Venice Beach

Our first day we went to Venice Beach, here it is.


Although it is the walkways that are the most fun


Interesting with buskers and footloose salesmen but the prices were something to be seen. $11 for a bowl of chips (french fries). I didn’t.

Not sure what this place was, the local coven?


Artwork was something of note


We walked along the pier, looking to the north.



Passage to Los Angeles

We eventually got the paperwork done by 1200 and departed Ensenada for Alamitos Bay Marina south of LA.

An easy overnight cruise arriving early in the morning so dropped the hook for a few hours. During the passage there was a US Navy aircraft carrier  to seaward of us. They were doing air operations and were constantly putting out warnings on VHF 16. However there were still some boats who got in the way and it was fun listening to them warning them off.

By 0700 the channel was busy with sport fishing boats, the breakwater crowded with fishermen and another Sunday on the water began.

Managed to get hold of the marina so tied up at reception and signed in. Went round to the berth and waited for Customs. Two officers soon turned up and went through all the paperwork and we were officially in the USA.

Kate joined us and we had a relaxing day catching up.

A beautiful sunset on our first evening in California.


Craft Beer

Going for lunch in Ensenada I found a place that had craft beer. According to the beer app “untappd’ there are 252 craft beers in Mexico. From visiting other eating places it seems  they are well hidden but here was my chance.

Here it is, salt round the rim and a definite tomato flavour.


Its in a pint glass with a beer label but I have a suspicion it is not a craft beer.


The ‘liveaboards’ in the marina told me that Ensenada is a ‘gringo’ town, made popular in the days of prohibition. Close to the border with the US it was an easy drive for a drink and a gamble in the casinos.

Possibly why the city was dominated by a huge flag that flew day and night.


The first couple of days were taken up with getting the starter motor off the engine and up the road, it was found to be a faulty solenoid. With that replaced it was back on and the engine started OK.  Luckily for me one of the Nordhavn owners in the marina, Gale Plummer (Worknot) is a very experienced diesel hand and he helped me do it all.  For some reason, despite switching everything off and disconnecting the batteries, there was still 26 Volts on the positive side. Gale was most amused as I kept dropping spanners in the bilge trying to get the leads off the pole, had to put some latex gloves on to finish – running out of spanners!

The town itself was interesting, lovely buildings, nice tile work. A selection of photos.




Lois was most taken with this shop.



We ate ashore on both nights, every restaurant advertised craft ale but when requested there were lots of sad faces and apologies. Quiet season probably.

It was a nice town and a longer visit would have been nice but Kate was in Los Angeles waiting for us so we got the clearance on the third day and set off for LA.


Passage to Ensenada

Our next leg was a little longer than we had been used to, just under 1000 NM to Ensenada. This is where we would clear out of Mexico as it is just on the border and then have an trip to Los Angeles.

We had an easy crossing of the Golfo de California but as we went north the wind built and, much to our surprise, the temperature dropped rapidly. Down to 22*C from 35*c, blankets on the bed at night! Still shorts and t-shirts though.

The waves got short and nasty so we slowed down and at night we hove to as it got bumpy. In the end we pulled into load a bit of fuel and have a break. San Quinten is a lovely bay full of seals. One of the locals came out with some extra fuel and we all got bitten to death by the local mossies.

The Bay


Bunkering crew


All ready to go but the main engine wouldn’t start, wouldn’t even turn over as the starter motor solenoid was duff.

Slow steamed to Ensenada on the wing engine.

Islands off Ensenada


Not the best trip we have had and we were all pleased to arrive.


La Cruz de Huanacaxtle

The marina is in the town above. A tourist destination  but in the quiet season.

Lois took this walking up the road for dinner. What do you think? Pair of shoes and matching handbag?


The beach, beautiful but quiet.


A Frigate Bird at rest, I didn’t know they had legs!


Local art.


The centre of town, we went for dinner at a place to the left. They told us the cross is made of local wood.


The local church.


And the local buildings.


Passage to Bahia de Banderas

We left Chahue with Christopher & Toni standing on the wharf ready to fly back to Glasgow. Down to three crew, a big change from the 7 we used to have.

Three day cruise in front of us but the weather was great the whole way.

Passing Acapulco, thought about stopping but the violence put us off.


Approaching Bahia de Banderas, beautiful beaches.


A local fishing boat with a watchful Frigate Bird on the lookout.


Every buoy in the marina channel had its own guard


Kapowai in Marina Riveria NaryitDSC01146

Puerto Chahue

As Christopher and Toni had flights booked we had to keep moving so we had another pleasant overnight passage to Puerto Chahue. Flat calm again.

Interesting entrance, plenty of water.



The area is a holiday one, plenty of hotels, wide streets and a nice marina. We went ashore for dinner and had a pleasant meal. Christopher and I had a mixed Mexican platter. It was very nice but one of the dishes seemed to have a lot of legs. Not surprising when we found out it was locusts.

Celebrating heading home after 4005 miles on Kapowai Christopher stings Dad for an expensive cocktail that took two to make and almost set fire to Toni.

The blue liquid is lit and poured over the top, you then drink the whole thing quickly.


Puerto Chiapis

After some discussion we decided to by-pass Guatemala, partly time and partly reports that it is expensive to clear in.

We had a nice cruise up the coast, flat calm again.

Volcano San Pedro said hello as we passed.

IMG_2075 (1)Our first destination in Mexico was Puerto Chiapas, just across the border from Guatemala.

The marina was lovely and teeming with wildlife. Unfortunately it took ages to clear in, started at 1000 one day and finished at 1400 the next. But we had a nice meal at the marina that night.


Local fishermen in the channel.


The big fleet not looking so healthy, didn’t find out why.



The Bar – Outward

Unfortunately we were ready to leave but the bar was too rough to cross safely. The Pilot was talking about a week but luckily after three days it looked better so off we went.

Approaching the bar


The pilot boat lost in a wave behind us


Another look


From the pilot boat:



We left the pilot boat behind as the wave size increased, after that it was watch and wait for a gap



and over



Running free down the back of a wave


Fun again but they were steep in the shallow water.