April 2014 – Carol’s logs – Tahiti and Sea of Cortez

Dear Readers,

A sailing holiday is a perfect way to mark a special event in your lives.  We celebrated our 25th anniversary on a flotilla in Greece, and it was the start of our passion for sailing in exotic places. That boat was only 29 feet, but a lot more than our Pearson 26!  We were the only Americans and everyone thought we must be very extravagant because we had the boat to ourselves, unlike the rest of the flotilla of Europeans who packed their boats like sardines.  What a great time we had exploring those beautiful Ionian Islands.  Times have changed, and so have charter boats, but we still strive to mark those important milestones in our lives, as well as fulfill long-time dreams.  KYC has several spectacular trips for you, so read on and make a plan to sail with us!  Or, let US book your next private charter – we are sure to have some great tips for your choice of sailing location.

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Tahiti

From Carol’s log book: “Monday, June 18.  We had excellent snorkeling near the reef and then a drift/swim back to boat – Solander’s (or spotted) toby, Picasso triggerfish, blue-stripe cleaner wrasse, colorful Achilles tangs and huge parrot fish.  It’s always fun after a snorkel to identify the fish we’ve seen; we had several reference books/charts among us.  So with Hinano (that’s the local beer) in hand, we found Pacific double-saddled butterfly fish , thread-finned butterfly fish as well as redfins and vagabonds; a black saddle grouper that was 17 12/”, crown squirrelfish with dramatic red stripes,  2 sharks, and giant sea clams in a rainbow of colors.

 

Just opposite our lunchtime anchorage are motus with a tiny cut between them.  We can see white water breaking on the outer reef where the breeze is whipping up, while we are sitting in a perfect anchorage of calm water overlooking clusters of palms on a sandy isle drenched in sun.  As a self-confessed ‘foodie’ I am tempted to describe all the scrumptious creations by our cook Virginie on our crewed charter in French Polynesia. But I’ll restrain myself with just one – a lunch of seared swordfish tartare with sesame seeds and sashimi soy sauce, a green salad with grapefruit garnish, tabouli salad with basil and raisins.  Dessert was coconut ice on mango couli.  And, of course, a little white wine.

In the cool of the afternoon we needed a good walk, so took off to explore near Tiputo Pass and watch the divers “shooting the pass.”  Later we rendezvoused at the Kia Ora hotel with the Lowes and Magills for some exotic libations.  I had a deliciously refreshing drink called a Rangiroa Dream (lime juice, tonic, and mint syrup).”

While writing this I was curious about the relationship between “under way / underway” AND “weighing anchor.”  Here’s what Wikipedia says:  ‘Underway’ or ‘under  way’ is a nautical term describing the state of a vessel.  A vessel is underway if it meets the following criteria:  1) it is not aground; 2) it is not at anchor; and 3) it has not been made fast to a dock, the shore, or other stationary object!  ‘Weigh anchor’ is a nautical term indicating the final preparation of a sea vessel for getting underway.  Weighinganchor literally means raising the anchor of the vessel from the sea floor and pulling it up to the side of the vessel after the engines have been brought up to operating power.”  We’ll weigh anchor soon for our 2-day passage from Rangiroa to Huahine.  The adventure continues! ”

Oh yes, we will be doing another Tahiti charter on crewed catamarans in June 2014 – why not join us.  For more information go to: http://sailingcharters.com/tours/tahiti-2/

 

Sea of Cortez

From Carol’s log book:

“Tuesday, February 12

It’s a typical gray morning to start and the wind is up.  We are snug at anchor in front of the fishing village of San Evaristo.  There is a fishing co-op in this harbor where trucks from La Paz pick up the day’s catch.  Easy to spot the desalination plant to the right on shore where, we’re told, one could buy some ice, a total rarity in the Sea of Cortez.  There is a new small bar/restaurant way on the left (another rarity!), but all is empty because the people have gone to La Paz for the Fiesta.

Our local skipper Jim spoke with a cruising buddy anchored on the other side of the bay; he reported an oncoming northerly of 30kts, so we’ll change our plans which had been to sail to the north end of San Jose, hoping to see whales.  BUT with the winds building, Jim suggests heading south past Isla San Francisco, briefs the boats to reef, and head to Ensenada Cardonal, a deeply cut anchorage with good protection.  24°33N  110°23.2W

We scream down the channel wing-on-wing– who knows what the wind is – whooo-eeeee!!! 10.2kts as we surf down a wave!  Our boat speed stays mostly in the 8-9 knot range, but we even hit a momentary 11knots!  What a ride.  Mark, Peter and Jim are trying to get better control on a broad reach.  The main already has one reef in; I think they’re trying to reef the jib also.  I decide to join Marcia below as we hold on tight amid the din of pots crashing and dinnerware banging in the cubbies; at least all the latches hold and we don’t have silverware all over the floor.

We reached Cardonal (named for the cardon cactus) at 1.45 having sailed 28-30 nm.  It was quite a sail with other boats reporting wind of 27kts.

 

After lunch Mark, Peter and I decided to climb up to the caves on the left of the bay while Marcia stayed behind to work on her amazing bead-weaving creation. (Check out her website www.marciadecoster.com to see her extraordinary work.)  We dinghied to a sandy beach to the right of the fish traps.  As there is no discernible path, we scrambled up on all fours over ever-moving loose scree, low plants, and some secure red rock.  It was really hard going up steep 100++ft.  AND we were in our winter jackets!  You had to find 2 secure footholds before making any move at all.  Test the ground; be sure it was stable before putting weight on your feet.  Up to the cave mouth – wide open – about 25’ deep and across inside, with some graffiti on the walls.  There was a stone “altar” at the back; Peter tried to convince us it was for “human sacrifice.” Interestingly, there were lots of shells all the way up the hill.  Fishermen must have camped there, eaten the shellfish and thrown the shells down the hill. Maybe birds, too, added to the shell debris and a high sea level in ancient times left its mark.  From the cave we had a perfect view of the bay, our boats, and immediately below the old fish traps, double stone walls in an arc about100 ft. across, with a reverse arc set just beyond.  The fish swam in at high tide and were then trapped inside as the tide ebbed.  We could see other traps in mid-bay shallows, but they had deteriorated more.

It was a great afternoon excursion, but I expect we’ll probably feel some major aches after such an exertion.”

If you would like to know more about this extraordinarily beautiful sailing area or to book your charter, just email KYC at info@sailingcharters.com.

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