Anchorages & Marinas
29 August 2016 | Puerto Vallarta
Ok I’ve been hangin at this five-star resort now for a few months and having so much fun that I forgot I needed to post something on this blog so here goes.
I have the boat buttoned up nice and safe here in the marina waiting out the tropical storm season not wanting to risk the boat. But all that is about the change because I will be putting the boat up on the hard in a couple weeks. Then at the end of October, I will move the boat to the La Cruz anchorage for trials before heading south for six months spending a lot of time on the hook. So I thought I would write about anchorages.
So when you’re in a marina you have a place to plug in and you have plenty of fresh water. You have rotating neighbors very close, that’s a good thing because they protect my boat in a storm as those boats take the brunt of the blow. Marinas have cable TV, trash pickup, free Wifi, and at resorts swimming pools, convenience stores, repair services, and if you’re really lucky an occasional Starbucks. At anchorages you get none of this; you have to make your own water and generate you own electricity using wind and solar to charge the batteries. You have to have a dinghy to get to a marina or someplace to resupply and maybe get an ice cream. You have to run up your cell phone bill to check email and stream movies from Netflix.
At anchorages, you get marine life and great sunsets. Anchorages are free; marinas cost money but house likeminded folks and you make lots of new friends; some who never leave. Anchorages have cruisers coming and going, you don’t have to try very hard to make lots of friends quickly. Marinas like the one my boat is in are like little cities with strip malls, beauty parlors, pizza places, coffee shops, ice cream parlors, Mickey “Ds” and boutiques.
By the way did I forget to mention anchorages are FREE of charge; you see the frigate birds and pelicans diving for their supper and the bait fish scurrying around before the bigger fish show up. At anchor you get awesome sunsets practically every night, in marinas you have to get off the boat and walk to a place to get a great view. Did I mention marinas cost money! In marinas like this one you don’t have to worry about poop; the guys come by every week and pump the tanks. We won’t discuss what happens to waste at anchor ok? In marinas you have rules and security personnel and they expect a certain level of maturity. At anchor you can do just about any damn fool thing you want to include, skinny dippin, playing Tarzan with a halyard, getting falling down drunk and walking the hand rails. In marinas you can’t see the stars very well, at anchor you get to stay up all night when a squall comes thru, in marinas you run for cover when lightning strikes, great show tho.
In some marinas you have loud music, at anchor you only hear silence. In a marina you sometimes get looky loos who don’t have a boat so the sneak in the gate to check out yours and other homes. Kind of like walking thru a neighborhood and snooping in window; I think they call that casing the joint, very dangerous. Don’t walk down the finger piers and peek in the window you might get shot! Some marinas have lounges and here they call it a hospitality room, these are shared by marina and resort guests and usually has a TV. Go ahead stick six not so perfect strangers to agree on what to watch especially during football season. At anchor you hand wash clothes and hang em out to dry on the lifelines. In a marina usually you can find a local to wash your clothes, or you can take them to the laundry mat where you can find my favorite person. This is the one that gets pissed if another person leaves clothes in the washer or dryer. The other type of person utilizes the whole facility and is probably getting paid to wash clothes.
22 February 2016 | Mazatlan
Ok so I have Pazed in La Paz long enough having used it for over a year as home port while exploring the Sea of Cortez on the Baja side. So having just finished some major repairs to include; new batteries both the house bank (AGMs) & the start battery, fabricate a new muffler, replace the compressor for the frig, and an engine service I decided it was time to do a shakedown cruise. So on 2/8/16 I set sail for an anchorage some 20 miles off the coast for the night to see how the systems would perform after the excellent support I received at the dock; after all I couldn’t lift the 7 batteries we installed being a girl. Everything performed perfectly so the next morning I set sail for Mazatlán on the mainland and got into El Cid the two days later just before dark.
Now El Cid is a five-star resort with all the amenities and I do mean all! The are 3 pools one with a slide and water fall and you can belly up for refreshments right in the pool. The only drawback is there are lots of gringo tourists and they love to party with loud music and all kinds of revelry. I have full use of the hotel and the services are great but the water in the marina is dirty. Mazatlán itself is a huge city of some 700k people and just too crowded for me as I like the off the beaten path spots that tourists generally don’t go or can only reached by boat. Sp far I have been here 8 days so I’m getting a little itchy to move on and will probably do so before the week is out. Next stop Bandres Bay, a little town called La Cruz; probably be there for a week or two then head south to points unknown to me at least.
Why Own A Boat?
09 September 2015 | La Paz
There are more kinds of boats then there are kinds of cars. In my world though, there are only two types, power boats and sail boats. First thing is this; most of them rarely sail. Oh they own a sailboat, but it sits in a marina 360 days a year. My boat has been in Mexico for almost a year and each time I go boating and return to the marina some boats have not budged an inch; never do. There are millions of boats and boat owners in the world today. What is our fascination with boats? I believe it's really our fascination with the water, especially the ocean.
Two-thirds of the Earth's surface is covered in water. If you believe in evolution, all life first evolved from the sea. If you believe in the Bible, God first destroyed the Earth with a great flood, and we are all descendants of Noah and his crew. By the way Noah's journey was the first documented incident of a sailor running aground. The Apostle Peter had a whole fishing fleet but then he swallowed the anchor.
When they do manage to leave the slip, it's either not windy enough to put up the sails, too windy to put up the sails, or the wind is blowing in the wrong direction to put up the sails. You've heard these before; a boat is a hole in the water that you throw money into. BOAT stands for Break Out Another Thousand. Those are what we call "truisms" . . . because they are true. Bilges are generally nasty places to be mess'n in. Any work done down there is ten times harder than if you could actually reach or see what you're trying to fix. It's really important to go down into the bilge occasionally though to look around. Regular inspections can head off all sorts of emergencies. Boats are as varied as the people who own them. They range from the canoe to the mega-yacht. There are almost an infinite number of styles and designs as there people who own them.
It may be called a fishing boat, a picnic boat, a work boat, a go-fast boat, a motor yacht, a kayak, or a sailboat. You may claim to want to fish, to work, to sail, to paddle, or to party but the real reason you own that boat is to be on the water; it's in your soul. We are all children of the sea whether we know it or not. We lost our gills somewhere along the way, and our fins are barely serviceable these days, but our heritage is the sea. That water is salty, saline like the ocean. Our very being is the same element that makes up the oceans of the world. It's clear that we all have some innate longing to return to the sea. All of the countries of the world were discovered by brave men in sailing ships. The early Vikings, Columbus, Ponce De Leon, Magellan, and all those great seafaring explorers told tales of looking for gold and buried treasure chests, spices or other treasures. The truth is they just needed an excuse to mess around on the ocean in a boat. Today we either go to the beach or we buy our own boat.
We own boats precisely because we have heard the call and we need to answer. We haul our poop, we battle mosquitoes, we crawl around in the bilge and we drink too much booze. We bust our asses and knuckles and we bang our knees. We risk life and limb in bad weather. We pay for bottom paint, electronics and fuel. We live in a cramped space that rocks and rolls as we drop shit overboard. We go without a bath sometimes for days on end. We cuss limp dinghies and we freeze in the winter and roast in the summer. We fight off mold and mildew. We scrape barnacles but we wouldn't change a thing. Why? We are drawn to the sea.
Boat Gremlin: these critters are never seen but steal things, or at least hide them from me so I can't find them. Lost a smart phone once; true story never did find it. Every day I'll look for something and I can't find it. Some things I never do find. One engine or two? It's like having a woman. If you just have one and you treat her right, she'll treat you right. And why do boats that never leave the marina have autopilots and radar and such? It's always best to keep the water on the outside of the boat. Sooner or later though, water will find its way in. Fix that immediately, or it will only get worse because water always wins. On a boat, especially an older one, things break; just accept it as a fact of the boating life. Things that are supposed to move quit moving and things that are supposed to stay still, come loose. Don't buy a boat with tons of teak, you'll soon learn to hate it, unless you allow the sun to bleach it a ghostly white, we don't have teak on our boat. Ask six boat owners the best way to care for teak. You will get six different answers. Ask six different boat owners which anchor style is best. You'll get six different answers again. Don't anchor near me with a loud Briggs & Stratton portable generator. If you have to go portable, buy a Honda, your neighbors will appreciate it. Learn how to anchor properly before you embarrass yourself again.
Signs You Live On A Boat and know you're a Cruiser IF
02 September 2015 | Tropical
Compiled from various interweb locations and personal experience.
Sleeping in a house makes you feel claustrophobic because there isn't a hatch overhead to look at the stars. You know smaller is actually sometimes better. You find yourself bleeding from random places at random times. Renting a room at a nice hotel just so you can sleep in a REAL bed and soak in a tub turns you on. Leaving the tap running for more than two minutes makes you cringe and you think nothing about taking a two mile walk to the store. You wake up with mysterious bruises and light the stove with a match to make toast over an open flame. You get really excited about a half-way decent one pot meal and when you see a new gadget the first question that pops into your mind is "how many amps does it draw." The doctor assumes your body covered in random bruises is a sign of physical abuse. You rinse your dishes in the galley from a garden hose connected to a faucet on the dock that clearly says "water not potable" and you fill your water tank with 80 gallons of bottled water you purchased from the local tienda. When something breaks your first thought is who to call. You use T-9 and WD40 as frequently as some people use hair spray. You laugh out loud when someone on land complains the "don't have enough space."
You and Captian Wifey define "taking a break" as relocating to opposite ends of the boat and looking in opposite directions. This is only effective if your boat is longer than twenty feet! You avoid telling people you live on a boat just so you don't have to explain personal hygiene... again. You take a bath in saltwater and rinse with a cup of fresh. You are obsessed with the humidity... indoors unless you live in a dry climate. Your convinced that butter only comes soft or in liquefied form in the tropics. When invited to dinner at someone's house you ask if you can use the shower before dinner while your laundry is running in the garage. Laundry done by your own two hands comes out better than the Laundromat which isn't hard as you wear the same clothes day in and day out and no one seems to matter or care or notice.. Or your laundry is just recycled. Laundry day starts by lowering the dinghy ... and checking the gas tank in the outboard. You cycle your clothes through stages... 'Clean, good for dinner'... 'Still pretty clean, good for daily wear'... 'Kinda dirty, but still good enough for onboard wear'... 'Oooh, that smells, time to wash' Doing laundry involves a net bag, a moving boat, and 50 feet of line.
You're two favorite topics of discussion are laundry and weather. You realize the people on shore have this questioning look. You're not interested in the local charity tickets to win a big screen TV and you think CSI is some sort of yacht club racing acronym. Kids think you're the coolest person on earth. When you don't like the neighborhood you just untie and move because you have seen his bare ass one too many times. You are content knowing that sailing is code for boat repair in exotic places. You can assemble a gourmet dinner using only one pot and a fork. When asked for a piece of scratch paper, you hand them 80 grit. You truly don't want anything for Christmas that doesn't come in PDF form or installs on a Kindle. You only get seasick on land. Cardboard boxes, wrappers, and packing foam are thrown away before anything goes to the boat. You define a good anchorage as one where you can get WiFi. A fifteen minute job always takes an hour and a half since you have to pull everything out of all the storage lockers to find the right part, then the right tool, then put it all back. Your wallet contains more boat cards than business cards. When visiting ashore, you wake everybody at daylight screaming "We're aground" when you open your eyes and see trees and realize your on the hard in the yard. You define an easy chore as one where you only had to pull out 3 tool bags. You covet new solar panels more than a new car. You can identify boats by the sound of their halyard slapping against their mast. You have given up shoes for bare feet and flip flops. You panic when you can't find your good pair of flip flops.
You've accidentally put your life jacket on in a grocery store parking lot out of habit. You walk in the rain all the way back to your boat, carrying a backpack, a load of laundry, groceries destined to fall out of their bag at any second... all the while thinking how lucky you are. You purchase a 6k BTU window AC to place in the companion way because you think it beats being in a cold frost bitten climate and hope it doesn't trip a breaker. Filling the water tanks is a full day's work even with a water maker. The only thing you do religiously on Sundays is wonder what day it is. The first thing you do after setting the hook (anchor for you land lubbers) is check to see who you know in the anchorage. Cutting the grass means diving over the side with a scraper to remove the growth that has accumulated on the hull. You find a sea otter lounging in your cockpit when you get home. You think the roof leaking a little is no big deal. You wonder why it's always low tide when taking stuff on or off the boat. A warm rum and coke won't turn your stomach.
When you try to sleep on land you find you can only sleep in a hammock after rocking it. You understand and pay attention to the entire weather forecast. You spend weekends sitting in your cockpit with a boat hook beside you, waiting to fend off the next rental boat operator. You can heat your home with a Bic lighter. Every time you consider buying something the main consideration is what you'll have to get rid of to make room for it. When going ashore you catch yourself pumping the handle on a convenience called a faucet. You consider a three minute shower luxurious and you covet your neighbor's oven more than his wife. You measure the length of a shower in terms of quarters. You now consider a freezer the ultimate luxury. You have to strap a black bag full of water to your boom, then wait a few hours before you can take a shower. You've sincerely wondered if there are any companies that make fitted bed sheets. You know that Styrofoam was invented by Satan, duct tape by God. When trying to register a new bank account or anything to do with government, their computer won't accept the fact that you don't have a residential address. All of your neighbors have your cell phone number, but only call when they want a weather report or for you to check on their boat. You realize previously as in nine Jimmy Buffett songs have started to carry a deep philosophical significance. You only bring out the clear plastic Dixie cups for fancy occasions. You visit a friend's house and worry that everything on the shelves will come crashing down when the boat heels. Getting the "heat" question for the 1,000th time drives you mad. Trying to find someone to sail away with you isn't being romantic, it's practical. Your first cell phone app was the Weather Channel and your second was a Tides app. Your homepage on the computer is the NOAA National Weather Service.
You've spent mornings standing in your underwear on the deck of someone else boat, adjusting halyards, lashing lines & freezing your ass off. You have given up trying to defend your lifestyle and are content with smugly thinking..... they don't have a clue what they are missing. Waterside dining is Top Ramen noodles and a can of beer. Wearing clothes with holes in them is no big deal. Dressing up means wearing your cleanest T-shirt and flip flops. That mildew in the V-birth can wait a few more days. You have a love/ hate relationship with Teak. You haven't showered in four days. You use funnels, hoses, towels or tarps to collect rain water. You get so good at improvising and repairs, you think MacGyver was an amateur. You are an expert on things your landlubber friends don't even know exist; Like bottom paint and zincs. You have never seen American Idol or Duck Dynasty because you haven't clue what's on TV or in the theaters. You have peed in the sink not because you were drunk again but because it was easier. You know your boat better than most parents know their children and you have given it a name. You only use half a paper towel at a time. You have more flashlights and head lamps than a spelunker and you long for more solar and/or wind power as you ogle other set ups on your neighbors boats. You get ecstatic at a balanced battery meter. When you tour another boat you get jealous of the storage space.
The world stops at sunsets for sundowners. You give names to Sea Gulls. It's not a rain coat, its "foul weather gear". Your entire shoe collection consists of one pair of flip flops and one pair of Deck shoes. You must choose between owning a toaster oven or a microwave, no room for both, (and the ice maker ain't going nowhere). Your would rather spend $200 on a Dometic Ice maker than $2 three times a week for a bag of ice in the tropics. You know the best source for ice in every coastal town because ICE is considered a luxury it is accompanied by a big smile and a high five. You once traded a case of warm beer for a kelo of fresh shrimp. You don't mind warm beer in fact you kind of like it. Your friends have called the Coast Guard because they haven't heard from you in several days. (if I'm lying I'm dying) You have bathed in salt water using dish soap or Castile. You covet your neighbor's dinghy more than you covet his wife because you named your dinghy "Patches" You can judge the salinity of the water based on the rate of barnacle growth on your hull, a rare skill. You consider watching novices anchoring grand entertainment. You can tie a Bowline with your eyes closed. You can lasso a piling on the first try every time and you keep a mental scorecard of how many mooring balls you've missed.
You keep a mental tally of how many tools or other important items you've dropped overboard. When driving a car you turn to Port or Starboard and you think a red light means red right returning. You visit a friend's home and tell them how nice their Galley is then you ask, "Where's the head?" You check NOAA for hurricanes every day, even when the weather is perfect as your life is dictated by the weather and you check it several times a day. Finding a better way to stow something literally makes your day! When prepping to cook a meal requires you to get on all fours at any given point or you break a sweat just getting out the tools necessary to complete a job. The number of tools you have far exceeds the number of toys. You cannot walk into a marine store without buying something and you know the wind speed just by the sound and feel of your boat. You use oil and vinegar not only for salad, but for your toilet - on a regular basis...You've read 240 books in the past year and only bought one. You have to ask your partner where you are and where you're heading when you call into the SSB net. You figure out the system for getting free drinks at every race party and you figure out how to mingle with the all-inclusive crowd on the beach or in the resort. You ride standing up in your dinghy so as not to get wet. You have to go online to figure out what day of the week it is. You consider a sell by date of six months ago as pretty good. You fill your tanks carrying loads of water jugs in the dinghy so you don't have to pay 15 cents per gallon for water at the pump.
The first thing you ask in a new port is, "Where are the supermarkets, the laundry, and the chandlery? " You organize a group of cruisers to share a taxi to the supermarket. You know the location of every chandlery and hardware store within a 20 mile radius. A trip to the supermarket requires packing up the dinghy with rolling coolers, knapsacks, bags and lists, unpacking and lugging everything to the market, repacking it and hauling it yourselves back into the dinghy full, then removing all the excess packaging and labeling everything with permanent markers, before lugging it all on board then below in stages, and finally stowing it. You anchor near the hotels in case they have free WiFi you can pick up from on board, or You sit on the ground near free WiFi hot spots for hours at a time. You become a member of the soggy bottom boys. You go to sleep at dark and wake up at dawn. You tie a string onto everything you take to the top of the mast, and tie the other end of the string to yourself.. You have run out naked to scrub the deck in rain showers and end up scrubbing yourself while you're at it. You haven't heard the news in weeks, and don't care. You scramble to write a blog every week so your friends think you are responsible. You learn commands for the hole in the wall bank in multiple languages so it doesn't eat your debit card. You lock your dinghy as soon as you land. You get land sick instead of seasick. You eat chicken for every meal that isn't breakfast, and for breakfast you eat eggs.
You have photos of every island under the sun and almost all look the same. You have friends whose surnames you don't know and boat names you'll never forget. You can fit your body into a small box that's crammed full of gear. You rate marinas by their shower facilities. You carry one anchor of every kind just in case. You figure out how to re-freshen bread in every imaginable way. Your skin is getting darker, your mind is getting duller. You haven't worn a watch in years. You say good bye to your good friends 20 times in 30 days because you were heading the same way after all. You get the urge to move if you've stayed in one place too long. You write lists of lists and your 'honey do' list never gets any shorter. You go out to dinner and order a drink named "Hurricane" just hours before the hurricane hits! Hey, you know you have already done everything you can do until the real hurricane hits you... You talk about the inside rain (condensation) with other boaters waiting out the effects of the hurricane. You have more spare engine parts than underwear. You talk more about anchorages than your grandchildren! You end up talking about anchors and toilets with people you just met and you go right to "do you have a water maker?" The first question out of your mouth is "Is there a free town dock? " When you do not get involved in multi/mono hull arguments or anchor techniques/equipment discussions...these are left for "experts" a/k/a armchair experts... after all, cruising requires entertainment ;>) You get into a one upmanship discussion about who has the best anchoring story.
When you say "Roger" instead of "yes" in a telephone conversation with a vendor or other non cruiser and you say "over" on a Skype call when you are done talking. You get a faraway and excited look in your eyes when people start talking about near-death experiences. You have pictures of your boat in zillions of anchorages and you can name each one. You realize you can have a change of scenery any time you want when you've run out of wishes while watching a meteor shower in the middle of the night on watch at night. You have lots of friends who you know only by their first names and the name of their boat. When you get a laugh out of the cruisers nets and on the morning net, you're always trying to find someone who can fix the fridge or buy, sell or trade. The first question you ask on the morning net is where the book exchange is. Visitors want to leave your boat cause all you ever play is Jimmy Buffet and Eileen Quinn's songs become your anthems.
As another boat approaches you pull out your Binoculars and comment on what type of anchor and how they handle their boat .... You're down below in an anchorage and hear a bow thruster which immediately sends you up on deck to see where you need to put the fenders. When you own more Aloha shirts than Hilo Hattie and you wear your Aloha shirts with plaid shorts. (This is strictly American.) When you have no idea which islands in the Caribbean have airports You have collected 205 recipes for preparing fish, especially tuna and Mahi Mahi and you have eaten flying fish for breakfast. You have 30 recipes for mahi-mahi and are always searching for more.
Some Like it HOT
06 August 2015 | Sea of Cortez
When you Hot your Hot and when you're Not your Not.
With the temps peaking out at 90* and above in many places around the globe I guess I don't have much to complain about. The conditioning of living in the Pacific NW however did nothing to prepare me for tropical environments. They say locally "it really doesn't get hot until mid August to September.
SO here we are in the throes of a full on summer with blue skies and a Big orange ball in the sky that radiates HEAT. I am aware that the whole planet is in a cooker this summer but some places like where I'm at are SMOKIN! In an attempt to add some sense of depth and definition I will present some observations.
You know it's hot when the water from the water hose is too hot for your hand washing or some other cleanliness duties. Crap you don't even need to turn on the water heater.
When you leave your sandals outside in the shade by mistake and they are too Hot to put on when you return five minutes later.
Don't even think about touching anything metal such as that shiny hand rail like the grab handles outside or that big one in front of the binnacle.
Oh and when you get those sandals cooled of be sure to wear them once outside as any surface exposed to the elements or direct sunlight will exfoliate the soles of your feet with a Smokey aroma.
You know it is hot when your body conditioning causes it to gravitate to any small amount of shade.
It's hot when any amount of physical exertion especially mid day as temps rise causes you to sweat profusely.
You know it's hot when after a quick shower you are as wet as when you closed the shower door.
You know it's hot when being out in a rain squall your dry before you can get inside again to be dripping wet with sweat.
You know it's hot when your sunglasses are getting a wash job from the perspiration running off your fevered brow.
It is Hot out when the necessity to carry a small terry cloth or facsimile to wipe yourself with is compulsory.
You know it's hot when those ice chunks in the glass with the cute umbrellas disappear before your eyes in under ten minutes.
It is hot out when the clothes you just hung out to dry are done before you can return to that glass with the umbrella in it.
Upon returning from a walk you have to take your shirt off and wring out the sweat before it dries in the next ten minutes.
It's hot when your butt sticks to the surface it is perched on no matter the composition and your underpants stick to your ass wet as a diaper.
IT is Hot when you can't remain on the proverbial throne for more than a few minutes as opposed to the usual time to do the biz as before your done you and the TP your holding are wet.
It is Hot out when you plan your daily activates around the early morning hours or after the sun goes down such as going into town for teeny umbrellas or supplies.
You know it is Hot when the local doctor you hooked up with schedules an appointment at 7PM that evening.
You know it is Hot when the indigenous people have all but disappeared by mid day.
You know it is Hot when the water temps are only ten to fifteen degrees cooler than the air temps.
You know it is Hot when the local Home depot and department stores run out of window AC units.
So here I sit in the dark with my laptop and the AC with a funny little drink with a teeny little umbrella, no shirt just shorts waiting for the sun to go down so I can work on the boat.
Think I'll take a Siesta.
Off the Dock
13 March 2015 | Isla Espiritu Santos
Rick/Sunny & Windy
So after a dry spell of being on the dock getting the boat back in pristine condition we shoved off for a week to explore the Island of Espiritus Santos and some of the anchorages out there. The Island is a park some 20 miles north of La Paz; there are actually two large islands separated by a small channel. First stop was Caleta Lobos a small anchorage away from the lights of La Paz some 10 miles away where there were sea lions sunbathing and birds on the cliffs. We watched these bird as the sun began to set the first night dive on the waters around the reef rocks as the water began to boil with bait fish I think; too far to tell exactly. Didn't catch any fish here and the wind was blowing 10-15 knots but that kept the temps down but made anchoring fun and rolly. We saw the mangroves in the back bay and a bit of a beach at the base of some cliffs which appeared to have some hiking trails and dirt roads that seemed to lead to nowhere. But as there was a northerly blowing we didn't launch the dink and after a couple nights beating off the BoBos ( small black pesky nat like bugs) annoying charges we pulled anchor in search of better surroundings.
By now we were ready to move on up the inside of the island to an area called Puerto Ballena where there are three rather nice lobed bays with several small islands (Large rocks) on the outside. My intent was to pick one to anchor and do some fishing out at the rocks with the dinghy and perhaps some snorkeling. More on that later. The cliff shad serrations and strata with varied colors. As the winds were still blowing as before I elected to seek the anchorage with the best lee protection to provide a peaceful nights sleep for the both of us.
The approach to all of the bays is free from obstructions and had good sand bottom for holding. I chose the northern most lobe/bay Ensenada de la Raza as it presented very high cliffs with a steep drop off in front. We motored up nice and close allowing more than enough swing room not being too close in the event the anchor drug. By the time we got the anchor down solid the wind had blown us back a ways and had shifted to the east coming between two large hills like a funnel. This made for good swing time for the next few days on the hook of an included angle some 150 degrees but as the day wore on they subsided. I had the choice of the other bays of the three but heard on the radio the BoBos had swarmed one boat. Not that they intended to leave us entirely alone when the wind died down.
Again the cliffs were serrated and we could see the geological changes in the strata and the scrubby trees growing outward to the bay. There was something surreal about seeing Sorrow cactus growing on the cliff tops with birds circling above. In fact there is a rather large Island at the bay entrance that we observed to have the appearance of a whale and the same cacti were on top of it. Again there were no fish in the bay but we did see two or three turtles! We believe there were green turtles as there are different species and we are not familiar with all. These only surfaced enough to show their brownish heads. We threw some lettuce in the turquoise green water to try and attract them to no avail.
There were two other boats from our dock anchored as well and due to the winds none of us dared to put the dinghy down as one boat tried and only got soaked trying to motor around the bay. None the less we were getting our sea legs back and the time alone on the hook was magical. We watched as night after night mother nature put on a show for us to include some stupendous sunsets. (see the gallery) Being a studious observer of the weather I learned there was a front coming in that promised to bring thunder boomers and rain to the desert floor. I pushed the time window to the max and on the last day and pulled the anchor about noon. As we headed back I saw the thunder boomers behind us and they were black. The winds began to pick up to the extent that before we got the channel entrance I was marking 20+ knots that wanted to blow me off course. I continued making course corrections and ended up coming straight in from the east. We called for some line handlers at the marina as by the time we got in it was blowing pretty good and we no more that tied up when the down pour started in buckets.
Of course I did some fishing going both ways and bagged one Dorado and lost a Crevalle jack on a 60# pole with 50# test line and a 60# steel leader that snapped right as I got it to the boat. It was huge and had to weigh at least 30+#.