What to expect

Rants, missives and occcasional updates about where Masquerade is located and what we are up to.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Some family time in mexico

Long since due for an update!

After San Francisquito and the strong winds, we had light weather heading further south to Santa Rosalia. We spent a few days cleaning up the boat, including a trip up to the top of the mast with a water hose! The boat looked like we had taken it off-roading. The water running down the boat was the color of chocolate milk. We prepared the boat for a visit from my parents ( Jim and Sally), and found an RV park for their Scamp trailer. My parents were coming down for about a week to visit, they were also bringing us a bunch of goodies from the states (hard to find food items and boat parts).

We unloaded some of the goodies and did some sightseeing in town, then headed off to Isla San Marcos for a few days. We had a nice spinnaker run and even got Sally to steer the boat for a while. Jim reeled in a nice Mexican Bonito on the way, which made an excellent BBQ for the night’s dinner. We found a nice spot to drop the hook at Sweetpea cove. We had wonderful weather, with warm days and cool nights, plus we had an amazing dolphin show for two days. Hundreds of dolphins were swimming up and down the coast of the island, coming very close to the boat and often leaping completely clear of the water. We put on the snorkel gear one day and tried to swim with the dolphins. The dolphins would have none of this, and refused to come anywhere near us! Funny how they won’t come nearer than 20-30ft from an anchored boat, but will swim inches off the bow when underway. We did a day trip down to the village on San Marcos, this is a town for the gypsum mine on the island. The town was interesting and very neat and clean, the local church was built from blocks of gypsum so was quite unique. After a few days we headed back to Santa Rosalia. Since we had a vehicle we wanted to drive down to Mulege, a town that does not have a good anchorage so we did not stop there in the boat. It one of the oldest settlements in the Baja as it has the only fresh water river. The town was nice with some older building still existing, but the river west of town was spectacular. The river meandered up the valley and the valley floor was completely covered in palm trees. The most greenery than we have seen in Mexico so far. There was an old Mission (first in California), and the old prison (inmates were let lose to work during the day, but they had to come back in the evening to get locked up overnight), unfortunately both were closed so we could not go inside. After a bit more provisioning with the car for items like fuel and propane (which is located 5 miles from town!), we had to say goodbye. We had run out of time and my parents needed a few days travel time to get back to the states. We had a very nice visit and everyone enjoyed the time spent together.

We left Santa Rosalia a few days later and are now down at Punta Chivato. This is a point with a nice beach and has a beautiful resort that we cannot afford to visit. There are several other cruising boats here so we have done a bit of visiting around the anchorage.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Migrating south again...

We left Puerto Refugio a few days ago and sailed south, back to Bahia de Los Angeles. The weather has been changing, getting cooler and the prevailing southerly winds of summer have been replaced by the winter northerlies. This weather pattern makes it easy to sail up into the Sea of Cortez for the summer and then back down toward Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta in the winter. Quite convenient if you are patient and not in a hurry.

Puerto Refugio was nice though we ended up re-anchoring several times. The west bay was protected from the north and east, and the east bay is protected from the south and west. The wind would change every few days bring wind waves along, this would make the anchorage uncomfortable so we would up anchor and move to the other side. Normally this is no big deal, but one day it turned at four in the morning and we had to wait till dawn to safely move the boat.

I did some trolling in the dinghy after Michael from Cambria caught some Yellowtail. I tried the next day but had no luck till Michael showed me his spot. Then I caught a large Yellowtail (24”) and 2 more small ones as well. The large one made a nice dinner for both us and the crew of Momo. We had not had this type of fish before but it is now one of our favorites.

We have been playing with the underwater camera (Canon S60 with underwater housing). Getting pictures of non-moving creatures is fairly easy, moving (and shy) fish are tough. It is difficult to hold the camera still and you cannot use the view finder. We can also make short movies, which we have found takes practice. The first few tries made the “Blair Witch project” look like it was made with a steady-cam. Camera movement was way too quick and jerky, watching could induce motion sickness. We are getting better and may get a few movies posted soon.

We are back at the village of Bahia de Los Angeles, getting some provisions and placing some online orders on the internet. My parents are going to come and visit us at the end of the month so they get to courier down some supplies for us. So we get both a visit and goodies! The only downside is that we now have a schedule. However it should be no problem getting to Santa Rosalia in 2 weeks time.