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Continuing around Carmen Island
06/14/2011, Coronados Island

From Bahai Salinas Kashmira and Kasasa continued the circumnavigation around Carmen Island. Our next stop was on the east side of the island in a small bay by what is called the painted cliffs. It's just a tiny bite of an anchorage with just the two boats fitting in.
Our first order of the afternoon was to snorkel the point. WOW! It just gets better each time. I saw a big (about 12" octopus), I saw my first Moray eel and I actually dove below the surface of the water. In 3 days I've gone from snorkeling with a life jacket on to no life jacket and now I'm diving below the surface!! I guess I'm gaining some confidence in the fact that I actually float and that I no longer need the security of a life jacket.
We spent the night there, and woke up the next morning to a very uncomfortable swell coming in and rocking the boat. I was feeling almost seasick from it. There had been no wind, so the swell was from the hurricane which was about 300 miles south of us. Ian and I left early and headed around the island to the north side hoping to get into some calmer waters. We anchored in a cove called La Launcha and found that we were still rolling but not as bad. We spent a couple of hours there and took the dingy to V-cove and checked out the sea caves there. When we got back to the boat at about 3pm, we decided to up anchor due to the rollyness and head around to the west side to a bay called Ballandra. Kashmira had decided to go on to Coronados Island and we would catch up with them in a few days.
We spent a couple of nights in Ballandra which was so CALM. No swell here. The water was almost 28 degrees celsius and we spent a lot of time swimming there. It's quite a big bay and the second night we were there we had the bay all to ourselves. The next morning we left early for a rendezvous in Loreto with Kashmira. Since it was so calm, we were able to anchor off of Loreto and go to shore to do some groceries and eat out. We even caught game #6 of the Stanley Cup playoffs - boy what happened there! At least there is one more chance for Vancouver.
Today, Ian and I decided enough of town, and motored the 6 miles up to Coronados Island. Once we got anchored, I noticed a humpback whale about a quarter mile away and we spent an hour watching it breech and flap its tail and fluks. So cool to see. I'm close enough to town that I am able to use my TelCel banda ancha to get internet. I even skyped with my dad earlier on.
We will stay here for a day or two and then head up to San Juanico. I've uploaded a new photo gallery so have a look.

Warm warm water!
06/09/2011, Carmen Island

Finally the water temperature is up! It's hovering around 26 and 27 degrees celsius and you can stay in forever. This morning at 9:30 am we were out snorkeling on a wreck. It's a 120 foot tuna boat that sunk in 30 feet of water. There is a tiny part that actually is sticking out of the water and the rest is just under the surface so perfect for snorkeling. I don't know how long it's been there, but it must be more than 10 or 15 years as there is a lot of coral growth and a lot of rusting. The amount and variety of fish is astonishing. From fish that are a few inches to fish that are over 3 feet. I've seen so many new fish that I've never seen before the most interesting being the coral hawkfish and the great hawkfish. We were in the water for an hour and a half today and yesterday just on this wreck. Oh in case anybody reading this wonders where they can find this site, it's in a bay on Carmen Island called Bahia Salinas which is the site of an abandoned salt mine which was a fairly large operation. There are remains of buildings and an old church from when there was a community living here. Now it is used for hunters who apparantly come here to hunt big horn sheep that are here in the mountains. We have spent the last few days here in company with Kashmira and Bravo having a wonderful time. It's looking like we are going to stay put today as well. There is winds blowing from the north for the next few days so I don't know where our next destination will be but since that is the direction we are heading, we will wait until they turn before we go on. Not to frighten anyone but there is the first named hurricane blowing south of us off of Acapulco. It's predicted path is well south of us and is expected to head off shore and turn into a tropical storm. The only effects we might see of this hurricane is increased swell coming from the south. But it is a reminder to us not to be too complacent with the excellent weather we have been having. We need to always be monitoring the radio weather schedules as well as downloading grib files and weather forcasts. We will hopefully be on our way north again soon. We want to be in Bahia Conception by the 4th of July for the cruisers party there. And then I am flying home for a month so I will be leaving from Santa Rosalia so we need to be there by the 9th. I'll be taking a 16 hour bus ride to San Diego, spending a day there, then flying to Toronto for a few days to visit my sister. From there I'll go to Winnipeg for about 10 days and then on to Vancouver for another 10 days and then back to San Diego and the bus back to the boat. Ian will be staying with the boat incase there are any serious storms that come up this way. He may even try to get in a Spanish course while he is on his own. So that's what we have been up to this past week. Oh and enjoying the local fare such as clams, scallops and fish.

06/10/2011 | penny delaney
Ah, you two are still living the life and I'm living it with you through your blogs. Ellen, please email me your winlink email address. I've sent mail to you via gmail but want the other address in case you don't have internet access - we hope you stay with us when you're in SD!!! Whew, 16 hours on the bus, I hope there's no chickens, haha. Hugs, Penny
What are we up to now?
06/04/2011, Puerto Escondito

Wow I can't believe we have been here for a week already!! It's amazing how time goes so fast. What have we done this week?? Good question I have to think about that. We have had a few dinners ashore, including the restaurant at the marina and one dinner at the restaurant at the Hotel/RV park, we have done a few chores on the boat (but nothing major), Ian and Steve have gone for a long hike in the canyon near here, and today I went with four other women to Loreto for a 'girls day out' including lunch and lots of shopping/provisioning. Mucho Gracias to Gail from Native Dancer for taking us out there for the day it was fun!
So the question is where to next? We will head out on Monday and I think we are going to go to Carmen Island and check out the various anchorages and snorkeling around there. Then in a week or so we will anchor off of Loreto and go and do some more provisioning and then head north to the bay of Conception.
Oh and we now have a schedule to keep as I've booked a flight to Toronto on the 13th of July so we need to be in Santa Rosalia by the 9th. I plan on visiting TO, Winnipeg and Vancouver before returning to Kasasa and Ian in mid August. So hopefully I will catch up with a lot of friends during that time.
And that is really all that we have done in a week! But it has gone by in a blur. It amazes me that you can wake up and not have any idea what you are going to do that day and next thing you know your going to bed again and the day has gone by. So for those who wonder what we do all day - who the hell knows but it sure goes by fast anyhow!

06/08/2011 | rick and deena
Hey Ian and Ellen. we are in Venice Fl. bought a land locked harbor for later in life. Fixing it up and can not wait to return to Talaria in the fall We plan to travel south, harbor hopping to Panama City and go through the Canal in the winter. Where will you be? great to read of your adventure. We plan to harbor hop the west coast to Panama. deena
Getting caught up
05/30/2011, Puerto Escondito

We are back amongst the world of internet. I almost said civilized, but actually I think it is very civilized in the remotness of the Baja. They may not have internet or even electrictiy but that is what makes it a unique place to go. We thouroughly enjoyed our 3 weeks out of touch (well not really because we did have the ham radio) and we loved seeing the fabulous vistas and mountains and the water so blue.
I am amazed everyday at how the colours of the cliffs change as you move from one anchorage to the next. From Los Gatos we went to a small cove called San Marte. There is some big reefs off of this cove and we were looking forward to snorkeling on them. There were many many kinds of fish and I was excited to see such BIG Parrot fish. Wow they were about 2 feet long! There were also corals and fans and starfish and many other interesting things to look at. The water is still a bit chilly though at 23 degrees so we didn't stay in too long, maybe 45 minutes or so.
From there, we headed to Aqua Verde which was 7 miles. We went between the reefs with our friends on Kashmira in the lead as they had been through there before. You wouldn't want to do this without local knowledge as the reefs are not too far apart. In Aqua Verde, there are 3 lobes to anchor in, one protects you from the North winds, one from the South winds and the middle one your semi protected from either. Both the N and S were fairly full with boats so we opted for the middle on in front of the village. Conditions were calm so it wasn't a problem. We enjoyed Aqua Verde and enjoyed visiting in the village. One night that we were there, there was a crowning of the Queen and King of the high school. It was a festival to raise money to send these kids to a high school in another bigger town. The school in Aqua Verde only goes to grade 9 so to continue the kids go to Constitution City or the town of Loreto. The parents have to come up with the money to pay for their tuition for the week that they are away from home. Anyhow, the festival was fun, there was local performances by the students and there was really yummy food for sale made by the locals.
After 4 nights in Aqua Verde, we decided to move on to the island called Monseratte. We went to the north end of the island to a beach called Yellowstone Beach and yes the stone is yellow. It is a beautiful place but we only stayed a couple of nights as the wind from the north was predicted to blow so yesterday we upped anchor and came into the bay of Escondito. We are tied to a mooring bouy in the main bay and yes the winds are blowing from the north. We haven't had a chance to explore yet but we will be here for a few days so I will blog on this area later this week.
I've posted photos in the gallery one calle La Paz and another called La Paz to Los Gatos. I will try to get another one up today with the photos from Los Gatos to Escondito.

05/31/2011 | Camelia and Bob
Hi Ellen, just want to say how lovely your pics are and how much I enjoyed looking at the different scenery up in the Sea. Can't wait to see it for myself. You guys are looking wonderful. Have fun.
06/01/2011 | Fred Delaney
Hi Ellen and Ian, we are still holding in Turtle but it looks good for the weekend. Glad you are having fun and we miss you. Wish we could have stayed the summer
Seeing Red
05/19/2011, Los Gatos

At anchor in Los Gatos and how can I describe it. It's mostly surrounded by red rock maybe a sandstone type of rock and it has been sculpted by wind and waves into beautiful shapes and forms. I've taken lots of photos so I will upload when we get internet. As well as the red rock, the anchorage is also surrounded by sand dunes, dessert hills with cactus and scrub, and beyond that, the beautiful Giganta mountain range. Yesterday we spent a good part of the day snorkeling in the rocky reefs around the anchorage and hanging out on a beautiful beach surrounded by these red cliffs. The highlight was spotting an owl up on the cliff and I managed a few good photos of him before he flew away. It was a big owl maybe a great horned owl. It reminded me of my cat Farley as the colouring was similar and seeing the owl up on the cliff maybe 25 feet high, it's horns looked like big cat ears. (I guess I must really be missing my cat!) Anyhow it was thrilling to be able to look at it for so long before he flew off. Then it was back to the boat where we hosted a happy hour on board with the two other boats that were in the anchorage, Kashmira and Ponderosa. Lots of fun and a great day overall. Today, |an and Steve from Kashmira took off on a hike about 9:30am. Around 11 me and Steve's wife Sue went off on our own hike. We were a bit reluctant at first because as we pulled up to the beach, we spotted 2 coyotes walking on the beach. We decided to go anyhow and carry a couple of sticks. We had a great walk along a washed out creek where it looked as though a flood may have come through at some point. Today it was all bone dry. We hiked up into the cactus scrub to where we had a good view of the anchorage and the water. We had noticed some footprints as we were walking and decided that they were Ian's and Steves and about 2 hours later they came walking back towards us. On the way back to the boat, I got all excited about doing some snorkeling after a bite to eat, but by the time we ate Ian needed a nap and it was getting pretty late in the day. So that will hopefully be on tomorrows agenda. For now it's time to barbeque some dinner and then it will be bedtime. Busy day in the life of a cruiser.

05/23/2011 | Pamela and Pat
We are just so envious of all your wonderful experiences, Bro and Sis! We love reading your blogs and your emails - you write so well, Ellen, and we can just see the beautiful crystal clear water and hear the turtles next to the boat! We're sick with envy .... especially since Autumn has set in with a vengeance! Love from us both xxx
05/29/2011 | penny delaney
Your pictures of the owl were terrific! I hiked the same red hills and loved reading your comments and reliving the memories!
Meandering Northwards
05/18/2011, San Evaristo

Well since I last blogged, we have gone about 9 miles north. We are in no hurry and have no schedule to be anywhere so we are just taking our time as we go. We are anchored in a small bay called San Evaristo and there is a small village here that subsists on fishing. There are maybe 30 or 40 houses here and there is even a small school. There is also a small store where we have been able to buy some fresh produce. We happened to go in yesterday just after they got supplies from La Paz and there was a good selection of fruit and vegetables to choose from. It's a very different world from Canada. Not better or worse just different. For example yesterday when we went into the store, they had just butchered a cow outside the store and there were cow parts still laying about. We didn't try buying any meat as we still have lots in the freezer, but you couldn't get it any fresher. We bought some fish from one of the local fishermen the other day, a small red fish that we didn't catch the name of but talk about delicious! For 4 dollars, we bought a kilo which is enough for 3 meals. They seem to catch loads and loads of it out here. I don't know if it gets any bigger but they were all only about 8 to 10 inches long. A couple of days ago, we went across to San Jose Island about 4 miles from here, and anchored outside the lagoon for the day. We dingyed into the lagoon and went for a long walk along a very gravelly beach. It was interesting because the amount of shells and fish bones, bird bones other things that had washed up was amazing. You could hardly go 3 steps without stopping to pick up something of interest. I'm not collecting any shells because I have no place to keep them, but I could easily have collected a bag full. We are thinking that tomorrow we will leave here and head north about 30 miles or so to another anchorage that is supposed to be quite nice. We are just waiting for the NW winds to lighten as it can get rolly there in a moderate to strong NW wind. Not that they have been too strong to date but we seem to get a good 15 to 20 knot blow every day in the afternoon for a few hours. I've been taking lots of photos so I will have a whole slew to upload when we get to Escondito where they have internet. Till then it's just text updates via the ham radio. Oh yes! Speaking of ham radio, last night I spoke with Dinis from the sailboat Vida Nova and they are in the Marqueases in the South Pacific. That's about 3000 miles from here and we could hear each other very clearly!

05/18/2011 | Penny
Hi Ian and Ellen! Be sure, sure, sure to stop at Agua Verde, you won't be sorry! I'm anxious to see your photos! Have fun and I miss you!
05/18/2011 | Fred Delaney
Did you see any rocks that were standing on their ends with smaller rocks balanced on top? Is Penny did those when we were there.

05/18/2011 | dick towson

Keep on trucking up the inside and enjoy the heat!! We are in YVR and it is NOT warm. Anne is in multiple fleeces. Will be seeing what you write!

Anne and Dick
Full & By
05/20/2011 | Kathy & Dad
Hi Ellen & Ian! Really enjoy your blog. It is good to see that you are enjoying your travelles. We can't wait to join you! Happy sailing!

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