Archive for March, 2009

When I Say Mula, You Say Hey!

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

Just a quick update from an internet cafe in Mulege (pronounced mu-la-HEY). We’ve been enjoying ourselves in Bahia Concepcion: swimming, snorkeling, hiking and hot springs! Today we’re in town getting groceries, and planning to head south with the wind on Friday. The plan is to scoot down to La Paz to meet up with our friends on Theophilus. Will post pictures and more as soon as we can!

Santa Rosalia… and the Quest for Gray Whales

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

Santa Rosalia is a low-key Baja California town that was founded by a French mining company in the mid-1800s. The biggest tourist attraction here is the church, which was designed by Gustave Eiffel (as in Eiffel Tower). We’re not sure how this quaint little place, with its French colonial architecture, has not been overrun by gringos- there’s not even a local gringo bar!- but we’ve sure enjoyed exploring the town, stocking up on groceries, and getting our fill of restaurant dining.

As Santa Rosalia is on Highway 1, the main highway that runs the length of Baja, it is a great jumping-off spot for exploring inland. We did some reading and found out that near San Ignacio, a little oasis town about an hour inland by bus, there are two main tourist attractions: cave paintings, and a lagoon where gray whales cavort and give birth. As it turns out, February and March are the best time to see the whales, and this particular lagoon is known to have the most “friendlies”, whales that enjoy interacting with humans.

Though I loves me some archaeology, I was a bit hesitant to make the trek to the cave paintings for a couple of reasons: I was afraid the other tourists would take one look at Todd’s large overhanging brow, and assume he was one of the artists; and, the last time we saw pictographs in Sedona, Todd kept saying things like, “That’s supposed to be a deer? Chuh! I could do better than that!” and “These pictures look like they were done by Montessori school dropouts!” (more…)

Quest for Chuckwallas

Friday, March 13th, 2009

Nautical miles: 96.
Time under way: 19 hours and 28 minutes.
Cans of Tecate: 15.
Cans of Pacifico: 11.
Odds of seeing rare painted chuckwallas: Who knows?!

One of the great things about having a kid aboard is that it motivates you to do things that otherwise you’d dismiss with “Nah, too much hassle!” When leaving San Carlos in early March, the temptation is to shoot Southwest across the Sea of Cortez to Santa Rosalia, because the wind generally comes from the Northwest. We were interested in seeing the Midriff Islands, but the largest of them, Isla Tiburon, lies about 85 miles Northwest of San Carlos. This means that to get there, we’d (presumably) have to go right into the wind. And you know Capn Smooth Ride doesn’t like that one bit!

But then we read about the rare painted chuckwallas on Isla San Esteban. These large lizards (think of a yellow and black iguana) live on only three small islands in the whole world! We didn’t know if we’d get to see them, but then we imagined Koiya leading the chuckwalla scouting party. Prevailing winds be damned, we had some homeschooling to do! (And as Todd pointed out, we’re going to have to go waaay farther upwind to get the boat home….) (more…)

Saying Goodbye to Carlos

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

We picked up Sequoia in Tucson last Tuesday, Feb 24. It is great to have her back with us! We just don’t feel complete without our third crew member.

We bought a new set of batteries for the boat, and hit Trader Joe’s to stock up. Capn Iron Chef looked on with concern as the cart grew full. “Are you sure we have room for all this?” he asked. “Are you kidding?” I replied, “I did this three times over before we left San Francisco. How do you think we made it down the outer Baja coast?” His stomach growled. “Whatever makes you happy, honey, I support you,” he said.

The drive back to San Carlos was long and hot, as we blew a fuse in our AC. Luckily we made it intact, and the very next day we launched! All went without a hitch; the only casualty was a champagne flute (Todd calls them ‘shot glasses’.) (more…)