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Rain and a Full Moon Party
Ellen
08/31/2011, Bahia de los Angeles

We are presently anchored in La Gringa which is one of the bays in BLA. We are here for the infamous Full Moon Party. The day before the party there were about 26 boats anchored here and we were having a seminar by one of the couples who spent time cruising Central America. The sky had gotten quite dark and all of a sudden somebody yelled 'here comes the wind'. We all scattered back to our own boats just as the Chabasco hit. As far as Chabascos go it was a fairly mild one only 35 knots of wind for a half an hour, but there was 8 miles of fetch for the waves to build up to quite big ones and we were all on a lee shore. So for the next few hours we bucked the waves as they kept rolling in. Our anchor held firm and we had no problems. We did however decide to leave once it started calming down and go to a more protected anchorage as the skys were still very cloudy looking and we didn't want to go through another one in the night. The next morning we came back to La Gringa with the skys still cloudy but not dark clouds. Ian went out fishing and caught 3 Sierra one of which was over 29 inches. Yummy. We gave one away, kept one for dinner the next day and I made Civichee (spelling??) which is a raw fish marinated in lime juice which actually cooks it, for the potluck at the Full Moon Party. Oh yeah! While Ian was cleaning the fish, it started to rain and almost rained enough to get the decks wet! Last night was the Full Moon Party and yesterday was the floaty competition. We had a lot of fun with that. Ian was one of the judges and I dressed myself up as a jelly fish. There were a lot of really creative designs and some which required a fair bit of work to make. The afternoon started off in the small lagoon at the end of the incoming tide when everyone floats by the judges. Then for an hour or so we all just floated around and visited and then the tide turned and out we floated past the judges again. It was a fun way to spend an afternoon. When I get some internet I will upload photos of the day. Then around 6pm everyone headed back to the beach and we had a potluck dinner and the 'awards ceremony' to hand out the prizes for the costumes and floaties. I guess it helps when your sleeping with one of the judges as I won a prize for best homemade costume. The dinner and the company was great and we enjoyed our first Full Moon Party.

Our Northern Destination
Ellen
08/31/2011, Bahia de los Angeles

We have reached our destination that we set out for ourselves when we started this trip. The Bay of LA or in Spanish: Bahia de los Angeles, is 29 degrees North in Latitude. It is mostly safe from Hurricanes as they don't usually come this far up. There have been a couple over the last 30 years that have made it this far but for the most part it is out of the zone. But if one does threaten to come up this way, there is a known 'Hurricane Hole' called Puerto Don Juan which is only a few miles from BLA where you can go and be relatively safe. The wind still gets in there, but the waves don't and that is really what you want to be out of the waves. So everyday we listen to the weather and see what is cooking in the tropical kitchen down south. It's a good day when nothing is brewing. And the hurricanes that are happening in the Carribbean side do not affect us at all. So for the next month and a half, we will be cruising in this area. There are a few islands worth checking out as well as the town of BLA which is small but quaint, and there are some really nice beaches here too. The wildlife and fish are numerous and the water is a comfortable temperature for swimming and snorkeling. There are about 20 to 30 boats cruising here for the season so we have get togethers and a few parties as well. The next scheduled party is the Full Moon party on the 12th. There are prizes for the most unique floating device so everyone is secretly working on their designs. Costumes are the norm and a potluck will follow. So between trying to stay cool, meeting new friends, seeing whales and eating lots of fish, we will try to get some relaxing done as well. So much to do so little time...

09/10/2011 | Dick Towson
Hi

I see you are enjoying the sun however we did not so we wish we were down with you but that will come soon in November. We will be enjoying the website so keep it up.

Regards
Anne and Dick
Addendum to: The Things We See
Ellen
08/29/2011, Bahia de los Angeles

Wow! Since I posted the last blog, we have seen a couple of more noteworthy animals. The first is a pack of wild coyotes on the beach. I have a photo that is really zoomed in so not too sharp but I'm posting it anyhow. The other thing we saw that was spectacular is Whale Sharks!! Ian of course was in the water in a flash with them. I got my first sighting as we were dropping the anchor and one came swimming right to the boat. I thought it was blind and couldn't see us and was going to swim right into the side of the boat. Well he turned about 1 foot from the boat! Anyhow his mouth must have been 3 feet across. It was very exciting to see them and for Ian to be able to swim with one.
We are in the town of Bahia de los Angeles and so I can post a few photos.

08/31/2011 | Pat and Pamela
Oh Bro and Sis, I'm MELTING with envy! Ellen, thank you for wonderful descriptions about your wildlife channel! Much love to you both, Pamela and Pat xxx
The Things We See
Ellen
08/26/2011, Bahia de las Animas

Since my last entry a week ago, we have enjoyed seeing a variety of wildlife. We always see small rays while we are anchored as they seem to take great pleasure in hurling themselves out of the water. I haven't identified them as to which species of ray they are, but they look like tiny Manta Rays. They are fun to watch when they swim around the bays too because they always go by in groups of 2 or more and their wing tips come out of the water as if they are flying along the surface in no particular hurry. The other thing we see a lot of is turtles. They are quite shy and come up for a quick breath and go down again so you have to be really watching for them to get a good look. Then the other day we were motoring along (no wind) and a Booby bird decided to land on our bowsprit. We were able to walk right up to him and touch it before it would leave the boat. It came back about 4 times and the last time it actually managed to tangle itself in Ian's fishing line that he was dragging behind the boat. We managed to get him out before the hook got into it. Just after we finished with that encounter, we spotted a Fin Whale laying just below the surface of the water. You could see it's small fin sticking out and see it blowing as it breathed. They are very long whales and it was much longer than the boat. Our next trip we were in some rough water and we managed to spot a Sperm Whale as it's head came out of the water. That was pretty exciting! They have such a large rectangular shaped head. I would have loved to stop the boat and spend some time watching but it was much to rough to even think of doing that. Here in the eastern bay in Bahia de las Animas, on the beach there are some interesting things to see. At the far end of the beach is a big whale skull and some other bones around. It's not quite 'clean' yet and it smells pretty ripe. When the tide is in it partially covers the skull and you can see oil floating off of it. When I can I will post a photo of Ian standing beside it so you can see how large it is. On the same beach further along, we came across some dolphin bones. We pretty much found the entire spine intact, and the other parts were scattered about. It's sad to see all these dead things on the beach but at the same time you get to see how these animals are built. I just wonder why they are there were they just old and died a natural death, or were they hurt by a boat or some other marine animal? It's really great to have the chance to observe all of these creatures from the comfort of our home. It is our TV. We just have to look outside and the nature channel is always on.

08/27/2011 | bob and Camelia
Ellen, I just love your last line about the nature channel always on. How true and fortunate you are to be able to see all this taking place.
08/30/2011 | Linda
How fantastic is that! WOW! for Ian to swim with the Whale Shark in the calm, warm and beautiful ocean with the sun shining and his woman on watch. Your pictures and blog are absolutely dreamy! Yaw haw to the Baha Kasasa. xxoo for you two.
Our First Chabasco!
Ellen
08/17/2011, Bahia San Francisquito

Yesterday the day started out pleasantly enough as we woke up to dolphins feeding around the boat. Around 10am Ian and I decided to go for a walk to a bay across the mile wide spit where we are now anchored. There is a runway there for small planes and an abandoned resort. We walked the beach for a while and chatted with a Mexican family who are camped there. As we started to walk back to our bay, we noticed that there was a large bank of dark clouds out in the Sea but was coming our way. We started to walk faster and faster as the black clouds started to overtake us. We arrived at our beach and jumped into the dingy just as the first gust hit and it hit hard. One of the other cruisers in the bay said that the first few gusts were in the 40 to 45 knot range. In the 2 minutes or less that it took us to motor to our boat, there were whitecaps on the water. We got aboard and as Ian got the dingy hooked onto the davits ready to haul out of the water, I ran forward and started to remove the sunshade cover. When I let go of the front of it, it whipped right out of my hands and was waving wildly in the wind. Between Ian and I we managed to get it under control and stowed away before any damage could be done. We stowed the wind scope and closed the forward hatch as by now the sand from the beach and surrounding hills was in the air and we were getting sandblasted. The first hour was the strongest winds and then they slowly diminished over the next 2 hours. By the time they got down to about 15 knots, our boat was covered in sand - what a mess! We have heard and read about this weather event called a Chabasco, and now we know what it is from experience. I'm glad we got to experience the first one in the day time which is rare, and that we are in a very protected anchorage. Because it is so protected where we are, there is no big waves that can build up so we only had to deal with the wind. We fared better than some of the boats that had left here in the morning as they got hit with it at sea and had a rather wild ride before they got to a safe anchorage. Anyhow the good news is that everyone is okay and made it safely to where they were going with only one boat that we heard of that sustained some damage to the boat. You can be sure that when we see dark clouds on the horizon we will be preparing for them. Today is Ian's birthday and I've just finished baking him some cupcakes. This evening we will share some of them with the other boats that are here in the anchorage with us. We have decided to stay put here for a couple more days as the weather is a bit unsettled at the moment and we feel this is a good, safe place to be right now. So for now it's just another day in the Baja and we will enjoy the swimming and the beach.

08/20/2011 | Linda
If ever there was a need for a vacuum cleaner on a sail boat....
08/22/2011 | Pat and Pamela
Happy birthday, Bro! Hugs and love, the Two Peas and assorted Fuiffyfoots xxxxxx
08/22/2011 | bob and Camelia
Wow. Glad you guys made it back safely and it all turned out okay. Hope you had a wonderful birthday Ian. Take care you two.
Back Home!
Ellen
08/12/2011, Santa Rosalia

Well it's been a while since I last posted a blog. When I left Toronto, I spent a couple of weeks in Winnipeg visiting with family and friends. Got to spend a lot of quality time with my dad and am very happy about that. My friend Maureen was also in Winnipeg and we drove out to her cottage on Lake of the Woods in Ontario for 3 days. Then it was off to Vancouver where I spent a busy 11 days catching up with old friends and doing a lot of shopping for things for the boat that we can't get down here. It was great fun and I really enjoyed every minute of my whole trip.
Ian was a trooper and spent the entire month on the boat working on various boat projects. He managed to accoplish quite a bit of work considering the heat here. It did help that some cruisers who have gone to San Diego for 2 months and left their boat here offered him the use of their air conditioner. It makes it really easy to live here with that. But you get hit with the heat as soon as you walk out the campanion way whew! It's HOT!
Since I've been back, I launched into a sewing project. I'm making cotton slip covers for our settee. It's much more comfortable to sit on cotton when it's this hot out. The velveteen type material on the cushions just makes you feel hotter and we don't want to sweat on them as they would be harder to wash. The cotton just comes off and washes so easy. Once I'm done that (hopefully today) we are going to provision the boat for the rest of the summer and head north on Sunday or Monday depending on the weather.
Unfortunatly our good friends on Kashmira won't be back from Long Beach California for another week or two so we won't be travelling with them. We hope to catch up with them again at some point but don't know when that will be. That is the fun of this you meet great people and go your seperate ways only to run into each other again down the road.
That about catchs me up to date on happenings with us. I've uploaded a few pictures of my trip home.

08/13/2011 | Pat andPamela
Good to know you're back home safe and sound, Ellen, and that you had a good break. It was lovely to see the photos of your Dad and all your friends that I know too - they all look well. Where will you be for your last birthday in the 50's, Bro? Love from us both xxx

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