About Us

Welcome to our blog, describing our voyage aboard Bravo, a Kelly Peterson 46 sailboat with homeport in Seattle, Washington. We headed south in 2010, destined for Mexico and beyond. Cheers, Adam and Cindi


"As for me, I am tormented by an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts." -Herman Melville, 1844


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

ooooooh......La........La....!!!


http://elbombon.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/circo_still1.jpg

La Paz to La Cruz, that is...

But first...the Flying Zuchini Brothers met Barnum and Bailey!!!  With friends Mark and Vicki we spent our last La Paz evening at the circus which was in town...Circo Rolex.  What a kick!!!  If you've never been to a Mexican circus.....well, ya don't want to miss it!  Great acrobats, miniature horses, dancing big horses, tigers jumping through fire hoops and riding on swings (no local chapters of PETA around here!!!), and hundreds of teenage girls screaming at the top of their lungs for their favorite acrobatic studs!!!  Ya gotta love it!!!  Folks even get their pictures taken with a couple of the big cats on kitty downers at the end!!!  The rascals could hardly keep their eyes open!!!  Check out the attached cheezy video for from Bravo Productions for a peek at the fun...



It was with mixed feelings that we left the Sea of Cortez, which has been our spectacular home for the past 9 months.  But other adventures are calling, and they're calling us from the south.  We had a beautiful passage from La Paz over to La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, another of our favorite towns in Mexico.  First day was a mixed bag of conditions, some sailing, some motoring, as we worked our way around to Bahia de Los Muertos.  Spent a day here, waiting with other boats for the forecasted northerly wind to fill in, as we had a roughly 350 mile passage to La Cruz ahead of us.  Well, the wind filled in as predicted.  We set the sails on a port tack shortly after leaving Muertos, and 56 hours later, we arrived, with the sails still on port tack!!!  Not a single tack or jibe in over two days!  Conditions were beautiful, with winds varying up to around 25 knots, day and night.  A bit lumpy for the first day, but once we left the Sea behind us and got into the long Pacific swells, life was good!!!

We're now in the La Cruz anchorage, along with over 60 other boats...we hear an all time record for here.  Had fun racing as crew aboard a friend's catamaran this past weekend in the Vallarta Cup series...good to get out on the race cource again after living the cruising life for the past 15 months or so.


BREAKING NEWS FLASH!!!!!

Do any of you remember the old claims to "double your horsepower while using 50% less fuel" with some mystery product of the JC Whitney Catalog???  Well, I'm here to tell you, we achieved a similar miracle aboard 'Bravo'!!!  Since putting in our new engine a couple of years ago, we've been disappointed in the speed under power.  At engine cruising RPM we'd typically run at around 5.8 knots, while similar boats with the same engine ran at nearly a whole knot quicker.  This translates most importantly to range under power, as moving 15% faster for the same RPM means that much better fuel economy.  We dialed in maximum pitch on the Vari-Prop propeller, and that was as good as it got.  When we last hauled in the US, we had the stops relocated by the manufacturer to allow more pitch.  I estimated the setting at the time, but the performance didn't improve much.  Well, when we were out of the water in La Paz, I adjusted the prop to allow nearly 2" more pitch.  (What is "pitch" you might ask???  Well, think as a propeller as a big screw as it turns, "screwing" itself through the water.  The "pitch" is the distance it would travel with one revolution.)

The results have been tremendous!  We can now motor at the same RPM as before (2400) at around 7 knots, or throttle back to 2000 RPM, using much less fuel, and still making nearly 6 knots!!  Yee hah!!  This additional range may come in handy as we work our way through the doldrums down south, or fight the Humbolt current as we head to Ecuador.


That's about all of the news for now.  We'll be back in Seattle for some business for about a week, the last week of January, before continuing our journey southward.





Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Years from La Paz

It's been a BUSY past couple of weeks here in and around one of our favorite cities in Mexico.  First, friends from Seattle, Rich, Laura, and Zach came down for a Christmas visit.  Together we ventured forth to set a new record.....how many fun activities can we cram into a short 5 days, especially in such a laid back environment as La Paz???  Well, the Guiness Book may not be knocking down our hatches with the trophy, but we really had a great time trying!!!  First, we headed up to Los Islotes, a couple of islands that we explored back in May, and the home of a very active sea lion colony.


"OK, guys, what do we do for our next trick???"

This guy kept bumping the camera lens!



 The water was colder than before, but the critters were as feisty as ever.  We gave the ornery barking bulls a wide berth, while the females, juveniles, and teenagers had a great time playing with us.  Had a great hour or so in the water with them before heading back to La Paz.




The next day, a strong norther blew in for the next 6 days or so.  With winds up to 35 knots even in the marina, the port captain closed the port to boats leaving.  No worries there, we had no intention of fighting the 8 foot high buffaloes running out in the sea (the Sea of Cortez is notorious for short, steep, closely spaced waves affectionately known as buffaloes).  As weather guru Don Anderson said, "This norther is going to blow the skin off your Christmas rice pudding!!!

So, what to do????  Shopping in town for souvenirs and presents can only go so long.....  We decided to hire a guide service to head out for a day of horseback riding!!!  You heard that right, gang...the intrepid Bravo crew was heading out via yet another new mode of travel.  Figured it would lead to plenty of photo op's, if not opportunities for some new injuries!!!

After driving out to his enormous ranch (started by "el abuelo de mi abuelo", his grandfather's grandfather) the five of us saddled up with our weathered ranch owner/trusty guide, Rosario, and headed up a steep arroyo to the heights above the sea.  It was a great time for all of us (not sure if the beasts of burden would agree!!!)




Here's a ranch with it's priorities straight!!!

Not a lot of marbling on these "lil' doggies"...When you see what they have for grazing land, you can see why!
Adam having a short "come to Jesus session" with his mule, before Rosario strapped a spur on his Nike!!!
Moving out...."these critters are climbing up THAT???"  Yikes!

Views from the mesa above were spectacular.


Finally time to head back down the steep canyon...Rosario and his mule first, but the others weren't so sure!



All in all, it was a great ride, seeing country that most cruisers don't experience.  When we got back to the ranch, our guides prepared a tasty bbq with arracherra beef and cheese made on the ranch.  Zach set up a "slackline" between two trees, and all who wanted to gave it a go (including our guides).  A good time had by all, before making our way back to town.




We've continued to be busy with boat chores.  Minor sail repairs, varnishing, full boat waxing, tracing electrical gremlins, etc.  Had a fun new years party last night at the local cruiser's hangout, Club Cruceros.  The toast was made at midnight ZULU time (Greenwich Mean Time), which around here is 5pm local time!  Made it easy for all of the grey beards and their crews to get back to their boats before dark, if they wanted (the 'Bravo' team, though, as you'd hope, did stay out after dark!)


Well, that's it for this first blog post of 2012.  So as we enter another chapter in this journey, we'd like to wish all of you a very happy new year, filled with happiness, adventure, and discovery.  Central America, here we come!!!