Yet another photo dump.

Guys. Why are you even still reading our blog? It’s turning into the worst kind of slideshow-of-our-vacation rant! Lots of action coming up soon, as we wrap up our trip, but for now, just photos of beautiful places.

Dolphins passing us by.

Dolphins passing us by.

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Your basic morning dolphin visit.

Your basic morning dolphin visit.

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View from Honeymoon Bay.

View from Honeymoon Bay.

Do not use the rock as a bathroom!!

Do not use the rock as a bathroom!!

Our girl at anchor

Our girl at anchor

The Butt Cactus. It was a steep descent on this trail, and our friend Maeve slid into this pointy plant, butt-first.

The Butt Cactus. It was a steep descent on this trail, and our friend Maeve slid into this pointy plant, butt-first.

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Beach potluck at Puerto Ballandra

Beach potluck at Puerto Ballandra

Cruising kids!

Cruising kids!

 

Cruiser's shrine at San Juanico

Cruiser’s shrine at San Juanico

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We enjoyed finally meeting up with S/V Galapagos, after messaging Melissa for years.

We enjoyed finally meeting up with S/V Galapagos, after messaging Melissa for years.

View from the water at Playa Burro

View from the water at Playa Burro

Underside of the thatched roof

Underside of the thatched roof

Mamas and beers

Mamas and beers

One of the "bell rocks" up in the hills around Playa Burro; the high iron content makes the solid rocks resonate like a bell

One of the “bell rocks” up in the hills around Playa Burro; the high iron content makes the solid rocks resonate like a bell

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The bees have found us!

*Remember–Milou is for sale; read all about it here!*

For the most part, our time in Baja has been pretty insect-free. We’ve been pestered by little non-biting flies called “bobos” a couple of times, but haven’t seen more than a handful of mosquitoes. That’s all over now.

The bees in Baja are legendary. They have a hard time finding water in the desert, so they’ve adopted a strategy to seek out any small source. Drip in your faucet? They’re on it. Wet swimsuit, rinsed in fresh water? You bet.

The solar shower on the stern. Find the leak!

The solar shower on the stern. Find the leak!

Early in our trip, we weren’t so awesome at keeping the bugs out. We’ve got screens for most of our hatches, but the companionway was regularly swarmed with mosquitoes, and we kept it closed and often draped with towels to protect ourselves. That doesn’t work in hot places–we need the air circulation; so we’ve stolen a genius idea from an Ovni we met in Jamaica, and draped the companionway with a hanging bug net.DSCF4289 (1)

It’s a little bit of a hassle getting in and out of the boat, but we can wash our dishes without fear of getting stung.

Mornings

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*Remember–Milou is for sale; read all about it here!*

Ensenada Grande, Espiritu Santo

The water is still, and I can see every grain of sand on the bottom through the emerald-turquoise waters levitating our boat. A couple dozen pufferfish amble by, awkwardly propelling their boxy bodies with too-small fins. I take a sip of coffee and a bite of banana bread smothered in hazelnut-chocolate butter and lean back on the princess seat in the stern of the boat. Everyone else is sleeping, from my family down below to the four huge catamarans sharing the bay. A huge eel of some kind darts along the bottom.DSC_0838

View from the top of the arroyo hiking trail at Ensenada Grande

View from the top of the arroyo hiking trail at Ensenada Grande

"Mom, that hiking trail sucked. I'm not whining, that's just a fact."

“Mom, that hiking trail sucked. I’m not whining, that’s just a fact.”

Confirmed.

Confirmed.

Private beach off our bow

Private beach off our bow

San Evaristo

Agave in Seussian bloom

Agave in Seussian bloom

The roosters have been up for a while in this small fishing village, and pangas have been launching from the beach, loaded down with nets and gear. The sun hits the Sierra de la Gigantas behind the village long before the light makes it to the water, setting them on fire with pinks and golds. Our boat is surrounded by thousands of ballyhoo, occasionally leaping out in shoals to evade some leviathan hunting for breakfast. Our neighbor, in a sweet little Lyle Hess boat, laughs out loud at the fish and gives an enthusiastic morning wave hello.

San Marte

It’s our second visit here, and the second time we’ve gotten to swim with the resident school of manta rays. This time, there’s a spotted eagle ray interloping. They leap for glory, or sport, or possibly to kill parisites. Let’s say glory. We are the only boat here—just our family, on our little island of a sailboat.DSC_0943

Eagle ray next to the boat, outlined against the pacific manta rays

Eagle ray next to the boat, outlined against the pacific manta rays

Man, I’m going to miss this.

There are certain things that you only get to experience from a boat. Some of the things are not awesome (let’s just say, waves against current, and leave the topic); but some are jaw-droopingly beautiful. On a boat, morning people are richly rewarded. Three mornings in a row, but three very different mornings. How are we going to go back to a routine?DSCF4273

Cost to Cruise: April, 2018

*Remember–Milou is for sale; read all about it here!*

Boilerplate disclaimer: this is not what it will cost you to go cruising.

We're not the only ones looking to avoid the bash north from Baja; these boats are being loaded onto a freighter for their trip to California and points north. Another cruiser we met said her costs to ship the boat to Vancouver were about the same as hiring a delivery crew, minus the wear and tear on her boat.

We’re not the only ones looking to avoid the bash north from Baja; these boats are being loaded onto a freighter for their trip to California and points north. Another cruiser we met said her costs to ship the boat to Vancouver from La Paz were about the same as hiring a delivery crew, minus the wear and tear on her boat.

People’s constant advice, discussing cruising finances, always seems to be: It’ll cost what you have. We did not find this helpful in our planning, however true it may be. What we’re trying to show is the cost to us, more or less, for one month to go cruising. We’re going for monthly expenses, because they’re easier for us to track; so you won’t see the boat insurance amortized, you’ll just see that expense when we pay it. It won’t be what you’ll spend, but it was the kind of information that helped us out when we were trying to wrap our heads around that magical number for our cruising kitty.

Cheapest. Month. Ever. Clearly, we do well when we’re in the middle of nowhere. We’re also trying to use up what we have; pretty sure we have enough TP to last us through the end of our journey, so that’s one major expense covered. Numbers for April:

Marinas: $291.44
Grocery: $352.21
Restaurant: $246.22
Supplies: $47.28
Booze: $18.68
Laundry: $33.76
Communications: $152.44
Fuel: $84.90, diesel
Ice Cream: $21.63
Transportation: $94.39
Water: $23.59
Boat Parts: $34.30
Entertainment: $38
Boat Sales: $95
Dentist: $32.93
Grand Total: $1566.77

A few notes on the outliers:

  • Transportation numbers reflect a car rental in Puerto Escondido, and some pretty pricy cab rides. We don’t use Uber, for a variety of reasons, but it’s the cheaper choice in La Paz.
  • We’ve been trying to sell the boat, but maybe not as hard as we could be. The $95 is from our Latitude 38 ad, which we expected to yield a lot more love. Craigslist has gotten us more responses, and it’s free—but they’re not exactly the responses we were hoping for. And just to be clear: we do not want to trade the boat for a car, even if it is a BMW. Sorry, Craigslist Dude.
  • Entertainment included a trip to see the new Avengers movie, of course; also, the $20 to get bodice-ripper Kindle ads off T’s new device.
  • T had a wicked cavity in a baby canine. Excellent, timely, professional care for about $30.

Just to make sure you continue to be jealous…

Swimming with Pacific Manta Rays

Swimming with Pacific Manta Rays