November 30 – Aqua Verde

November 30 – Oh Oh! here comes Christmas!

We headed out yesterday from Costa Baja, in a northerly direction. Our plan is to see a lot more of the Sea on this trip as our efforts last year fizzled out due to constant winds and oh yeah, alternator issues (which after two attempts were fixed once and for all!)

Last night we anchored in Isla San Francisco, figuring it was a good stopping off point – no time to put dinghy or kayaks in the water but we managed a quick swim to cool off. The bay is full of sailboats and also the Uncruise ship. Many people in kayaks, snorkeling, playing on the shore – seems like a fun way to see the Sea! On the trip between La Paz and San Francisco we were joined by what was possibly a juvenile gull (he/she/it was sooty black all over, but very handsome). He made several attempts to land somewhere and then finally settled on the bow, gripping the stanchion with his webbed feet which seemed to me a little unusual but he hung on for dear life until we got to the Bay. Nearing land, he took off…. and yes, he left a deposit. We seem to be very attractive to birds who need a ride somewhere. It even happened years ago in the Gulf Islands up North when an exhausted pigeon dropped onto our deck (of our 30 foot trawler Pagoo) in a storm and spent the night. He was banded so I assumed he was someone’s homing or racing pigeon. He was certainly picky – wouldn’t eat anything I offered him…and sometime in the morning when the storm passed he left.

Dinner was fresh mahi mahi tacos (have to eat lots of fish so I can drop lines in the water sometime this trip!) which were amazing! GREAT fish! And because we couldn’t figure out how to hook up the TV we watched a movie on the computer, which isn’t such a bad thing once you get into the movie.

This morning we got up early and watched the sun rise. The cruise ship was gone – hoping it hasn’t gone to Agua Verde! Bit of breakfast, a couple of coffees, and we are gone. There is one other Nordy in the bay, along with all the sailboaters – Ocean Voyager. They called us on the radio as we were leaving; they saw the 46 in Sidney two years ago and recognized the name. Ah well! We will meet them somewhere else! Not putting the dinghy in the water makes getting away in the morning easy, but you don’t get to chat up the neighbours. We are still working on our technique for deploying the dinghy. So far it has cost Lawrence a bit of blood and a hunk of hair. I am threatening to paint the hoists bright red, or maybe cover them in bubble wrap so we don’t kill ourselves working up top. It’s all a matter of muscle memory – one or two good solid gouges and I am sure we will learn when to duck. Or wear hats.

Meanwhile I wouldn’t let him put his head under water when we were swimming until the gouge heals. Sharks you know.

This morning is a bit cloudy and, so far, there is little wind. The Sierra La Giganta looks spectacular, especially as there is a fair amount of green on the softer sides of the hills. Someone told us the mountains are identical to those in various states of America. I wonder if the same ridge passes through all of North America, although this series was created by volcanoes so that is probably not a good theory! It is just spectacular though.

Later…hanging on the hook at Aqua Verde. We had a good trip up but there was a northerly swell and thus a little bumpy – and some clouds which made me think the Northers were gathering. But all in all it was a good trip. As we headed into Aqua Verde we were racing a sailboat who was heading in to the same bay – with the northerly winds the bay we stayed in before wasn’t really an option, and the other bay was already half full of boats. And immediately after we anchored, a number of sailboats came in.

As soon as the anchor was down and the engine was off we were in the water. I put on my snorkeling gear and headed to the reef – hugely disappointing and also a bit unsettling as the visibility was poor and all I could think of was Duh-dum..Duh-dum… looking for that fin coming towards me. Nothing thank heavens…a few little reef fish and that was it. But I got EXERCISE racing back to the boat. Just saying. When you can’t see through the murky waters and your misty mask and the floaters in your eyeballs, all you can think about is the sharks sitting out on the reef with knife and fork ready and napkin wrapped around its neck. DINNER!!! YUM!!!

Anyway, I managed to haul myself aboard and immediately got the kayak down so I could explore some more without having to worry about toothy fish. Also, I wanted to check out the Canadian Bristol Channel Cutter that had come in behind us after we anchored…always wanting to prove that power boaters can be friendly too! After I got their full back story (as usual, absolutely fascinating because here’s another fairly youngly retired couple cruising around the sea full time with no visible means of support and no permanent address – makes you wonder)… anyway they had some great stories and some super suggestions for places to go. I love meeting people like these – especially Canadians!

I kayaked around our part of the bay, stalked an oystercatcher, and an Egret…didn’t see much else…and got back to NRII before the sun went down. I tried to get some great photos but I am not used to the Go-Pro, so forgot to dry off and clean the lens after I had played with it in the water. ROOKIE!!!

Back at home, we had a fantastic reheated tortilla soup (made with turkey) that I had frozen a few days ago, complete with cilantro and cheese and avocado and love. My favourite kind of meal. Now LT is doing the dishes (working on brownie points) and I am enjoying the moon shining on the reef, making diamonds scatter across the black water. It’s not 7 yet and it’s almost pitch black. Night falls quickly here – even more so when you get up at 6 am!

Tomorrow we may or may not head into Puerto Escondido – I don’t really want to go to Loreto this trip but I would like to see if we can visit friends who live on the beach there. Also, the BCC gave us some information about coves on Isla Carmen that are fantastic for anchoring…I’m all about trying new places now, although we can always hit them on the way down.

And fishing….time to eat more fish so I can start throwing a line in the water and see what we can catch!