Cruising ~ The Cat’s Meow Style ~ November 2003



A few days after Halloween, in early November, eleven of us hardy folk hiked up into Steinbeck Canyon – so named because the famous author hiked this canyon during his voyage up the Sea of Cortes in the early 1940s. This was quite an adventure. Martin did not accompany us, but Robin decided to go along. It was not really HOT, but it was real warm that day. We each carried the requisite water and sunscreen and a lunch, etc. The scenery was just awesome. We hiked through huge boulders, following a stream of water coming from somewhere way up there at the top of the mountain. In two places, we had to use repelling ropes to continue up, and then later down, the rocks. This was new for Robin!! It was a true test of trust and strength. Good teamwork helped her get through many a trying place, pushing the envelope just a bit further…  It was truly a wonderful, hard, fun day.



Beauty on the hike                                                      We are billygoats                                                         Yes, that is Robin going up, up, up…


Immediately after the day of the hike, “Monkey” Mike of Kindred Spirit, was kind enough to have a birthday to celebrate. A number of us gathered at a wonderful Argentinian restaurant in Loreto and we did just that. A good time was had by all. Too bad no one with a camera caught Mike with his face in his birthday cake…


Mike’s birthday gathering


Immediately after Mike’s birthday celebration, we had another big birthday party to attend: Bernadine (of Puerto Escondido) was celebrating her 80th, and invited everyone to a big bash at her palapa home!! Robin became part of the entertainment – The Boat Chicks and the Crew – and had a wonderful time singing some old “chick songs” like Baby Love and Where Did Our Love Go. We had way too much fun.


The Boat Chicks perform


 Carnitas – fried pork – was cooked the traditional way in huge copper pots over a fire and served with all the fixin’s and it was all just yummy! It was another good time with lots of great people. 


Cooking the pork



Dario, Erin, and Martin and Robin soon drove back to La Paz once again, stayed at the same condo for three nights. We needed to pick up Robin’s glasses, and to have Dario’s car upholstery work done. While there, we invited about 10 cruising friends to the condo for an evening of food and drink. It was so good to see some folks we had not seen for quite a while. We laughed and talked and carried on, just like most folks do when they are having fun. Once again, we hit the markets and some favorite food stops in La Paz before returning to Puerto Escondido.

As soon as we arrived at Pto. Escondido, Terry on Manta told us about a possible “job”. A very nice, quite large sailing vessel had hit a rock or reef near one of the islands, and needed assistance getting south to La Paz. (Hadn’t we just left there?!) Plum is an Italian boat, 75’, and just gorgeous. The Italian owners, Valentino and his wife Sally, and the four crew members turned out to be just grand, gracious people. Previous to the incident with the rock, which damaged their rudder, they had an engine problem and were only able to run it for about an hour at a time. They needed a tow. The Cat’s Meow’s reputation as a tug-boat came into play, and they wished us to help them get to La Paz where they could have both the rudder and the engine fixed. Well… TCM was pressed into service once more! With much planning and discussion beforehand, The Cat’s Meow towed Plum most of the way from PE to La Paz. The day we left Pto. Esdondido was Martin’s birthday. We celebrated aboard Plum and had a wonderful time, served Italian pasta on an Italian boat with an Italian cook!


Martin’s birthday aboard Plum


The first two days, we towed Plum through calm water and with almost no wind. Then the wind blew for two days – a norther’ – and we hid out at an anchorage called Evaristo. Before the winds came up, we took the dinghy up a river to a lagoon, at the very near-by island of San Jose. We then gathered clams, just shoveling our hands under the sand at low tide, and coming up with globs of sweet butter clams! The Plum people loved it!! The next night, while it roared with wind outside the boat, we stuffed ourselves aboard Plum, once more, first with steamers and then with pasta with clam sauce…. Yum yum!! Finally, the winds began to calm, so we stuck our noses out and headed south for Isla Espiritu Santo, near La Paz. Plum sailed, since there was still plenty of wind, and TCM stood nearby in case of the need for assistance. That afternoon the Sea became very confused and quite high. The Cat’s Meow was hit broadside for about two hours with four to six-foot rollers, and we were listing from side to side, quite violently at times. This was not a fun ride. But, we made it into the anchorage and spent a very nice, calm quiet night. Today, November 30, we towed Plum the rest of the way into the La Paz harbor.


Plum sailing under tow


 We towed her to an anchorage area, dropped the tow-line, and we headed for Marina Palmira, the first time we have been tied to land, at a dock, in 10 months! This was one more exciting experience; we are so grateful it all worked OK for both boats, and we think we have made new friends for a lifetime. We plan to be here in La Paz for about a week, catching up on some boat projects, cleaning the boat, provisioning, seeing some good friends, and then we will head east to Mazatlan.

Update on Dawn Wilson: Well, Dawn is STILL imprisoned. The good news is that soon, possibly this week, her new lawyers will finally be able to present her case to a higher court in Tijuana on appeal. We are hopeful that her case will be thrown out, and that she will be free before Christmas! Please pray, send strong thoughts out into the Universe, do whatever you can to think positively for our friend. The one good thing that has come of Dawn’s horrific ordeal is that now there is a website that is acting as an information gathering site for all types of atrocities against Americans in Mexico. Hopefully all this information, when shared with US and Mexican authorities, will create pressure to bring about some changes that will make it safer for anyone to walk down the streets, particularly of border towns in Mexico. Please, if you have not already, visit the website <> and see for yourself.

Until next month, stay healthy, stay out of trouble, and have some fun!!! Be sure to check back with us for more cruising ~ The Cat’s Meow Style.