Friday, June 13, 2014


El Tiburon is for sale.
Tayana 47' listed in San Diego
El Tiburon hanging out in Baja.

Cruising Along

El Tiburon at anchor in the Sea of Cortez

Sparky and El Tiburon in Puerto Vallarta

Main Salon
New Granite Galley
Master Stateroom Queen Bed, Aft
Guest Double Berth Forward 
Guest Head with Shower
Crossing Banderas Bay

We have owned and loved El Tiburon for 8 years. 
It feels like the end of an era for us.
Very Bittersweet.
Not sure what the next chapter will bring, 
but you can bet we are busy dreaming it up.

Me and The Spark Plug planning the next adventure.

Darrell already has a lofty vagabond scheme in mind.

Dream: TRAVEL, Blue Water, TRAVEL, Clear Water, TRAVEL.
Stay Tuned, The Adventure Continues.

Friday, May 30, 2014


There is a great story to go along with this 30 pound halibut, but that comes mañana.
Pat and the Halibut

Saturday, May 24, 2014

EL TIBURON is safe and sound in Turtle Bay, Baja

While Darrell and 3 friends aboard El Tiburon battled their way north in 20 to 28 knots of wind with seas to match, Spark and I had calm waters at the Kids Fishing Derby in the Sierra.
Saturday morning Kids Fishing Derby in the Sierra
Father and daughter try to snag a few trout.
Big sis and little brother look like the winners.
El Tiburon and crew rested well last night in Turtle Bay, sipping rum and cokes and eating Halibut and Spaghetti. They will continue the BASH north today in much lighter winds.They will head for Ensenada to check out of Mexico, with their next stop at the USA Customs dock in San Diego. Looks like another system is heading down the California coast, so at this time it is uncertain how far north they will get this next week. El Tib's slip awaits in Sausalito.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

El Tiburon is Waiting To Come Home.

El Tib is safely tucked away at Costa Baja in La Paz patiently waiting to bash north about 2,000 miles, then turn left and sail under "The Gate" (SF Golden Gate Bridge) to our slip in Sausalito. Darrell and 3 good friends will start their journey north mid-May. In the meantime, here is a requested picture of our gal.
It's going to be really really really good to have her
 back in San Francisco Bay.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

……...H O M E ……..

After a week of driving through Baja, SoCal, and NorCal, 
we are home in Mohawk Valley.

El Tiburon will be coming home in May.

Thursday, March 6, 2014


Our sailing journey began in November.
Darrell and crew member, Nick, do a little fishing on the Pacific.

We sailed from Ensenada to La Paz - about 1,000 miles in 2 weeks time. A lifetime of experiences crammed into a brief moment in time. It was our third trip in 4 years. Would we do it again? You Betcha, next year!!!

Boating buddy Chris aboard Manuela, a Hylas 56, 
joined El Tiburon and Michael and Judy aboard Lunatica. 
Whales, dolphins, seals, jellyfish, tuna, marlin,seabirds, were also along for the ride.
 One of our friends
A few more friends

Our ultimate destination was the Sea of Cortez. Warm waters, turquoise sea, white sand beaches, lobsters, quiet anchorages, friendly faces, and brilliant sunsets.

The Sea of Cortez, where Desert meets Sea. Popularized by the travels of John Steinbeck and Doc Ricketts, celebrated by Jacques Cousteau, the Sea, is quite simply, our favorite place on the planet. Today, the Islands and Protected Areas of the Sea of Cortez in Mexico were inscribed as a World Heritage Site during the Twenty-ninth Session of the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO in Durban, South Africa. The area is made up of 244 islands, islets, and coastal areas located in the Sea of Cortez extending from the Colorado River Delta in the north to nearly 700 miles southeast to the tip of the Baja California 
Do yourself a favor and read, The Log of the Sea of Cortez.
Another wonderful Steinbeck tale, that rings true.
The relevance of the inscription of this area is due to its unique example of nature. Known by Jacques Cousteau as the “aquarium of the world,” this region contains a rich and diverse marine life - 39% of the world’s total number of marine mammal species and a third of the world’s total number of marine cetacean species. There’s no place like it on earth, and we know it each time we sail the islands and anchor in her protected coves. We were happy to purchase our annual pass for about $60.00 US, a great bargain for the privilege of basking in its sublime beauty.
One of our favorite sculptures on the La Paz Malecon
Jacques looking out to Sea 
We have seen whale sharks, gray whales, humpback whales, melon-headed whales, sea lions, schools of manta rays, a school of nearly 1,000 dolphins, turtles, wahoo, dorados, marlin, swordfish, flying fish, yellow fin tuna, a large variety of tropical fish, and countless sea birds. Every trip reveals something new to us.
Part of the catalyst for this designation was the purchase of Isla Espíritu Santos off the coast of La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico in January 2003. The International Community Foundation (ICF) and its donors provided $250,000 toward the $3.3 million purchase price, which also had strong financial support from World Wildlife Fund, The Nature Conservancy, and the Packard Foundation. President Vicente Fox issued a decree in January 2003 to expropriate the island for the federal government to be managed as a national park by the Mexican National Commission for Protected Areas (CONANP).
 We are not unlike the Paper Boat Sailor on the Malecon, always dreaming of distant ports. We have learned there are plenty of anchorages in the Sea to keep us busy for a few more seasons.
El Tiburon peacefully at rest in Los Gatos.
 Ensenada Grande Anchorage with sistership, Meridian
 Another crowded anchorage with Orion on the hook
Daybreak, a Nordhavn 64, our neighbor at Punta Salinas
Punta Salinas, Isla San Jose
Salt ponds at Punta Salinas
Sparky swims at Raza
Everyone's favorite anchorage, San Francisco
A sweet anchorage on the Baja mainland peeking out at Isla Santa Cruz
Did I mention lobster to order? The minute we dropped our hook, 2 lobster divers appeared to take our order for 6 lobsters. Two for us now, 4 more when our friends from Salt Shaker arrive in a week.
Arrachera and Lobsters with a fresh salad.
 Mardi and Rich from Salt Shaker flew in for lunch.
Balandra, scene of the lobster feast.
Cerveza, sun, and solar power.

On occasion the Mexican Navy will make a routine visit to the anchorages to make sure foreign and national vessels have all their paperwork and safety equipment in order. After 4 years this finally happened to us. It was no big deal, all was good and the marines were very friendly and polite and very mindful of not rubbing up on our new paint job.
 New friends.
Another reason to love cruising about the Sea of Cortes is the sunsets and sunrises. In fact, La Paz is quite famous for their romantic red sunsets.
 Sunrise at Evaristo
La Paz Sunset
Sunset on Isla Partida with Meridian
After many, many sunrises and sunsets, just as the weather starts to turn hot, it was time for us to head north to the Sierra. One thing is certain, we have a lot more islands and anchorgaes to explore in the Sea. 
Baja Geological wonders, The Sierra de la Giganta.
What do you mean, "It's time to go home?"
Don't worry Spark, We'll be back.
Can you find El Tiburon in the anchorage?

Saturday, March 1, 2014


My Handsome Boy, Spark of Life - February 2014
Red Rock, Red Dog, Los Gatos, Sea of Cortez

Everyone is curious what is like to have a Vizsla onboard. Where does he go to the bathroom? Does he get any exercise? Doesn't he need a backyard? Does he get bored? First of all, we were no strangers to Vizslas and their constant need for attention, exercise, and companionship. I am not a proponent of cruising with dogs, but if you've got one, there is little choice. When I brought Sparky home, I signed up for life. Where I go, Spark goes. At the time we were living on our sailboat in San Francisco Bay, so Spark started his sailing life early. At 8 weeks he moved aboard El Tiburon, got his sea legs and started his potty training so he would be able make overnight passages at Sea.

 Kirayli's Spark of Life, "Sparky"
This was taken in Lynn Martin's (a Great Breeder) 
front yard the day we picked him up.
Settled in his crate with a few toys aboard El Tiburon.
The crate lasted, maybe, a week.
We quickly learned he preferred naps on our bed.
El Tiburon was encased in netting until Sparky got his sea legs.
Darrell and Spark with his very first life vest.
D was a bit embarassed by the powder blue and polk-a-dots,
but the color matched his eyes and as you can see
Spark is adorable!
Spark's first kayak ride. 
He loved it and fell asleep almost immediately.

By 6-months old Spark was a great sea dog. Weekend trips to Sausalito suited him fine. He made friends everywhere he went, including another Vizsla named Tucker, who also hung out on a boat at Schoonmaker Point Marina. Spark learned to eat oysters and to entertain.

Living large in Sausalito.
The boys don their rain gear during one of 
the wettest winters in SF Bay.
By spring we were all ready for warmer waters. His next sailing transition was to venture outside "The Gate" and sail south to Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz, and down to Santa Barbara and the Channel Islands. He did well on the return trip home too. He had passed his "sea trial" with flying colors and was soon ready to take off on the 2010 Baja Ha-Ha with 150 other boats, some crazy enough to cruise with dogs.
In Mexico there is no shortage of beaches for Spark to exercise.

Once we rounded Cabo San Lucas the whole game changed. Warmer weather, warmer water, longer strips of white sand beaches, and plenty of sea life to keep him entertained. Spark loves to watch for jumping manta rays, flying fish, breaching whales, and is especially fond of watching playful dolphins catch waves off El Tiburon's bow. He has even ushered tiny baby turtles from their nests in the sandy beach to safer waters.

I'm just a piece of furniture.
Spark loving the cruising life as we sail along Baja's East Cape.
Spark learned to enjoy quiet anchorages and watch brilliant colored sunsets. Living on a boat has afforded Spark a lot of freedom that many dogs with with traditional backyards don't have. 
Sparky digging his backyard at anchorage in Los Muertos.
 He enjoys every sunset and sunrise.
You must admit that the cruising life agrees with my boy.
Even during 800 mile passages Spark has fun.
Sparky watches as Chris from Manuela cruises by 
en route to Turtle Bay.
Spark knows dinner when he sees it.
Thanks to our crew, Nick, we ate well.
One way we have adjusted to long passages with Sparky is to take crew, so when we encounter rough weather I am free to hold his paw. Actually, he is usually cuddled in my lap, sometimes shaking pitifully. He is a Vizsla, after all. The other accommodation we make for Sparky, is at the end of the sailing season Darrell drives Spark and I north to California. Darrell does the BASH north with all male crew. Everyone is happiest with this arrangement.
First trip ashore after a 24 hour passage. 
Buddy boater, Michael, from Lunatica comes along.

Vizslas are not just hunting dogs, they need a lot of socialization with other dogs, they love to go fast like a race horse, they love a good chase, and they love to swim. Sparky swims almost daily wherever we are, Mexico or in the Lakes Basin in the Sierra. That's true for the 3 of us, we are all water babies.
Spark gets a couple of his needs met in Chamela.
 Many of the islands in the Sea of Cortez are protected, 
which means no dogs on shore, so 
Spark gets exercise by retrieving the ball in the water.
For hours.
Go Sparky Go!
All of us have agreed to return to the Sea of Cortez next year.
In the meantime, Spark will nap with his Boo-Boo Cow as a pillow on "his" bed.
 Another favorite pastime. 
Some things never change. 
At 6-years old, a few white hairs have sprouted on his chiny-chin-chin.
But don't let that fool you, most people think he's still a pup.

It's a dog's life. For all of us.
My handsome boys and me.
Sailors for life.