Summer in the Sea - 2008 Part 2 - Loreto to Santa Rosalia
The Doctor wasn't in the day we
visited
This sign, posted on the beach at La Lancha Cove, made us very curious. What
could lie at the end of that hard- packed dirt road? We had seen pangas arriving daily
with visitors (gringo types), complete with luggage. They would be picked up at an
appointed time, hop into the back of a pickup truck and travel to their destination.
Occasionally, while waiting for the truck they would swim in the waters to cool off.
John and I , along with Paul and Kathy of s/v Tequila Rose, decided to walk the
long, dusty 4 miles (each way) in 100 degree temps. from La surprise there!
Isla San Marcos
A modern day gypsum mining operation
San Juanico is a special place! Some people refer to this as cruiser trash but officially this is the "Cruisers Shrine". We donated an old "Sailsoon"
cap which you can see stuck on the branches just above my head.  Photo at right shows one of the many lovely outcrops of rocks.  WE love this
place..in good weather!
Our exploration was shared with good friends Kathy
and Paul (s/v Tequila Rose) and Annie (s/v V'ger)
The gypsum mine operation made it a very dusty
place. We often wondered about the residents health.
A peek at the town as we approach the mining
operation
A new playground is located dangerously close to  the
mountains of dusty gypsum
Gypsum is loaded into freighters
How many beaches have immediate access to an open
air restroom? Now this is a room with a view!
Back at anchor we were treated to "flying" manta rays. Often there were several dozen doing a "love dance" (or at
least our romantic minds imagined it to be)
A hard sand bottom with patches of weed made anchor
deployment a challenge at Puerto Viejo. After several
attempts with the Bruce we found it necessary to
deploy the Delta. We payed out 110' of chain in 12.5'
of water.
A foot bridge is
suspended
between 2 large
rock outcrops.
The locals dive off
the far rock into
the refreshing
water.. a long
drop about 30' off
the water
Finally! The wind velocity and direction are working in
accordance with our rhumb line.
We weren't breaking any speed records but we were
making forward progress!
Just another day in Paradise!
John's chanting " I know I can, I know I
can" (and persistence)  paid off!
                               Fun facts
Early to Mid Aug. 2008
Avg. Temps: 85 to 95F. Days, 80 to 85F. Nights (on the water)
Water temps were about 85 give or take a degree or two
Humidity hovered around 75 to 80%
Barometer was steady at 1008
Water visibility crystal clear to 30'+
Chubasco winds occurring  nightly with  lighting  visible to the east.
Santa Rosalia and the Giant Humboldt Squid
A Dockside Education
In the Central Sea we call Santa
Rosalia our  home port. We've
written about it before so you know
all the nice features it offers. But!
When we stopped  to provision on
Aug. 15th. we were delighted to find
a group of scientists at the Singlar
Marina. They were in the process of
studying the Giant Humboldt
Squids.  We were in the company of
a very intelligent and famous man,
Scott Cassell, who rewarded us with
information and demonstrations on
these giant swimmers. This was a
very different sort of dock party.
Plus, we were able to assist him by
supplying a salt water pump and
hose to help circulate the water thus
keeping the specimen alive for the
testing. Best of all, we've included
links to his website and those of
others who sing his praise, noting
some of his accomplishments.  Go
to these websites and you can read
all about it!
Thank you Scott and team for being
so giving of your time and sharing
your knowledge!
http://underseavoyager.org/index.html  
http://sharkdivers.blogspot.com/2007/12/scott-cassell-bad-ass-squid-guy.html
http://diver.net/seahunt/fend/f_scottc.htm
Check this link to find out the next
exciting adventure Scott has planned!
Making a run to Bahia San Francisquito on the
heels of tropical storm Julio
There are times (like these) when being armchair sailors would
suit us just fine! We  enjoyed the middle sea so much this year
that we dilly dallied a bit longer than perhaps we should have.
So, when forecasts for tropical storm Julio had the potential to
turn hurricane like, we had to move north. Since Bahia de Los
Angeles was further than we could comfortably go on such
short notice, we made an overnight stop at  Trinidad and
moved on to Bahia San Francisquito inner anchorage. Although
not a "hurricane hole" we had heard good stories from cruisers
who'd had previous experiences there so we were going to
make the best of it. We arrived with 3 days to prepare the boat
for hurricane force winds.
The Mexican Army has a small camp here. The members live
in tents along the beach and patrol the sea in pangas in an
effort to control drug trafficking. We took some comfort  at  
knowing we'd be in good hands if a hurricane did hit.
However,  they relocated elsewhere when the threat was a
strong possibility (so much for that!).
Along with preparation and multiple discussions on anchoring
techniques we did some hiking, swimming and  celebrated our
wedding anniversary. We had our good friends Annie and
Casey (s/v V'Ger) and Paul and Kathy (s/v Tequila Rose) over
for a brunch that lasted most of the day. What a treat it was!
(yes, it included champagne and kalhua coffee.)! For some
reason, though, we have no photos!
Later that day the guys assisted in towing Ray and Diane of s/v Emerald Star into the harbor. They had been heading across the sea to San Carlos
when their motor went out. In a strong  negative current with big winds and even bigger seas they were making no headway.  Since they didn't
feel confident that they could make the eastern shore before Julio hit, they changed course and headed towards our location. By using the SSB
and VHF radios we were all able to pass along updated weather info and local conditions. Upon approach to the outer anchorage the boys readied
themselves and the dinghies to give them a tow through the shallow, narrow channel that separates the inner and outer anchorage...........
We started to feel the effects of Julio a few hours later. Winds built and it rained very hard for 2 days. Fortunately we all were
spared any serious issues. The anchorage was generally comfortable with very little swell. Not so fortunate were the folks in the
Loreto area, where Julio left mass destruction to land, roads and buildings!
Not sure you'd want to sit on this "throne"
Use what you have, right?
A bit of pushing....
......and pulling....
...and before you know it, the anchor is down!
What happened next is anyone's guess. The Three Stooges comes to mind.....perhaps it was a man overboard
drill?
"Say please, Casey" says John who clearly has
the upper hand!
Mission accomplished! These guys are real heroes! Take a bow, boys! John (l), Paul (c) and Casey (r) save the day!
This bird sat perched on this
cactus through wind and heavy
rains for the duration of Julio
(about 24 hours)
The skies darken as Julio approaches
s/v Emerald Star sits comfortably at anchor just a
few  hours before the storm
solar shower bags and a couple of
buckets! Unfortunately our dinghy
was strapped upside down on deck..
Otherwise, we could have filled it and
had a nice bathtub! When the first
rains started it was just after midnight.
John invited me out to the cockpit for
a shower at 2 in the morning but I
declined. Can I say it was too cold?
Well, it was! And that's my final
statement. : )