Adventures of Maia | Blog
An adventure, sailing and cruising throughout the world with Laura, Dick and Ellie.
Sailing, Blog, cruising, MAIA, Sceptre 41, sailboat, fun, adventure,
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We have had great sailing here in the Sea of Cortez! The forecast has been calling for light and variable winds, but the winds have been much stronger! We sailed from Juncalito north to San Juanico, then south to La Paz. We found some good and not so good anchorages. We stayed at La Lancha, San Juanico, Isla Coronado, and Puerto Balandra, where we ran into sister boat owners, Jane & Jerry on Aeolian! Our first night together we had a lovely sunset on the beach. We buddy boated for a couple days and found more good anchorages at Painted Cliffs (dinner and dominos on MAIA), Puerto Escondido, and Bahia San Marte (dinner and dominos on Aeolian). Mangle Solo was a little rolly but had a beautiful cordon Cactus forest. We also stayed at Cabeza el Mechundo and went back to Caleta Partida for a couple nights before we headed into La Paz. In La Paz, we restocked our food supplies and went back to the Farmers market for fresh veggies. We had a wonderful dinner out with Aeolian and Idle Dreams, Victoria and Pete our neighbors at Marina Cortez.

After 4 nights in La Paz we headed South again as we are planning on arriving in San Diego around June 1. We spent 2 nights at Muertos, had a lovely walk on the beach and Ellie had her first stand-up Paddle board experience. (She was not so sure about it all.) We spent one night at Frailes and arrived at the Marina in San Jose del Cabo on May 12.

As luck would have it, Peter and Ed Johnson had just arrived back in town and we had a wonderful dinner at El Gonzo.

Family photo in San Juanico

Kayking back to MAIA in San Juanico

so fun to Sail!

Fun to meet Jane & Jerry McNaboe from s/v Aeolian, a fellow Sceptre sailboat owner at Isla Partida anchorage.

Fun game night! Chicken Feet Dominoes!!!

Sister ships, MAIA and Aeolian at anchor.

Party time! The boys look so handsome! with Jerry from Aeolian

Beautiful cactus. We went for a little walk on beach and explored the cactus garden.

Cold drinks after a HOT day!

Watching another beautiful Sea of Cortez sunset.

Back to Civilization, La Paz here we come.

Photo shoot on the beach next to Marina Cortez.

Fun evening out, on the strip next to the marina.

I thought this building was beautiful in La Paz.

More La Paz architecture. We were on our way to the farmers market. See the women, she is sweeping. Most people sweep the sidewalks and some through water down.

Ellie’s friends, Victoria and Pete from s/v Idle Dreams. They stayed with Ellie one day while we ran to the grocery store. Supposedly she never got comfortable, she kept looking for us!

Ellie’s first paddle board ride. Do you think she likes it???

Woohoo, we are sailing! Wing and wing, heading South. ūüôĀ

Fun day sail with “the boys”. Pete, John (Edwards) & Ed Johnson.

Family photo a the dock in San Jose del Cabo.

Flora next to the fuel dock in San Jose.

Another beautiful walk on the beach in Zacatitos. So fun to spend time off the boat!

We are entering the Harbor in San Jose del Cabo. El Ganzo hotel!

We checked in with Pete when we arrived. Guess what, Ed & Pete are in town again. Fun dinner at El Ganzo restaurant. Thank you Peter Johnson!

Trying to stay cool at the dock in San Jose del Cabo.

Surf check! I love this picture, with Dick, Ed & Pete Johnson.

Group selfie after a great lunch. with Peter, John & Ed.

Dick getting ready to head up the mast!

Dick up the mast!

We had another wonderful week hanging around Puerto Escondido, Juncalito and Loreto. Leslie and Steve Swisher (from Park City) were amazing hosts and tour guides. They treated us to time off the water in their beach side La Casita in Juncalito. It was a really fun way to spend Dick’s birthday week! (Lots of tequila.) We moored the boat mostly in Puerto Escondido but sailed over with Leslie and anchored in the bay across from their house, in Bahia Chenque. We learned a good lesson…. do not pull the dingy up out of the water onto the shore without letting some air out. We blew a nice 3-inch hole in the top tube. We were able to patch it and is working like a charm.

Fun times with Leslie and Steve Swisher in Juncalito!

Dick’s new toy. Happy Birthday!!! (thanks Andrew and Michelle)

Enjoying the water in Juncalito!

Fun night out with the Swishers!

Helping install new solar panels at the Swisher’s landlords.

Dick and Swisher up on the Palapa roof. Yikes!

Fully enjoying the Swisher’s hospitality. We had a wonderful time hanging out!

Lovely fresh seafood dinner with Steve and Leslie Swisher.

Leslie helped us sail the boat from Puerto Escondido to Juncalito.

Not a selfie!

When your inflatable boat is filled with air in the water, do not pull directly up on shore until you let some of the air out!! Whoops!

Ellie’s first kayak ride. She is so adaptable.

Preparing to patch the dingy!

Family paddle while the dingy is down.

Selfie in El Juncalito! with Leslie and Steve Swisher

Hanging out the the Swisher’s palapa.

We made it, we are in the Sea of Cortez! Such an amazingly fun week sailing North from Partida Cove to Puerto Escondido. We met up with the ‚ÄúP‚ÄĚ family (Cortland, Andrew Parker,¬†Michelle Pothier Palmer &¬†Emily Parker) in Partida Cove. As cruisers this is something that you do not think will ever happen, meeting up with someone at a specific time and place (especially when they are flying in from Park City and then sailing south from Puerto Escondido and we only sailed south from San Diego, 6 weeks ago.) But it worked, and we had such an awesome week!!! The anchorages we stayed in were beautiful! We explored small villages. Went for a couple hikes. Lots of people around with Easter Week, (Semana Santa is a big holiday in Mexico.) We stayed in Isla San Francisco, San Evaristo, Gato, Aqua Verde & Honeymoon Cove. We saw whales, dolphins & turtles. In Partida Cove we also met fellow Sceptre boat owners, Jane and Jerry McNaboe!

Full moon rise in Caleta Partida.

Sunset in Caleta Partida.

Dick and Andrew Parker at Caleta Partida.

Girls hike in Honeymoon Cove. with Michelle Palmer, Emily Parker, Ellie and Me!

Coffee with Jane and Jerry McNaboe with s/v Aoelian, another Sceptre sailboat. Here we were in the same anchorage.

Beautiful La Luna with boats at anchorage.

Capitan Dick looking for Whales.

Exploring Agua Verde with Andrew, Cortland and Emily Parker.

We stopped to swim with the Angels!!!

Game night aboard MAIA with Dick, Laura, Michelle Palmer, Emily, Cortland & Andrew Parker!

Sea Trike at anchor in Isla Danzante.

MAIA & Sea Trike at anchor in Isla Danzante.

MAIA & Sea Trike at anchor in Isla Danzante.


We have spent a great week in LaPaz! We walked around town finding places to eat, shop, play and re-stock the boat. Found a great farmers market with fresh garden veggies and local foods. There is a long and spacious Malecon (walkway next to the water), where we strolled and had nice walks with Ellie. We joined the local cruiser sailing club, Club Cruceros. There is a great radio net at 8:00 am on channel 22. This is where you can get your questions answered, (great local knowledge). Also, you might be able to buy and sell items ‚Äúfor coconuts‚ÄĚ. We will be heading up into the Sea of Cortez in the next day or so and are really looking forward to exploring and experiencing the area we have heard so much about.

Shopping in La Paz

Enjoying sunset on the beach in La Paz. Ellie is happy on land!

Coffee and Tea at Cafe Doce Cuarenta in La Paz.

On the Malecon in La Paz.

Loved Tienda del Jardin, that had nuts, seeds, grains and landscaping supplies.

Found this karate studio in La Paz. Dick studied this form in Santa
Barbara under Master Jeong Sook Lee!

We are on our way to La Paz, it is very summer like. Starting to feel like a dessert rat, always searching for shade! We had a beautiful sail today, right up the Cerralvo channel. (We have not noticed much current, maybe .5 knots?) We sailed out of Muertos anchorage, this morning – our first time ever! The anchorage was busy last night, maybe 10 boats. Most of the day, today, we have been sailing wing & wing. The wind picked up in the afternoon, and we were sailing about 6 knots, really fun! We spotted Eagle Ray’s jumping and flopping in Cerralvo Channel! So cool to watch.

We spent 3 nights at Bahia Los Frailes. It has a beautiful long beach, part of it is protected for Turtle’s hatching. We did not see any turtles, but definitely enjoyed the lovely beach. We met Wendy and Mike Young from s/v Bodhisattva and so fun to see Salt & Light again!

We are anchoring at Caleta Lobos tonight and then decide if we head to LaPaz tomorrow or Sunday.

Sailing North to the Sea of Cortez.

Beautiful sunset with La Luna!


Taking a dip at Los Frailes.

Enjoying life in the Sea of Cortez.

Nice view in Caleta Lobos.


We had a fun time in San Jose del Cabo with old and new friends! Our first morning at the dock, Gina and Jack Harmon, friends from Park City came for a visit and we had a great time hearing about their previous sailing excursions! They gave us some great tips and took us into town for lunch.

Really enjoyable to spend time with Ed & Peter Johnson¬†and family. It was nice to walk and swim and enjoy several of the many beaches. We went snorkeling in Zacatitos and saw a school of Devil Rays swimming below us. They are amazing. Before we went in we heard them ‚Äúflap‚ÄĚ and then saw them ‚Äúfly out‚ÄĚ of the water and land (belly flop style) on the water. It was really cool. Oh Yea, then there are the local donkeys who hang around. We learned it is not a good idea to get to friendly with them. They ate a college students school book! What a great story to tell the library, oh ya, a donkey ate my book!

We explored around the Harbor in San Jose, found some lovely beaches and a vegetable garden! Next to El Gonzo hotel they have an Art and Garden program for the local kids. Really neat what they are doing with the locals. So awesome to be able to pick fresh greens, beets, and other goodies!!! Feels great to donate to a good cause.

It was so exciting when Salt & Light arrived, great to catch up and spend an evening together on MAIA.

Fuel dock in San Jose del Cabo.

So fun to get a visit from Jack Harmon and Gina. Thanks for making the trip down and taking us into town for lunch.

Ahh, dinner at Pete’s place in Zacatitos! With Ed, Peter and Carol.

Beautiful sunset in Zacatitos.

Picking greens at the Art Center and garden next to Gonzo hotel. It is a really cool program for the local kids. You can pick from the garden and leave a donation! with Kristin Gilbert, from s/v Salt & Light.

So excited. Fresh greens from community garden in San Jose del Cabo!!!

Local donkey in Zacatitos.

Another lovely beach walk in Zacatitos.

Leaving San Jose del Cabo, Gonzo hotel in background.

We are in San Jose del Cabo! Baja – Our last overnight trip out on the Great Pacific went well. We had some good wind during the day, but we motored overnight. It was very exciting to arrive in Cabo San Lucas.

On the trip down the West Coast of Baja, we had good weather with enough wind to sail quite a bit. The trip took us about 17 days and we made new friends along the way. The weather has turned, and it is officially hot! Water is still a little cold, looking forward to getting up into the Sea of Cortez. Fun to see old friends from San Diego and Park City here in Cabo!

Now to backtrack… It was very exciting on March 19, when we sailed past Cabo Falso and saw the golf courses and the big hotels of Cabo san Lucas. The two (three, Ellie) of us had made it down the West Coast of Baja!!! As we were about to turn South East around the Cape, we saw Mighty Merlot (the tri-maran that brother Trey is friends with. Our small little world, continued to be small!)

When we arrived in Cabo San Lucas, we anchored off the beach. Once we were anchored, Dick texted friend Peter Johnson, and he texted back that “they” had just arrived in Zacatito‚Äôs and were on their way to Costco and would be at the boat in an hour. An hour or so later, brothers Johnson arrived, (Pete and Ed) on their paddle boards! We hung for a minute on the boat, and then rushed off to Costco, taking a Panga into the beach. It was all so surreal, but awesome being able to re-stock the boat! Once we got back to the boat, I crashed. It had been quite the journey down the coast.

We made it down the coast of Baja to Cabo San Lucas!

The Johnson Brothers, Pete & Ed arrive on their paddle boards in Cabo!

The beach and hotels of Cabo behind us!

Cooling off, it is HOT down here!

Ellie guarding our Costco goods.

The shoreline of Cabo San Lucas.

Happy Girls!

MAIA at anchor in Cabo

We are in Bahia de Magdelena (Mag Bay), anchored off of the small village. It is absolutely lovely! Our favorite place so far! There is a rocky beach that extends both ways out from the village. It has lots of shells, the water is very clear. South on the beach, is a tourist camp, “See the Whales”, that has tents and a big central area. Ellie and I walked down past the camp yesterday, a very tranquil place.

We had a beautiful moon rise. We were looking out across the bay and begin to see an orange sphere rising above the horizon. It continues rising and is an amazing orange color. It lit up the sky as it got bigger, and continued to stay orange for some time. It was nice to sit out and enjoy the night sky.

This morning our boat neighbors, Chris and Liz from s/v Espiritu came by and asked us if we wanted to go Whale Watching! They were with Crispin a guide and were looking for someone else to join them. We had fun and got close to 10 or so Gray Whales. It is mating and birthing season. We saw mostly grown whales, one pod may have been 1 female with 3 or 4 males around her. Crispin would whistle to try to get them to come near us. If they wanted to play, they would let you nearby, it not, they would dive down and stay away. We got some good video and pictures. Definitely a highlight!

Our last night we rowed into shore and explored. We found a little tienda and purchased a few things, before we had a bite to eat at the ‚Äúrestaurant‚ÄĚ. The restaurants in many of these small towns are just little gathering places where the proprietors cook you a fresh meal. Very suitable!

Whale watching in Bahia Magdelena with our guide Crispin and Chris & Liz from s/v Espiritu. Thanks for inviting us along and all the great tips on the Sea of Cortez!

Out searching for whales. Riding in a Panga.

Whale coming close to “play”. That is their tail.

Beautiful whale tail.

2 whales

Ellie, not to sure about Panga ride.

MAIA at anchor in Mag Bay (Bahia de Magdelena).




We are out here doing it! Currently, we are heading to Bahia Magdelena from Bahia de Tortugas (254 NM Nautical miles)

We spent two WINDY nights at Isla San Benito. A beautiful little bay, with a tiny town at the tip. We arrived mid-day on Sunday and shared the bay with a fishing boat and a bunch of pangas. We decided this would be an appropriate time to figure out the leak in dingy, since it was sitting on deck. Found about a one inch slit (that had been there since we bought the boat!) and decided to repair. Once the repair was almost complete, read that repair should sit 24 hours to completely dry!!! Bummer! We were looking forward to going to shore, checking out the village, stretching our legs and walking around a bit. We thought, no worries we could do that tomorrow even though we were expecting a storm.

Haha, apparently Mother Nature had other ideas for us, as the wind picked up and stayed around 25 knots with wind waves and whitecaps! Not a good time to lower the dingy from the deck into the water. Not a good time to lower the motor onto the stern of dingy. And it was too windy to row. Hmmm, looks like we will have to stay aboard until the wind mellows.

We had very little rain, but the wind continued to blow and blow. MAIA hung in well at anchor, but was sailing back and forth, the noises and action aboard felt like we were out at sea. At least, we got to try out our new flopper stopper (reduces the rocking motion while anchored). It really helped!

As the windy conditions continued, we decided to pull up anchor on Tuesday morning and head to Bahia de Tortugas (Turtle Bay). Disappointed that we were not able to go ashore, but we had a lovely sail and arrived in Turtle Bay after dark. We motored into the bay and anchored. It was a much calmer night and we got a good night’s rest.

Wednesday morning, we had a lovely breakfast and discussed our schedule for heading South. We decided Bahia de Magdelena would be the next major destination. We have options of stopping at several anchorages along the way (to break up the trip) or doing another couple day overnight. As always, our final decision will be made depending on wind and weather.

A panga came by to see if we wanted to purchase fuel. We asked what the price would be and estimated how much we needed. When they came back with the fuel the price was higher! Very frustrating as they are the only game in town.

Also decided that this would be a good spot to test the watermaker and get it working. So, after 2 days of adjusting this and that, we made our first batch of water! Now we are even more self-sufficient!

We explored the town of Bahia de Tortuga a couple times. We walked on the few paved streets as well as the dirt roads. We found a little market and were able to pick up eggs, a little fruit and a few veggies. We met some of the other Cruisers when we stopped into Maria’s. Unfortunately, the cantina was closed, although cruisers were hanging out there and using internet.

We also met our Turtle Bay anchorage neighbors, the Gilbert family (Kristin, John, Toby & Karis) on s/v Salt & Light. They have sailed down from the San Francisco area!

On Saturday evening just after Sunset and with the Full Moon rising we left Turtle Bay. We had good wind and the swell was a little bigger than expected, so I, Laura began the evening freaked out. But, after a while I was able to adjust and enjoy the beautiful evening with the full moon. It was so bright we could see land 10 miles away. It feels much safer to me, when you can see around you. The wind quieted down during the night and the afternoon. We motored for a while in the night, even though we are trying to sail as much as possible, to make the cruising kitty last longer.

The water is an Indigo blue, very different from the green we saw North of here. The swells have been between 4 and 6 feet. The winds max 15 knots. With the lighter winds we finally pulled out our Spindrifter (light wind Spinnaker sail). It has beautiful pink and blue stripes. We were happy with its performance, maybe giving us an extra knot of speed. Unfortunately, it hung really low off the side of the boat, so it was difficult to see. We will rig it differently next time to see if it will work a little better.

We are expecting to reach Magdelena Bay¬†tomorrow and think we will stay a day or two before heading to Cabo! So exciting, we are so close to the Sea of Cortez! This is about the only place we both knew we wanted to spend time, as we read about other cruiser’s journey’s there. Stay tuned and we will let you know how it is!

Islas San Benitos!

Like a lizard finding shade!

Patching the dingy.

Our neighbor at Isla Benitos.

Red sky….

Outside the market in Turtle Bay.

New Friends on s/v Salt & Light; John, Toby, Kristin & Karis

La Luna rising in Bahia Tortuga.

Amazing sunset in Bahia Tortuga.

MAIA at anchor in Bahia Tortuga.

Dick installing watermaker.

In Turtle Bay with Ellie and the Full Moon!

Water maker installed!

Yea! We have water!!!

We checked-in to Ensenada, Mexico on March 1. It was a breeze. Our Marina, Baja Naval, set us with the paperwork needed to check-in. We had applied for our TIP (Temporary Import Permit) for MAIA online and were able to print it out. We walked down to the one-stop shop, for Immigration and the Port Captain. Everything would have been even smoother if we did not give them our expired Insurance information! Great to see Pat Oleta (thanks for your help) and meet his beautiful daughter, Linda!

We left Ensenada, yesterday, at dusk, about 1800. I was feeling pretty freaked out, I told Dick I was scared sh–less! We made it out through the islands off Ensenada and had a light dinner. Dick took the first shift, while I slept. It was a beautiful clear night, with a quarter moon, that set early in the night.

I took over about 0100 and was feeling a little uneasy, however with the amazingly clear night, I could see pretty well all around us. The stars were incredible, and water calm, it turned out to be quite enjoyable. Because of the lack of wind, we were motoring. Every 15 minutes we do a 360 look about, check the radar and AIS, and make sure we are on course.

To keep myself entertained I read and wrote. The time went by quickly and I was very happy with how comfortable I became. Dick took over around dawn and I promptly went back to sleep. During Dick’s shift there was a little wind and he tried to sail a bit, but we ended up motoring the next 24 hours! Since it was so calm, I was able to prep a lovely vegetable potato curry for dinner.

During the day when I can see all around us, there is a feeling of gratitude. Realizing how fortunate I am. When I see dolphins jumping and diving, I smile! It looks like they are having lots of fun.

Our second night, my shift started around 2300. However, this night there was fog, yet, when I looked up I could see beautiful stars up in the sky. I was mostly navigating by radar. Again, I started off feeling a little frightened, but within an hour I was back into the swing of things. When the fog cleared it was glorious. I could see all around us! At 0600 the wind picked up and we were able to sail to Isla San Benito. It was a beautiful morning with the sun shining and the wind blowing 5-10 knots. A perfect way to end our first double overnight passage together.

Patrick Oleta with daughter, Linda

Arriving in Ensenada.

We have arrived at Baja Naval in Ensenada.

Checking into Mexico at the Port Captain’s office.

Moon photo!