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Pam and I loaded up the cat’s dishes with food and water, trundled the dogs into the truck, and set out for Mexico on a Tuesday morning. It’s the perfect time to be on the road, after the morning rush hour has died down.

The last time I was there, the police had a small area of the main drag cordoned off, forcing an additional detour, and now I know why.

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Whaddya think of Puerto Penasco’s newest monument? I kinda like its life-like size, color and relative modesty, when compared to the shrimper’s monument over at the malecon.

Shrimper's monument

Ride ’em, cowboy!

A quick stop at Marina Fonatur was needed, to update the Mexican government on my liability insurance. It seems the policy that Allstate had sold me was misinterpreted by the agent to mean I was covered when I was within 90 miles of the US or Canadian borders, but when I read the actual policy, it said “shores”. That won’t cut it, and I had to cancel the policy and shop elsewhere. Allstate still gets a whopping bit of our business.

Let’s get to the boat!

Rather than create a muddy mess by washing the boat on the hard, I had Salvador put Sovereign into the water right away, and Pam and I horsed her into the first available slip. Bird poop, dust and detritus from the shipyard next door were scrubbed and rinsed away, and then it was time to get some dinner. As we had Koki and Ziggy with us, we chose a place that would allow perros inside their establishment. No problemo.

While we dined, a young man with a bucket and rags took pity on my filthy little truck and washed it. I gave him some pesos for his trouble, thanking him. It’s the first time the vehicle has ever been washed since I bought it in 2002!
Priorities, priorities. 😉

A quiet, albeit slightly expensive night was spent in Safe Marina, at a dollar per foot of boat length. In March, the rates at Marina Fonatur are going up 50%, from 4 pesos per foot, to 6. The exchange rate is still around 12-13 pesos per dollar, a no-brainer.

Day 2-

After a leisurely breakfast of scrambled eggs, vegetables and fried potatoes on the docks, it was time to put out.

Ten to fifteen MPH winds are forecast for today, so I prepped for reefing the mainsail there in the slip. Glad I did, too. The swells were about 3-4 feet, and when coupled with the current (or against the current, I should note), Sovereign was almost bashing along like she did back in January.

Pam had felt somewhat queasy that last time, but managed to suppress her stomach and inner ear.
Perhaps because the sea-state wasn’t quite as intimidating this time, she twice tossed her cookies. Well, she lasted a few hours, anyway.
I guess that’s enough sailing for today, and we headed back into port. When we get a bigger, heavier boat, it’ll take bigger, heavier seas to get the same result, right?

There was a big ‘ol dive boat being worked on at Fonatur, and thankfully the wind was blowing the right way during our stay. The workers were grinding down and laying up new fiberglass all over her, and a good bit of carpentry was being done.
What an itchy situation that could have been.

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A short walk up the road we found the only fishmonger still open for business, and paid more than usual for our dinner/breakfast of shrimp. That’s what you get when a monopoly exists, eh?

Ziggy could not allow any of the pelicans or gulls to get anywhere near the docks, and pretty much ran herself to death performing her job as dock patrol.

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She was well-received by our dockmates, keeping the pelican poop down to manageable levels.

Another quiet weeknight was spent tied up in a slip. It’s supposed to be calmer sailing tomorrow.

Day 3-

Finished off the last of the shrimp for breakfast, cleaned up, and got out slightly earlier than yesterday.

Excellent conditions, maybe 5-8 kts of wind, and I shook out the reef from the mainsail. I was finally able to try out my newest toy, the Bad Elf GPS.

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It plugs right into my iPad 2, and when coupled with an app such as Transas’ iSailor, you’ve got yourself a reasonable facsimile of a chartplotter (not to be used for navigational purposes). It’s a bit hard to read the iPad’s screen in bright sunlight, however, and I’ve only scratched the surface of iSailor’s capabilities so far.

We learned from one of our dockmates that we were too close to shore to see any whales yesterday, so I sailed WSW today. Still no whales, but we found a small herd of sea lions lollygagging about 3-4 miles out.
Like the whales, we heard them before we saw them.

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At first, we couldn’t figure out what the heck they were, what with their flippers and fins sticking up like that. Sharks, feasting on a carcase?
When we sailed closer, it became apparent what we were seeing.

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They followed us briefly, hoping to get a handout, I suppose.

Slowly the winds died off, I struck the noisy sails, and set up a boom tent to give us all some sorely needed shade. It’s the calm before the storm, as tomorrow the forecast is calling for 20-30 MPH winds.

A slight breeze returned, enough to allow me to unfurl my big genoa, and we slowly moved back towards port at a blistering 0.5 to 1 knot SOG (Speed Over Ground).
Quite the contrast from yesterday.

Back at Fonatur, we took a walk with the dogs on over to the malecon, and dined al fresco at the Blue Marlin. We keep coming back here, and not just for the food. Sometimes it’s a forgotten camera, and this time Pam had left her jacket behind. D’oh!
Met a couple of Tucsonans who know this town much better than we, and they gave us some recommendations, one of which is sure to get me into some trouble; The Tequila Factory.

Completely sated, Pam and I lumbered on back to the marina for our last night aboard Sovereign.

Day 4-

Dang, I’m runnin’ out of coffee grounds, and the pot I brewed up was weak and boring, almost like that colored hot water you find at restaurants. We skipped breakfast, planning on hitting this great little chicken place for lunch on our way out of town.
Pam drove the truck while I motored the boat back over to Safe Marina, and hauled out.

Flushed out the motor, buttoned up the boat, paid off our debts and hit the road by around 1100 hours.

For about 70 pesos, plus tip, you can have half a roasted chicken, 6 corn or flour tortillas, some delicious pickled onions, shredded lettuce and salsa. It’s more than enough for two, and it carried us all the way back to Tucson. *burp*

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