Isla la Ventana – Bahía Alcatraz – Puerto Refugio – Isla Estanque – San Carlos.

16.08.21: We’ve had a lovely few days, having found Polaris and Manta again. They were at Isla la Ventana, so instead of sailing to check out the hurricane hole, Bahía Don Juan, we scuttled over to join them. Had a super fun evening on their boat, then I visited Manta for sundowners last night. Bernie was too delicate from the night before!

Yesterday we snorkeled in that bay and today we’ve sailed up to this lovely bay rounding Punta Alcatraz. It should give us good shelter from the forecast strong westerlies tonight. We went fishing / snorkeling on arrival with the Polaris crew. The kids are getting so good. Brave with snorkeling. Kai is still a bit nervous to put her head under. She’s only just 3 though! Bernie got 3 fish and we’d hoped to do a beach BBQ for everyone, but the wind’s already 20+knots.

We saw a whale though! Yippee. I spotted it. A humpback we think. And many turtles. So cool.

18.08.21: We arrived in Puerto Refugio about 4pm yesterday, after a wonderful day’s sailing from Alcatraz. We had a very successful fishing day too, landing three decent sized Mahimahi (Dorado) of about 10lbs each. So Bernie filleted them and we’ll can some, smoke some and do a beach BBQ for everyone tonight with the rest. I think Polaris got one too.

We’re in Middle Bay, which had a long sandy beach. We swam last night to get rid of the sweat and blood of the day! This is as far north as Bernie wants to go so we’ll likely spend a few days here. The geology is amazing, so many colours in the rocks. No pressure to go fishing anyway! Tylor is fixing my spear, bless him. I’m so grateful.

1700: My spear is fixed and works perfectly. Tylor is my hero! Clever guy. We are hoping to beach BBQ tonight but it’s really windy at the moment so that might not happen. Bernie has been fiddling with the engine most of the day.

Thursday 19th August: What a windy night, very gusty. We were both up and down checking all was well, and it was. Still howling this morning. We didn’t BBQ. But Steve came over and got the food I’d made for him. Today is going to be a canning day. Smoking might have to wait since its so windy.

I’m feeling a bit antsy, like I need to get off the boat and go travelling on my own for a while. I might do that once we get to San Carlos.

1545: Tylor is now a double hero! He welded a new exhaust elbow for the engine and its running perfectly again. He’s very handy with the metal work! I’m glad it’s fixed and Bernie can stop swearing and blinding over it. It puts me on edge when every few minutes there’s an explosive “ffs” from the floor. And if you ask if you can help, you get a very clipped “no” that makes you want to hide. We’ve only just had lunch, as when I offered earlier I got my head bitten off, so I didn’t dare open my mouth again until well after the job was finished. I took the dingy to the beach to get away from the taut atmosphere. The stones are very cool here, multi coloured, really pretty.

21.08.21: Polaris and Manta left around 0500 this morning, heading down to Isla Estanque. We met up with Dirk and Silvia from Lisson Life, on the beach last night. They’re anchored round the corner and we hadn’t realised! So we stayed here to have a beach night with them tonight. We fished and I’ve made my fish parcel specials to BBQ. Should be a fun evening. Tomorrow afternoon we’ll jump on the outgoing tide to head to Caleta Pulpito, on the way side of Isla Angel de la Guardia. Then on to Isla Estanque the next day, most likely.

22.08.21: @ 1300. We’re under way again, heading SE, following the coast. Jack is on deck with us, stretched out in the cockpit, enjoying the wind in her fur. We have a light northerly breeze.

Last night was a lot of fun and everyone enjoyed my fish parcels. I had trigger fish and grouper, with potato, kumara, onion, pepper and corn in them. Bernie and I stayed on the beach long after Dirk and Silvia had gone home, watching the tide slowly come back in to where we’d put the dinghy. It’s springs at the moment so a roughly 4m tide fall. Quite dramatic.

I’m suffering from a million tiny insect bites which are hellishly itchy. They’re from “no see ’ems”! Tiny translucent biters which you can barely see. You sure know they’ve been though!

1730: Well, we’re anchored in Caleta Pulpito. It’s very pretty, actually, and we’ve had a beautiful sunset with lovely purple light fading into inky blue. Jack has curled up on top of the Yankee, on the bow, so we haven’t had the heart to move her and put it away! They do love finding cozy spots in the sails. I saw Alex tucked into a fold of the staysail this morning. So cute.

We ended up motoring most of the way, as the forecast northerly wind veered to a very light SE, almost on the nose! We saw a couple of whales briefly. Otherwise an uneventful trip.

23.08.21 @ 1400. We’d barely done an hour and a half this morning when the wind swung sharply onto our nose. So we’ve hunkered behind a headland rather than trying to punch into it. If it eases later we’ll carry on, otherwise might catch the morning tide at 0130, to continue to Isla Estanque. The weather gods are not cooperating!

1915: Been underway about 45 minutes, motoring. It’s a pleasant temperature at last. It was 35°C earlier and muggy. Too hot!

24.08.21: I’m suffering terribly with insect bites. Locally known as Jejenes, and as No See Ums by the gringos, these ferocious, almost invisible, tiny gnats make you itch insanely. I’ve got dozens of bites, and long sleeves and trousers only help so much as they can penetrate the fine cotton layers. I’m taking as much antihistamine as I dare, swimming a lot to cool down and clean them and using barrels of repellant and topical creams. All too little effect. My sanity is in question right now!

To really make life awesome, I’ve cut my big toe alongside the nail bed. It’s not looking good. This morning I cleaned it using sterile gear, debriding it and dressed it. Ouchy! But hopefully that’ll do the trick. I’m almost at the point where I just want to get to San Carlos and hide in a 5 star hotel for a week!

Plus – yes, there’s more – the growth I’ve been keeping an eye on, which I think is a BCC, has accelerated and become sort of scaly and sore. I need it removed asap. I’d do it myself if it, wasn’t on the back of my right forearm! Murphy has a lot to answer for!

Jack caught her first bird this morning. Of course, she brought it inside, thinking we’d be delighted with her and let her devour it in the saloon, however she was sadly disallusioned! I released it, as it was at that stage unharmed, other than terrified. Jack wasn’t thrilled with me but really! Isn’t their instinct to hunt incredible.

1440: We’ve just rounded the Eastern side of Isla Estanque, having decided to get to SC as fast as we can. The wind is supposed to go west, then north tonight, so I hope it does and we can sail. I’m on watch. Bernie’s been busy spear fishing and made tacos for lunch, so he needs a rest!

Wednesday 25th August, 1745: We’re 40nm from San Carlos, Bernie having decided unilaterally to go direct, not rest at Isla San Pedro Mártir as planned. So it’s been light sailing conditions, very slow, hot and sleepless. The cats are sacked out on the floor like limp rags, poor kitties. We’re not much better! It’s 35°C right now.

We’ve had engine troubles, again. My faith in the old Perkins is shakey. Then Bernie said he wanted to sail west of Mártir and take a straight run to SC. I pointed out that that would put us on a lee shore of a very nasty place if we got into trouble with no engine. He concurred and we jibed and went east of the island. Amen. But his calls are concerning me too. Its not the first time. I know we’re both tired but it’s nothing on what the Pacific crossing will be like. I’m rethinking my wish to do that.

It’s been nicer sailing the latter part of this afternoon though. We’ve caught and released 4 Mahimahi, too small for my conscience, and hooked a really big one that got off! Of course. Not before I’d expended a lot of energy reeling it in though! Interestingly, there was a whole school of small mahimahi following it in. The water’s so clear we could see them all. Fascinating.

We’re almost out of food, so a big grocery shop will be first order of the day on arrival! OK. Maybe a visit to Hammerheads for mojitos! And Barracuda Bob’s for their amazing clam chowder. I’m so looking forward to being able to talk to the whanau, and to seeing Kim, Nancy and Glenn.

Bahía de los Ángeles Tuesday 10th August

1300: She’s all go! Got about 40 knots from the east now so Momo has been flying. Less than 3nm to go. We’re inside Bay of LA now. Jack came outside but prudently decided to go below again!

It’s a really large bay with many islands and shelter from all directions really. There’s a hurricane hole as well. Let’s hope we don’t need that! I was surprised to see lots of those shingle fans we get at home coming off the mountains onto the river flats. It doesn’t seem to fit the geology here but what would I know! Matt…..?!

Bernie’s been on watch the last hour and a half as my gut has gone crazy again. I’m officially over it! I guess no food for me for a while. Alex came and snuggled down on my tummy, a nice soft spot, I’ll grant you! She was totally relying on me to hold her in place as we toss about! And pat her, of course. Sweet cat. Jack gets her nose out of joint when Alex cuddles me, jealous little monster. She thinks I’m her human!

We anchored at about 1330, just in time to get everything put away before a thunder storm hit! First rain in many months! Lightening makes us nervous, though. We sat in togs, enjoying the fresh water wash down! Wish it had been more. We’re a bit NW of an anchorage called La Mona. There’s a fair few flash looking gringo houses.

Bernie has been systematically going through all the lockers, doing a full invectory of his gear, over the last few days. It’s a good idea. I’m so innately organised that I wouldn’t need to, but its not usual modus operandi for him! He seems to be quite enjoying it and getting a lot of satisfaction from it. He’s found all sorts of treasures he forgot he had, and a load of obsolete stuff too. I’m actually pretty glad we didn’t cross the Pacific this year. It would’ve been on a wing and a prayer. He’s in a much stronger headspace now, which can only get better.

11.08.21: Not a good night. As if it wasn’t enough that I had to climb over all manner of stuff to get to the bathroom all day yesterday, even though I’d asked Bernie to leave a clear path for me, given the nature of my illness! He then decided to watch a ghastly TV series at full volume, long after I’d gone to bed. In the end I had to get up and ask him to turn it down. By then it was nearly 11pm. Then he came down noisily for more rum and left the saloon light on, so I shut my door. About an hour later, just as I was finally nodding off, my body having decided it didn’t need a gallop to el baño for a bit, he decided to refresh the cats water bowl (which he never does usually) and rearrange the galley (not wash the dishes, of course) in some way, clattering around heavy footed. Oh my frigging god. I finally lost patience, got up and yelled “are you trying to keep me awake?”. He said “your door’s shut”. Seriously? He thinks a thin wooden door, with slats in it, stops any noise? Give me strength. I’ve truly never met anyone who is so unable to imagine or notice the effects of their actions on others. And the intensely frustrating bit is, he’s not trying to be thoughtless, he just never sees past his own wishes and never looks ahead, just ‘does’. So I’ve had a shocking sleep and still can’t eat. Not a happy (or tolerant, sorry, Bernie) camper.

1020: Anchored about half an hour ago outside the Bay of LA Town itself. Its not very inspiring but we hope to find internet, a lavanderia and fresh food. I’m feeling really lousy and just told Bernie I’m not up to marching round town. He’s on his own this time. I’ve had another rehydration sachet.

12.08.21: It’s getting on in the afternoon. We’ve had a busy day. Yesterday we did go and use the restaurant WiFi and Bernie said he’d go and check out where to get propane and groceries while I stayed in the shade. However, in the end he just sat there with me. Funny how when he’s crook or working on translation, I have to do all the chores alone, but not when the boots on the other foot.

I am slowly improving but had another pretty disturbed night. I’m tired, without energy and fairly quick fused at the moment! So today we went and WiFi’d again, then Bernie carried the propane bottle off to get filled. When he got back he said “the supermarket is just over there. I’m hot so you can go and do the shopping.” Of course that means I have to carry it all alone as well. I did my best but couldn’t get everything and wasn’t at my best on my return. I told Bernie if he wanted beer he could carry it himself! He didn’t bother! Anyway we got the essentials.

I did get a nice chat with Matt before the internet gave out. But it was too early in NZ I think, only Lucy and Fizz being up.

This afternoon we’ve been reorganising stuff and cleaning, well, I have. Bernie wants to leave tomorrow. I tried to organise things with Dawnda but I think she was at work. We’re trying to have a get together somewhere in early September.

13.08.21: There’s a ketch anchored near us called Sara M! Her people are Robyn and Alan. They invited us over for an evening and we really enjoyed their company. They’re staying here till after the hurricane season. Alan built their yacht, a very traditional and lovely sailing vessel. Robyn is like me; loves photos! So we looked at each others pics of our kids. She has a granddaughter too.

Today we’re heading further north, planning to get to Puerto Refugio in a day or two. Bernie suddenly is anxious to get back to San Carlos and work. So we’ll be back online in a couple of weeks, I’d say.

HASTA LUEGO!

Isla San Pedro Mártir – Bahía San Francisquito – Isla Partida – Animas Slot.

3.08.21: One of those days. It was after mid morning before we got enough wind to sail, a nice southerly. Seeing a WNW course for San Francisquito, Bernie organise the Stay and Yankee sails while I adjusted the course. With a strong tidal current pulling us north we’ve had to point higher than expected.

We put the lure out but the boobies kept diving on it. Fortunately they are the most useless hunters! Really not the smartest birds! However eventually one got its foot hooked so we pulled it in and I held it while Bernie got the hook out. Poor thing. They’re so tame though, and don’t panic when you hold them. It was fine and I’m sure will heal easily. However we gave up having the line out.

1717: We’ve got 5nm to go, light wind and making only 3 knots. No rush though and it’s been a lovely sail. I had one of those huge tidal waves of grief wash over me today. The unfairness of it all, the disbelief that I will truly never see Danny again. Fuck, it sucks big time. I sat on the bow and raged and cried. Gotta get it out of the system. And carry on.

Poor Bernie is always sweet and kind about my melt downs. And then I feel a bitch because it makes me low, short and intolerant after one of these times. Everything annoys me. I’m best to hide in my cabin and read. That way, his habit of doing half the dishes, or not washing hands after a pee, or leaving a sharp knife lying on deck for me to get stabbed with, or making me repeat everything three times, etc etc, won’t end up with me regretting my temper! He doesn’t mean to be thoughtless, it’s just the way he lives in his head, not the real world!

We have had incredible amounts of algae today. Huge blooms of yellow over miles of sea. Quite remarkable. There’ll be some very happy whale sharks around! Not that we saw any today, just one lone sea lion. Making a racket, of course! I’m pretty sure they’re related to seagulls and politicians; they all love the sound of their own voices.

We arrived in San Francisquito about 1730, tidied the sails etc, and relaxed.

Thursday 5th August : 1800. Today’s been the worst since coming back after Danny died. Thanks to Bernie’s complete lack of sensitivity. He has to “know everything” and started asking me really deeply probing questions about how I felt about the way Danny died, not being there for him etc. It knocked me for six and put me in a really catatonic state. I went to bed and slept basically for 24 hours. He said he couldn’t wake me. I couldn’t wake myself. He sailed from Bahía San Francisquito to almost Isla Partida before I even knew we were moving. It was a wild ride too, he said. But I was totally out of it. When I did wake up, I was as weak as a kitten and shakey, just like after I first got the news of Danny’s death. It scared us both and I reckon he won’t try to satisfy his dammed intellectual curiosity again.

7.08.21: It’s early morning and I’m finally feeling okay again. I was still pretty weak yesterday but felt more normal by evening. We talked about my triggers and his inability to read social cues. Things are alright between us but I was pretty angry with him for a bit.

On a brighter note, we have Polaris (Nell, Tylor, Bohdie and Kai) with us. Also Manta, their friend Steve’s trimaran. We met them all in the Marina Seca while hauled out in February. So we’re all anchored here in Isla Partida together. It’s great to have another woman around! We’ll likely sail in tandem for a while.

1430: We’ve been under way for about an hour heading to Animas Slot, an interesting looking anchorage on the Baja. It’s a great wind and we’re doing over 6 knots just on the mainsail. Polaris and Manta left a little before us and were going to go the same way, but engine problems on Polaris has decided them to head to Bahía de los Angeles. Animas Slot is small and an unsettling bay to be forced to sail on and off the anchor, with no engine back up. We had a fun morning with them all, snorkeling. Unbelievable numbers of big fish. Bernie was like a pig in clover! Hopefully I got some nice photos. Tylor thinks he can fix my spear, hooray. He’s got a welder and has a few jobs to do in Bay of LA. I’ll be stoked if he can! They’re a really neat family.

1800: We anchored at about 1600. What a magic wee bay, very sheltered and picturesque, with pink and yellow tinged mountains, Sierra Agua de Soda, circling it. We stowed the sails and got the dinghy in the water, dying for a swim! There’s a big rocky islet on the western side of the bay and we snorkeled around it. The last bit was a decent work out with strong current. The marine life continues to be astounding. We saw at least four turtles in not very great visibility. I saw a large barricuda trying to hide in a school of smaller fish. I’ve just used up some leftovers for dinner in a Mole Verde, my favourite mole sauce. We might stay here a couple of days. It’s beautiful.

I would almost kill for a massage right now……. 😜

8.08.21: A fairly busy day in the scheme of things! I’ve cooked, done a ton of laundry, by hand of course, been ashore to get sand for the cats’ litter box, put up the shade cloth and we went fishing. Well, I took my camera and Bernie took his gun. His gun is too long for me to load so I can’t fish atm. However I was rewarded – finally – by seeing an octopus while I had my camera in hand and I got some great shots. So that made my day.

9.08.21: The tide range is quite big here, especially now at Springs, about 3.2m. It changes the look of the bay entirely. One good thing, if we come back here with Polaris and Manta, we’ll know where to anchor everyone safely, having seen where the sneaky rocks are!

I’m crook this morning. Got the squits, not fun. Tummy roiling like a river in flood. Not sure what set me off, as we’ve been eating so healthily. Fish and fresh veges/salad stuff every day. Oh well, it’s one way to shed the extra pounds I’ve got on me at the moment!

10.08.21: Still crook. Thank god for rehydration sachets! They do taste unbelievably foul though, almost as bad as bowel prep for a colonosopy. Pretty rough night overall, with pangas arriving in the bay using flood lights at 0220. Then the cats got over excited by the bird sized moths here. There’s wings all over the floor this morning! Best I vacuum today.

We plan to head to Bay of LA this morning with the flood tide. You get a couple of knots pick up in this channel. It’s Spanish name, Salsipuedes, means “get out if you can”! Yachties beware. Go with wind and tide in your favour or not at all!

1000: We were underway by 0930, course NNW with a nice southerly wind and making 5 knots with 2 reefs in the mainsail. Low tide was 0835 so well get a nice kick from the flooding tide too.

I just made a Mediterranean breakfast, good clean food for an upset gut! Apart from being a bit light headed off and on, I’m fine. I think. No idea what caused it. The only thing we’ve done differently lately is eat a lot of grouper. They’re so abundant up here. Can one eat too much fish? I don’t know. Yet another thing to Google later!

North to Isla San Pedro Mártir – 30th July 2021

Our intention was to leave last Saturday, after provisioning in Santa Rosalia, but the forecast southerly winds disappeared and so its only now we’re on our way.

It’s 70nm from Isla San Marcos to Isla San Pedro Mártir and we aimed to leave around midnight. In the end we were off at about 0230,with a nice ESE breeze. Once clear of the island’s shelter, we got great lift and Momo dug in her heels and flew! We averaged 7.5 knots for the first 25nm, before taking two reefs in the sail, to calm things a bit in the big quartering seas. Fun for us, less so for the cats! It was pretty impossible to sleep so we just took turns napping.

It’s 0845 now and while the winds eased, we’ve still got 2m swells and making good speed. Bernie just took a reef out to try and balance the rolls with increased speed! It’s amazing really that a small scrap of canvas can haul 15 tons of yacht along so easily!

Alex is stretched out on the shelf above my bed and Jack is under the table. Neither seems worried and certainly not sick. They’ve definitely become solid little sailors! We’ve got the lure out and I really hope we get a Dorado. I’d give a lot to see their reaction to such a big fish!

0950: It didn’t work. Momo’s rolling like a bitch! 25nm to go.                           1135: Got the light air sail up now and making 4 knots. It’s less rolly which I’m grateful for. Ever since I started on fluoxetine I’ve been inclined to feel a bit off, not quite sea sick but average, in rollers. I’ve never been prone to sea sickness and its the only thing I’m doing differently. Who knows. I’m blaming the drug! 19nm to go.

Isla San Pedro Mártir is the most remote island in the sea of Cortez, the closest land being Bahía San Francisquito 30nm away. Its steep – to shoreline only offers deep anchorage and it’s seldom frequented. However, it’s home to numerous migratory and local sea birds, and it’s nutrient rich waters teem with marine life. We’re keen to see for ourselves, so waited for this weather window to sail up, followed by a calm day. According to Windy, which I have to say is notoriously inaccurate here!

We hooked two Dorado en route and they both got off! I didn’t see the first but the second one was small, less than 1m, so I was glad to let it go! Bernie not so much! A young brown booby also got its foot hooked but we released it with little more than its pride dented. We pulled the lure in after that, not wanting to get another bird.

2000: OMG. I cannot wait to share photos with you. This Isla is just amazing. I’m so glad we risked this anchorage and came. It’s absolutely teeming with life. We were escorted into our anchorage (which we approached very cautiously) by dozens of young Brown Boobies, dropping the pick about 1620. We’re in 52ft of clear midnight blue water, under towering guano covered cliffs that look as if there’s been recent snow. Huge cacti stand like aspens on a ski field.

Along with the Boobies, we were treated to an exuberant display of double flips by a huge ray, and massive sea lions coming to see who the interlopers were. Those we heard long before seeing them! Though tired and hungry, we decided to take a bag of lime chips and a cold beer on deck and just enjoy the scene. The cats joined us, on high alert at all the strange sights and sounds. I threw a few spuds, veges and fish fillets in the oven to cook themselves while we progressed to a nice chilled sauvignon blanc. Such an incredible place. Just when I think the Sea of Cortez couldn’t get better, it does.

Saturday 31st July: It’s about 45 minutes before sunrise and I’m on deck again enjoying the cooler air with mis gatitas. I slept like a log.

Who knew that seals and sea lions make such an enormous range of noises. They honk, bark, sneeze and cough like an old man, scream like a distressed woman, roar and huff like lions, make a range of sheep noises (Bernie even wondered if there were sheep here!), goat and cattle noises, do great elephant and monkey impersonations, and so many more! Astonishing.

At dusk the adult Boobies and Frigate birds returned to roost, checking us out first. The Boobies, especially, are very curious, getting close enough that two bumped into the stays! I decided to swim and put the rope ladder I made over. Bliss! We didn’t want to put the dingy over or the sails away yet, in case the anchoring proved problematic overnight. But it’s fine and with no wind this morning, all is well.

1100: Before breakfast this morning I noticed Alex leap out my window, then stop half way and adopt that stalking stillness cats do on the hunt. Looking around her I could see a booby sitting on the guard trail, not a metre away. Entranced I tiptoed outside with my camera. By then there was another bird on the rail and a third on the dingy. Wondering, slightly worried, where Jack was, I crept up the starboard waist, taking pictures as I went. The booby on the dingy flew off when I got about 2′ from it but the others stayed. Then I noticed Jack sitting in the sail, glaring intently at both birds, totally entralled! They watched me go quietly right to the bow, seemingly unconcerned by my presence. I got wonderful photos of both cats and the two Boobies interacting, fascinated with each other. Jack, I could tell, was dying to touch them, reaching her paw out, then chickening out! I called Bernie to come and see, and he brought his fancy camera. We spent a good half hour watching them all. Magic.

Unsurprisingly, the Boobies decided the solar panels were a great perch. The cats were somewhat intimidated by their sheer numbers. In the end I scared them off with the mop! They got the message! We don’t really want poop all over the deck.

1st August : We had an amazing afternoon yesterday. We took the dingy to explore the immediate area. The water is so clear and we got incredible pictures. Then…. Then! We swam with the seals and sea lions. I got in first to see how they’d react. It was a wee bit scary but they were just really curious. So so cool. And I finally saw a turtle while I had my camera!

As if that wasn’t amazing enough, we spotted a huge pod of dolphins and motored over to them. We got in the water near by and after some time, the nosy ones came over to check us out. Such an epic experience to swim with wild animals, spontaneously. Once we got back in the dingy and started the engine, a bunch of them played in the bow wave. It was so beautiful. We felt truly blessed. I just am blown away by the sea life here.

Today we decided to circumnavigate the island! It took just over two hours and was stunning. The geology of this place is fascinating. I wish Matt was here to explain how you get so many different colours, types of stone and shapes of the land masses in one place! We saw literally hundreds, if not thousands, of sea lions and seals. Bernie got some great photos. We saw three injured sea lions, two probably from fighting, but one stuck in fish net around its head and shoulders. I tried to get it off but it wouldn’t let me. It was pretty upsetting.

After I made lunch, Bernie went hunting. I didn’t want to go, partly coz we don’t actually need any fish and he was just obsessed with getting a “big” grouper (he didn’t!), and partly coz I needed me time. It was good too. I do need my own space at times. So the cats and I chilled, bird watching! The Boobies are so tame. I even touched a couple of them. They just glare at you, the closer you get, not that worried! Alex had a run at one, trying to see it off! It went! But she only was being brave because I was there! Both cats are fairly intimidated by so many big birds circling Momo. They watch from safety under the shade cloth. Sensible kitties.

August 2nd: I’m out enjoying the early morning cool again. The cats are chasing moths, which are enormous here. More like the gorgeous wee Humming birds I’ve seen in San Carlos. The Frigate birds are hunting overhead. They are majestic birds, very distinctive. They’d make a nice tattoo! They perch on the very top of the massive Cordon cacti, so presumably there’s no thorns right on top! We saw some big hunting birds with white heads on them too. I wondered if they could be Bald Eagles, but I don’t know if those come this far south. I’ll look it up when we get internet again.

Apparently the island used to be mined for guano. There’s certainly tons of it! We’ve seen lots of stone walls built around the island, in odd places. It must’ve been highly dangerous, as its very steep and much of the rock looks crumbly. We wondered if the walls were to stop rock falls. Something else to research later!

I think we’ll spend another day here if the weather stays calm. Its just so wonderful. I don’t know why yachties don’t come here more often. The anchoring isn’t that bad. It’s sand and small stones in this bay so good holding, even if it’s relatively deep. You just put more chain out! And it’s remarkably sheltered, except from the north. Still, perhaps we should keep the myth going, and not let this incredible slice of paradise be overrun by humans!

1530: We’ve just been fishing. I got two triggerfish and a hogfish before I lost my spear tip. So annoyed. I shot another hogfish and it sped under a rock. When I pulled the line I just got a broken spear. I took the gun back to the dingy then got Bernie and we dived to try and find the fish and/or the tip. No joy. So I swam with my camera after that and saw two turtles and a huge moray.

However, Bernie got the catch of the day, a real trophy. A beautiful 9lb golden grouper. They are great eating and plentiful but hard to get, so fast and clever! He was stoked and I think plans to can it. He also got a smaller brown grouper, so we’ll be good for a few days.

San Francisquito tomorrow, weather permitting.

Not enough Internet for photos!