|Vessel Name:||Meli Kai|
|Vessel Make/Model:||Hunter 430|
|Hailing Port:||San Diego|
|Crew:||Bryan & Connie Downs|
We had a good night in the bay, got up to 16 knot winds and beautiful blue skies. We had the most gorgeous day! I got out the beanbag chair in the afternoon and read the majority of a book. When I needed some shade, I headed back to the cockpit. Not long after I got there, Bryan hooked a skipjack tuna. It took a while to subdue it and clean up the mess. In just about an hour, we made it to Turtle Bay under a gorgeous sunset!
About midnight, we ended up reefing the sails because it was so rough. The next several hours were more of the same. Bryan went up top about 3am and I heard him holler. I went to see what was going on and he pointed to the bird that had hit him in the face and knocked itself silly. He just sat there for a couple minutes before starting flapping around, eventually managing to fly away. It reminded me of Finding Nemo...."What? The ocean not big enough for you?" He had "all that" to fly in and had to smack into Bryan. Maybe he was tired, and was trying to land on the boat and missed. After a while, I did manage to get a little sleep and woke up to a pod of about 50 dolphins all around the boat. they were leaping out of the waves in groups of 2-4 and running with the boat. There was also a dove perched on the lifeline. Bryan said it had been there for quite a while. But, when it saw me, it took off. Finally, we saw land in the distance...the Islas San Bonitos! We came around the end of one of the islands on the way to a protected anchorage, when we saw what appeared to be a fishing boat. We went on by, and then I noticed it was chasing us. Soon, we heard a hail on the VHF radio. It turned out to be a Mexican Naval Patrol boat. They had us turn off our engine and asked to see all our documentation. We had everything in order, thanks to Jonathan back in Ensenada. They sent one guy over to inspect the boat. Everyone was very nice. They returned our paperwork, had us a sign a paper that said they did not damage our boat and they respected our human rights, then waved good-bye. We went on to the San Bonitos and were just anchoring up when a boat with 4 local guys came over and started talking with us. They were very friendly, but they were really taken with the boat, inspecting every inch of it. When they asked how much it cost, we started to get a little nervous. So, even though we were really tired from our long night, after they moved off, we decided to go the extra 40 miles to Isla Cedros.
We were planning to stay another night, but the weather was not favorable, so we decided to head out. As it happened, by 2pm the clouds all went away, the winds were a respectable 14-15 knots, and the seas were pretty calm. It was so nice! within an hour and a half, though, we saw some storm clouds on the horizon & decided to make ready to reef the sails, if necessary. Eventually, it passed by and the sun came back out. About 6pm, we got up to head downstairs to fix dinner and spotted some dolphins feeding on tuna. It appeared that they spotted us, as well. At least 8-10 of them played with the boat for 15-20 minutes. So cool! We were relaxing down below when about 9pm the winds kicked up to over 20 knots and the seas got angry. We spent all night adjusting the sails to minimize rocking and slamming of everything. We tried spelling each other for sleep, but it was just to rough.
We did get some sleep, off an on all night long, but we weren't really ready to wake up until 8am again. But, we wasted no time shoving off. Once we got the sails up, and it was obvious that there was nothing on radar for as far as it could see, we went below and fixed and ate breakfast. Bryan can watch everything on the chart plotter from his tablet, so since the weather wasn't particularly friendly, we stayed below for a couple of hours. After having been sailing in really light winds for 3 hours, and only gone 6 miles, Bryan got fed up and went up and turned on the engine. We motorsailed to our next anchorage, Hassler's Cove on the east side of Isla San Martin. We got there about 3pm and found what appeared to be a little fishing village. There were just a couple of buildings on shore and about 6 boats in the water, only one of which was occupied. We got anchored up, and I noticed these little 3" bright orange creatures in the water. They had a rounded "head" with two long legs and a few shorter legs behind them. Every few seconds, they would spread their legs out wide and then close them together really fast, shooting them up towards the surface. At first, they looked like baby octopus, but then they looked more like frogs, the way they moved. I couldn't really get a good view, so I whipped out my telephoto lens and snapped a few pictures to check out later. Meanwhile, Bryan was trying to figure out what the one fisherman was doing. He appeared to have blue barrels in the water, all strung together, that he was pulling out one at a time. Eventually, he came over and introduced himself as Rafael and asked us if we would like to trade fresh lobster for beer or wine. We had heard of that kind of thing happening to other cruisers, so we had bottles of wine onboard for that express purpose. We agreed, and he took off in his boat to go get us some fresh ones out of the traps. Soon, he brought back 4 nice looking spiny lobsters. We gave him 2 bottles of wine, and he let me take his picture before he drove away. I've never cooked lobster before, so I checked my Boat Galley cookbook, and we gave it a shot. I think we may have over-cooked them, but they sure tasted good anyway with our rice pilaf. Mmmmm!
We went to sleep thinking we'd get up at 6am, like we had every other morning and get an early start out of Ensenada as we had a fairly long run ahead of us. As it turned out, we didn't even wake up until 8am. We were ready to go at 9am, but wanted to let the refrigerator finish its cycle. So, we headed out at 9:20am. There weren't very strong winds, so we motored out, figuring we'd put up the sails out in the bay somewhere. After about 40-45 minutes, we saw what appeared to be a pod of dolphins feeding on some tuna. As it happened, they were directly in our path, so we ran right through the middle of it. The dolphins played with the boat for a while, then left. The rest of the day was uneventful. We had enough wind to sail by, and ended up arriving at Cabo Colonet in the darkness at 10:20pm. Thank goodness for all our fancy instrumentation! We were still in the process of anchoring when a lone sea lion came over to check us out. Since we didn't toss him anything, he disappeared into the night. The winds were not in our favor, so even though we were in a protected harbor, the waves were coming in all night long. I don't mind being rocked to sleep, but when you've gotta hang on to avoid getting rolled out of the sack, it's a bit much.
Today was our last day in Ensenada, so we went looking for breakfast and shopping. We walked all over town. Got so far away from the marina that we ended up taking a cab back. We stopped at Taco del Sol. there were quite a few locals, so we figured it was a good bet. After we chose a seat outside on the patio, we realized the gal at the cooking station next to us was making fresh tortillas. She let me take her picture, then handed us a tortilla warmer with three of the ones she had just finished. I may be ruined for life. They were ah-mazing! I had been wanting huevos rancheros, so I got that and Bryan had an omelet. After that, we did our shopping and headed back to the boat for a quick rest. About 45 minutes later, Glenn from Desert Trails (http://www.desert-trails.com/) called to say he was on the way to pick us up for our horseback ride. He drove us to their house in La Playita. Once we were all saddled up, Chrystal pointed to the mountain behind their house and said that was our destination. I gulped and said, "Bring it on!" It's been 9 years since I was in a saddle and my knee was already a bit sore from all the walking we had done, so I was a bit nervous. It didn't last long, though. My horse, Camilla, was an absolute doll! Bryan got a gorgeous boy named Reo, who other than wanting to stop and snack a lot, was also very well behaved. The views from the top of the mountain were spectacular. There was a partial house made out of sandbags up there. It seemed so odd....million dollar view....sand bag house. there wasn't much else up there, some old abandoned buildings that looked like they might have been military, and miles of rolling hills. We got to ride for as long as we wanted, about 3 hours, and then they provided dinner when we got back to the house. Then Glenn drove us back to the marina. What a wonderful day!! I probably won't be able to walk tomorrow, but since we're heading out in the morning, it's probably not going to be too big of a deal.