Voyage of Traveler / Blog

June 30, 2010

Traveler Postcard From San Diego

Traveler Postcard From San Diego
June 30, 2010

We’re back in the United States of America!  After a very rough Baja Bash clawing our way into the wind and waves, against the current and up the coast from Cabo San Lucas, Traveler is safely in the Guest Slip at the Southwestern Yacht Club, where we are very much enjoying our stay. The club was recently totally rebuilt and is gorgeous.

Last night Barbara and I took the dinghy across the San Diego Bay to Joe’s Crab Shack for dinner then walked over to Petco Field to see the Colorado Rockies play the San Diego Padres.

After a whole world full of amazing experiences in 61 foreign countries on six continents over the past 36 months, it felt strange NOT to be in a third-world county.  San Diego is one of the world’s greatest cities.

I’m having mixed emotions about the voyage coming to an end.  To be sure, I am more than a bit travel weary and ready to return to reality.  On the other hand, I will greatly miss all of the exciting ports of call and days at sea.

Tonight, at about 11 pm, we will cast off the dock lines for the last time and depart San Diego and motor through the night to Catalina, arriving there Thursday morning, and staying at anchor at the Balboa Yacht Club’s station at White’s Cove for two nights, Thursday and Friday.

On Saturday, July 3, we weigh anchor for the last time and cross the Catalina Channel, an easy 26 miles and the final leg of our 30,000+ mile, three-year, around the world voyage.  We expect to arrive at the entrance to Newport Harbor at about 1:40 pm, where we will be joined by some friends in their boats as we cross our outbound track and complete the circumnavigation by docking at the Balboa Yacht Club for our Traveler Homecoming and Crew Reunion Party, beginning at 2pm.

Hope you can join us in the celebration.

Michael, Barbara and Brian

June 29, 2010

Traveler Departing Ensenada

Midnight, June 29, 2010
Hotel Coral and Marina
Ensenada, Mexico

We just departed the Coral Marina after a short but very busy layover.  In just 30 hours we:

1. Had an engine failure on arrival and had to be towed in for the last 200 yards to the Coral Marina.  The engine stalled due to algae in the fuel tank, which turns to black sludge and clogs the fuel filter. We got the tow from some other yachties in their dinghy.

2. Got a junior suite at the Hotel Coral and took a long, hot shower, had a great dinner and a fabulous night’s sleep.  The Baja Bash really took its toll on Traveler and crew, and a nice hotel room was a much deserved treat.

3. Got up early and tackled a full day of boat repairs and other chores.

4. Removed the faulty starter motor and took it to a repair shop to be rebuilt.  The work was completed in just four hours turn around time and cost only $75.  Then we reinstalled the starter with the help of a nice neighboring yachtie.

5.  Pumped the diesel fuel out of the tank and disposed of the sludgy contaminated fuel.  Vacuum cleaned the bottom of the fuel tank.  Also changed out the fuel hose from the tank to the dual Raycor fuel filters, replaced the filters and cleaned the filter bowls.  Brian and I did all this work by ourselves, and it was a filthy job.

6.  Got an outboard mechanic to come to the boat at about noon.  He took the Yamaha 8hp outboard to his shop to clean the dirty carburetor and replace the fuel hose. He got the work done and returned the engine within three hours.

7.  Barbara fixed a propane leak and changed out the propane tanks.  Then she tested the starting and house batteries and found that one of our four house batteries has a weak cell.

8.  After completing all repairs, we motored over to the fuel dock and filled up the tank and the jerry jugs with diesel.

9.  Checked out of our hotel room and then completed the check out procedures with the marina, Immigration and the Port Captain.

9.  Cleaned the boat, inside and out, so we were good to go!

10.  Enjoyed an after-sunset swim and Jacuzzi at the hotel’s pool.

11.  To celebrate a good work day and our last night in a foreign port, we went into Ensenada for a nice dinner of fish tacos, and had a four piece band of strolling musicians play ‘La Bamba’ and ‘La Cucaracha’ for us.

We are now well on our way to San Diego, motoring through the night, taking two-hour watches, and should arrive at the Customs and Immigration Dock around 0800.  We will then motor over to the South West Yacht Club where our friend Kurt Roll is a member and he got us a guest slip for a couple of nights.  We plan on watching the Padres and Rockies baseball game Tuesday night.

But for now, Barbara is on watch and I’m exhausted, so my head is about to hit the pillow.  I have a couple of hours rest, then it’s my turn to stand watch.

Be home soon,
Hasta pronto!

with Barbara and Brian
Team Traveler

June 27, 2010

Traveler and Crew Are Baja Bashed

Sunday, June 27
Traveler Family and Friends,

Yesterday was a rough ride.  Traveler and Crew are thoroughly Baja Bashed, and we are so ready for dry land and hot showers.

The worst part of the passage from Cabo San Lucas to Ensenada is behind us now, and we are motoring in much more comfortable weather and sea conditions.  Because the wind is down to 18 knots apparent and the waves are moderate, we are able to do 7.5 knots, and at 0600 we are just 82 miles SSE of Ensenada.  It is still cold, but we can deal with that.  We expect to arrive at the Coral Hotel and Marina, just N of Ensenada, at about 6pm this evening.

An interesting thing happened at 0400 this morning while I was on watch sitting in the cockpit. We were approached by a speed boat from the stern, with no running lights on.  They came right up to our stern, just a boat length behind us, and then turned on their high-powered spot light and running lights.  When their big spot light lit up my cockpit and I realized there was a boat right on my ass, it really startled me. I jumped to my feet, spilling some of my coffee.  I woke up Barbara and told her it looked like someone wanted to board us.  I called on VHF Ch 16, but no response.  A couple of minutes passed and I tried to reach them again on the radio, and again there was no response.  Who are these guys, and what do they want?  I told Barbara that I suspected they were navy and were planning on following us until daylight and then would board us for an inspection–but that was just a guess.  But recent reports of piracy on the Mexican coastline raced through my mind.  I asked Barbara to monitor the radio at the nav desk while I watched the situation from the cockpit.  Were they really going to try an board us? At night? Who are those guys?  Eventually, after 20 minutes or so, they identified themselves, in English, over the VHF as Mexican Navy and asked how many people we had on board.  I told them we have just three persons onboard, all US citizens, and that we are a US-flagged vessel with all the required US and Mexican documents and that we are on passage from San Jose del Cabo to Ensenada.  They asked if we needed anything, and I said no thank you.  Then they said have a safe passage, and turned their boat away in another direction.  An hour later, in the early light of dawn, I scanned the horizon but could not see them.

Melissa, I am half way through reading “Getting Stoned With Savages” and love it.  Barbara read it first and loved it, too.  Thanks for the great book.

Kurt, thanks so much for getting us a berth at your YC in San Diego.  It will be great to get back to the US! Hope to see you there.  If not, then at the BYC on July 3.

with Barbara and Brian (both off watch and sleeping)

June 26, 2010

It’s wet, bumpy and FREEZING!

Traveler Family and Friends,
Saturday, June 26
28-32 N, 115-13 W
210 miles S of Ensenada
COG 322M, SOG 3.5 to 5

Right now, it is 0300, we are ten miles N of Cedros Island, I’m on watch, and we are just getting the shit kicked out of us in rough conditions.  We’re motoring uphill (sure feels like it), against a strong current and straight into 20 to 25 knots of apparent wind, with waves breaking over the bow, washing over the deck and smashing into the dodger. And it is freezing cold!

The waves hitting the bow really slow us down, like from 5 to 3.5 knots. Then the engine slowly makes way against the wind and chop, fighting the current, to give us a full 5 knots speed over ground. Then BAM–another horrendous crash! Hit by yet another wave, and our speed drops back to 3.5 knots SOG.

It’s like being in a low-speed car wreck every two to four minutes, and being on the Indian Jones ride at Disneyland in between the car wrecks. Nonstop. While shivering in your foul weather gear. Maybe when the sun comes up it will at least seem better, and we’ll be able to see what is going on.

The radar is not working.  But we’re thankful the engine, autopilot and chart plotter are all working well again.  And we just re-fueled at Turtle Bay.  With the autopilot keeping us on course, we are back to one person on watch at a time, so the watch schedule is three hours on, six hours off.  But it’s somewhere between very hard and flat out impossible to sleep in these conditions.  If you do happen to doze off, it is just for a couple of minutes, then BAM!, another wave hits.  You can’t sleep through these ‘car wrecks.’

Bottom line: A lot of noise and bouncing around on a wet, bumpy and freezing ride.

Barbara, Brian and I are all very much looking forward to Sunday evening when we arrive Ensenada and taking a long hot shower. Then we celebrate our last night in a foreign port.

The end is near, and I can smell the barn.

bb here for a postscript:  Many of you wonder if there will be a last chapter to my tales of laundry in foreign ports. Nope! I didn’t bring any clothes to wash!! What was I thinking?? I threw in a bathing suit, a sarong, of course, and not one piece of clothing to keep me warm!! Therefore I borrow M’s stuff and since we do separate laundry, well, there you go . . . why didn’t I think of this before???? Hugs to all, bb

June 25, 2010

Traveler Baja Bash Update 2

Traveler Baja Bash Update 2
Friday, June 25, 2010
42 miles SW of Turtle Bay
270 miles S of Ensenada


Wow, what a turn around of luck for Team Traveler, and all good!  We got the engine running and the autopilot working well again, and then we caught a mahi mahi, all within 15 minutes late yesterday afternoon!

We are now (0920 hrs.) headed for Turtle Bay, with just 42 miles to go.  With the engine working again, we can safely get in and out of that tight natural harbor, and will buy fuel.

Sailing conditions are good: wind is NW at a comfortable 15 knots, seas are moderate, and we are sailing on a beam reach at 7 knots.  But is COLD out here! Inside the cabin it is just 65, and much colder out in the cockpit.  Even with the dodger and the side curtains zipped tight, you need a fleece vest under the full foul weather gear. To paraphrase Mark Twain’s famous saying about weather in San Francisco: The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I sailed up Baja California!

We plan on stopping at the Coral Marina and Hotel just north of Ensenada to refuel and plan to spend the night there.  After 3 years and 61 countries, this will be our last night in a foreign country.

Life is good and all is well aboard Traveler!

See you soon,

with Barbara and Brian

June 24, 2010

Traveler Baja Bash Update

June 24, 2010
Traveler Baja Bash Update
377 miles south of San Diego

The good news is we are making way. The wind has eased to 14 knots, and the waves are down to 3 to 4 feet.  Smooth sailing with just 377 miles to go to San Diego–it seems like such a short distance to us now.  We are all healthy.  Plenty of food and enough water. I just set the ship’s clock ahead to Pacific Time, having now crossed all 24 of the world’s time zones!

The bad news is we are having new electrical problems.  This is on top of the engine problem (won’t start) we developed two days ago. The autopilot is acting up. It has worked flawlessly since we bought it in Singapore (Jan. ‘08).  But now it won’t hold course.  So we are hand steering the rest of the way, headed nonstop for San Diego.  We expect to arrive
San Diego sometime around Sunday afternoon.

Hand steering means a watch schedule of two crew on watch for four hours, with the other crew off watch for two hours.  Four hours on, two off.  Crew fatigue will be a growing problem, and hand steering at night is more difficult–and we are a bit out of practice.  It has been a long time since the Transpac Race, where we hand steered for 18 days.

Hasta luego,
with Barbara and Brian

June 23, 2010

Traveler Postcard–The Baja Bash!

Traveler Postcard–The Baja Bash!
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
26-05 N, 114-39 W
90 miles south of Turtle Bay
415 miles SSE of San Diego
326 miles NW of Cabo San Lucas

Cruisers for years have been calling the wild ride up the coast from Cabo San Lucas to San Diego the Baja Bash, and for good reason.  It is almost always bad weather: heavy winds and big waves out of the NNW, right on the bow, and set back by a strong adverse current running down the coast. Plus there are unlit, offshore reefs to worry about. You may remember the schooner “Goodwill” wrecked on the Sacramento reef with all hands lost.

The three things you must have for the Baja Bash are:

(1) A favorable weather report. “Favorable” is a relative term.  Here it means winds under 25 knots on the bow.  You know it is going to be snotty.  You just don’t want to go when it is predicted to be REALLY SNOTTY. We started out, departing Cabo San Lucas on June 20, with an unusually favorable forecast: wind was under 10 knots and variable in direction. And we had those conditions for the first night, motoring along in calm seas.  We said to each other how we lucked out on the weather, and joked that this was going to be the “Baja Glass.”  But forecasts are only right some of the time.  And we are now, on Day Four, experiencing the typical NW’ly winds of 20 knots, right on the bow, with 4 to 6 foot waves.  It is a bouncy, wet and cold ride, to be sure, with a wave breaking over the bow every three to five minutes, washing over the deck and smashing into the dodger. Night and day.  That keeps you awake!  I’m glad I had the dodger repaired and all of the seams re-stitched in La Paz–it’s really being tested.

(2) Lots of fuel.  This means not only a full fuel tank, but also carrying extra jerry jugs and doing fuel transfers from the jerrys to your main tank along the way.  There is only one half-way decent place to stop for more fuel along the entire 730 mile coastline from Cabo to Ensenada, and that is at Turtle Bay, 420 miles up from Cabo.  We had plenty of fuel, we thought:  117 gallons of diesel in the main tank and our normal four jerry jugs (each five gallons), plus I bought in La Paz an extra 50 liter jerry jug, for a total of 150 gallons. Normally, at a cruising speed of 7.5 knots, our burn rate is one gallon an hour. Allowing for adverse current and rough sea conditions, I figured we would make good speed over ground of five knots.  So with this much fuel we should have made Turtle Bay easily, with a fat reserve.  But we did not.  For some unknown reason, our burn rate was an extraordinarily high 4.5 gallons per hour.  We ran out of fuel 170 miles south of Turtle Bay. I added 15 gallons from the jerry jugs to the main tank, leaving one of the five gal. jerrys for reserve later, if needed.  And we started sailing the rest of the way to Turtle Bay.  Hey, no problemo.  After all, this is a sailboat! Then the wind got very light, so I kicked on the engine, or tried to.  Which leads me to the essential third leg of the stool…

(3) A strong engine.  Our 110 hp Yanmar has been running very well lately, after overcoming a long series of problems over the past two years (this new engine was installed in French Polynesia in June 2008.)  I was really counting on her to perform when she was needed the most: for the challenging Baja Bash.  You can only imagine how my heart sank when I turned the key to start the engine and in wouldn’t start.  I got out the tool box and tried my best to fix it.  But although I know now much more about the working (and non-working) mechanics of a marine diesel engine, I am still a novice, and this problem was over my head.  I think it is a faulty stater motor, perhaps a stuck solenoid inside the starter–something that is beyond my abilities.  So we are sailing to San Diego!  After all, this is a sailboat! (Didn’t I just say that?)

But here is what that means.  We must tack out, sailing westerly on a starboard tack, well offshore, then when due south of Guadeloupe Island we will tack back to sail north.  Compared to motoring a straight course for San Diego, this beating to windward extends the number of miles sailed and the days at sea significantly.  And it is rough and surprisingly cold out here.  We are really getting tossed around, making it difficult to sleep, so crew exhaustion is a growing concern.  But we have plenty of food and water, and the forecast is for NW winds of 15 to 20 knots all the way to the US border.

At 0400 last night, after the moon set so it was pitch dark, and as the winds increased to 26 apparent, I had to crawl from the cockpit up to the mast to put another reef in the main in rough seas.  The deck was lit, amazingly, with phosphorescence as wave after wave washed around me.

What a dramatic finish for this incredible voyage.  But it is a little more drama than I wanted.

On the bright side, to help me as crew I not only have Brian, who is now an experienced blue water sailor, quite comfortable in these conditions and capable to stand watches, night and day, by himself.  But I also have my girlfriend Barbara, bless her heart, back on Traveler.  She knew how rough the Baja Bash can be and volunteered for this leg anyway.  She just finished her school year and could have been playing volleyball in Manhattan Beach.  But instead she flew into Los Cabos and is here with me, and for that I am most grateful.  And so pleased that we will be able to finish this voyage around the world together!

with Barbara and Brian
“Team Traveler”


P.S. We are still on schedule, in spite of the above-mentioned set backs, for the Traveler Homecoming and Crew Reunion on Saturday, July 3 at 2 pm at the Balboa Yacht Club, and y’all are invited.

June 14, 2010


Saturday, July 3 at 2:00 pm
Balboa Yacht Club
1801 Bayside Drive
Corona del Mar, CA 92625
(in Newport Beach)

In celebration of Traveler completing a three-year circumnavigation, Michael Lawler and Barbara Burdick invite you to attend the Traveler Homecoming and Crew Reunion Party to be held on Saturday, July 3, 2010, at 2:00 pm at the Balboa Yacht Club in Newport Beach.  You are welcome to bring your family and guests, too.

If you have a boat, you may want to meet Traveler out past the harbor entrance at the Bell Bouy at 1:40 to form a short boat parade to lead the way for Traveler into Newport Harbor and to the BYC. (Monitor VHF Ch. 69.)

Traveler is currently (June 14) in La Paz getting her bottom painted and new cockpit cushions sewn, and Michael and his son, Brian, are getting the boat ready for the final leg. On June 19 Barbara flies down to Los Cabos to re-join the Traveler crew for the Baja Bash up the coast from Cabo San Lucas to Newport Beach.

After visiting 61 countries on six continents and sailing over 30,000 miles and around the world and through the Suez and Panama Canals over the past three years, Traveler now has only 800 miles to go to complete her circumnavigation.

You are encouraged to forward this email to a friend.  The more the merrier.

If you have questions, ideas or want to help with the event, please call Scott Schubert at 949-230-1416 or the Balboa Yacht Club at 949-673-3515.  For directions to the BYC, please go to

June 7, 2010

Traveler Postcard PV to La Paz

Traveler Postcard from Puerto Vallarta, Isla Marieta,
Isla Isabela, Mazatlan, Bahia de Los Muertos and La Paz
May 25 to June 7, 2010


Bahia Banderas (Bay of Flags), May 25.  After taking a pounding rounding Cabo Corrientes, it was smooth sailing on a broad reach with following seas into Bahia Banderas, which is the largest bay in Mexico and on the same latitude as Maui. The bay’s opening, from Cabo Corrientes north to Punta Mita, is 20 miles across, and 15 miles deep, with Puerto Vallarta at the eastern head of the bay.  On our way to PV, we stopped briefly at the charming, secluded cove of Yelapa. I wished we could have spent more time there, but my nephew Ryan was flying into PV in a couple of hours and we promised to meet him at the airport.  On the way to the marina, we hugged the shoreline to do some sightseeing from the water: Roca los Arcos, a dozen statues and a crowd of people strolling along the malecon, and the many high rise hotels along the beach.

Puerto Vallarta.  Brian and I took a berth at the upscale, huge Marina Vallarta for $1/foot/night.  We were docked next to the mega-yacht “Invader,” owned by Carlos Slim, the wealthiest man in the world. We quickly cabbed it to the nearby airport just in time to meet Ryan’s flight. He was just starting his summer break after his sophomore year at Loyola Marymount, so I told him that his next nine days on Traveler would be like a Cruising Summer Camp.  An avid saltwater fisherman, Ryan brought with him a couple of his own rods and reels and several lures, to add to our gear, in hopes of catching a billfish–and this is one of the best places in the world for that.  I rented a car (only $25/day with insurance and unlimited mileage!) and we toured the town.  PV is Mexico’s most popular Pacific resort, and we could see why.  Cobblestoned streets in a charming old town, with fun bars and restaurants, and beautiful hillside homes, all along a gorgeous bay.  For centuries, explorers and pirates (including Drake) stopped here to provision and relax–or pillage and plunder.  Through the 1950s, PV was just a sleepy, unknown hideaway.  Then, beginning in 1964 with the release of John Huston’s popular “Night of the Iguana” and with stars like Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton living here, a boom in tourism changed everything. Now PV has 300,000 residents and 2 million visitors a year. The first night we found a nice beachfront restaurant serving an All-You-Can-Eat buffet.  We grabbed a table to watch a fabulous sunset and saw the illusive Green Flash!  Ryan, Brian and I stuffed ourselves then walked it off along the malecon.  The next day we drove an hour up the coast to spend a relaxing day at a surf village called Sayulita, which was great.  Except along the way I got stopped by a traffic cop for running a red light, he said.  I was sure I had not, and Brian (sitting in the front seat) was also sure I had not.  But the cop said he was going to write me a ticket, the fine would be 1200 pesos ($100 US) and he was going to hold my drivers license at the police station to make sure I paid the fine before leaving PV. I begged for a warning instead.  He said that I could, if I preferred, just pay him the 1200 pesos and be on my way.  Ah, the crooked cop, shaking down a tourist.  Now it was just a matter of negotiating the price.  After a minute of haggling, we settled on 600 pesos ($50 US), I paid the bribe and we were on the road again.  Later I read in a newspaper about dirty cops stopping tourists, claiming some traffic violation and soliciting bribes.  The article went on to say, unfortunately, the practice is widespread throughout Mexico’s resort towns.

Isla Marieta and Isla Isabela.  On our way up the coast to Mazatlan, we stopped at two offshore islands: first at Isla Marieta, just 15 miles west of PV, and then, Isla Isabela, 100 miles north from there.  Both islands are remote, uninhabited bird sanctuaries.  Marieta, at 20-41N, 105-36W, is a National Park and was a striking, delightful contrast from the developed marinas and high rise hotels of PV.  We snorkeled (fabulous!) and kayaked (one of the best rocky shorelines for kayaking I found the entire voyage!)  We also went ashore and hiked around the island, careful to step around dozens of blue-footed boobies nesting in the tall grass.  We also had fun exploring the islands’s natural limestone caves.  Marieta is an extraordinary natural wonder, comparable to the Galapagos Islands.  Back onboard Traveler, we had an early dinner then motor-sailed through the night to Isla Isabela, at 21-50N, 105-52W.  It is another stunningly beautiful island, with thousands of nesting birds and dramatic rocks, and once again great for snorkeling and kayaking.  Both Jacques Cousteau and National Geographic have done hour-long TV specials about this island calling it a “wonderland of unspoiled nature.”

Mazatlan.  We arrived here on a quiet Sunday morning, May 30, and took a berth at the El Cid Hotel and Marina, a five star resort.  My brother Drew (Ryan’s dad) owns Pacific Coast Sportfishing Magazine and arranged for us to go out on a charter boat, one of his advertisers, for the day to find billfish.  Unfortunately, they weren’t biting and we got skunked. But we later had a fun time walking around the old town and enjoyed a nice dinner at El Shrimp Bucket.  Because the marina is owned by the hotel, included in the price for the berth were hotel privileges, so we spent some quality time just hanging around the pool, with its waterfalls, covered grotto and water slide, munching on nachos and sipping cervezas.

Sea of Cortez.  Brian, Ryan and I departed Mazatlan on June 2 to cross the Sea of Cortez (also correctly called the Gulf of California), headed for La Paz.  The wind angle, oddly out of the south, and wind speed provided some great sailing.  This was the first time Ryan had been sailing on a boat this size in blue water, out of sight of land; as a bonus, it was also an overnight sail on a warm night under a full moon.  The conditions were perfect.  On the down side, we trolled the whole way across the gulf, but still nada.

Bahia de Los Muertos.  We made landfall on Baja California Sur between the East Cape and La Paz at the Bahia de Los Muertos (Bay of the Dead) at 23-59N, 109-49W. A few years ago a developer bought the entire bay, put in a golf course resort and home sites, and changed the name to Bahia de Suenos (Bay of Dreams).  But the old name is hard to change.  Cortes gave the bay that name in 1539 when he landed here to find several graves with odd (to him) headstones.  A local fisherman told Cortez that many years earlier a Chinese ship anchored here, and many of the crew died and were buried ashore.  We dinghied ashore to a restaurant called “1539″ for nachos and cervezas, met up with some other yachties anchored here, and watched the Lakers beat the Celtics in Game One of the NBA Finals.

La Paz.  The next morning we sailed north with, again, a rare southerly breeze, past Isla Cerralvo (whose name was recently changed to Isla Cousteau.) Ryan caught two bonitas along the way, keeping one and releasing the other.  We stopped for lunch at the uninhabited Isla Espiritu Santo, a National Park.  While Brian napped on Traveler, Ryan and I went ashore.  But the bugs were bitting, big time, so we didn’t stay long.  What a gorgeous place, though. Another natural wonder.  We weighed anchor and sailed into Bahia La Paz, towing the dinghy.  The late afternoon sun gave some great lighting and I realized I had very few photos, if any, of Traveler under sail.  So I hopped into the dinghy and got some great shots of Traveler underway, with Baja’s desert-like mountains in the background.  We anchored in La Paz Harbor and had a Captain’s Dinner for Ryan to celebrate his last night with us.  For an appetizer, we ate fresh ceviche made with scallops, lime juice, jalapeno peppers and coconut milk.  Then for the main course we had surf and turf with the fish Ryan caught and fillet mignon, with a side of ravioli.  We finished off the meal with a shot of Kahlua.  Salud!

Getting Close To Home.  After dropping Ryan off at the bus station, as Brian and I dinghied back out to Traveler, we noticed a new boat anchored next to us.  It not only had a US flag (very common down here) but also a home port of Newport Beach.  Then we saw it also had a Balboa Yacht Club burgee!  We went aboard “Escapade,” a Regal 42, and visited with Jim and Anita Collings from the BYC and their friend Debbie St. Louis, catching up on what’s new at the club.  The next night we all got together again to go out for a fabulous dinner at the Buffalo BBQ, one of La Paz’s most popular restaurants.

It is now June 7, and just 12 more days until Barbara re-joins Traveler and, together with Brian, we begin the final passage of the voyage, up the Baja Coast. After sailing more than 30,000 miles, we now have less than 800 miles to go.

We are still planning to complete the circumnavigation and celebrate with a Traveler Homecoming and Crew Reunion on Saturday, July 3 at 2pm at the BYC, and you all are invited.

Hasta temprano,

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