Gato Loco New Years Trip 2002-2003
Happy New Year to All from the crew of Gato Loco..
Gato Loco is on the move for New Years. She has been setting in La Paz since Nov 13th when Bill, Carlton and Jake had an intense sail from Cabo San Lucas to La Paz . Bill will give us that story someday…
Our loose itinerary is:
Sat/Sun 28-29 sail to Cabo (Frankie, Rick and I)
Mon-Thur 30-2 hang in Cabo and enjoy the New Years atmosphere (Dave, Ellen and Eric will join us)
Fri-Tue 3-7 return to La Paz (Frankie and I will sail Gato Loco back)
Rick, Frankie and I will be flying to La Paz tomorrow and get Gato Loco ready for a Saturday departure for Cabo (weather permitting). We land in San Jose De Cabo around 1 PM and hope to be in La Paz with a few daylight hours to get the boat cleaned up since she will have 6 weeks of marine grim… We won’t see much of La Paz on the front side of the trip but Frankie and I hope to return with a full day of site seeing before flying home.
Here’s a link to a Baja map. You can click on La Paz and Cabo to read more details about these cities..
We have the sat phone again so you will probably be getting email during the trip. If you send us email keep it short and don’t use Reply to avoid sending our words back to us…
Until the next update..
11/27/02 08:43 PM
The trip to the boat went as expected when traveling in Mexico. Rick arrived in Phx from Alb via Southwest airlines instead of America West only to find out America West dumped his itinerary since he didn’t take the first leg with them. He ended up on a flight before use instead of with us. Arriving at the San Jose de Cabo airport we found there was no shuttle to La Paz! A taxi ride to the bus station, bus ride to Cabo then La Paz and then a taxi ride from La Paz bus station to marina Palmira and we made it. Took 4 hours when we planned on 2 1/2 but hay it’s Mexico. Rick only beat us by 15min. We had a fast bus driver…
It was our first time in La Paz and marina Palmira. Marina is very nice and we’ve seen a few friends that we meet on the Haha. Frankie was especially excited to see Maxine the golden and of course her master Jane.
Rick’s friends Bob and Cindy from Dallas are joining us for the sail to Cabo. Typical first night in Mexico; too much food and sprits slowed us down on our departure this morning. Frankie, Bob and Cindy found a friendly cab driver this morning that took them grocery shopping and the fish market so we are well provisioned. finally made way at 10.
Wind conditions have been heavy for the past week holding many boats waiting for weather window. We were happy to see them leave this morning. The radio net said that the northerns would back off today. Winds were 16-18 as we motored north into the wind to make the point as we turn east and then south to Cabo. It’s now 2PM and winds have lightened to 8kts as we reach to the channel off Isla Cerralvo.
We were hoping to make it to Frailes today but with the lighter wind it’s not likely unless we do some night sailing. Light winds and seas are still pretty big so everybody’s is bouncing around on the boat (no sea legs yet).
Nav light as we round the point to head east out of La Paz.
Wind came up as we entered the channel off Isla Cerralvo. 25kts slighty off our stern, spinnaker up doing 10-13kts. Rick steered the leg and was hooting with excitement.
Weather is great with winds backing to 12kts so we decided to night sail to Frailes to make leg into Cabo easier tomorrow. ETA about 12:30AM. Everybody sleeping at the moment except me. New moon and great stars. Surprised how many shore lights along the coast.
11/29/02 06:09 PM
We made it to Frailies anchorage at 12:30 AM as expected. 5 or 6 boats anchored and the beach was full with Mexican fishing camp. Sunday morning we departed at 7 AM along with 30 panga fishing boats. Area is a underwater marine park with live reef and wreck to dive. We will have to return and explore area someday. Winds were light until noon then built from the southeast. As we approached the cape pacific winds slowly prevailed and built to 20kts out of the southwest. The last 8 miles were beating hard to weather as we tried to catch a local 40′ tourist cat. The protection of the Cabo harbor was well appreciated as we pulled in around 4 PM. The long day on Saturday paid off getting us in early.
Dave, Eric and Ellen’s trip to Cabo went about like ours. Their plane was delayed by mechanical and then they took a large bus instead of a small shuttle at the Cabo airport. As you might guess the bus stopped at about a hundred places before dropping them off at the marina 2 hours later.
Winds continued to blow as we retired for the night but we woke up to a beautiful sunny day today. Frankie and I had breakfast at a waterfront cafe overlooking the marina. Temp was very warm. We had a problem with checking in with immigrations, marina Palmira in La Paz forgot Cindy’s visa in their copy machine so "problema" at check-in… No problema.. Palmira faxed a copy and the sent the original with someone driving by car. We had it by mid afternoon. Great people!!
Mid-day we took Ellen’s father and step mother sailing up the pacific cape side for a few hours then back to the arched cape point. Winds at 18kts from the southeast and swells from two directions (the cape effect). We’re having a relaxing cocktail hour watching marine traffic. Our water taxi friends from last trip have all stopped by to say hello and Miguel is still wanting a Gato Loco tee-shirt. The big tourist cat just headed out with 40+ on board. Just what you need Brian and Heather.
Until Next Update…
Gato Loco Crew
01/02/03 09:10 PM
Yes we survived New Years!! Weather was in the 70’s New Years eve and town was hopping. Frankie and I went to Squid Row and Dave, Eric and Ellen went out with Ellen’s father. Rick, Bob and Cindy were going to join us at the Squid but arrived late and found the line to get in was too long so they didn’t make it. Frankie and I had a great time and since dinner and drinks were on the house with the entry price we had our share both. At mid night we helped launch a small hot air balloon from near our table on the 2nd floor and they had fireworks staged around the restaurant (Yes, squid row is open air with no roof). Town was still going strong at 2 AM as we made our way back to the boat.
New Years day we were all very layed back in recovery mode. In the afternoon we regained strength and went sailing. Actually the recovery continued as everybody was napping as we sailed. Winds were light and seas flat making for a nice relaxing afternoon.
Today we are readying Gato Loco for the trip back to La Paz. Weather remains good and I plan on visiting the Internet cafe to check weather details later today. We will be off early tomorrow (Friday). Rick, Dave, Ellen and Eric will be flying later tomorrow.
I’ve lost my camera cable to add new pictures to email somewhere on the boat (looked for 2 days). Here’s a recent pic!
Rick on Gato Loco New Years eve…
Next email will be in route as Frankie and I make our way back to La Paz.
Until the next update and hopefully I’ll find my cable….
11/29/02 06:09 PM
Frankie and I had our first day dual handing Gato Loco. We said goodbye to Rick and the Reddens at 9 AM.
What a day of sailing!!
We motored past 3 huge cruise ships as we exited the harbor. Winds built from S-SE quickly at 18kts and seas got big. We still had the spinnaker on the bow (oops) so Frankie got her first tethered bow soaking as she went forward to retrieve it. She came back pretty wet but was all smiles. I think she likes this responsible crew action (sorry no photo). The quick weather make both of us think of Bill’s fight with the northerns but amazingly seas quickly flattened as we headed north and the wind lightened. We were able to keep the full mail sail and set jib and screacher and make 7.5kts right on our desired heading.
Well that didn’t last long… After about a hour winds lighten and clocked to N-E so motors on to keep the progress. We had lunch motoring and making good progress. As we finished we noticed whitecaps rolling in from the north out a couple miles. We decided to reef the mainsail as a precaution and practice (2nd reef). Crew Frankie back on the tether and up on the cabin deck to set the reefing eye… That turned out to be a great move as the wind quickly built to 18-20kts from N-NE. Damn north winds… with 2nd reef main and jib we were able to make good speed but now we’re tacking with the wind on our nose and we have 20 miles of the 46 remaining. Gato Loco handling well even with an occasional wave breaking on bow and completely covering the salon windows and washing back in to steering stations. As we clocked around the cape and headed north so did the wind. Each tack out to open water waves grew big but when we tacked toward shore we got some relief.
Next problem.. Fender pockets on bow pulpit come free and dump fenders unattached on bow.. You guessed it.. Frankie back on the tether and forward to rescue the fenders.. She was so excited about the action that she forgot to remove her hat before going forward. It’s history..
After short tacking to stay closer to shore we finally decided we liked the smaller seas so we dropped sails and made a motored run for Frailes with about 8 miles remaining. This probably saved us an hour or 2 of beating and we made anchorage at 6:30 with just enough light to make anchoring easier.
Sorry about being a little wordy but it was a big day for the two of us.
01/04/03 09:23 PM
A photo of beach at the Los Frailes anchorage taken on the way down to Cabo… Camera cable still mia..
Speaking of going down wind. We’re appreciating the simple life of going down wind. Today was another day sailing with the wind on our nose. Our route was 52 miles but for us to sail it we tacked 12 times and covered 74 miles. Our average speed was 6.7 kts and our max speed was 10.1kts (yes to weather!). We found two sweet shore lifts (wind shifting to improve boat heading).
All in all it was a great day. Wind was blowing 18kts as we rounded the point at Frailes and held constant then increased to 20-22kts in the afternoon. Seas were 4-6ft which was fairly comfortable with minimal pounding. We sailed at 7-8kts all day with some hot spots occasionally that gave us some good runs. We started with the mainsail double reefed but with the steady wind we moved to full sail while in the lee of shore at 10:30. The full main gave us an additional 2kts. Apparent wind maxed out at 27kts around 4 PM (probably when we hit 10.1kts). Gato Loco handled well in these winds and seas although reefing was heavy on my mind in the afternoon while I held the main sheet ready and kept the boat tight to the wind as winds cracked up.. We made it to Los Muertos anchorage about 6:30. Wind is still up at 9.. We were hoping that it would back down as they forecasted on the Ham net… We will decide early tomorrow weather we will attempt Cerravo channel. Bill’s experience was that today’s leg was the toughest when he sailed the northerns in Nov. Seas are much smaller for us.. Although there were 5 other boats in Los Fariles and it didn’t appear they were going anywhere as we left.
Los Muertos named after deadman anchors set in the bay decades ago for mining operations lays at:
Winds still at 12kts..
Until the next update.
01/05/03 09:36 AM
Well the ham net boys called it perfectly. They forecasted the northern winds would stop Saturday. We went to bed with the winds blowing and woke up with light winds. Seas were calmer as we motored out of Muertos this morning. No pictures again today but I have a chart 🙂 as a substitute. We started in lower right and purple route was 54 nautical miles. Yellow is us. Winds built from the west and then clocked to the north and then quit about 1 PM. You can see where we did our last tack and dropped sails and motored to La Paz. We had more fun the past two days with the windy conditions but it was good to go through the channel with calmer conditions. We both actually took naps today!! They can’t all be adrenalin pumping days.. Frankie took the down time to write her take on her first day from Cabo.. Enjoy.. Read email part2.
See email part 2..
01/05/03 09:36 AM
We’re in La Paz (part2)
This is day 3 of the journey.
But lets go back to day one because Lowell wrote about the day from his point of view. This is mine.!!
Left Cabo around 9:00. Said goodbye to Rick,Dave, Ellen and Eric but in the back of my mind I was thinking "Last Seen Wearing". The first job for me ( the crew) was to get fenders stored back in bags. Success, that was my job when Lowell and I had Bueno Day (our first boat other than Hobies). Next was dock lines ,its getting windy and a lot of spray off the water. Oh I don’t like salt water or being cold but I managed to put lines back in the compartment. Next job was tacking the jib. It was white capping with a lot of wind blowing about 18 kts. I got the sheet on the winch to bring in the jib while doing that I got totally wet. Oh boy there went my hair and shower that morning. Now down to business. Put the hat on and go for it. Next thing the spinnaker and bag was still on the bow with waves and water running over it flopping up and down. Oh that’s my job. So harness up and tether to the boat. For those folks that don’t understand boat lingo that means if I fall off I will still be dangling attached to the boat. I was still on board ,wet but I got spinnaker bag to safety. Meanwhile Lowell was looking ahead and notice white caps so decided to reef the main. I’m up again. Harnessed up and tethered making my way to the mast to reef the main with choppy waters and big swells. Bingo I’m wet again. The next thing that comes up was the fender bags Velcro comes loose bags still attached but fenders look like they are coming out. You guessed it .I’m up again. Put harness on and tether the line while working my way to the bow of boat. I LOST my favorite hat to the wind gods but a good crew just keeps on going! Retrieved the three fenders while getting flopped around and totally wet.
The boat seems to handle the high seas and I feel in good hands with a good skipper . It’s a lot fun and exciting in these conditions. It brings back memories of our old racing days. With the guys on board I just sit back and relax and let them take over. So this journey is good for me to know how to handle the boat.
Todo y todo el dia primera excelente en Gato Loco!!!!!!
I’m proud of her!!!!
We made it to Marina De La Paz (Gato Loco’s new home) about 5:30. We were greeted by Seawind 1000 owners that we meet at the Haha. Looks like a nice place. Will explore more tomorrow.
Until the next update… Lowell & Frankie…
01/07/03 09:51 PM
Our last day..
Gato Loco’s new home for the spring is Marina De La Paz. This is primarily a sailboat marina which has a long history as the cruising center for the La Paz area. There are probably 50 sailboats anchored just outside the marina in the bay and most use the marina dingy dock as their landing point to La Paz. Gato Loco is in slip 133 which is on a large dock with 3 other multihulls. There is a 35′ Tri in front of us, a Corsair 3600 36′ cat and Cantana 43′ cat across from us.. Rates are very reasonable at $393/m including power and cable TV. Everyone seems friendly and helpful.. skipper of tri was catching our dock lines when we arrive Sunday night. See more details at www.marinadelapaz.com
We spent time talking with the other Seawind owners yesterday (Kat Kan Du). They have had their boat for 5 years and have customized it to the max. Frankie was very impressed with provision organization. They are readying the boat for a cruise to Pt. Vallarta area and then plan on returning to the marina in a few months. Also just installed a screacher (big head sail) for the trip (don’t have a spinnaker which we consider a very important sail). Their ready to sail north with us in the future.
Today’s our last day in La Paz. We woke up to rain and it rained all day. We finally braved the weather early afternoon and went site-seeing in the rain. I guess we will have to close the boat up in the rain. We will be doing the taxi, bus, taxi, AmericaWest trip back to Phx tomorrow. We hope to make two more trips before early April. Rick is going to try to bring his father down in the near future so Gato Loco won’t get lonely..
I guess this closes another adventure… Until the next one…
The Gato Loco Crew..
Below are photos taken during the trip. Click on small picture to enlarge it.