Our Ever-Changing Backyard--Sailing with Scoots

27 July 2019 | Tavoro Waterfalls, Taveuni Island, Fiji
15 July 2019 | Viani Bay
23 June 2019 | En route to Savusavu, Fiji, from N. Minerva Reef
20 June 2019 | North Minerva Reef
17 June 2019 | In the ocean, NE of New Zealand
14 June 2019 | In the ocean, NE of New Zealand
13 June 2019 | In the ocean, NE of New Zealand
12 June 2019 | Marsden Cove Marina, Ruakaka, NZ
06 May 2019 | Paradise Taveuni Resort
04 March 2019 | Koro Island
05 December 2018 | On passage from Fiji to NZ
01 December 2018 | On passage from Fiji to NZ
30 November 2018 | On passage from Fiji to NZ
29 November 2018 | On passage from Fiji to NZ
28 November 2018 | On passage from Fiji to NZ
26 November 2018 | Port Denarau Marina, near Nadi, Fiji
18 November 2018 | Makogai Island, Fiji

Las Cocinas and Back to Baja

06 July 2015 | Las Cocinas, Sonora
Vandy
After five days in Bahia San Pedro, we sailed another fourteen miles north to a cute little anchorage called Las Cocinas. It's called Las Cocinas, "the kitchens," I read, because the Indians who used to live in the area left middens here, which contained, among other trash, the refuse from their foodmaking activities.

We were the only boat in the anchorage for the first day, but later another boat, the French-flagged Enez, came to share it with us.

The anchorage was another one of those picturesque turquoise coves with a white sandy beach and desert beyond. After we'd anchored, I kept hearing what sounded like a cardinal, which I usually think of as an East Coast bird, calling from the scrubby desert. When I took our kayak in to explore the beach the following morning, I was able to see him - a bright red male, calling from a green mesquite tree - in the distance with my binoculars. Cardinals do frequent this part of Mexico, but it still seemed strange to see him here in the West. I also saw a cactus wren, which was another new bird for me. On the beach, which was strewn with bones and stones and sticks and shells of all kinds, I found a dolphin skull and some of its vertebrae scattered nearby. That was something different!

Just behind the beach, a dirt road led off into the distance, begging for exploration. Eric and I obliged the next day, following it for a few miles, up and down scrub-and-cactus-lined hills, and out to some amazing coastal cliffs. We saw lots of different kinds of cactus (who knew there were so many?) and lots of big grasshoppers and lizards. In a little cove a few miles south of Las Cocinas, we saw a cluster of small homes, which looked new and uninhabited. Construction was going on nearby, so we thought it might be a new resort being built. If so, it's a pretty secluded spot for a resort.

Each day, the clouds piled up into massive mounds above the mountains just inland of us. It was mesmerizing, to watch them blossom and swirl in a neverending kaleidoscope of white shapes. And each evening, they treated us to lightning (but no thunder) and lots of wind (but no rain). Every night, I wondered if tonight would be the night that the storms decided to come out over the water, but they always stayed inland.

We left the following afternoon for an overnight passage back across the Sea of Cortez to the Baja side, to attend the annual Fourth of July party thrown by Geary, the weather guy for the daily Sonrisa cruiser's radio net, at his place in El Burro Cove.

Sitting in the cockpit as SCOOTS sailed merrily along at about 6 knots, I glanced back at the stern and was amazed to see, in the place where the swimstep contacted the frothy water, three little striped fish, each maybe two inches long, swimming for all they were worth, trying to keep up with the boat. I recognized them as some of the fish that tend to live around SCOOTS' prop and rudder, when she's at anchor. I could see them there until the wind decreased and we slowed down. Maybe they were swimming further under the boat? I made a mental note to jump in the water with my mask after we anchored, to see if they were still swimming around underneath us.

Later, a couple of black storm-petrels started following us, flying a pattern back and forth across our wake. These birds pick up their food from the ocean's surface, and I suppose they'd learned that boats sometimes stir up things as they go along. During dinner, we threw small pieces of food behind the boat, and watched as they found them. Soon we had six or seven storm-petrels trailing us; I have no idea where they came from. You know you're really cruising when the birds you're feeding aren't city pigeons, backyard songbirds, or even coastal gulls...but pelagic, ocean-going birds like these storm-petrels.

We kept a watchful eye on the tremendous storm clouds building - as they did each day - over the mountains, in case they chose this night for floating west out over the Sea, with us, instead of cruising north along the mainland, as they'd been doing. They didn't come west, and we had the beautiful night passage that I had hoped for. With light winds and a full moon, I was even able to write the day's journal entry during one of my night watches, standing on the cockpit seats with my notebook open on the hard dodger, the pages illuminated by moonlight.

Light winds meant we had to run the engine for quite awhile, so we had a pretty fast trip across the Sea, arriving at the entrance to Bahia Concepcion at about 7 am. Flocks of diving seabirds and schools of leaping rays greeted us, welcoming us back to Baja. There was no wind, so we continued motoring down beautiful Bahia Concepcion to Bahia Coyote, where little Playa El Burro is tucked up against the mountains. Half a dozen other boats were already anchored in the lime-green water, but we found a spot for SCOOTS, dropped the anchor, and took a nap.
Comments
Vessel Name: SCOOTS
Vessel Make/Model: Able Apogee 50
Hailing Port: San Francisco, CA
Crew: Eric and Vandy Shrader
About: We've been living aboard full time since September 2014. We sailed to Mexico with the 2014 Baja Haha and had fun exploring Mexico until April 2016, when we turned SCOOTS west and headed to the South Pacific. As of late Nov. 2016, SCOOTS and her crew are exploring New Zealand.
Social:
SCOOTS's Photos - Main
27 Photos
Created 27 July 2019
1 Photo
Created 15 July 2019
11 Photos
Created 3 July 2019
3 Photos
Created 6 May 2019
13 Photos
Created 4 March 2019
2 Photos
Created 26 November 2018
16 Photos
Created 18 November 2018
11 Photos
Created 27 October 2018
12 Photos
Created 1 October 2018
6 Photos
Created 21 September 2018
9 Photos
Created 19 July 2018
7 Photos
Created 19 June 2018
No Photos
Created 19 June 2018
11 Photos
Created 18 October 2017
7 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 24 July 2017
14 Photos
Created 12 April 2017
35 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 20 March 2017
18 Photos
Created 2 March 2017
19 Photos
Created 16 February 2017
4 Photos
Created 18 January 2017
30 Photos
Created 14 December 2016
29 Photos
Created 5 November 2016
52 Photos
Created 23 October 2016
24 Photos
Created 12 October 2016
49 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 15 September 2016
43 Photos
Created 2 September 2016
46 Photos
Created 4 August 2016
32 Photos
Created 21 July 2016
12 Photos
Created 1 July 2016
15 Photos
Created 20 June 2016
17 Photos
Created 5 June 2016
1 Photo
Created 3 June 2016
45 Photos
Created 11 May 2016
10 Photos
Created 2 May 2016
2 Photos
Created 1 April 2016
13 Photos
Created 22 March 2016
12 Photos
Created 14 March 2016
2 Photos
Created 9 March 2016
5 Photos
Created 19 January 2016
7 Photos
Created 27 December 2015
6 Photos
Created 16 December 2015
No Photos
Created 27 November 2015
4 Photos
Created 1 November 2015
19 Photos
Created 28 July 2015
4 Photos
Created 23 July 2015
6 Photos
Created 11 July 2015
13 Photos
Created 21 June 2015
9 Photos
Created 15 June 2015
12 Photos
Created 28 May 2015
No Photos
Created 28 May 2015
17 Photos
Created 5 May 2015
2 Photos
Created 30 April 2015
35 Photos
Created 24 April 2015
8 Photos
Created 25 March 2015
8 Photos
Created 10 March 2015
49 Photos
Created 14 February 2015
7 Photos
Created 10 February 2015
20 Photos
Created 26 January 2015
24 Photos
Created 20 December 2014
No Photos
Created 20 December 2014
10 Photos
Created 11 December 2014
5 Photos
Created 3 December 2014
11 Photos
Created 14 November 2014
34 Photos
Created 10 November 2014
4 Photos
Created 26 October 2014
4 Photos
Created 26 October 2014
5 Photos
Created 18 October 2014
8 Photos
Created 1 October 2014
16 Photos
Created 1 October 2014
6 Photos
Created 24 September 2014
9 Photos
Created 23 September 2014
8 Photos
Created 21 September 2014
4 Photos
Created 20 September 2014
5 Photos
Created 18 September 2014
5 Photos
Created 10 September 2014
4 Photos
Created 26 August 2014
1 Photo
Created 25 July 2014
2 Photos
Created 14 May 2014
49 Photos
Created 3 November 2013
32 Photos
Created 8 August 2013
Pics from our trip time aboard Scoots in July 2013.
23 Photos
Created 7 July 2013