Aug 8, 2007 - San Sebastian to Santo Domingo, Bahia Concepcion (Santispac), and Mulege
Santo Domingo is the point just inside Point Concepcion, well protected from easterlies and most southerlies. There is also a short fetch for westerlies, so it's a good all-around anchorage for the summer season. We were discouraged to find the water was pea soup, but it was toasty, probably 85deg or warmer. We spent a two nights here along with Brad on La Solana as well as some massive power boats. Jamie put on his poor beggar boater face and scammed a gallon jug of ice from Dorothea. Brad, Jamie and I proceeded to add many drinks to the ice two nights in a row. We enjoyed snacks and sundowners the first night and a great beef and lamb curry the next night.
From Santo Domingo, we took a short 1.5 hour trip down Concepcion Bay to anchor at Playa Santispac in Coyote Bay. We enjoyed more pea soup water, thus no fishing, but we met a great guy. Owner and operator of Anna's restaurant on the beach. It's the off season, so the business is slow. Russ gave us a ride into nearby Mulege (pronounced Moo-la-Hay) with Brad to reprovision and explore the town while he did his own provisioning for the restaurant generator and his panga fleet. We saw most of Mulege in the 3 hours we were there, including the ice cream shop where we all had ice cream and Brad downed two vanilla shakes. Funny what cravings will do to a boater.
The general sights were the town itself along with a very old mission. While we were walking in Mulege along the river and headed to the water front, we smelled fruit. On passing a driveway, we turned around and realized that the big pot over the fire under the garage/palapa was the source. Three ladies were stirring this witches brew with a wooden paddle. They waved us in when they saw us curiously nosing about. They were stirring down mangoes for jam or chutney to go with tostadas. They use it on toast and in sandwiches as we would. I imagine a batch this large was meant to be bottled and sold in the local markets. It was a treat to see some of the older methods of preserving food still in use. It was the highlight of our day.
We returned to Playa Santispac, stowed the groceries and had awesome drinks and dinner at Anna's. Russ's restaurant has great food, drinks and reasonable prices. The atmosphere is laid back, anything goes. And this comes from cruisers so cheap that we rarely go out to eat. In the busy season he often has dances and live bands to go with the dinner and drinks. It's a hot spot you shouldn't miss.
Aug 8, 2007 - Punta Chivato
Our discouragement with the heat and pea soup water caused us to leave Concepcion the very next day. We went to Punta Chivato, north of Mulege and tucked in behind a beautiful Posada de las Flores hotel. This swanky joint charges $300 US/day for the pleasure of a stay in their resort. Shortly after our arrival we were also joined by Adventure with crew of Shawn, Kathy, and their two daughters of 14 and 13, Tara and Kacey.
Our free accommodations on Flying Cloud gave us unlimited snorkeling day 1 and 2 of our stay and some fine catch for lunch or dinner. Night two however left us wishing we were in the hotel for a leisurely night. We got 20 knot easterly winds all night with gusts to 30. We were wide open to the southeast and got "wraparound effect" from the point and roll-bounced 8 feet at a pop hobby horsing when the big rollers went under us. We were safe, but uncomfortable. No breaking waves and we'd have easily bailed south if we had to.
Aug 8, 2007 - Isla San Marcos
We left Punta Chivato on the morning of August 6th in the still pounding easterlies. We changed to our working jib (smaller yankee headsail) and beat out of the bay and around the point. We took water over the cabin top often back to the companionway. It was the most thrilling and exhilarating sail we've had since we left to go cruising. And who minds getting wet when the wind and water are 85deg. Once we rounded the point, it was an easy downwind sail up to Isla San Marcos.
Along the way we were joined by dolphins and I finally managed to capture a bit of their antics from the bow. I missed the acrobatics, but I never get tired of watching them. They mesmerize you and you lose all track of everything else around you.
The west coast of Isla San Marcos has a gypsum mine and we went in close for an eye blink tour and some snapshots. We also stopped to put the dinghy on deck. Idiots that we are, we towed the dinghy. It finally couldn't take the dousing and was sunk. Of course, since it's a lightweight PortaBote with floatation, it doesn't actually sink, but we did have a doozy of a time using the halyard to winch it up out of the water, drain the water and toss it on the foredeck.
The beauty of San Marcos is its rocky reefs and caves. We spent our first full day in the caves and snorkeling with Adventure, topped off by coconut curry sauce and rice with a giant leopard grouper and yellow snapper for early dinner. Adventure then left the same night to cross to San Carlos. Til' we meet again...
Another day gone by with snorkeling. Jamie got a small graysby grouper for lunch. I made chicken and dumplings for dinner just in time to be invited to a potluck with Momo, Moonhunter, Ebeneezer and Aloataki (or something like that). All to be had on the beautiful catamaran Ebeneezer with crew Jimmy, Shelly and boat dog Grover, it was our first visit. We had a wonderful time meeting new people, visiting with friends and sharing fresh baked bread, escaviche, veggies and dip, crackers and dip, etc, etc. Another bounty on the sea.
Today we are the picture of contentment, I suppose. Laziness to the cynical. Jamie spent a few hours sorting videos and pics for this update. I spent a few hours updating this page and answering emails. It's quite warm now. Time for lunch and another dip in the water! Part of the above is a new perspective on pictures. We've been told that we need to make a better study of the people in our experiences. I hope this satisfies!
- Santa Rosalia
Aug 12, 2007 - Santa Rosalia - It's hotter than the blazes of hell here. No wind and high humidity = 100++ degree days. The nights have been tolerable, but it was much cooler out at Isla San Marcos. We have completed most of our "town chores", like refueling, water, groceries, etc. So we should be able to relax for a couple days before heading off to San Carlos, on the mainland side.
Aug 13, 2007 - Santa Rosalia - Last night we had our first Chubasco. It was quite a little storm. The winds were around 35 knots with gust as high as 50 knots. Also, had a bit of rain with it at times. Obviously, we made it through OK. I am happy to report that the new Rocna anchor held with a seriously tenacious grip on the bottom. We were on a very short scope of only about 50 feet of chain in approx. 15-18 feet of water. This not a good recipe for anchor scope in these conditions. Unfortunately, we could not let out more scope due to the fact that as the wind changed directions, we had Momo, right on our stern. Anyway, we didn't move an inch, even with all the boat weight on the anchor.
Aug 14, 2007 - Santa Rosalia - We went for a walk to take in a few more of the sights, before departing. We visited the Administrations building for the mine operation, the Hotel Frances, and the foundry/smelter buildings. All the following pictures are from the areas where the copper ore was processed.
Aug 15, 2007 - Crossing from Santa Rosalia to San Carlos. We left About - 0130 this morning and arrived here in San Carlos about 1600. We buddy boated with Brad from La Solana, as he was coming over here to haul their boat out for the season. Leaving Santa Rosalia was a little tough because the anchor had dug so far into the bottom of the harbor during the chubasco. I actually had to use the boat hook to work some of it loose, so Eileen could wash it off with the hose. During the crossing we saw lots of sea life. Including dolphins, whales, and marlins.
- A very busy couple of days. After an easy crossing and great burgers
at the pool in Marina San Carlos Complex at the pool/restaurant, we slept
like babies. In the morning we dinghied in to the Barracuda Bob's
Cafe and met Fred. Fred took us to some local businesses in search
for some lexan or flexible plastic panels to caulk over our new refrigerator
insulation project. After a few stops in San Carlos, we received
directions and the name of a great place in Guaymas and Fred graciously
buzzed us into town. After a few missed turns and questions to locals,
we picked up an amenable Guayman who rode and pointed directions to the
Mena on Calle 10 and San Vincente. We roll/soft fold a 6x3 sheet
of 1/8th inch opaque lexan and return to San Carlos. Thanks Fred!
Jamie attacked the fridge with a vengeance after I emptied it out and the
holding plate defrosted. He completed one side and remounted the
condenser by 10pm. Friday saw completion of the bottom insulation
and we knocked off by 4pm and went for a swim.
- We just made a huge trip up to Tucson to get new batteries for the boat.
The old Rolls 4d's were on their decline, so rather than wait for the inevitable,
we decided to do the swap while we have easy access to the states. We ended
up going with Universal AGM 8D's which gives us an additional 125 Ah from
the old batteries. With the new batteries and the new insulation we hardly
put a dent in the power supply. I highly recommend http://www.thesolar.biz
they have great customer support and were able to ship the batteries to
a truck terminal in Tucson, AZ. eliminating the need for a address. We
did some major provisioning while we were up there. So we should be leaving
in a couple days for the Baja. I'll add some more pics, etc. later....
and Penny pictured above helped us out on our first day in town by driving
us around San Carlos and into Guaymas in search of some plastic sheeting
fo the fridge. We also had an enjoyable evening with them on our boat.
the car ride back to San Carlos from Tucson we noticed these unusual little
structures, and Eileen claimed she saw roosters. So we went back for a
better look. What we discovered was a rooster ranch. Bred exclusivly for
cock fights. So all the little huts we're so that each rooster had it's
own house, and they were each tied to a little piece of rope, so that they
wouldn't kill each other.