Storm Warning

The winds finally abated, we departed Santa Rosalia and headed to Punta Chivato. This spot is known for its spectacular shell beach. The beach is about a mile long and about four feet deep in shells. Not small broken pieces of shells but full on shells piled high. If we were collectors, we could have spent days here discovering many treasures.  We did keep a couple of souvenirs.

Just off the beach there is a small community. It has its own dirt air strip, so several of the residents are Canadians and Americans with their own planes that fly in and out for the season. There is also an abandoned resort. We walked through it and as we were walking back, we spoke with a local who gave us a brief history. The original resort was built in 1963. Since then it has had several different owners who would revive and update the buildings then it would fail, be sold and the process would repeat. On our walk through the property we noted computers and wifi equipment in the buildings so the last failure must have been somewhat recent. Interesting and eerie to walk through and sad to see someone’s dream not pan out.

From here it was on to Playa Santispac in Bahia Concepcion. This was one of our favorite locations on the way north and it did not disappoint this time either. It’s a beautiful beach with a couple of restaurants and an RV park right on the beach.

For years we told our kids to never hitchhike for a ride. So, on a do as I say not as I do note, we hitchhiked from the beach into the village of Mulege (pronounced moo-li-hay) about 10 miles away. I’m sure this is the makings for a Hollywood horror movie. Setting – Secluded desert beach, Cellular service – none, Country – Foreign, Language – not spoken. What could possibly go wrong?

In reality, the area is a popular vacation and “snowbird’ area with people from the US and Canada, in fact the guy who picked us up was from Chilliwack BC and our ride back was from Portland Oregon. There is a “pick up” spot on the driveway from the beach and another area on the highway junction of the town. We did not even have our thumb out. So technically we weren’t hitchhiking. Remember kids do not hitchhike.

Buy a hat or a cow skull
Former prison now museum
Should we stay? Looks like she already has the store

While we were in Santispac our friends on Sedna caught up with us. We hung out with them for a couple more days then we all departed for San Juanico. This became a mini reunion as there were several boats we knew from last season all in the bay. This of course required a major happy hour on board Agave Azul.

After a couple of days in San Juanico it was off to Isla Coronados. There were five or six boats that sailed over as a group. It was yet, another, gorgeous beach that just required some lounging, snorkeling and beach bocce ball.

Beach Bocce is an interesting sport in that the ball will stop dead in the soft sand, roll forever on the hard sand or head for the water if the beach has much of a slope. If there are large rocks on the beach, its like mini golf trying to bounce off the rock and close to the target. Its not likely going to be in the Olympics anytime soon. If it was and the dope testing included alcohol, we’d all fail anyhow.

We spent a couple of days in Bahia Calanderos anchored in front of the beautiful time share / resort Villa del Palmar. It was Tom’s (on Advantage) birthday so five us headed to the resort to partake in the all you can eat breakfast buffet. Arrived at 8:30 Am and left at noon. We got our monies worth as it was our only meal that day.

Fancy Resort
Tequila and Birthday cake for breakfast

That was the fun and games. The National Weather Service is predicting a tropical storm (Raymond) that is heading for the Baja Peninsula. Tropical storm, Raymond, was apparently unaware of the rules of tropical storms. Tropical storms are all supposed to done with by November 1st which is usually considered the end of hurricane season.  This one came as a bit of a surprise being this late in the season.

There is a great group of people who have access to, and knowledge of, weather who give freely of their time to get on the local VHF and more far reaching SSB radio nets to keep us all informed of what is out there. While we get the information we can, and it is often the same source, its still comforting to have a second and third analysis of that info. Once the weather settles, we’ll be on our way again.

Fast forward 48 hours and we are writing this from Puerto Escondito. It’s a well protected anchorage and our place to ride out the storm. It turns out Tropical Storm Raymond learned the rules. The storm turned westward and outside of the Baja and dissipated rather quickly. All we ended up with in our area were winds less than 15 knots for a short time and a bunch of rain. That’s a whole lot better than the potential 40 to 50 knot winds at the centre of the storm that were originally forecast. On the plus side the decks are clean, no leaks were found, and the salt has been rinsed off anything outside.

If you have any questions or want to here about something different in the blog feel free to drop us a note in the comments section. We’re happy to answer any questions.

Underway for Season Two

The launch went as planned and without any issues (which is always a good thing) and we motored out of Puerto Penasco into a good breeze from the right direction so up went the sails and we were off on season two of our little adventure. Our first stop was Bahia Willard about a hundred miles out. We were able to sail almost all through the night, motoring only the last couple of hours. It was our best overnight sail yet, bright moon and tons of stars, steady breeze and calm seas allowed us to make a very comfortable 6-7 knots.

In the water we go
Friends sending us off

From there it was off to Puerto Refugio for a couple of days then on to Bahia las Rocas a neat little spot where we had our choice of 4 separate beaches, we were the only ones there. From there it was on to Puerto Don Juan where the plan was to spend another couple of days. The winds had other plans for us.

Los Rocas
Tired and need a place to rest

Puerto Don Juan is a nearly enclosed bay with good shelter from the winds. It is commonly referred to as a hurricane hole. Which essentially means you could, if you had to, ride out a hurricane at anchor in the bay. We have no plans to test this theory! About 8 miles across the bay is the small village of Bahia Los Angeles. We decided to stop there prior to heading into Don Juan just to have lunch and catch up with the world via wifi. They have a cute little museum we checked out as well. Interestingly they had the descriptions in both Spanish and English, so we knew what we were looking at.  We stayed in town about an hour too long though. The winds started to pick up and it was a very wet dinghy ride from the beach back to the boat. It was, however, a brisk sail over to Don Juan in 25-28 knots of wind.

Museum at Bahia LA

Just to remind us that all plans must remain flexible, the winds, as forecast picked up. We were hunkered down in Don Juan for 6 days waiting on the winds to subside for a long enough period that we could move on to another anchorage. We kayaked, read, played cards, watched movies, checked weather, happy hours with Maraki and a couple boat projects kept us busy.

Finally, we caught a break from the winds. It has occurred to me that we sailors are a lot like Goldilocks when it comes to wind. It must be from the right direction, it has to be within a certain speed range and finally you get some that is just right.

We moved from Don Juan to Bahia San Francisquito. We left there a 3 am in order to make the 80 mile trek to Santa Rosalia as, yup you guessed it, the winds were forecast to pick up again. We made it in before the strong winds came but we have been here a week now. We have seen 30 knot winds and 2 foot waves with white caps inside the marina for a few days.

Santa Rosalia from the hilltop

While in Santa Rosalia this time, we were able to witness both Halloween and Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead). While, on first glance, they appear to be similar they are in fact almost opposites. Halloween being all about trick or treating, ghosts, goblins and scary stuff. Dia de Muertos is more about recognizing and honoring those that have passed.

Dia de Muertos is a multi day celebration that takes place October 31st to November 2nd. Mexican culture believes that death is part of the natural cycle and Dia de Muertos is a way to remember and celebrate love ones lost. It is believed that their spirts come back and celebrate as well. Alters or shrines to the deceased are made. Favorite foods and drinks of the deceased will be consumed and or left at the alter as an offering.

Alter in the main Square

The traditional face painting is loosely based on a famous painting of “La Calavera Catrina” an upper-class skull or skeleton in fine clothing.

Teens in costume

Here’s a Wikipedia link if you want to know more.

From the breakwater fence in Santa Rosalia

Looks like the weather is going to be good for the next few days so we are on the move again in the morning, headed for Bahia Concepcion. Next update when we get internet again 🙂