use internet. The waves continued to build and we watched as a crane on a barge that is part of the building process of a new marina here was getting knocked back and forth by probably 15/20 degrees as the boom was slamming back and forth, wow. Eventually the force ended up kinking the boom into a most painful more digging for that rig. After what turned out to be a full day on shore we didn't get back to the dingy till dark. We could see the surge and waves were quite large and even breaking coming into the area where we all  haul our dinghy's out and in the dark it was quite the challenge to make sure we didn't get swamped, but Bob did a lovely job and I was even yelling "Yippee" as we flew up the front side of the wave and down the back.
    The sound of the huge crashing breakers on the beach made it a challenge to sleep last night and I'm feeling a bit wasted today.  The buoy out at Punta Mita at the North end of Banderas Bay is reading 6'/11' swells. One of the cruisers said these waves (there isn't much wind at all) are coming all the way down from weather at the Aleutian Chain, amazing isn't it. Not sure if we will attempt a landing today or not although hour after hour of rolling out here (thank goodness we have rocker stoppers) gets pretty tedious and you just want some terra firma under foot after awhile.
    We continue to meet wonderful people cruising, retired Doctors, Nurses, Architects, Pilots, Choral Directors and all other walks of life. It's a wonderful life style that allows us to all gather and enjoy our common passion with delight and questions of "where are you going next"?
    The phosphorescence here in Banderas Bay is wonderful, so intense at night if you pick up a bucket of water and look inside your eyes are swimming in a dark world surrounded by millions of exploding emeralds surging around you...or like looking down into a brilliant night time sky full of luminescent twinkling green stars.  The bay also seems full of Humpbacks at the moment with daily sightings and wonderful stories of close encounters.
    Bob and I wish for you all a wonderful Holiday full of family, friends, Peace and Cheer.
With much affection to all,  Dianna and Bob

December 26th, as you can see we haven't gotten the chance to get emails out yet. The surf has still been a bit big and taking the lap top to shore not advisable. Also I seemed to of given my initial cold to Bob who has now almost lost his voice and is coughing and snotting around so he has been laying a bit lower than  normal. Our Xmas eve dinner at Philo's was quite an amazing feed if you can imagine 5 turkeys and all the boats who came (maybe 45) brought side dishes. There was no way to taste it all.
    A lot of the cruisers had gathered at Philo's several days before to put a lot of little goodies into gift bags for all the local kids in La Cruz, we ended up with 400 bags. Complete with a Santa all the gifts were given out later on Xmas night. From what we were told the children (from babies in arms and up) were lined way down the streets.
    Yesterday Bob was feeling poorly and elected to stay onboard while a single handing woman Christine and I got on a bus and after one transfer spent Xmas day in Sayulita a quaint little Mexican surfer town on the open ocean side. Today we will spend getting the boat ready to leave early tomorrow morning to continue south in the company of Christine on her Pearson 31. At least we want to make it to Barra by New Years.   
Hey Trish and Beej, Nellie looks quite festive with a lighted Mermaid, way to go for winning first place!
Bill Sullivan, hey, what the heck are you sending down this way anyway??? It's making dingy landing pretty darn interesting. Glad to hear your winter up there in the far north is o.k. this year.
Hi Hobie, your life and plans sound fabulous, much luck with all and of course we will be in touch with you knowing you will be checking your mail as you travel along. We will be very interested to hear how all goes.
Re-welcome to the letters Gale and Eric, the baby pics were too cute. Thanks for staying in touch.
Tom and Maggie, had a terrific laugh this morn looking back at the pics you sent when I realized the other couple in the mud pack pic was Warren and Stephanie. As a matter of fact, they just emailed us. Your letter was really, really wonderfully written Tom. All the info is getting tucked away for later use of course. Thanks for painting such a tropically romantic picture. As always you are oh so loved and missed. Hope you enjoyed the Winkie picture!
Lizzie and Sal, hope you two are having a wonderful Xmas holiday there with all the pets and roos and such down under. Hey, we're eating shrimp on the barbie here too.
S.Q., missing you my sweet.
Shelly and Jody, so cool Jody got the new engine in and it's up and running and all is good in the world again. Loved the picture you painted of yourself Shelly as the dough boy, I think I can imagine that. Must be kinda nice having more authentic Xmas weather. I'm really getting sick of these 80 degree days with palm trees swaying...NOT! Thanks for staying in touch. Miss you
Welcome to the letter Ned. Thanks for the note.
Merry Xmas Aaron, Julie and kitty.
Hi Pamela and Cliff, I remain a delinquent for not pulling pictures to post together yet, always an excuse.  
And to all a Good Night :)

December 28, 2005 Whale Tails and Scrawny Necked Kids
    Day two after leaving the anchorage from La Cruz heading to points south.  Being underway again I am reminded of how the constant movement visually and under foot reminds me so much more than when I am on Terra Firma of how much we are all apart of this living breathing planet and how much we are all responsible for taking care of her. One of the many good things about cruising is the low impact lifestyle. I am already starting to prepare myself mentally for our crossing to the Marquesas, what we will need and not need. Garbage is a big problem especially when you arrive in these beautiful pristine Islands...there is no where to get rid of garbage. So, all these convenient little tetra pack juices we are now drinking we will have to be rethinking and a lot more.
    What a lovely day we had, once again way more whales than we could count.  Looking out and seeing a Whale breaching is common place, or seeing a huge tail slowly sinking into the depths. This afternoon I watched as a whale slammed his big flukes down into the water 23 times in a row. Hey, can someone do some internet research and let me know why they do that? Is it to stun their prey or are they just doing their daily aerobics? These are humpbacks we have been seeing. 
    Then there are the turtles/tortuga...Bob still enjoys calling them speed bumps. More than once today I would see their little faces looking at me from maybe 100' away and thinking, hey, is that a mermaid? Then realizing it's a turtle sticking his head and neck out of his shell to see what all the noise is. It reminded me of a scrawny necked little kid looking up to see if anyone is watching as he is up to some sort of mischief.
    We dropped the hook in Chamela tonight relieved to have gotten here just before dark. Coming into an anchorage in the dark is never a desired move, even if you have been here before. Our new friend Christine on Island Girl a Pearson 31 has been doing a fabulous job on her own. It is so awesome to see single handing woman out here living their dreams.
    We made the decision to stay one day and another night here so we can go check things out a bit, it's a wonderful bay with a few more anchorages and a delightful little village with many little palapa canteenas on the beach just waiting to serve you with cold beer or margaritas and local seafood. Wish you could all come down here and share a meal with us!
    We will leave for Barra De Navidad Friday the 30 so we can be there in time to celebrate with friends already at anchor in the lagoon... if you don't remember, this is where we first saw the Pink Rosette Spoon Bills.
    O.K., time for some chow, hope all are very happy and ready to bring in a wonderful New Year.

Love to all, Dianna and Bob


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