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Calou's Blog
Cruising with the crew of CALOU on the Baja Ha-ha and Pacific Puddle Jump
Puerto De Ballandra
06/14/2007, Isla Carmen

At Puerto Escondido this morning we refueled and took one last swim in the lap pool at the port headquarters before heading out in the 100+ degree temperatures. We sailed to the noth end of Isla Carmen, to a tiny cove called Puerto De Ballandra.

There are about 20 sailboats anchored here and there will be a potluck party on the beach at 6 PM tonight.

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Puerto Escondido & Loreto

We sailed from Agua Verde to Puerto Escondido day before yesterday in light to moderate winds. We arrived in the afternoon and anchored in a part of the bay called "The Ellipse".

Puerto Escondido is a strange place. The government and some investors had grand plans, and have spent many millions on a very fancy administration building and port facilities, but there is no marina, just mooring balls, for which they charge an exorbitant rate. So all the cruisers avoid using the main port, and anchor out in the cheaper or free anchoring grounds just outside, e.g., the Ellipse and the Waiting Room.

Besides a fuel dock and a lap pool (pictured here), there are no services for miles, and we had to pay a taxi $60 U.S. to take us round trip to Loreto to visit the town and reprovision. Loreto is 25 KM away, and has a church dating to the 17th century. Loreto is an agreeable, if dusty, small Mexican city (pop. 8000). It's the largest town north of La Paz on the Baja peninsula.

While in Loreto we went to an internet cafe where I tried to upload for this blog a 7 minute video I made of our passage from La Paz northward. Unfortunately it took an hour and a half to upload the 64 MB file and then the upload halted completely when it was about 3/4 of the way done. So I won't be able to get the video on this blog until I find a better internet connection.

For now our only communication link is email via the SSB radio.

Today we sail north to Isla Carmen, a national park island off the shore of Loreto. It will be a 20 mile trip.

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06/14/2007 | jeff
Bonjour les navigateurs du Pacifique,
J'ai hâte de voir ces belles vidéos de dauphins en évolution autour de Calou !
C'est toujours un magnifique spectacle, je ne m'en lassait jamais.
Bon vent à tous.
Jeff & Renée
06/16/2007 | Heidi
you know, if the winds are light to moderate, you can anchor at Loreto to reprovision as we have done this a couple of times, even once in winds to 20 knots. Lumpy but do-able.
Agua Merde
06/11/2007, Agua Verde

We departed Isla San Francisco yesterday morning and headed north. Our destination was a cove called El Gato, named after a puma that used to hang out there. This is an interesting cove with red sandstone cliffs that have been polished by wind and waves. We arrived around 2:30 PM, dropped the anchor and made lunch.

The anchorage was not very well protected, however, because it was open to the southeast, and the prevailing wind was from the south. We decided not to spend the night there, and to continue to Agua Verde, about thirty miles to the north.

On the way, we were visited by a pod of bottle nose dolphins. I got some good video of the dolphins, which I'll post on the blog when we next get an internet connection (these posts are uploaded via SSB radio).

We arrived at Agua Verde at around 7 PM, and anchored in a cove at the south end of the bay. There were two other sailboats anchored there, one of them was Chere, with our friends Charlie and Cathy Simon on board.

This morning around 7 A.M. we felt a few rain drops, and the sky was overcast. The cloud cover was a welcome break from the typical morning heat. Charlie from Chere came over for coffee, and he, Pascale and I dinghied to shore to visit the village's tienda (store) for supplies. We jokingly referred to the store as "Wal Mart", for its tiny size (about 80 square feet).

Agua Verde is a remote, rural village, with dusty dirt roads, pigs, goats and chickens everywhere, no electricity, and almost zero vehicular traffic. The typical house is just one or two tiny rooms. It has a tiny one room school house and a tiny church.

Afterwards we went on a dingy excursion to a nearby rocky beach, where we found hundreds of fish skeletons washed up on the beach. The boys examined skeletons of all sorts and took dessicated hammerhead shark heads as souvenirs.

Later in the afternoon, the winds increased to about 22 knots, much to our consternation. When we're at sea, and could USE the wind, there wasn't any, and now that we're at anchor, and would rather not have wind, it's blowing! Charlie and Cathy tell us this is the first windy afternoon they've had during the week they've been here. Just our luck!

We visited Charlie and Cathy aboard "Chere" for wine and guacamole in the early evening, and the winds died just as the sun set.

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06/14/2007 | Eva a. Milton
Aqua Verde was one of our favorite anchorage going up the sea! Dramatic mountains, clear water, specially ordered fresh tortillas and goat cheese(not from the macado) made this a memorable spot!

Keep having fun!
06/20/2007 | jeff
[Agua Merde] tiens c'est une nouvelle couleur ?

The beach at Isla San Francisco

We spent the day a the beach at Isla San Francisco.

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The Hook

Calou at anchor at Isla San Francisco, a cove called "the Hook"

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Isla San Francisco
06/10/2007, The Hook

We spent the day at the beach, snorkeling, swimming, and collecting shells. We hiked to the top of the hill by the cove overlooking the hook-shaped cove in the sweltering desert heat.

In the evening we joined Jeff and Debbie of "Sailor's Run" and Karen and Gary of "Wind Flower" for a bonfire on the beach (photos to follow).

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Calm Seas

This photo taken on the way towards Isla San Francisco.

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Sailing to The Hook
06/09/2007, Isla San Francisco

We left La Paz yesterday about noon, and motored north in a flat calm, toward an anchorage called "The Hook" at the south end of Isla San Francisco. In the afternoon the winds built up to about 10 knots on a close reach so we raised the sails.

We dropped anchor about 7PM, put the dinghy in the water, an took the boys to the beach. Isla San Francisco is a excellent place for beachcombing, the sea shells are abundant.

This morning we woke up to find large bottlenose dolphins swimming around our boat. We had a leisurely breakfast of huevos rancheros. Later today we'll hike to the top of the small island, we heard there's an excellent view.

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