06/07/2012, Isla Monserrate
Yellowstone beach that is, here on the north end of Isla Monserrate. Despite the enjoyable amenities of the resort, we have escaped Bahia Candeleros and had a very nice morning run over to Monserrate.
While there was little or no wind, with nearly flat seas for the 12 mile run, we did get to witness our first truly huge bait-ball, and the way all the local birds interact with it. If any of you have had a chance to see some of the BBC or National Geographic films on the oceans, you have surely seen the way the larger game fish drive the small bait fish, or sardines toward the surface, where they bunch up in an effort to hide from the feeding frenzy that is going on not only below the surface, but on top as well. There were hundreds of Pelicans, gulls, and boobies all diving and swooping in to get an easy meal.
Yellowstone beach is so named, due to the large limestone cliffs that front the beach here. These sedimentary layers hold much of the history of the sea, with layer after layer of fossils. Scallops, plants, a few fish all preserved in the limestone. We will do some more exploring tomorrow morning.
We plan on staying here for a few days, until we return to the Loreto area. We will not be posting any pictures until then, but promise to catch up again when we get back to town.
It is 9:30 Pm and I need to wrap this up so we can go see the "Space Station" as it passes in orbit right over our location at 9:40
06/04/2012, Bahia Salinas
Mexico in the summer....not something a lot of people do. Even the majority of the people who are down here on boats, all put the boat in a marina, and head back to the states, or Canada for the hot summer months of July, August and September. When Jeanne and I started on our adventure, we knew that we would be traveling on a pretty tight budget, so random airfare would be out of the question. That also means that we were going to have to find a way to stay comfortable during the hottest moths of the year down here. We have decided against air conditioning...for the time being at least. It is a bit expensive, and bulky. Where do we store a 3 foot by three foot by 2 foot box, the rest of the year?
We have installed several fans through out the boat, including one that can be moved around. Last week I enlarged the cockpit bench seats so that we can sleep on them, especially when the inside of the boat starts getting hot as an oven. We have our instant ice maker so we will have cold drinks all summer. Jeanne has made screens for all the hatch openings to keep the bugs out if they should become a problem. We have floating toys so we can spend a lot of time in the water. We even made an awning, that will attach to the whisker pole, out over the water, so when we are in our floaties...we will be in the shade. This awning even include a couple of drink holders.
The last thing was our hair...mine has gotten pretty long since the last hair cut I got was the first week of march......2011!! Jeanne did cut the bulk of her long hair, it was down to the belt, off just before leaving Seattle. So, with the upcoming heat in mind, we headed to the beach, to the red bucket hair salon.
After a bit of discussion, it was decided that I would give Jeanne her haircut first!! Many thanks to Ann Marie and Chris off of SV Starship for coming along to be our photographers and document our hair cuts.
Now despite my many skills, I have never graduated from any form of Barber College, as a matter of fact, I am pretty sure I have never even cut the hair of pet, let alone my lovely wife!
But cut it I did, and as the piles of hair gathered on the beach, my confidence grew. Along with Ann Marie's quality control assurance, I continued loping it off. Until is was all the same length...very short.
Ummm sweetie...lets take down all the mirrors
Then it was her turn. She seemed to have a better hand at this than I did, as she made very quick work of the long hair that I had accumulated these last nearly 16 months.
It is done....and I have no regrets. If for no other reason than the ease of diving and snorkeling. That along with the fact that there is a shower that follows every swim in the salt water. The amount of water it took to wash and rinse became a bit of an issue. We have a water maker on board, but I felt like there was a lot of water being wasted just on my hair.
It is certainly a whole lot cooler, and that was the primary reason for our new do's. I figure by the time winter gets here, it will have mostly all grown back, and we will be glad to have a bit of our heads covered.
06/04/2012, Bahia Salinas
Here are a few pictures that Tom took, while Jeanne was documenting the historic old "Company Town" of Salinas, the site of a huge salt minig facility. The town is now seeing some renovation due to the private introduction of Big Horn Sheep to the island, and the enormus fees that are charged to hunt them. It is rumored to be in excess of 35 thousand US dollars to participate in an hunt, and that is wether you get a sheep or not!!
I could tell that the brown Pelican was very excited to have Eagle anchored there in his bay....so his cover shot is at the top of this story
Any way, here are a few misc shots I took:
This 6" crab lives in holes they dig in the beach, right at the tide line. they are very secretive, shy and almost never seen. This guy on the other hand, had no fear and wandered right down the beach eating as he please. It might be good to point out that he is almost three times the size of any I have ever seen
One of the local catus that has gone into bloom
This is a look at the old city, from Eagle right at sunset.
Jeanne had found some really big ugly bugs, that were eatting on the blooms of this plant and just had to get up close and personal
The up side to my long telephoto lense....I dont have to climb into the bushs, i cheat and stand back away from the nasty looking black bug and take the picture
06/04/2012, Bahia Salinas
Tonight, with the stars, the warm Mexican waters, the fish swimming around the boat and our friends on board for dinner and drinks, was a special evening. One of so many here in Mexican. But, I digress....the reason for this little note is not to make our friends, family, and faithful followers upset with us, but to try to explain what this night was like for us. So with that warning, allow me to wax prophetic....
The day started out like one of many we have enjoyed here so far....warm, sunny and cloud free. We were expecting Larry and Sue from MV Beverly S. to join us for a dinner of Jeanne's awesome homemade Chili rellanos , some freshly caught grouper, flavored with a hint of lime and orange, along with some beautifully done Spanish rice that Sue contributed. A chilled Chardonnay, a nice bold Tempernillo, and a rum and coke for me completes the setting.
After a dinner worthy of any high faluting restaurant back in the states, and a couple bottles of wine, our guests returned to their boat, Jeanne and I retired to the lido deck, also know as the bow of the boat to watch the worlds greatest natural fire works show. The bioluminescence in the water was strong, the stars were out in force, the water had fallen to an amazing calm, all adding up to an evening the likes of which become so very hard to describe. But I will do my best to try..
We are anchored in Bahia Salinas, on Isla Carmen. It is well past "Cruisers Midnight" the recognized 9:00 PM bed time of most of the boating community. The schools of fish, are out in large numbers tonight. Their every movement, enhanced by the natural lighting provided by the bioluminescence, appeared like fireworks, bursting thru the water around Eagle. The small schools, buzzing around like so many Fourth Of July sparklers, the medium sized fish moving thru the water with less flamboyance, but none the less impressive. The organized schools of larger predator fish, like the most highly advanced green-white torpedoes....moving as a group, zigging and zagging thru the water with grace and speed, and at the same time with deadly precision. The glow that they give off, surely gives away their presence to the very creatures they seek to obtain for their evening meal. The speed that they move through their watery realm reminds me of nothing less than the choreography of the Blue Angels fighter jets. They remain tightly bunched, until all at once, some unseen signal sends then all bursting off in different directions. Then as quickly as they had dispersed, they gather back in their tight formation and are off again, searching, and in some small part of my mind....just plain showing off!
The sky above this amazing display, is bordering on the un-imaginable. With nothing in the way of city light to effect the crystal clear view of the heavens most panoramic show case, we are nothing less than humbled by the sight of a limitless number of stars. The moon, which just a few days ago was at it's most magnificent fullness of the calendar year, and reduced by some small percentage each night, has failed to climb the jagged peaks of this arid Mexican desert island. It's absence further adds to the complete inky black of this amazing night, In this awe inspiring sky, one with so many stars that the main stay of the northern sky, the Big Dipper is almost lost in a camouflage of stars. Planets, stars, even a satellite or two all, reflected brightly on the calm waters of this beautiful bay. The still of the evening waters, with the multitude of stars reflecting on it, helps to erase the line, of where the heavens meet sea.
Moments like these are the ones that truly leave me in awe, and so glad we are down here!
We have dropped our anchor out in front of the resort at Bahia Candeleros, and plan on staying here until Tuesday or Wednesday. We will go into the resort either this afternoon, or tomorrow morning and get caught up on the blog, some pictures, and what every inter net business that needs to attended to.
With that in mind, I will keep this short until tomorrow
06/02/2012, Agua Verde
We are still here in Agua Verde, pretty much taking it easy. A short hike or two, some swims, a little snorkeling, and mostly just hanging out and catching up with some old friends. many of the boats that we spent time with in La Paz this last winter have all arrived here, in order to see off our good friends Rich, Lori, Amy and Jason on SV Third Day. The kids are anxious to start in a regular high school, and I think Lori is ready for a break in the "Home Schooling" routine. So after four years here in the Sea of Cortez, they will make their way back home to San Louis Obisbo, California. They will be missed!
In addition to Third Day, we were joined here by SV Just A Minute, SV Eyoni (I sure hope spelled that right!!), SV Hotel California, SV Kasasa, and SV Interabang. Last night the whole gang got together on Just A Minute, a Lagoon Catamaran. By the way Jim and Faith, they are getting ready to put her up for sale...Hint Hint!! Here you go, a Lagoon, already fully outfitted, and sitting right here in the Sea.
If the weather holds in the morning, we might start our journey back towards the north, up to Candeleros again, where we will use the pool, and the free wi-fi!
A weather update...it has cooled a bit. It is now 9:20 PM, and it is 82 outside, 80 inside, and 75 in the water!! Might have to take a quick swim before bed!