The Lower Sea of Cortez

April - June 2007

The best view is from the bow pulpit

A few highlights from the past couple months cruising the inside of the Baja Peninsula:

Paul hitched a ride into Loreto from a bay where we were anchored. After a couple hours standing on the highway in the hot sun being ignored by passing vehicles, a battered small pickup loaded with men in orange vests pulled over. Despite not having an orange vest, Paul was allowed to join the eight men in the back of the truck. They moved over so that he could have a little space for his butt on the tailgate. The suspension was shot, so he was grateful for a bit of extra padding he had built up from eating lots of tortillas. He got a bit nervous when the truck pulled over in the middle of nowhere, but the guys piled out and started working on the highway. So Paul hitched again and got another ride into town, this one much more comfortable.

During a separate hitchhiking incident, Erin asked a fellow rider when it last rained, and the woman started to answer and then pointed out a billy goat on the side of the road. Erin understood something like, "The goat is drizzling". After sorting out the "chivo" from "chispeando", it turns out it hasn't rained in this area for a year (and the billy goat is fine).

Some other cruisers expressed their sympathy when the guy giving them a lift mentioned his sick wife. "Que lastima!" (what a shame!) the cruisers kept saying. Finally, they realized the man's wife was a nurse ("enfermera") and not at all sick ("enferma"). Such is the nature of the language barrier.

At a beautiful isolated reef, Erin was paddling along in a kayak, looking over the side at the fish swimming below. When she looked up, she was being flashed (she thinks--maybe it was just a bait fish) by a fisherman as she went by in her kayak.

There’s a shell called “Venus Prostitute” and a fish called “Slippery Dick”—so that’s why we have a dozen shell and fish identification books on board!

We explored a small cave at Isla Carmen. There was just enough room for us to get in with the dinghy. Somewhere at the back of the cave came the whooshing sounds of air being sucked in and out through a small hole. It sounded like breakers crashing on rocks, but the water was flat that day.

In another cave, enormous sand fleas (looking a bit like cockroaches) scurried over the walls on either side within inches of us. When Erin saw an enormous one hanging above Paul’s head, she figured it best not to tell him about it. On the return trip, osprey cried out from the biggest nest we've ever seen. One of them perched on a cactus to scream at us at closer range--you'd think that would hurt!

A local fisherman came up to our boat in his panga and sold us a couple lobsters, which we consumed later with one of our two good bottles of white wine we brought from the States. (There's not much down here in the way of decent wine.) The dozens of pufferfish hanging around our boat reveled in the lobster scraps we threw overboard.

The shell hunting is incredible here. On some of the beaches, it's impossible to take a step without grinding shells under your feet. The further away from development you are, the more amazing the shells.


The water finally got warm enough to snorkel comfortably--the last week of May! Since we leave Mexico in mid-June to visit the States for a month or two, we only got two weeks of warm water. We know, our lives are terribly difficult. Wah, wah. If it makes you feel better, it's gotten so hot, we figure we don't need to shower anymore. We're bathing in our own sweat.

The real lowlight is that we have to leave this beautiful spot and subject ourselves to the fast-paced, stressful U.S. way of life. But it's only for six weeks, and we want to see family and friends, so we'll just have to suffer through...

Our Spanish instructor takes the cake

Paul's favorite spot for pollo asado

Very relaxed watch keeping

Our "car" gets us from boat to shore and back

A crab moult

Hiking in the desert on Isla Carmen

Gato y Toros Anchorage

Paul managed to fit a full size keyboard in a very limited space

Hikers encounter pigs near Agua Verde

Looking back at "Romany Star" from inside a small cave

Scenery in Puerto Escondido rivals the Grand Tetons

Just another beautiful anchorage at Ramada Cove

Sunset in Puerto Escondido
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