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All Clear
09/22/2011, Bahia de los Angeles

Well it looks like we are all in the clear of hurricanes for now. So tomorrow if the winds are favourable, we will head to a place called Rufegio on Isla Angel de la Guarda (I think that translates to Island Guarding the Bay of Los Angeles). It is a long island that stretches 40 miles to the north from here. The top end is supposed to be very very beautiful so we are off to find out for ourselves. We will be in the company of our friends on Kashmira and another boat called Grace. Since it is now the beginning of October, lots of boats are starting to head south. It can be a bit chancy because we aren't out of hurricane season yet but a lot of the boats seem willing to take that chance and get to La Paz and over to the mainland that much sooner. We are in no particular hurry ourselves so we will probably be in the area another 2 to 3 weeks before we head south. October is supposed to be one of the nicest months here as the weather is not too hot and the north winds haven't started to blow too hard. We are almost at our 1 year of cruising mark! Already we are starting to hear of new boats that will soon be arriving from Canada and the US to begin their cruise. All I can say is this year sure passed by quickly - Wow! We don't know what our 2nd year is going to bring because we haven't made up our minds what we are going to do. We are looking at a couple of options one being spending another year in Mexico. The other option we are looking at is heading to Central America and spending the late winter and spring making our way to Equador where we would spend the summer and then the following winter head over to Panama. Both options have a lot of appeal so we will just have to make a decision one of these days. Originally our plan was to go to the Galapago's and then head across the South Pacific to French Polyanesia. As much as I love cruising and the cruising lifestyle, I don't know that I am ready for the jump across the ocean. It's hard because Ian is ready but he is willing to wait until I too am comfortable with it. So unless something changes between now and then, those are our plans such as they are. As I write this, we are anchored in a small bay called las Rocas. There are 2 whales just outside the bay and you can hear each breath that they take. They have been going back and fourth across the opening into the bay for about an hour now. They are either a Fin whale or Sei whales we aren't able to identify them exactly. It sounds pretty amazing though.

Waiting Waiting Waiting...
09/22/2011, Bahia de los Angeles

Yes we are waiting for news on a potential hurricane which is now been named. Hilary is brewing well over 500 miles south of us but is moving in a Northwest direction which follows the direction of the Mexican coastline. At this point there is absolutely no danger to us. By Sat. or Sun. we should have more of an idea what direction it will be heading or if it is dying out. So although we have plans to move slightly more north this weekend, we are being prudent and waiting to hear what is going on with Hilary. We are only an hour away from our Hurricane Hole at this point so there are no worries here. Actually as I write this blog we are anchored in front of the village. We only have internet access if we go into to town to one of the hotels or the internet cafe so I am posting this blog on the ham radio. I did go into town yesterday and upload some photos of the area and the Full Moon party so have a look. Last week we were in the anchorage of Don Juan (hurricane hole) and one night while having dinner in the cockpit with some guests on board, we spotted a rapidly moving star moving along and getting brighter and brighter as it went. It got quite large and turned a bright green colour before fizzling out to nothing. It turns out it was a meteor entering the atmosphere. It was pretty neat to see that. And we hear that on the 23rd of this month there is a satelite that is going to be entering the atmosphere and burning up and that it may be visible in this area. So we will be looking upwards on that day for sure. While in Don Jaun, we were treated to a nightly chorus of wild coyotes and it is a very earie sound. Also most evenings at dusk the dolphins would come into the bay and do some fishing for their dinner. So it was a good place to be sitting outside each evening. The weather had cooled down a little last week to the point where you needed a sheet on for a part of the night. Well it seems we got too excited about the prospect of some cooler weather as it has warmed up once again. Oh well it was a taste of what is to come in the next month or two. I'm sure you're probably rolling your eyes as I say that because winter is coming on and some of you are even getting cold at night. But for us it will be a welcome relief to get some cooler weather. The downside of that is that the water gets cooler too. We returned to the village yesterday and were greeted by a couple of whale sharks swimming around the boat. They didn't stay around for very long and we haven't seen them yet today. Hopefully we will get a few more chances to observe them before they disappear for the cooler months. Well that's about all we have been up to lately. I'll let you know what happens in the next week or so regarding the hurricane or the lack of a hurricane which would be the better of the two options.

09/23/2011 | Talaria
We love your blog and picts. We are getting ready to head south Nov 1. Sail plan is gunk hole our way to Panama, except for the undesirable ports, by the end of Jan 2012. email me when possible please. I have some questions for the Experienced Ones.
Rain and a Full Moon Party
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
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

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.

Anne and Dick
Addendum to: The Things We See
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
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.

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