Monday, December 19, 2005

Seasons Greeting from Rouge's Scholarship

This will be our last post for awhile as we are leaving in a few days to spend Christmas at the island Espiritu Santo before making our way across the Sea of Cortez to Mazatlan. Below is our holiday card taken along the waterfront in La Paz.

We want to wish you all a wonderful holiday season and the happiest of new years!!!!! Love, Liz & Mark

El Serpentario de la Paz

This guy is a Rhinoceros Iguana. He was very busy climbing around his cage and giving us quite a show. I thought he liked me and Mark pointed out he was probably just hungry.

This Iguana was a beautiful orange color.
I hope to see them in the wild once we get to the jungle.

This one was a Beaded Lizard from Africa. I swear he posed once he
saw my camera.

The Serpentario in La Paz was really quite a nice place. After a really dusty and hot bike ride we were delighted to finally find this little gem. The Serpentario had almost 100 different species of reptiles and other miscellaneous critters. What you are not seeing is pictures of the huge scorpions, tarantulas or huge snakes. Mark commented that he had never seen such active snakes in a zoo before. I think they must sedate them in the US because here in La Paz we had a rattlesnake puff up and rattle at us. He was really irritated to be seen. The other hostile critter was a pale green cobra who was poised for striking (of course Mark was tapping the glass) Anyway the sign above the cobra said that over 8000 people die in India every year from their venom. After all this I was pretty glad to be back outside feeding the turtles.
More soon......Liz

Friday, December 16, 2005

Sea of Cortez Pictures...

The beach at Ensenada de los Muertos. That is Scholarship in the background.

A night of too much fun and tequila in La Paz with our neighbors from Fidele.

The sailor in his paper boat..on the Malecon.
The Malecon is the beautiful promenade in La Paz.
Right now it's decorated with thousands of white lights for Navidad.

Scholarship all decked out for cruising. Here she is in the Cabo Marina.

Mark's mini marlin. No we did not eat him. He is back in the sea growing big and strong.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Ensenada de los Muertos

Ensenada de los Muertos

Well we arrived in La Paz a week ago and have been enjoying marina life for awhile. After a chaotic passage to Cabo San Lucas and a few days in the bustling big city we made our way up the Sea of Cortez. Our first stop was an idealic bay called Ensenada de los Muertos...translated the name is Cove of the Dead. Despite the name which I heard came from some distant past yellow fever epidemic (did I get a shot for that ?), the place was perfect. We were safely anchored for five days as we waited for a norther to blow through before we could continue to La Paz. The water was warm, the sand was white and soft and I must have spent hours looking at the all the shells, rocks and pieces of coral that were washed up on shore. The other bonus was a fantastic restaurant that we visited many times. Cruisers and fisherman are definately their captive audience since there is nothing else around, but we didn't mind. Located an hour or so out of La Paz (by road) the Cove is the sight of a new housing development and golf course. What made this place even more special was that we got to enjoy it now before they "pave paradise and put up a parking lot."

Friday, December 09, 2005

A few pictures from the trip south...

Mark in Ensenada (notice the grande Mexican flag). This was our first official port and check in.

More amazing Baja sunsets.

We visited a lovely church in Asuncion. The stained glass features scenes from the Baja. This one is of whales. We have been lucky enough to see a few along the way.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Halfway Down the Baja!!!

Buenos Dias amigos y familia,

We left San Diego a week ago and are now anchored in Bahia de Tortuga a sleepy town halfway down the Baja penninsula. The trip has been great so far, even the long passages have been bearable. After a stop at the Coronado Islands and then checking in in Ensenada, we stoped at Cabo San Quintin before arriving Nov. 19th in Turtle Bay to toast Mark´s birthday. What a place to be. It´s a lovely anchorage and we are lucky to have already met lots of other wonderful cruisers to celebrate with. We plan to head south in the morning.... I promise pictures on the next entry.
Until next time..Happy Turkey Day to you all. We have our turkey from San Diego and will be celebrating somewhere this week.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Bon Voyage Ventura, Hello Santa Barbara Island

Bon Voyage!!!
Striking a pose on a steep cliff
Mark in his Necky on the way to the pier
The kayak I just leaped out of....on the left are the sealions

Well we finally did get the Watermaker and set sail around 2pm on a perfect windy and sunny afternoon. We sailed the first three hours and grinned from ear to ear as we drank champagne and toasted the glorious day and our luck at the opportunity to have such an adventure.

9 hours later we arrived at Santa Barbara Island in the dark and anchored to the sound of thousands of moaning and barking sealions. The hike around the island is about 4 miles so the next day Mark packed a lunch and we set off in our kayaks to land on the pier. My new kayak (i call her scarlett) is a sit on top, the landing was a little surgey for my taste but I managed to make it. I guess I am still getting my kayak-leg. As I landed I was surrounded by about 400 very curious and boisterous sealions. I have never climbed a ladder so fast in my entire life. Mark assured me they were harmless and after being on land and seeing them cuddling together like puppies I have to agree with him. It was all the echos and gutteral moaning the freaked me out.
Above are some pictures from the Island. Next stop, Santa Catalina then San Diego.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Butch and Many Goodbyes

Butch on the beach near Pismo.....

Oh what a glorious time in Phoenix this time of year.. We brought the rain and showers half way accross the desert with us from California. We watched as some or the arroyos filled and ran with the lifeblood of the desert, the water we live by. We drove with our longtime friend and fellow traveler, Butch. Butch like Pat defies genders, works hard and doesn't complain too often. Butch, a 1984 Ford Econoline conversion van, has been the frame through which we have gazed at many a long sunset for over ten years. Butch has hosted numerous picnics and parties. Butch has been entrusted with the care and conveyence of many a friend and family member . Butch has sheltered us in storms and brought the cool wet desert coarsing through our viens innumerable times all of which remain treasured memories.. Thank goodness through the generous and keen insight of our friend Dr. Ken, Butch will be assured of an active retirement ... Discretion prevents me from enumerating Butches many exploits besides no one who knew would ever want to sit in it again...anyways.. good luck to the both of you. And in the words of Niel Young , "Long may you run."
I can hardly remember all that has transpired in these last frantic days before our finally setting sail. What with the all the parties in Phoenix for my mothers 36th annual 39th birthday celebration with my wonderful family and all the river rats from our earlier adventure down the Grand Canyon. The harried flight to the train to the taxi with over 200lbs of luggage, the last minute items we had ordered all arriving within minutes of our send off. Geez the great guys and gals on e-dock in Ventura Isle marina throwing together a last minute Bon Voyage party with an inprobable spread of food and booze and desserts. I can only just try to catch my breath. We're on our 5th day of traveling south now and we have stopped at Santa Barbara Island for the classic "round the Island" hike, and the Isthmus on Catalina Island for a good nights sleep before leaving early for Avalon. 2 nights in that quiet town and we're on our way again. We're due to drop anchor in Mission Bay this evening and with my Big Bro in town on some pretense of work I have a feeling it's gonna be another liver punishing evenings with tearful goodbyes as if the drinking weren't dehydrating enough.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

October 29th...Finally

This the view from our backyard in Ventura. We enjoyed much of the summer here taking in beautiful sunsets, biking all over Ventura County and meeting lots of great neighbors.

We are all set and ready to go. We are leaving today and I am literally killing time waiting for the delivery of our Spectra watermaker. The delivery is many days late and as soon as we have it in our hot little hands we are out of here. Our first port of call will be Santa Barbara Island. Then on to Santa Catalina for a few days before visiting friends and following up on any loose ends. Then we really are leaving the country.... As soon as we get going we will have stories to tell right now it's just in our imaginations. Keep in touch. Liz

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Cruising the Channel Islands

Thousands of seals and sea lions off Point Bennett, San Miguel Island. A 7 mile hike one way to see these guys.
Mark communing with the seagulls on Santa Rosa.

The New Dinghy (the name is still being debated) on the beach at Santa Rosa Island.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Big Sur & Hwy 1 Roadtrip

Cannery Row, Monterrey

Camping in the Ventana Wilderness

Waterfall, Big Sur Point Sur Beach

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Welcome To Our Journey!!

Well it's one more month and counting until we leave for Mexico and parts beyond. Welcome to our blog. I gave up on the website. The connection was always slow and frustrating. As we go on our journey all we want to do is keep everyone up to date and post a few pictures.

First all little bit about the Rouge Scholarship.

"Rogues' Scholarship" is the name of our vessel. It is a spoof on that bastion of higher learning the Rhodes Scholarship, intimating a more low brow education. She is a 1976 Out Island 51. She was originally, so the story goes, delivered to a doctor in California and soon after stolen. How do you steal a 25 ton Ketch? (Probably not too hard, I know that we always leave the key in it.) Subsequently, Scholarship was found up in Oregon was given a salvage title. The next ten years she was out of the water for a major refit. She went from a ketch to a cutter and grew by 6 feet in the process. Whoever did the work had one thing in mind and that was blue water. She was owned after that by a marine biologist at UCLA who did some more internal conversions and used her for research in the South Pacific. He moved up to a 64 foot boat and that's when I moved in.
Liz and I have been sailing her together now for over 4 years. She weighs nearly 30 tons, half of which I'm sure is shoes. This puts her into the category of Slow and Heavy. While not always the traits we look for in women, she suits us just fine. How many other sailboats can boast a bathtub and a washer/dryer ? . After a few more Southern California shakedown cruises this summer we plan to join the yearly migration south into Mexico and beyond...
Welcome to our blog and please stay in touch.
Mark & Liz

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Getting Things Ready

We moved from Phoenix one month ago. It seems like yesterday. Liz and I have been doing some long overdue projects on the boat ( I'll get to that ) and at the same time enjoying our new address in San Buenventura or Ventura. It has been a pretty smooth transition and we're both still pinching ourselves, OK maybe I pinch her, to see if we're dreaming. Me, I have no illusions as to the reality of our situation but Liz says she still feels like she's on whole life has been a vacation so I don't know the diff. We took a some time to do a road trip (while we still own a car) up the coast and see all the many sights that California has to offer. San Simeon, or the Hearst Castle, Carmel, Monterey and Cannery Row, the boardwalk in Santa Cruz where neither of us had ever been not to mention San Luis Obisbo and Morro Bay. We worked the timing of the trip to see a band, that we both like, play in San Luis Obisbo or SLO.. They were great. What a farmers market in SLO ! too! I digress... Its August now and its downright cold here.. It gets sunny if you go inland but for the most part we're lucky to see 70 degrees in the day and high fifties at night neccesitating a down comforter and some snuggeling. Hey I just do what I'm told..
The Scholarship has been the lucky recipient of lots of TLC and overdue projects as I mentioned. Just yesterday I mounted the auxillary rudder (that's not as bad as it sounds). The final step of a two month long project. I'll test it this weekend when I take the boat out to the Channel Islands for a "Boys Weekend". Thats right all guys, yuck!.. Liz is off to San Francisco to see a friend. She wanted to put as many miles as possible between her and all the drinking, smoking and swearing .. Is it any wonder that women live longer than men?
Since our move we have had the refrigeration replaced and the freezer rewired. We've installed a new stereo as the old one, after pobably 10 years, decided to quit and take ten CD's hostage. Through negotiations and with the help of a screwdriver they were freed without harm. The muffler we blew up on the way here has been replaced as well as high temp and low oil pressure alarms put on the engine to insure we dont have to replace this muffler quite so soon. Our new dinghy is much more capable of carrying the load and with both outboards recently tuned up, it goes like a banshee. The Ventura Harbor patrol says that it may even work a little too well..hey no harm , no foul..
How we ever fit everything we had in the truck moving out here into this boat is beyond me. The up side is that its not such a big step anymore to get onto the deck from the dock.. We still have a few more things to install ( water desalinater, AC) but things are coming along great and we are enjoying the process. We are looking foward to some warm water in Mexico but want to take it all one day at a time. We will be back in Phoenix in mid October for my mothers 36th 39th birthday celebration. My whole family and many friends will be there. We are very excited to see them before we embark at the end of that month for parts unknown......
stay in touch..
Mark And Liz