Goodbye San Carlos

It’s Thursday 4th March and we said goodbye to our home away from home, for the last time, this morning. We went over to say bye to Kim first thing and were underway by about 0915. It’s now 1240 and we’re doing around 7 knots on a starboard reach. It’s a bit rolly and both Alex and I have been seasick!

My first ever actual throwing up over the side kind of seasick! What is going on? Why now? There’s only two things I can think of that are different. One, I’m on Fluoxetine. And two, I have a very blocked right ear which I’m hoping to sort out in La Paz. So if its neither of those things, I’ve no idea why I’ve suddenly started getting seasick. Hot damn. It’s not on!

Yesterday Nancy, Kim and I went to Hermosillo to pick Dawnda up, then had lunch before returning and meeting up with Bernie on the dingy dock. Bernie, Dawnda and I went to Hammerheads for our last margarita there. Kyla, Tyr, Dillon and another lady we didn’t know were there so we got to say farewell to them. I really like Tyr. He’s a cool guy. Sweet and caring, I think.

Then the three of us went out to Momo and introduced Dawnda to the yacht and the kittens! To my delight, they responded perfectly to bribes and love her! She bought them toys! We had sundowners on the bow, our last in San Carlos harbour.

1650: Dawnda and Jack are snuggled up in her sleeping bag, Bernie is resting in his cabin and Alex and I are on watch. We’re both feeling a lot better. It’s pretty wild outside but we’re speeding along nicely, averaging 7 knots. If this keeps up we’ll do the trip in record time and be on anchor again in the small hours. The winds building, the sea too, but its not particularly uncomfortable. We had a laugh when Dawnda asked if this was bad and we said no, it’s really good. Her face was a picture! Sailing 101; it’s the opposite of motor boating! Not fast. Not noisy. Not even keeled. Not predictable! I made lunch during one of the gentler periods. Just spuds, asparagus and pork chops. Pretty good though, and it’s all stayed down! Winning!

March 8th. 1400. Had a marvelous couple of days. We anchored in San Juanico around 0130 that first night. After a good sleep in, we set out to explore the beach. Its a really pretty cove. There’s a cruisers shrine there so we went to look at it, but in all honesty, I reckon it was just a Bush with junk hanging off it and looked like a rubbish dump. We climbed to the top of an outcrop and took photos of the bay. It was pretty windy the first couple of days so we didn’t swim or spear fish.

From Caleta San Juanico we sailed to Puerto Ballandra, having to motor the last 10nm when the wind dropped right off. It was a great trip though, warm and beautiful to sit on deck. The bay itself is a very sheltered spot from all directions except West. It’s stunning and with the water a bit warmer, Dawnda and I enjoyed a “shower ” on arrival! Bernie spear fished successfully too. Then, naturally, rather a lot of sundowners

.

Yesterday morning we snorkeled. Not huge numbers of fish, but lots of different soft corals and small life. About 4 species of star fish and way too many puffer fish for my liking. They’re creepy buggers, if you ask me. Even their skeletons are creepy.

In the afternoon we did a short boost to Bahia Marquer, arriving in time for sundowners. The motor boats came later and anchored in the bay with us. This morning Bernie went spear fishing again and got three fish. He got a trigger fish after going through a snapper! Two for one shot! So I made cerviche again for lunch and we’ll have the snapper tonight. We have to lock Jack and Alex below when Bernie is filleting the fish as they really do not help! Their little beaky noses are half an inch off the knife and in danger of being trimmed! While Bernie was fishing, a huge pod of dolphins cruised by. What a treat. Dawnda was stoked, and I for her.

After Bernie had dealt with the fish and I’d put the cerviche in the fridge to marinate, we went ashore for a walk. It’s a lovely beach with interesting volcanic rocks and terrain. I got a good pic of a very red star fish chilling in the shallows. And a nice pic of Momo on her anchor. We’re now motor sailing to Bahia Agua Verde, about 20nm. I’m on watch. We’ve eaten our cerviche, which was great, if I say so myself!

My favourite snack at the moment is Jicama (pronounced hicama). Its a Mexican turnip but is crunchy, juicy and tastes like a cross between a pear and a radish. Really hard to explain but so good. I wish someone had introduced me to them sooner! It’s yummy added to cerviche too.

March 9th @ 1500. This morning we motored, due to flat calm conditions, to Puerto los Gatos. Very appropriate really, though I don’t think our cats appreciate the subtlety! It’s apparently named for a family of wild cats, pumas, that used to live here, but they died out years ago. It’s a stunning bay with fantastic geology. We had lunch on arrival and then put the dingy in to go fishing /snorkeling. It was awesome. The most beautiful reef I think we’ve found in the Sea of Cortez. Wonderful diversity. I tried my new underwater camera again, as the water is so clear here, and got better results I think. I’ll put them on the laptop later. No luck with the spear fishing. Some steers have just come down to the seaside. They’re drinking the sea water and are really skinny. Not a great sign for their general survival, I wouldn’t think.

While we were snorkeling, a Dufour anchored way out in the bay. After Dawnda and I came back to Momo and Bernie disappeared off to try for fish, the skipper came over in his dingy to ask me if I thought they’d be safe to anchor closer in. They’d hired the yacht in La Paz and were obviously very inexperienced. He didn’t even handle the dingy confidently. I asked how much they drew, and said it was not far off low tide, so he should come in next to us. They did, but later when the northerly wind got up as expected, he radioed us. I took the call and he asked about the weather forecast. I told him it was likely to stay in the North and he should be fine where he was as long as he’d dug his anchor in well. We’re not on a lee shore here. So it’s now 7am on the 10th, the wind has died and everyone is still in the same spot! However we did leave the VHF on overnight, in case he needed us again!

It’s now just after 1100 and we’ve been sailing a couple of hours. There’s a ESE breeze of about 10 knots and we’re doing 6 knots, so all is right in our world! Earlier, when we were in lighter air and only doing about 3.5 knots, we tried letting the kittens out, with the new rescue net handy. However, after about 15 minutes they got cocky and Alex raced the length of the yacht before leaping onto the guard rail, with a view to climbing the Yankee sheet! That was enough for this mother. Protesting cat under one arm, I closed the hatch and shut them below again! We might have to try training them to wear harnesses. Two month at sea shut below will drive them crazy.

I’m reading, among others, a beautiful book given to me by Ashe, off Distant Star. It’s called Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer. It’s a story of indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge and the teachings of plants. It’s a really lovely piece of writing. The chapter I’ve just read is about how the indigenous people of the Americas started each day with an address of thanks to all aspects of nature. It appeals to me a lot. Thanks is offered for the cycle of life as people, to mother earth, to the waters of the world, to fish life, plant life, berries, food plants, medicine plants, trees, all animal life, the birds, the power of the four winds, storms, the sun, and the moon and stars. I heartily recommend it.

1640: We now have quartering winds and have for the last 20nm or so. Making good time, if not the most comfortable. We’re more than half way to La Paz and if this keeps up will be there by midnight. We’ll probably anchor in a small bay before the entrance to avoid the narrow channel in the dark. The kittens have got a bit more relaxed about being in a roller coaster ride. Alex even climbed onto the spud basket and was most disconcerted. It looked hilarious, as he was swinging wildly and got off fairly promptly!

11.03.21: What a crazy 24 hours. As we approached La Paz, I saw a post by Tyr saying Kyla had been robbed and lost all her documentation, phone, money, everything. He’d had to catch a plane from La Paz and was worried about her there alone with no money or passport. I messaged him and said we were nearly there and would find her. So we went ashore asap and I rang the Airbnb he’d left her at. They agreed to bring her to the marina, bless them. When she got to us she was literally trembling, poor thing, so frightened and upset. Between the three of us, we managed to calm her and assure her we’d make sure she got sorted. She’s going to stay on Momo with Bernie while I’m gone.

It was a lovely last evening with Dawnda. Kyla was very quiet, not the chatty girl we’re used to. A hard lesson. I’ll be sad to say bye to Dawnda but she vows she’s going to join us in Fiji! That’d be epic.

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