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.
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Spruce's Photos - Galapagos - San Cristobal
Photos 1 to 120 of 120 | Main
The channel at Kicker Rock.
One of the cliff faces of Kicker rock.
Andy glowing after a brilliant dive at Kicker rock.
Galapagos Shark
Hammerhead Shark appearing from the murk
Interaction with Turtle - should be rotated 90 degrees anticlockwise, that
More turtle interaction
Sue having a fine day out
Spotted Eagle Ray
One of the huge shoals we swam through
King Angel Fish - a big shoal of those
White Tip Reef Shark in distance, probably a Galapagos Shark closer
Green Moray Eel - you can just see the cleaner shrimps on the right of picture
View from the top of Frigate bird hill.
A young Sally Lightfoot crab.
Different types of lichen
New growth on the trees.
Viewacross the bay too san Christobel
A blue footed Booby and a sea lion, sounds like a new cocktail
A lava lizard
Up close and personal to a cactus
Yellow Warbler.
Our swimming cove.
Andy sits amongst the sea Iguanas.
Lichen covered tree
Not sure if this is Sue on a good hair day or a bad hair day?
Barge blown onto a trip ship.
Succulents growing on the lava path.
A large cactus tree/
Not road kill just asleep.
Lichen covered plants by the coastal path.
A very cheeky Finch!
These sea lions came within a couple of meters of us, they were not at all bothered by our presence.
The same Sea lions moments later.
Plants on the lava.
Blue footed booby, nice bright feet.
The coast line path.
Andy takes a break making sure he is not sitting on any wild life first.
£ different types of lichen on this rock.
A swallow tailed gull.
A sea Iguana heating up after a swim.
This large Iguana did not move a muscle !
Scales on the iguana tail.
Sage of some sort, the smell was quite strong
A lava lizard
Sue posing.
Passion flower
A Galapagos warbler, this one kept flying closer to have a look at us.
A kiddies water-world play area, taken over by sleeping beauties.
Sea Iguana relaxing ashore,soaking up the rays before the next plunge
Volunteers please ladies! Who is going to pucker their lips and check out whether this is Prince Charming?
See how many sleeping sea-lions you can spot?
Wildlife in the market, these may not make it past the weekend roast.
Sally-Lightfoot Crabs cling to the rocks.
Sally-Lightfoot Crabs
Sea Iguana
A tough day on the beach...or life
Yes alive! Feed all night and sleep all day.
Big, smelly and not as cuddly as they look
Sally-Lightfoot Crabs
Sally-Lightfoot Crabs
Noddies clamour for fishy eats
Golden Cow Nosed Rays pirouetting alongside Spruce
Golden Cow Nosed Rays pirouetting alongside Spruce
Golden Cow Nosed Rays
Looking towards Frigate Bird Hill at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno... it seems the birds have been displaced by encroaching human habitation
Sunset at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno.
Puerto Baquerizo Moreno - San Cristobal.
Let sleeping sea-lions lie
North Coast of San Cristobal
North Coast of San Cristobal
North Coast of San Cristobal
Leon Dormida (Sleeping Lion) in the distance
Leon Dormida (Sleeping Lion)
Puerto Baquerizo Moreno - San Cristobal.
Swallow Tailed Gull
Neptune comes lookimng for the intruders who Crossed His Line
A scared crew
Shooting the sun at noon (taking a sextant angle of the sun
Sue, all at sea. Dawn and time for her watch, Andy
Just past the Equator, the first time our GPS showed a "South" latitude
Celebrating crossing the line in the middle of the night
Sue, happy to be back at sea...waiting for more wind...we got F8 a few hours later, thankfully from astern so fast and furious.
Showing our route away from Las Perlas Islands and Panama.