Day 4 Baja Ha-Ha
28 October 2010
We arrived at Turtle Bay a little after 7 am and were anchored by 8 am. The bay is huge and it is really full of boats. About 150 of them to be more precise. The Pangas (small Mexican fishing boats) are already working their way through all the boats offering fuel, water, garbage pickup or taxi service to shore. The porpoise are also in the bay swimming among the boats, as well as a very few seals. Lots of pelicans, seagulls and other sea birds are flying overhead. The hills surrounding the small town are all shades of brown and all are pretty bare of vegetation. The town looks pretty poor and there is an old cannery building on the waterfront that is falling down. There is a long pier jutting out into the bay with a ladder at the end that leads down to a long dinghy dock. I think the dinghy dock may have been put there just for the HaHa group. I understand this is the biggest influx of tourists here the entire year. There are about 600 of us.
I have been kind of down and not sure about our choices since we left Anacortes. I sit on the cabin top at the front of the boat and study the town and the surrounding area. This is Mexico. This is what we have been dreaming about. I dig down deep into my heart to see if this is what I want. I decide that it is. This little town is what it's all about. I can hardly wait to go exploring.
Roll call was delayed until 9 am this morning. The Poobah described where to find internet access and food and showers, etc. in town. There is also going to be a baseball game in the afternoon. To get a shower in town you have to rent a room for 1 hour at the only hotel for $6 per person. We decide we will do cockpit showers on board rather than showers in town. Not necessarily because of the cost but just the convenience. We fill the solar shower bags so the water will be warm by this afternoon. Off topic but I thought very interesting, the weather has been off down here this summer also. Not as hot and the water is downright cold. It felt colder to me than in San Diego.
Anyway, the guys get the dinghy pumped up and off we go to explore the town. When we docked at the dinghy dock it was bouncing around so much I almost fell off the dock. The waves coming in also separate the stairs to the big dock from the dinghy dock so you have to time your step (jump) to the stairs. The man who took our money ($2 to dock the dinghy, $1 for a bag of garbage) held out his hand and helped me to the stairs. Sometimes it pays to be an old woman.
The first thing I notice is how incredibly poor the people must be here based on their houses which look like little more than shacks. I try to imagine how it would be to live here in one of these houses. Every single house has a satellite dish on the roof and there are at least 4 internet cafes in town. The internet and television are changing the entire world. We explore the town as we work our way up the hill to the restaurant where we decide to eat. I notice the police patrol the town in a small pickup with one officer riding in the back. They do not smile and wave as other locals do, but look straight ahead with a stern look on their faces. We pass a very nice medical clinic, a couple grocery stores, a pharmacy that also doubles as an internet café, the town plaza and a modern Pemex gas station. The streets are all dirt with only the main street having any sidewalks which are broken in many places. There are lots of people driving around town. I notice the houses get nicer the higher up the hill we go. We reach the restaurant and join other Ha-Ha people on the veranda and chat and eat our food, which is very good by the way.
Greg and I decide we want to go back to the boat and shower and maybe nap but Ronnie wants to go check out the baseball game. He comes with us to the boat and then takes the dinghy back to town. My first cockpit shower. We tied up some boat cushions around the railing to give us a little privacy and tied the shower bag up on the boom. Boy does it feel good to get clean. Ummmmmm........ By the time we finished showers and I picked up the boat a bit, Ronnie was back and it was time to start dinner. We had bought some shrimp from one of the pangas, so it was sautéed shrimp, rice and salad for dinner. Delicious. Ronnie has been chomping at the bit to watch the next installment of Lord of the Rings so after dinner we kicked back and had a great movie night. Then it was time for bed, with sheets, a nightgown for me and a full night's sleep for everyone on board. Life is good.