March 2020

 

 

 

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Sunrise at Playa Pichilingue

 

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Friday March 20th 2020

Today Mainly sunny. Wind southeast 20 km/h becoming light early this morning. High zero. Wind chill minus 22 this morning. UV index 5 or moderate.
Tonight Clear. Fog patches developing near midnight. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 17. Wind chill minus 21 overnight.

I slept well and woke at five.  I'm up and catching up.  We leave the dock around seven.

Every day is a new day.


We left at 0715 and motored out to Punta Prieta where the wind picked up and was perfect for a tack to Espritu Santo.  However the plan is no t to go that far and rather stay within cellular range until I decide 100% whether to fly home Sunday or to carry on up the Sea for two weeks.  Also, G needed to contact her friends who are caring for her dog and had had no success thus far.  The sailing was ideal.

We decided on Balandra for the day and Pichilingue for the night and when we reached a position off Punto Diablo we tacked in.  A mile off Balandra, there was a 'snap' and the genoa went baggy. The grommet had pulled out of the head of the sail and the sail was coming down.

I managed to furl it and we motorsailed the rest of the way in and anchored.

We wanted to walk, so took the dinghy to the south side and had  along walk, then returned.  Balandra is very rolley, so we left and headed for Pichilingue where I know a spot that should be calm.  We stopped at Lobos to tidy things and then sailed downwind on the remaining sail to Pichilingue, anchored and  had a nap and then we had supper.

After supper, we played two hands of cards, Jacks and fives, then I was too tired to play more and went to bed.

We need not to be let alone.
We need to be really bothered once in a while.
How long is it since you were really bothered?
About something important, about something real?"
Ray Bradbury

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Saturday March 21st 2020

Today Sunny. Becoming a mix of sun and cloud this afternoon. Wind up to 15 km/h. High plus 4. Wind chill minus 19 this morning. UV index 5 or moderate.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 13. Wind chill minus 16 overnight.

I was up at two.  The bay was dead calm, but by three when I went back to bed, the swells were beginning to come in.  I suppose there was some weather farther up the Sea.

I had my coffee and breakfast and went back to bed until six-thirty. 

Danielle Smith: Why governments are so afraid of COVID-19

Count on Danielle to call a spade a spade.  There is so much that is hidden in the numbers. 

Apparently many Chinese foreign workers in Italy had recently arrived back from holidays in Wuhan.

*   *   *   *   *   *    *

The morning dawned still and warm.  We pulled down the sail, folded and bagged it, then motored across to Hotel Cantamar.

 

I was going to dock there for assistance but the water was shallow and I started to turn away.  Several men on the dock shouted and gestured and G said they were telling us there is a deep channel.  They pointed it out, so we went in and they greeted us and tied us up.

We explained our problem and they went right to work. One went up the mast to retrieve the halyard and when he came down, another offered to take the sail to La Paz for repairs.

I called Dennis and he said he could do the repair now, so I sent it in.

These guys are the SCUBA dive crew for the resort. They have no work due to the virus and were hanging out on the dock.

They had never sent anyone up a mast before, but were very enthusiastic and got right to it.  That is something I love about Mexicans.  While Canadians would stand around and talk, these folks are not inhibited about trying something like this.

Once the halyard was done and the sail on the way to town, we had nothing to do while we waited, so we walked around the empty resort and talked to other staff and had lunch.

*   *   *   *   *   *    *

The guys returned with the sail much sooner than expected and we had fun installing it as the wind had picked up a lot.  They were a great help: resourceful, happy, and cheerful. The more the sail fought us, flapping in the wind, the more we laughed.

I paid them and we were done. I was not sure of my fuel supply, and figured to top it up, so had one guys go for 20 litres of diesel and when he returned, we began siphoning it into the top tank.

After a mere five litres or so, the tank ran over.  It must not be draining down to the bottom tank.  We gave up.

By then the tide was all the way out and when we decided to leave, we were stuck on the mud bottom.  That provided a good opportunity to recalibrate the depth sound for the new keel seeing as I knew for sure where zero depth was.  The gauge was reading 1.8 feet when were already on the bottom. The new keel is twenty inches deeper.  I set the gauge to zero.

*   *   *   *   *   *    *

After another forty-five minutes the water came back enough that we were able to leave.  It is a good thing the tide was not lower today or we would have been standing on the keel and leaning over, but I had checked beforehand anyhow and knew the low tide would not be extreme.

We motored carefully out through shallow water and tested the sail, then returned to our anchorage. 

By then it was four and the sun was lower.  With the breeze, G figured it was too cold to snorkel.  This spot did not like good snorkeling, but I put on my gear and swam to the shore to see what I could find. 

Shortly after she came along, too.  The water was quite clear and the coral was better than I expected.  I saw several fish types I have not seen here before.

The water was a little cool at 22 degrees, so we quit after about a half-hour, returned to the boat and had supper.

Sun goes down around six-thirty.  I washed up and we watched the sunset, then she did some star gazing.  I'm not too much into astronomy, but helped her install sky map on her phone.

She went forward to read and I went to bed around eight.

But suppose we were to teach creationism.
What would be the content of the teaching?
Merely that a creator formed the universe
and all species of life ready-made?
Nothing more? No details?
Isaac Asimov

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Sunday March 22nd 2020

Today Mainly sunny. Wind up to 15 km/h. High 6. Wind chill minus 15 this morning. UV index 4 or moderate.
Tonight A few clouds. Increasing cloudiness after midnight. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 2. Wind chill near minus 6.

Once again, I am up at two for an hour.  The night is calm.

I went back to bed and got up at daybreak. 

I woke from a dream that we were motoring fast ahead on autopilot.  I looked up from the cabin and realised nobody was at the helm.  Somehow I had thought my son was there. I could see we were headed quite close to a point of land and the water could be shallow.  It was the sort of situation where someone should be checking the charts and watching the depths.  We were not in definite danger, but could be.

This is my decision day.  This afternoon my flight leaves at two ten.  I've left my options open, but now I have to cancel or go. I checked the availability on my flight and it was marked SRO, so when I cancel, I'll let someone else go. That is nice to know. Win/win.

Obviously, I'd already decided not to go.  I'm at Pichilingue, two hours from my dock and three hours from SJD. I'd have to hustle back, tie up, close up, and rush to SJD.  It would be tight.

*   *   *   *   *   *    *

I cancelled online and got a full refund and in doing so, did a good deed.  The flight showed as sold out, so I am sure I saved some poor Canadian from panic.

Looking on Facebook, I see my friends who had driven all the way to La Ventana for a winter of kiting had turned around an made it all the way back to Albert, just in time to self-quarantine for two weeks.

Why would anyone do that?  Leave a beautiful warm, safe place like La Ventana to drive back to cold, worried Alberta.  I suppose I'll find out soon enough if being in Mexico when/if things get bad here is good or bad.

Personally, I have  a lot  of faith in Mexicans

I cancelled online and now there is one seat showing as available!

Nice to know I did someone desperate person some good. Me, I'm more or less socially isolating out here on the boat if you don't count the foray to the dock for repairs yesterday.

My companion is here until the second and then I am on my own.  After that?  Who knows?  Things have been developing at a fast pace and by then maybe a cure will be found and the panic will be subsiding.  Either that or the lockdown will begin with possible martial law.

*   *   *   *   *   *    *

Italian Virologist Says Concerns Over "Racism" Crippled Italy's Coronavirus Response

*   *   *   *   *   *    *

Some treatments are known now to work but are unofficial:
Chloroquine + Zinc
Hydroxychloroquine + Azithromycin

*   *   *   *   *   *    *

The day is bright and calm and now that the return no longer hangs over me, I'm ready to sail on up the Sea.  It is seven now and G is still asleep in her cabin. We'll see what comes next.

We raised anchor around eight and tacked northwest, then northeast into the Channel of San Lorenzo. 

We sailed and motored up to Playa Bonanza, looked around, found the conditions too windy and wavy, and ran back down to Ensenada de la Dispensa where we anchored on the north side near another sailboat.

The good snorkeling was on the south side at the point, so we dinghied over.  There was no place to land at the point and G wanted to swim out from the beach, but I remembered how quickly she chilled yesterday and elected to go and bring the yacht over to anchor near the reef.

We did that and this turned out to be the best snorkeling I've seen here yet, with clear water and a variety of fish. When we were done, the neighbour came by in his dinghy to see if we were okay since that was an odd place to anchor. 

We said this was just temporary and shortly after returned back to our original spot to anchor there in four feet of water.  The conditions had calmed by then and the night was peaceful.

Those people who think they know everything
are a great annoyance to those of us who do.
Isaac Asimov

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Monday March 23rd 2020

I'm up at 0515.  It is still a while until dawn.  Temperature is 20 C. We are riding swells from the SE and fortunately the wind is from the same direction so the action is smooth and comfortable.

I have very little Internet here in Ensenada de la Dispensa.

Around nine, we raised anchor and set sail out of the bay, headed north with Caleta Partida in mind.

The wind died and we motored for a while and when we came to Las Calveratas, we turned in and anchored. 

This narrow little niche in the shore is stunning in its rock formations and with the sand bottom, held the anchor well.

G went snorkeling pretty well right away and I stayed aboard.  I was still tired, I think from the stress of deciding whether to go or stay.

I had lunch, made porridge, and had a nap.  I assumed we would have all day here to explore, but the wind came up and moved the boat around. Although I said we'd set a stern anchor, G turned out to be nervous about the wind.

I said we were unlikely to find a better sheltered spot, but since I did want to go north and conditions don't bother me much, I agreed.  I can come here anytime.

I am finding out that there is no arguing with her.  She signed on as crew, but acts like a supervisor.

We sailed north and into Caleta Partida where we anchored three times before we were happy with our position. Although there are only three other boats here, and the anchorage is huge, we all have a lot of chain out due to the gusty winds.

Interestingly, three of the four boats here are from the same small area of the dock at Marina de La Paz.  One, Catnabout, is from immediately ahead of me and the other, Simon Says, from the finger across the dock.

I set out for the beach in the dinghy, but remembered the water is very shallow at low tide and did not feel like wading a few hundred yards through shallows and turned back.  The dinghy outboard shifter is also a bit wonky.

We had chicken stir fry for super and watched The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel after.  I found it a bit long and draggy, but stuck it out.

It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane.
Philip K. Dick

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Tuesday March 24th 2020

I woke at four-thirty.  The bay is calm and quiet. I had breakfast and coffee, then started getting ready to go. 

Internet is spotty here, so don't worry if I don't post for a while.

At eight, we weighed anchor for Isla San Francisco, four hours north.  G was still asleep in her cabin but showed up promptly when the chain began rattling up through the windlass.

We motored out past the reef and at first the seas were calm, but then the wind and waves built up, right on the nose. We tried sailing, but wind, waves, and tide were against us, so we motored.

ETA is noon.


OpenCPN, showing the island and our approach.

We arrived at Isla San Francisco and anchored three times before we were happy, then had lunch and rested up.  Next, I lubed the dinghy outboard carb and shift linkages and we went by dinghy to the north edge of the bay where we tied to a rock and snorkeled for a half-hour. 

The snorkeling was very good. The sun was bright and the water was clear. There is not much coral, but the boulders that fell from the cliff were covered with marine growth and surrounded by many varieties of fish. G saw an octopus.

The water is still a bit chilly, so we quit and motored to the beach for some sun.  We sunned a while, then, since our guidebook said there are agates on the beach we walked up the beach and back but found none.  We also found no plastic and only two tiny pieces of glass.

We returned to the boat, washed off the salt, and sat down to rest.  I looked over what we have for meals and we still have lots of food.  We have used half a demijohn of drinking water and are still on the first fresh water tank but I imagine it is getting low.

I've been emotionally and physically exhausted recovering from my bout of whatever it was I caught flying home last time how best to dodge this new virus. 

At present, clearly, this is the best place to be.  If I have to self-quarantine, this the way to do it. I'm definitely isolated from others. How Mexico will react as the virus situation worsens here is a question, however.  For this week, this works.  When G leaves, I'll have to decide according to what I see at the time. Going home does not sound safe or much like fun.

This far out of town, I'm also out of touch except by ham radio so I don't get the news.  Has the world ended yet?

The Baja so far escaped the virus but it appears to be here now, especially with the border having been left open for Spring Break.  Spring Break is important economically to this region, but it also brings in hordes of young folks who are very gregarious and bound to include in the their number more than few carrying the virus.

We have one week left and the plan is to continue as far as San Evaristo, then work our way back to La Paz. 

What things will be like when I return to La Paz to drop G off on the 1st of April, I don't know. 

She is assuming her flight on the 2nd will be leaving as scheduled, but I wonder. The world is changing daily.  A week from now we could be under martial law or a vaccine could be in production.  Even now, word is out that several common drugs are able to deal with the illness.

This spot is paradise. Clean and practically abandoned.  It gets a little busy in season, but these days few are here due to the virus, closed borders and embargoed air travel.

Supper was macaroni and leftover stir fry.

After, we watched Men in Black and at nine we called it a day. At least I did.  I assume she stayed up again as she is a late riser in the mornings, whereas I am up at four or five.

Science fiction is something that could happen - but usually you wouldn't want it to.
Fantasy is something that couldn't happen - though often you only wish that it could.
Arthur C. Clarke

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Wednesday March 25th 2020
Nine months until Christmas

We were tossed around a bit sometime after midnight and I woke to occasional tapping.  It turned out the dinghy was moving up to the stern and lifting, then dropping the swim ladder cover.  I remedied that and went back to bed. We moved around a lot, but the anchor held well.

I'm up at five and at six, now, the dawn is breaking.  The nights have been warm, but not hot.  I'm tempted to have a morning dip.

Plans for the day?  None.

There is no Internet here but the talk on the ham bands is all virus, all the time.

When G got up, we decided to go over to the lagoon at Punta Ostiones at the south end of Bahia Amortajada on Isla San Jose.

We motored over and anchored by the south entrance to the lagoon which is accessible only by dinghy, but our anchor could not get a good grip on the bottom and the wind was offshore.

Seeing as I don't trust the outboard, and there was no one around to rescue us if we had a breakdown I decided to abort the visit and we raised anchor and motored upwind over to San Evaristo, arriving around ten.

 

We anchored just off the desalination plant and after a rest, went ashore to reconnoiter. We walked up to the tienda and enquired about water and a comb since G has lost hers. The two women who run the tienda, such as it is were, not very happy to see us and are worried about the virus, judging by their distance and unusual reserve. They have sign to wash hands before going in, but we never did go in.

Since she is fairly fluent in Spanish, and tends to take charge, G did the talking, but didn't seem to have the knack of getting past their reserve and apparently had limited idea of why we were there although I had outlined our purposes earlier.  So, we did not enquire about gasoline or what else they might have that we might want.  A man in a truck parked nearby was more helpful and pointed us to the restaurant at the opposite end of the beach.

I said I was going to take the dinghy but G decided to walk. We had a bag of garbage on the boat and the restaurant is where the dumpster is reported to be so I zipped down to the restaurant, verified the dumpster (an old freezer w/o lid) does indeed still accept trash, zipped back to the boat and had the trash in the bin before G arrived, a pied.

She spoke to the restaurant owner who told her the restaurant is closed until Friday.  I said we are getting very low on gasoline for the outboard and suggested she ask up the beach. I recommended to ask for two litres, knowing people would assume we needed enough for a yacht and refuse a larger amount, but most of the fishermen along the beach have pangas and would happily spare a little to help out.

She asked a young woman who kept her face covered and was not helpful and then asked a few more people, but did not say how little we need, so was pointed to a place far up the hill that might have fuel.

She walked back to the boat and we were about to give up when  boy of eleven or so asked in English what we need and when I said two litres of gasoline,.  He walked up and told his dad and the man came down, pulled his panga in from the mooring and happily siphoned two litres into our tank, then asked, "Mas?".  I said, "Si, por favor. Cinco?" and he siphoned again. He asked 28 pesos/litre but I gave him 200 for his generosity which amounted to a 60 peso tip. 

Now we had one thing less to worry about.  We had gotten to the point were the fuel tank had to be tilted to be sure the engine would run and had to limit out trips by dinghy but now we have enough to go distances.

We went back to the boat and chilled until mid-afternoon, then motored around the bay to admire the rocks and check out the snorkeling spots.  From the re, we went ashore again at the water plant, walked up past the tienda and up the road a ways for a hike.

I had smartened up after my last experience with sandal chafing in sandy conditions and was wearing running shoes but G was wearing sandals and got a stone in side. After it was out, we turned back which suited me fine since we had had a decent stroll.

Back at the boat, I worked on re-learning the ham radio's tricks and she wrote in, I assume, her diary, taking notes from the various guide books I supplied with a mind to coming back by car or motorhome.

She cooked supper, than we sat down to watch a movie. We tried Men in Black II, but she found it gross, and it is at the beginning--I'd forgotten--so we looked for another and settled on 1408.  It started off well enough, but a third of the way through she gave up and went up top to look at the starts and I gave up halfway through and went to bed.

Certainly it constitutes bad news when the people who agree
with you are buggier than batshit.
Philip K. Dick

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Thursday March 26th 2020

I slept poorly and felt vaguely nauseous at one point during the night. I began to wonder if I am coming down with the WuFlu since I was so tired yesterday and napped several times during the day. I got up to see if that helps and did not feel much better or worse, so I went back to bed.

I wondered about how things would go if if we do get sick and need medical aid.  I never did get the second medication. 

We are 49 nautical miles from La Paz and basically out in the wilderness.  There is a dirt road to the city but I doubt ambulance service is likely and the many of the natives are worried about contact. By boat, the trip would take ten hours motoring at full speed.

*   *   *  *  *  

I'm up again, for the day, just before dawn.  There is little or no wind. Swells are coming in from a forward quarter so the boat is rocking corner to corner.  I'm feeling better. We have no plans for the day.

I'm listening to the Amigo net and am hearing about quarantines on new arrivals at Mexican ports.  I don't know about local boats coming and going. Sounds okay so far.

Mid-morning, we decided to move from our location at the yellow mark on the chart at left to a spot closer to the snorkeling we had chosen and raised anchor. 

When the chain was straight up and pulling the anchor out of the mud bottom the windlass sounded very strained and continued to sound odd as the anchor came out of the mud and the rest of the way up.

We moved to our chosen spot (red boat) and found the windlass would not lower.  It would not raise either.  It was not responding. I went up and released the chain manually and we anchored, then went snorkeling.

Later, we went to town and bought a few things at the tienda and walked up the hill to the church, then to the beach.  A dog we had befriended at the tienda yesterday accompanied and entertained us.

We sat on the beach a while and returned to the boat. I swam and worked on the windlass. 

At first I figured I'd have to remove it and undid two large studs, a slow, difficult job. Then I had a thought and hunted the circuit breaker down.  It was fine.

I could hear the relays click, so figured power was getting to the bow and most likely the windlass itself, so I ended up removing an end cap, only to discover the nuts had come right off the through bolts of the electric motor that drives the gears, causing the brushes to lose electrical contact with the comm.

The interior of the cap was stained with black dust so things did not look promising but I pressed the end back into place to see if it would fit. It did, so I pushed the switch and the motor turned so I put the nuts on and tightened them, replaced the end cap, and the studs, tested the windlass, and we are back in business.

For a while though it looked as if we would be lifting one hundred and twenty feet of chain by hand at every stop for the coming week. I will have to R&R the windlass though when time permits and closer to replacement parts.  I also find I do not have the manual in my files, but, wait, yes, I do, but in hard copy.

G cooked a supper of beans, beets and broccoli and afterwards wanted to watch a movie. I told her what I have but nothing pleased her. My movie selection is on a thumb drive my son accidentally left with me and does not reflect my tastes much either.  She suggested cards, but I was tired and knew I would not enjoy it so declined. 

I remembered the bee movie I ripped from the CBC without a sound track and was watching that on my laptop and suggested she watch it, too, thinking she would like it since she is so fixed on seeing wildlife and pointing out every bird and dolphin.  Nope.

The movie is from CBC's The Nature of Things and is made up of amazing in-hive shots and close-ups, some taken by drones flying with the bees.  As a life-long beekeeper, I saw details that I had not noticed before as they are are hard to see with  the naked eye. The sound track is stupid, so I did not bother with it.

She was annoyed and went off to bed, leaving the food out and the gas valve on.

She signed on as crew but likes to take control and puts on an attitude when she cannot have her way, and does the silent thing or argues or demands explanations without regard to the situation or timing.

I mostly just smile and don't say anything.  I'm not going to be manipulated. I am the captain.  I have responsibilities and many factors to weigh in context as circumstances change and not all can be discussed on demand, even if I wished to do so.

Mostly, however, we get along though.

I tired of the bee movie and watched half of The Big Lebowski, then went to bed. There sure are a lot of crappy movies out there.

Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.
George Carlin

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Friday March 27th 2020

I woke up from an annoying dream at 3:45 and got up, made coffee and breakfast and began my day.

I went up top and looked around.  The wind is still gusting and we are swinging around at anchor, so the plan to go across to Isla San Jose at daybreak is null unless something changes in the next three hours.  We need another plan.

We have one week until we have to be in La Paz and 49 sea miles to go.  That amounts to seven miles or an average of about two hours travel per day.  My intention is to arrive at La Paz on the 1st.  (No foolin').

After that, I am here on Baja Magic with no plans to return to Canada in the near future, but that could change.  Canada sounds like a real drag about now.  Moreover, the trip home is risky and I'd be expected to quarantine for two weeks one there and then socially isolate after that.

Mexico is getting worried about the virus, too.  Baja California Sur reports zero cases, but that may largely be due to limited testing. The word has spread here, though, and people are practicing social isolation to varying degrees and activities that draw crowds are canceled.  Restaurants that remain open have increased table spacing.  We'll see how bad it gets. I tend to isolate anyhow, here on my boat.

G is in a better space today. No attitude. We dinghied in to the shore and walked to the desalination plant. She spoke to the operator before i could and had already taken no for an answer. I would have stood around until he decided to help, but might have struck out too.  Who knows?  Maybe the plant only makes water for distribution to the town and is not drinking quality.

We walked to the tienda and after some waiting around and some palaver bought five one-gallon bottles of commercial drinking water and took them back to the dinghy.

Next, we walked south down the road and to the beach, then out to the lighthouse on the point and back.  We spoke with fishermen along the way and heard that it is too windy to fish and the markets are not buying their fish in La Paz anyhow. The restaurant is still closed.


The village seen from the lighthouse


Looking north to our anchorage


The village seen from the hills

We returned to the boat, had lunch and a nap.  Today is not good for snorkeling due to the overcast and the wind.  The boat surges and sails around at anchor, but the anchor and the snubber are holding fast.

The fridge defrosted itself this afternoon and it seems G had nudged the control when putting things in and out, so I had a chance to wipe it out.  The plate frosts up when wet items are put in without being sealed in bags.  The dry cold air pulls the water out and the water condenses on the plate and builds a layer of frost that reduces efficiency, so periodic defrosting is required.

I made supper and we watched one episode of The Rockford Files and called it a day at eight-thirty.

To acquire knowledge, one must study;
 but to acquire wisdom, one must observe.
Marilyn vos Savant

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Saturday March 28th 2020

I woke at five-thirty and dozed a bit.  The boat was surging hard on the chain, but nothing unusual for such gusty conditions.

Then there was a slam, and I got up and went up to investigate.  I wondered if a boat had dragged anchor and hit us passing by but everything seemed fine so I went below and started my breakfast. Maybe we'll figure it out in the daylight later. Maybe we won't.

G got up and figured the snubber broke and went up but found nothing and reported that the sky is clear and went back to bed. I'm up for the day.  It is 18.7 C in the cabin. I put on my long underwear.

We now have five days to return to La Paz and that is plenty of time to do the fifty miles. This Norte is expected to last another day at least.  It is ideal for downwind, but my 'crew' turns out to be uncomfortable with sailing in anything but mild conditions in spite of talking of having been on long ocean cruises on sailing boats. Go figure.

We are now about half out of fresh water, having started the second tank yesterday, but have plenty of drinking water and a five-gallon spare.  Fresh food is running low but we have beans and rice enough for a month or more.  They keep, and I stocked up, not knowing how this virus lockdown might evolve.  Just the same I have to go to La Paz to drop G on Wednesday.  Word is that the ports are closed but later word says pleasure boats can still come and go.

At six, the day has brightened so I'll go up top to see what happened.  The gusting winds continue to push us around but the anchor is holding.

Nothing seen. 

I did a laundry and listened to the Amigo net.  No weather change is expected for the coming days. The 40 metre band was so wide open at 0730 that the Chubasco net was struggling with QRM on 7192. I did not bother checking in.

The wind is blowing fifteen to twenty out in the strait and I'd be out there sailing downwind to San Francisco Island but G, as it turns out, does not like wind. She signed on as crew but is more like a boss, offering an opinion on everything. I'm too easy-going to push things and there are five days left to get along. Just the same...

Well, we hit the end point. After being in the cove at San Evaristo for a few days, we had nothing left to do so we agreed to head out.  The forecast was fifteen to twenty from the north and we were going south, so that was perfect.  The waves were breaking out there, but they were well spaced and running with the tide.

We raised a scrap of genoa and were making five knots.  As we got out of the wind shadow, we let out more and soon were making seven knots once in a while and averaging over six. 

The ride was reasonably smooth, but the swells were traveling faster than us so we were surfing some of the time and as the swells increased in size, the autopilot could not manage so I steered, then G offered to take over.  She steered well, but started to broach several times and I had to take over again.

We sailed to Isla San Francisco and around into the bay where we were previously and anchored.

I said what a great sail and that she did well and G said she hated it and was not going any further until the conditions calm down.  Predictions are that a change is not expected for another three days, maybe.  I wonder how she expects to get home. 

In the picture she sure seems to be enjoying herself and she only gave up the wheel when she could not handle it and almost broached.

<deleted>

She thinks and acts more like a client--a non-paying one--questioning, demanding and arguing, and now an ultimatum.  Hmmm.

This anchorage is a bit less brutal than the one at San Evaristo, but we still are horsing around the chain here and the wind is offshore so I am reluctant to use the dinghy to go ashore.  We are close to the snorkel site, though, and could swim in.

G was in a snit and had gone to her cabin. I lowered the outboard and readied the dinghy to go ashore but the wind was still offshore, I went below and made spaghetti and had a nap.

After the winds calmed a bit and the wind seemed more onshore, I started for the beach in the dinghy but the wind was still blowing offshore enough that I was concerned and circled back.  If the outboard quit, rowing the dinghy is hardly an option since it is light and we would be blown out to sea.

I waved to the people on Modi, a small cruiser, also from Marina de La Paz and stopped at No Problem, another boat from my dock, to chat with Nelson.   Nelson had been in the same anchorage at San Evaristo that we were but we had not spoken.

I hovered nearby for a while. He said he had caught two dorado recently plus some smaller fish and was waiting out the virus on the boat like many of us.

I returned to Baja Magic and worked on the books a while, and realised that I should talk to my accountant before the end of the month and Tuesday is month end so should get into cell coverage by Monday.

Today is Saturday. Cell coverage begins at Isla Ballena off Isla Partida, but is spotty. Caleta Lobos or Pichilingue would be better.

G interrupted my supper and wanted to talk.  I told her I was eating and we could talk later. She was insistent. She had worked herself up and wanted to tell me what to do. 

I told her that I am the captain and I don't play gaof course I listen to the crew and try to ensure their safety and comfort and accommodate their wishes where possible, but the safety of the boat and my own needs have to have priority. I also explained that I explain my thinking if it is convenient and possible, but my considerations require balancing many, many, factors both conscious and subconscious and probabilities and are not always easy to put into words.  Moreover, I am finding she often does not understand what I say to to her even when I take pains to explain clearly, possibly because she typically does not acknowledge and has an immediate reflexive comeback and/or a unrelated question.

Anyhow, I think we settled things but an incipient mutiny is another good reason the get closer to home.

Additionally, the head is acting up and has become slow to flush.  The usual reason is that something went down there that should not have but I know I did not put anything like that down there and she says that neither did she and I believe her.  Maybe part of the problem is her tendency to flush about half the time I recommend. The exit pipe is quite long. I can always get it to flush but sometimes now it takes extra time.

At any rate, I will have to disassemble it soon, but not out here. This is another reason to head back.

At dusk, we watched another episode of Rockford, seeing as that is probably the only thing on Jon's thumb drive that would not offend her and called it a day.

This disharmony may sound disquieting, but I'm fine.  I just have to draw a line somewhere and if she does not like it after I have done my best to ensure her comfort, that is her problem.

The crew has only two responsibilities: obey and assist the captain.  The captain has many: safety of the ship and crew, instruct the crew in safe practices, navigation and weather, awareness of other craft and to assist them in emergencies.

We'll see how this goes. Recommended reading: Games People Play by Eric Berne

If you want me to treat your ideas with more respect,
get some better ideas.
John Scalzi

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Sunday March 29th 2020

I'm up at 0430 and the bay is calm. I slept well.  I had coffee and breakfast. G was up briefly to use the head and is still worried about how it flushes.  It flushes, but takes longer.  We'll see.

I see the batteries are down to 12.15 volts. That's okay, but we'll have to conserve or run the engine today.

I raised anchor at dawn and we headed for La Paz.  The crew was in a better mood and very cooperative. We sailed and motored south with quartering swells and changeable winds from the behind.

At about three, we stopped at Roca Lobos to look at the sea lions and then continued in to anchor near the north wall at Playa Pichilingue.

The beaches are now closed, but I assume not to us with water access.   The ports are closed to commercial boats, but not to cruisers like me.  I'd hate to be stuck tied to the dock. now that we have Internet.

I called Mom and she is fine.

I heard from MLE and the furnace ring keeps stalling but she can restart it and the furnace does not seem to run long enough between episodes to make me worry.  It is more work for her, but she says she does not mind.

After dusk, we watched The pilot and one more episode of Burden of Truth on Netflix.  It was okay.

Dear future generations: Please accept our apologies.
We were rolling drunk on petroleum.
Kurt Vonnegut

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Monday March 30th 2020

Today Mainly cloudy. 60 percent chance of flurries or rain showers late this afternoon. Wind northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this morning. Wind becoming southeast 20 this afternoon. High plus 2. Wind chill minus 10 this morning. UV index 4 or moderate.
Tonight Periods of snow ending near midnight then mainly cloudy. Local amount 2 to 4 cm. Wind southeast 20 km/h becoming northwest 30 gusting to 50 this evening then light overnight. Low minus 9. Wind chill minus 14 overnight.

I'm up at 0500 and the bay is calm. I slept well.  I had coffee and breakfast. I'm catching up on messages and email

I wonder about posting Swalwell weather daily.  It takes time and is likely of little use except to note whether to worry about my house.

From a regular reader who provides good info from time to time:

You said:

"Some treatments are known now to work but are unofficial: Chloroquine + Zinc
Hydroxychloroquine + Azithromycin"

Unfortunately, studies on these drugs are NOT looking all that great. And the current rush on these drugs by people who think they'll work on preventing/mitigating covid-19 is putting people who already depend on them for other illnesses in serious jeopardy as the drugs are now in shortage.

p.s. I haven't dug around to see if there are any "official" reports on these drug studies that I could pass on to you, but I am in contact with a doctor on the front lines in the U.S.

Stay tuned.

   

We went ashore to the beach, talked to two Argentine traveling families who were waiting out the border closures.  One was northbound, one southbound.

Then we continued on to hike the hill to the north but G found the climb too steep and sat a while on a rock while I followed the shoreline looking for a trail, but found no easy way up.

We returned to the beach and I had two beers at the bar. And found I had no small change and neither did the float, so I went to the boat for my pocket change to settle the bill.

Then, G wanted to snorkel.  The shore is a few hundred yards away, so I towed her in and later towed her back the the boat.

*   *   *   *   *   *

I see the stock markets are rebounding.  This is typical and there are many reasons they bounce.  Over-optimism, opportunism, balancing, short covering and more...

Typically the retracement can be 1/2 or 2/3rds of the drop before the drop resumes.  The damage to the economy is simply too great to justify the previous market tops  were priced to perfection for good times.

We're running low on food. Supper was the root vegetables and pepper cooked up together.

Later, we watched more episodes of The Burden of Truth on Netflix.

Science, my lad, is made up of mistakes,
but they are mistakes which it is useful to make,
because they lead little by little to the truth.
Jules Verne

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Tuesday March 31st 2020

Today Mainly cloudy with 30 percent chance of flurries. Wind north 20 km/h gusting to 40. High minus 4. Wind chill minus 18 this morning and minus 10 this afternoon. UV index 4 or moderate.
Tonight Mainly cloudy with 60 percent chance of flurries. Wind north 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Low minus 16. Wind chill minus 13 this evening and minus 22 overnight.

I'm up at 0500 again and the bay is calm again. We hardly moved all night.

I slept well again.  I had coffee and breakfast again. It is overcast again and nineteen degrees in the cabin.  This the coldest winter I can recall here.

I'm still catching up on messages and email.

We have no plans for today.  Tomorrow we head back to La Paz.

Thursday G leaves on a flight at 2:30 PM.

Example of how easily COVID-19 is passed.
On March 10, 60 members of the Skagit Valley Chorale attended rehearsal at a church in Skagit County, Washington, about an hour south of Seattle. Nearly three weeks later, 45 had tested positive for COVID-19 or were sick with symptoms, and two had died. This "super-spreading event" poses interesting questions about transmission via aerosols.

This map shows the potential impact of ignoring physical distancing
Young people spreading out.  Irresponsible?  Or the best way to get herd immunity by infecting the least endangered age cohort?

Mathematics of life and death: How disease models shape national shutdowns and other pandemic policies
Couldn't have said it better myself.

Chinese researchers isolated deadly bat coronaviruses near Wuhan animal market
A persistent backstory, suppressed repeatedly but keeps coming back. 
Where there is smoke...???

Coronavirus: India's pandemic lockdown turns into a human tragedy
Heartbreaking.

Can Zinc help you AVOID problems with COVID-19?

Don't wait. The time will never be just right.
Napoleon Hill

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