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We've spent nearly a month in the San Carlos and Guaymas area (minus a 10-day trip back to the states, but more about that in another post) and it's high-time we recap it for you and share some amazing photos of this part of Mexico.
Heidi was excited to visit Guaymas because it was the first place she had ever traveled to in Mexico over 40-years ago. Her family stayed in a small hotel on the beach in Guaymas in 1977, and her parents told the kids if they wanted to eat, they'd have to order in Spanish! Luckily she and her siblings had taken Spanish for a few years and they all promptly learned to say: "Sandwich de Tocino y Tomate por favor"--(BLT sandwich please), it usually arrived slathered with mayo, on Bimbo bread (Mexico's version of Wonderbread) is it any wonder she's a veg-aquarian now? LOL.
With Due West
anchored in Bahia San Carlos, we spent several days taking the 45-minute bus ride ($14 pesos or 77¢ US) to Guaymas which is famous for it's shrimping industry. We toured the vibrant colorful markets and the city with some of our cruising friends, and shopped for groceries in the larger city stores.
This marinas (above) had one of the largest collections of shrimp boats (which inspired us to watch "Forest Gump"!), and you could buy shrimp directly from the fishermen in the buildings on the shore in front of their boats. We're guessing they must export the majority of their catch as many sea food restaurants don't have camarones on the menu, but this colorful one (below) did!
Cruisers Heidi, Kimi, Scott, and Viviane descend on the Guaymas Weekly Market, which carried everything from used clothing to tools to sandias (watermelons), tamales and aguas frescas, honey, meats, fried pork rinds by the ton, and eggs, but not much produce to be found. Kirk was along too, taking the photo!
And then there were the household goods, everything you could ever want or need, in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes.....including a larger-than-LIFE-size bag of cheetos (that could substitute as a life-raft and provisions all-in-one!) The cost of this behemoth? Only $3.40 US. Sadly it's cheap enough to feed an entire family for a week, with plenty of artificial coloring and flavoring to go around, and zero nutritional value.
Back in San Carlos it was like old-home-week as it is a huge Mecca for cruisers many of whom leave their boats here for the hot summer months and head back home to the US or Canada. Since winter season is just gearing up everyone is now returning to their boats. We'd never been to San Carlos before and didn't know what to expect, but we think it's absolutely BEAUTIFUL here and look forward to returning again.
The stunningly beautiful Bahia San Carlos is surround by Mountains on the west side of the bay (see top photo of Due West at anchor)...while cliff-side Mediterranean-type villas adorn the "San Carlos Riviera" to the east.
San Carlos has more pelicans per capita than we've seen to date in our sailing adventures. Heidi is in heaven seeing her favorite bird everywhere! Flying low in formation, an inch off the water, or soaring high to dive bomb for fish--we could watch their antics for hours.
Catching up with cruising friends has been a highlight of our time in San Carlos. Heidi was also catching up on work picking up free wifi around the San Carlos Marina. The working stiffs, Heidi, Boni, and John: we might be living the dream but some of us are still working our businesses from any wifi-cafe we can find!
Dinner at Tortugas with cruising buddies Rick & Maryalice from s/v "Notre Isle"
It was a FAST PACED (blurred) game of Cards Against Humanity aboard s/v "Due West" for John's 60th birthday! We now have Due West packed-and-stowed in a way that we can pretty easily access our whole salon settee/table for parties like this one with 10-friends. Laughter is the best medicine, and we all got a huge dose at this party!
We hung out in San Carlos for about a week before heading north for another week to do our own yoga-meditation retreat. We had planned to head 15-miles north to San Pedro, but with a miss-forecasted 20+ knots of wind on the nose and 6-8' seas with a 4-second period we cried "uncle" and stopped short at Bahia Algodones, after only going six-miles! We are SO glad we did, we spent a wonderful week in this beautiful bay. As soon as we turned in and got into the lee of the land, the waves calmed down significantly and even the gatos were happy.
Our lovely Green-Eyed Lady Tikka melts our hearts every time we look into those beautiful eyes! And then there's Tosh, the consummate LOVER and our "cat-dog", trying to deiced which book to chew on next...we just celebrated our 2nd anniversary as a family with these adorable furbies!
Captain Kirk gets the Good Sam award for the week we were at Bahia Algodones. We hadn't had the hook down long when we noticed a kite-boarder who'd lost his kite, and appeared to be floundering in the whitecaps. Kirk to the rescue...he hopped in the dinghy and went to the kite surfer first, got him into the dinghy, and then they went after the kite. Turns out the guy was an instructor and his student had actually lost the kite. Once Kirk got him to the kite, he was able to ride it back to the beach without a board. All this in 2-3' waves and 20+ kts of breeze! Meanwhile Heidi was hoping that none of the kite surfers would get tangled in our rigging, they were SO close to "Due West." A very exciting day!
Each day we made delicious greens smoothies for breakfast, meditated morning and afternoon, and practiced some yoga on board or took beach walks, plus we got in a few swims and snorkels too, although the water was already starting to turn a bit cold (low 70's rather than mid 80's.) Algodones beach and its 30' tall sand dunes were phenomenal.
The lights shining across the water from the palapa beach bars made for beautiful evenings at Bahia Algodones. Luckily they had some great bands playing great music too cuz the music floating across the water went on 'til 3am on Friday and Saturday nights!
All too soon our week-long retreat was over and we headed back to San Carlos, to more friends and Day of the Dead celebrations. We were excited to attend a presentation put on by the Hospitality & Tourism students at University of Guaymas, to educate gringos on the Mexican custom of Dia de Los Muertos. The celebration of ancestral spirits has been a Mexican tradition dating back to to 3,000 B.C, pre-Mayan and Aztec days. When the Spanish Missionaries arrived in Mexico in the 1700's they tried to abolish this custom with out any success. So instead they incorporated some Catholic icons from All Souls Day, and today the Dia de Los Muertos celebration encompasses traditional indigenous customs along with a few Catholic ones sprinkled in. Each village, town, and city puts their own spin onto the celebrations, so you may experience different customs in different parts of Mexico.
As we learned, the traditional painted faces and sugar skulls are just a part of the Dia de Los Muertos celebrations.
Graves and cemeteries are also decorated with bright orange, strongly-scented marigolds which help lead the spirits of the deceased ancestors back home for 24 hours of celebration each year on November 2nd. Family gatherings and parties to celebrate their ancestors include favorite foods and drinks of the deceased. As it was explained "we are not sad that they are no longer with us, we are happy that they have come back to party with us for one night each year."
Next post we'll update you on our recent trip to the US to renew our Mexican Tourist Cards. For now we're getting Due West
ready to head back across the Sea of Cortez. Fingers crossed Neptune and the WX forecasts will be favorable and we can get back in time to celebrate Thanksgiving with Seattle friends Sara, Braden, and Molly, just south of La Paz.
We are THANKFUL for all of you our family, friends, and fellow sailors for reading our blog and following our adventures. Happy Thanksgiving!
Captain Kirk, Heidi, Tosh, and Tikka
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