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 - FiJi
Photos 1 to 116 of 116 | Main
Huge spider!
View of the bay of islands from the look out.
Batava pig roast evening
Our host family in Vulaga( Fulanga) Koro , Luvo and bettinnia
Our fare well kava night
Tea party on board Spruce.
Sue with Gale and Tara weaving partners and teachers.
Sue ans Jasmine
Sue serving Kava to the ladies.
Flower decorations being made for the visitors.
Ba working with the sewing machine
Ann Sy Charisma teaches the ladies how to quilt.
Jasmine , Koro and Gale.
Walking into the village
Lo, Jasmine and Bettinia
The village from one of the look outs.
One of the village houses.
Andy shows the children the film he is taking.
Nicholas makes a coconut fibre rope.
Soko waits outside the cave of skulls.
A view from the look out.
View from the look out.
A king fisher keeps an eye on us.
Children keen to watch the visitors.
Women from the other village
John and Andy at the fund raising Meke
Learning to dance
Meke dancing
Meke dancing , the chief in the back ground
We sit with the chief as his guests for the fundraising event
In search of shells.
Andy and John
Dog toothed Tuna
Andy found a beautiful cowrie, alive so he put it back .
shell seaker
Lime stone islets
Spruce anchored near the spit.
A ghost crab
Sue with the printing pupils
John and Ti with the mornings catch.
preparing the pandanas reading for drying.
in the cave of skulls.
Smoked fish in the village.
Mini one of the wood carvers, making a mask for us.
Tea on the porch.
A village view
We meet the chief.
Limestone islet.
Andy tucks into a dressed crab
Sunday lunch with the family
The choir
Joe beats the drums for church.
Children learning how to march at Draviuni school
Keeping cool
On the beach
from the top of the hill
Carole wearing her formal chumba to the Sevu Sevu ceremony
Andy drinking Kava
Sue drinking Kava
Mahi Mahi for dinner, tea , breakfast....
A clown fish
Makai and Macey with Sue
Beautiful coffee  made by Macey and Makai.
Makai and Macey
My coffee
Sues Sketch of Makai and Macey, done from  photogragh
Houses on stilts near a river flood plain
Sugar cane
Details of the carvings at the Hindu temple Nadi.
Andy and Sue dressed in appropriate attire to visit the Hindu temple
Andy Carole and Jimmy
1/2 kilo bundles of Kava ready to give as gifts for the chief of each village we visit.
The guard at the president
part of an Indian painting at the museum
Part of a very busy Indian painting.
Fijian Masi bark cloth material.
Wedding dress made from Masi
Masi tradition dress for the installation of a new Chief.
Traditional necklaces some made with Whale teeth.
Face painting designs
Masi decorated in traditional patterns.
The last remaining part of the Bounty
one of the last canoes.
Canoe under sail.
A canoe bailer
Fiji lifestyle
Kava lady . the bundles of Kava already packaged ready to give as gifts.
partaking in the Kava at the market
The kava root being prepared ready for buy.
Andy discusses Kava
Lovely veggies at the open market Suva.
Tumaric fresh from the ground.
Pandanas for the making of straw hats
Eggs anyone?