San Jose and the Trip North

After we were done in Puerto Vallarta, it was time to make our way back across the Sea of Cortez to the Baja peninsula.  We decided to moor the boat at San Jose del Cabos (about 17 miles from Cabo San Lucas), as we had a couple sets of visitors flying in to the area, and it would be a good place to leave the boat while gone on the annual JAG and Friends ski trip to Tahoe. 

Our first visitor was our good friend Liz from Hawaii.  Her trip from the airport to the marina was a bit of an ordeal, but she put her good logic and sense of humor to work and made it to us just fine.  We shopped and ate, and ate some more.  There were a couple of favorite restaurants that we found.  First was a farm to table place called Flora Farms.  The location was beautiful and the food was fantastic.  I highly recommend it if you’re ever in the area.  The other was Mexican fare in the heart of San Jose, and for the life of me, I can’t remember the name of it.  They had live music, and both the food and margaritas were spectacular! 

The same day Liz left, my son Jordan and his girlfriend Koren arrived.  We sailed, shopped, ate and just had a wonderful time visiting and catching up.  One of the highlights of our sailing adventures (beside seeing whales) was going over to see the Arch of Cabo San Lucas.  The water was so beautiful and blue, and the arch and rock formations were breathtaking.  Unfortunately, there were a ton of tour boats and other cruisers doing the same thing, so we barely had time for a photo op and then had to move on.  We did a little snorkeling as well, but the water was pretty darned cold, so we didn’t dilly dally too long.  Jordan and Koren had done their research before coming to Cabo and got us reservations for an amazing dinner at Sunset Mona Lisa. It was a true 5-star experience with beautiful views, delicious food, and of course, the best company.  Their visit ended much too soon, but their timing was impeccable, as their return home was about the time all of the COVID stuff started getting really crazy.  In fact, we were to fly out for the ski trip the same day they left, but made the decision at the last minute not to go.  Good thing too – as all the ski resorts began closing the next day – and we were grateful not to be traveling during that time. 

With the ski trip cancelled,  we decided it was time to start making our way north to our final cruising destination for the season.  We had originally planned to be in the Sea of Cortez until the end of May.  Hurricane season is June through October, so the boat would be hauled out of the water and safe on land in Puerto Penasco, while we would make our way back to the house in Maryland for the summer.  However, we decided with all of the unknowns related to COVID, we should probably start heading north sooner rather than later, as we began to hear stories of various ports closing and were unsure about border crossings.  We ended up stopping over for several days in the small port town of Santa Rosalia to wait out a period of high winds.  The stop was a good one, as we did a little provisioning and had time to find fabric and make our super-fashionable COVID face masks.  

When we made it up to Puerto Penasco, we were told we must haul out of the water the following day, and would then have 2 hours to leave town.  Not at all what we had planned.  As you probably know, literally everything we own has been on the boat since we left Hawaii.  So, we had planned to catch a ride to the US, rent a U-Haul truck and bring it back down to the boat in Mexico to load up all our belongings and then make our way across the US.  We already knew this probably wasn’t going to happen because of travel restrictions getting back into Mexico once we left.  But we did think we would have a few days to figure out an alternative plan.   In addition, getting the boat ready to be on the hard and empty for 6 months takes some preparation.  Besides getting all our stuff off the boat, the sails need to come down, sacrificial lines need to replace the normal rigging to avoid sun damage, fridges and freezers need to be defrosted, dinghy motors need to be drained of fuel and stowed, and on and on…  So, when we were told we had to be out in 24 hours, it was unexpected and a tad stressful!  How the heck would we get everything done AND get us and all our stuff out of Mexico???  Well, the good Lord provided.  There just happen to be a 1997 Coachmen Mirada motorhome for sale sitting right there at the boat yard.  We took a quick look and drive, and decided that it was our best option.  So, we sent the guy $4,200 via paypal, and voila, we had a ride out of there.  Though for that kind of money, you gotta wonder exactly what we would end up with!  We immediately began dragging stuff from the boat to the motor home, and in no organized fashion whatsoever.  We had sailed all night the night before, so we were already working on less than optimal sleep, but we finally made it to bed.  Ah…time for a short rest.  Ha!

At around 4 am the next morning, we awoke to a crashing noise and several jolts. As we looked out the port side windows (where we were sleeping), all we could see was the huge, hulking hull of a steel shrimp boat. The boat had apparently broken loose from its mooring and was unmanned.  The wind was howling and the shrimp boat, the bow of which initially struck us on the port side was beginning to drag its way down the side of our boat – making horrendous sounds as it did.  We were grabbing fenders and trying to minimize the boat-on-boat contact.  We then realized that three other shrimp boats had also broken loose and were pushing the original boat against us.  We were literally being squeezed between the shrimp boats and the dock.  Mike raced over to the boat moored next to us to awaken them and warn them of what was going on, as the boats continued to move in the wind.  Finally an hour or so later, some of the fisherman showed up and started backing the boats away from us.  There was definitely some damage, and we won’t know the full extent until a marine surveyor comes to evaluate, but thankfully there were no gaping holes or anything that caused us to take on water.  Thank God.  

We ended up getting the boat hauled out of the water later that day, and late in the afternoon were ready to hit the road in our new to us RV – which we have lovingly named Eddie (as in Cousin Eddie from Christmas Vacation).  Another cruiser needed a ride to Phoenix, so he hopped in and we were off with a police escort, lights and all, to the edge of town.  Not kidding – you can’t make this stuff up!  The border was only an hour or so away, so we thought we make it there right about sunset and would be back in the USA by nightfall.  Eddie seemed to be running fairly well and all three of us were exhausted, but giddy at the thought of being back in the USA.  And – you guessed it – things did not go as planned.  We pulled up to the border at about 8:05 pm, only to be told that the border closed early due to COVID, and we had missed it by 5 minutes.  We would have to wait until the next morning at six to cross.  There are no RV parks in this little town, and no motels that we could find.  We found some truckers pulled over at a gas station, and decided that would be the safest bet to try and get some rest for the night.  We pulled up between two of them, cracked a beer and tried to “unwire” ourselves from the events of the last 24 hours.  I think we all finally did sleep at some point, though I’m not sure it was very restful.  We were up at 5am and were third in line to cross the border.  The crossing itself was uneventful.  They searched Eddie, and then sent us on our way.  Whew!!!  We dropped our new friend off, got some breakfast and finally were able to just stop.  All I wanted to do was just stop.  And sleep.

So finally, you are pretty much caught up on our adventures to date.  We are currently in Arizona getting Eddie road ready for the trip across country.  I have no doubt that will probably include some adventures as well (did I mention Eddie’s tags are expired?), so we’ll be sure to keep you posted.  We had originally planned to stop and visit some folks along the way, but social distancing will prevent that on this trip.  Hope to catch up with all of you soon though.  In the meantime, we send our love, virtual hugs and prayers that you all stay safe and healthy.

So friends, until next time…live the adventure!

Liz & Colleen at Flora Farms
Jordan & Koren at the Arch
Mike & Col at the Arch
Koren & Jordan – Cheers!
Jordan & Colleen at Sunset Mona Lisa – Love my boy!
Henry chillaxin
Koren, Jordan & Colleen – lettin the fishies clean our footsies
That’s my boy!
Jordan & Koren
Creating a little zen at an anchorage on the way up north
Makeshift ear elastics for the COVID masks
My renaissance man sewing COVID masks
The final product – Henry does not approve
Plenty TP in Mexico
‘Nuf said
Um…that boat isn’t social distancing
Kayak eventually shot out from between the boats
Fiberglass vs. steel : (
Three vs. one : (
Kayak died, but likely saved Air Bender from much worse damage
Air Bender on the hard
Eddie the Covinator
The border. So close….but closed
Henry seems to be adapting