Little Green Boat

Spruce visited Japan and Alaska in 2018 after time spent in the South Pacific, NZ, Australia and Asia.

04 January 2020 | Creel - Chihuahua - Mexico
04 January 2020
04 January 2020
02 January 2020 | Batopilas - Chihuahua - Mexico
02 January 2020
02 January 2020
02 January 2020
02 January 2020
01 January 2020 | Creel - Chihuahua - Mexico
01 January 2020
01 January 2020
30 December 2019 | Creel - Chihuahua - Mexico
30 December 2019
30 December 2019
29 December 2019 | Topolobampo - Sinaloa - Mexico
29 December 2019
29 December 2019
20 December 2019 | San Evaristo - Baja California - Mexico
17 December 2019 | Santa Rosalia - Baja California - Mexico
17 December 2019

Giddy Up - Mexican Style

04 January 2020 | Creel - Chihuahua - Mexico
Sue & Andy Warman
The superb scenery around these canyons somehow seemed more appropriate and much more spectacular when seen from horseback; perhaps a result of all those Westerns that were screened during our childhoods; we just associate this backdrop with horses. A six hour tour was about right to give enough time to get out into the “Big Country” and just about the maximum saddle battering that can be suffered in one stint by those with soft and unaccustomed bottoms.
Sue used to ride a lot as a youngster, but that was many moons ago. Our last time aboard a horse was six-years past. This was great fun, though. The terrain ridden was varied and not at all like the bridleways that crisscross the UK countryside. We were a little apprehensive at first as to how well a shooed hoof might grip on solid rock, surprisingly much better than we initially feared. Our steeds “Tomate” and “Revolver” fared well in this their home territory.

04 January 2020
Sue & Andy Warman
Our guide, Luis, checked us out early in the day by breaking into a rapid canter on softer going. Had we been unseated perhaps a different route would have been followed for the day out. Luis looked after us well during the day's excursion. Although he spoke almost no English, our limited Spanish and sign language served us well.
The horses breathed heavily as we headed uphill, their flanks became sticky with sweat. Trails meandered along the sides of steep slopes, slowly we gained altitude as we rose out of the valley. With increased height the views opened out, rock-faces soared skywards, green pine needles positively glowed in intense sunshine, viewed against a vivid blue high altitude sky.

04 January 2020
Sue & Andy Warman
A deep canyon lay before us, a hazy horizon dissolved into the distant yonder. A steep downward trail had us laying back hard in saddles, stirrups kicked forwards and outwards to retain balance as our steeds picked their way downwards, occasionally scrabbling to maintain a grip with all hooves. We descended into a river. Horses took a breather and a long drink of water. This crossing, safely upstream from the waterfall that fell into the abyss of the canyon downstream.
A long upward slope extended the other side. Evidently this was a gushing torrent in the wet season. Our mounts strode assuredly along the smoothed granite steam bed, bounding over large steps in the rock that presented now and again. Eventually we came onto the edge of the canyon, this time opposite where we stopped earlier. Dead trees stood or lay, agave plants and an assortment of pine, juniper and succulents clung to timorous holding.
On the downward return, some along a north facing slope the trail became icy and treacherous, hooves slipped and scrabbled for grip. We dismounted. Horses led across the most slippery sections and we quickly comprehended the challenge of walking the surface. Remounted and safely on the valley floor, we made our way to the stables after a memorable and thoroughly enjoyable day in the saddle. The next excursion must not wait another six years.
Next we travel aboard El Chepe again, a return to Spruce in Topolobampo. On Monday we will depart to sail 220-miles south-east to Mazatlan. South of the Tropic of Cancer once more into tropical waters where we shall remain for several months after our temperate sojourn in northern waters.

Road Trip to Silver Central

02 January 2020 | Batopilas - Chihuahua - Mexico
Sue & Andy Warman
The fame of Batopilas harks back to the days of Silver Mining and Mule Trains that brought rich plunder out of the mountains. Each mule carried six ingots of bullion reputedly weighing 70-pounds each.
Batopilas is an interesting small town. There is a cluster of Spanish colonial style buildings and ruined mine structures from a wealthier hey-day. The conurbation is situated along the banks of a river that is prone to flash flooding and rapid rise of water level in the event of rainfall in the mountains upstream. Along one side a partially cleared mound of stones and boulders from the last flash-flood. Within the mass, the mangled wreckage of what looked like a relatively new shiny blue pick-up tuck , evidently swept away from farther up the valley and come to rest here, along with a mixture of other debris. Sections of the road within the town pass alongside the river below the level of previous inundations. A precarious existence if not abreast of weather conditions upstream.

02 January 2020
Sue & Andy Warman
The tortuous road from Creel transits three canyons, each quite different in appearance. Changing flora engendered by the individual mico-climates, in turn affected by varying altitudes and rainfall. The road was until relatively recently only a gravel surface. The 130-kilometre trip used to take typically 7-hours. Progress was often affected by rock falls, erosion and landslides. Although much improved by a tarmac road surface and work done to stabilise rock-faces...

02 January 2020
Sue & Andy Warman
...many of the same problems face today's traveller. This photo shows one of the detours to bypass a rock-fall that swept away a section of road and badly battered the drainage pipes buried below the surface. Several other zones were encountered where channels have been cleared through rock-falls and temporary buttressing erected to replace areas where roadway had slipped into the gorge alongside.
Vessel Name: Spruce
Vessel Make/Model: Hallberg Rassy 42 - Enderlein Design
Hailing Port: Portsmouth, UK
Crew: Sue & Andy
About: Sue is an artist, plays the flute and guitar. Andy enjoys technical challenges and hoped to learn to speak more Spanish. Unsuccessfully:-( Maybe this year?
Extra: During 2013 and 2014 we sailed across the Pacific to New Zealand and then Australia. 2015-18 brought us from Asia to Washington State via the Noorth pacific Rim. In 2019 we aim to cruise BC and then head south to Mexico.
Home Page:
Spruce's Photos - Back to the Caribbean
Photos 1 to 55 of 55 | Main
Sue doing fin pivots part of the skills tests
Swapping regulators to share air
Drills for Sharing air.
Large (massive)shoal of "Grunts"
Bobbing on the surface - ready to descend
Its like flying!
Just the sounds of bubbles, and more bubbles, and yest more bubbles
A prickly customer!
Sue doing the book work.
Cheesey grin.
Look no hands!
Sue makes a big splash.
Beach frolicks on Christmas Day - Left to right: Laura, Stuart, Sam, Alice & Ed
Beach frolicks on Christmas Day - Adrian, Andy and Steve in foreground
Beach frolicks on Christmas Day - Frisbee water-polo. The first frisbee sunk and was not found in stirred up and myurky waters
Dinghy Park on the beach
Left to Right -Goi, KP, Kourtney, Pete, Gavin, Mandy
Stuart - "It was this big" - from Ocean Lady
Andy flanked by Mandy (Secret Smile to his right) and Laura (Ocean Lady to his left)
Sunrise on Christmas day at Prickly Bay
Sue shouting at the laptop with slow performing Skype
Christmas stockings
Christmas Regalia
Cooking aboard
Our home - now we need a good recipe for green bananas.
Opening the present carried from La Gomera by Pete and Kourtney (Aboard Norna) and sent by friends Andy & Lesley Scott (aboard Kodiak still in the Canaries)
De Big Fish - Christmas meal on Christmas Eve
Laura (Ocean Lady)
Gavin & Mandy (Secret Smile)
Kourtney (Norna) and Sue (Spruce)
Sue ... but you could tell that anyway
Scorpion Fish
Moray Eel hiding amongst shells
Andy and Sue on dive boat heading fro Shark Reef
Sue very happy to have successfully done her first scuba-dive in the sea.
Andy, content that Sue is happy.
Rain while we hide beneath our deck awning
Sue says "OK"!
Drills and skills on scuba course
Drills and skills on scuba course
Dive boats are driven hard... it seems the plan is to get divers off the boat and into the water before they become seasick...we thought ourselves unlikely to succumb
Norna arrived in Grenada - Pete stowing the jib
What a big Avacado
Susie (True Blue), Andy (Spruce), Robin (Flapjack) - arrival celebrations aboard True Blue on the day Flapjack dropped anchor in Prickly Bay
Caribbean Cookery master-class
Produced at Sue
Norna arrives in Grenada
Norna arrives in Grenada - Kourtney on the helm
The entrance to Prickly Bay Grenada.
Getting closer to Grenada.
Hog Island very crowded this year.
Prickly Point. Prickly Bay just around the corner
Prickly Bay
Local fisherman. Our first local since arriving in the Caribbean
Dinner aboard Ocean Lady. Left to Right: Alan, Stuart, Laura, Andy and Sue behind the camera