Monday, January 16, 2012

Back on the mainland

I made it into Puerto Vallarta again. The wind wasn't really there for the crossing, and I just got in after 12 days. But I spent 4 days at Isabella, so it wasn't too bad. The water has really warmed up since I've come over this way. In La Paz it was cold enough to get you even though you were wearing a wetsuit, and the visibility wasn't great. At Isabella, I noticed the warmer water a little bit, but since I was diving, I still got cold. Then yesterday I got to Punta Mita and went surfing and it was fantastic! I was so warm I had to pump cool water through my suit in order to maintain my "cool". Of course it is easy, when you're a surfer, to be cool. Even if you catch a wave and promptly wipe out crazy style. I had some really nice wipe outs, because I was by myself out on the waves and I wanted to try some new things. I have a decent bottom turn and I can keep speed up with it, but my top turn isn't as fast and snappy as I'd like. So I was trying to do a big snap on the top, but the waves are small and that isn't easy. I did do a nice rail slide on the top once, and there is a place where the wave speeds up and I really like it there, since I can't usually make the section, but I have to try and go as fast as I can. If the swell picks up a little, that spot will be a barrel.
For a lot of the trip across there wasn't any wind. Often the wind would come up until midnight and then die, and I had a few nice sunrises with lots of things in the water at the surface-little wormy things that wiggle in the water and eat plankton or something. On such a morning I had a nice little (well, not so little) visitor who swam along with a dorsal fin out of the water and a tail swishing gently. He (sharks are always he) came sneaking along up to the back of the boat and then looked at my rudder. I think he was going to bite it or something (a sea-lion bit it once, just for fun) and I could see the cold calculating (or not) eye looking at me through the water. I am not sure if it was a Mako or not, because I didn't see the teeth. But it was smooth and graceful until it saw my fishing lure and then darted away.
I arrived at Isabella in the night, at around 1 am. There are a lot of Humpback whales lurking around the island, so I had to try and dodge them in the moonlight, but I couldn't see them and then suddenly I would hear the breathing so close and it was quite scary. But I made it without bruising the beasties, and then got some sleep. The time at the island was great, as always. I love that place. I shot a really big barracuda, one of the biggest I have seen, and a few Pargo, or sea-basses. The water was really murky and I was feeling sick so I only dove twice. The first time I had a blockage in my nose somewhere, so I kept on having a funny and then not funny pain in the nose as I dove down and then came up with a weird noise. Then it started to bleed and it wasn't funny. The snot is crazy colored when it is bloody and you are seeing it in front of your mask with a blue watery background.
So the nose thing was painful and I pushed it way too far, but I think its over now. I left and had a simple one night overnighter to get to PV, which was good, except I came very close to another boat in the morning when I was taking a nap. After sunrise, I figure, the other guys can look out for themselves, but this guy wanted a closer look. I woke up after about an hour (or maybe only 45 minutes) but the little tiny sail in the distance was suddenly just past me, and it looked like it might have been close. I hate doing that. I feel so irresponsible when I sleep for a little bit (and there isn't much wind) and the boats come close. But it is hard with the coastal sailing, and being alone. Its easier if you are farther away from land and therefore the other boats. So I'll probably not do many more of these close to the land passages anymore.
Anyways, I'll be in Puerto Vallarta for a while, I think, since the waves are great and I need to surf as much as I can.

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