Thursday, February 19, 2015

Bandaras Bay

We will be staying in Bandaras Bay for the rest of the time here, sailing around, going surfing, and visiting the local towns (on rare occasions).  This bay makes great winds every day, thermal winds that die down each night and keep the surface of the bay nice and calm for sailing.
I've been flying the kite a bit, once while out at the Tres Marietas, the islands that sit in the middle of the mouth of the bay, and another time while at the anchorage in La Cruz, the place where all the cruisers (sailors) hang out.
You can see Altair in the middle of the photo (of La Cruz) and all the other boats anchored nearby.  It is quite the gathering...

The Marietas are a cool little place.  We took a friend that I met three years ago out sailing.  I had met him surfing at Burros, my favorite surfing spot, and finally he came out sailing.  He brought a few friends and we anchored out in the islands, went spearfishing, caught some fish and made ceviche.  Here is a picture of the preparations:

You can kind of see the island in this kite shot:

The whales are all over the bay and we've seen them while sailing around.  It is nice to have them around, and to follow them from here to Alaska and back.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Arrived In La Cruz

We've sailed on in to Bandaras Bay!  We got in to the bay on Tuesday, then surfed our arms off for the last few days, but now my arms are broken and tired and my nose is burned and the waves have gotten smaller (the most important thing), so we came to La Cruz, the sort of headquarters of the bay for sailors, where we can go ashore and get internet and get food and stuff.
On the way here I have stopped at Burros, the surf spot that I frequented before, and then while in the water, I saw a bunch of people who I recognized from years past.  It is nice to meet old friends in the water.  No new pictures this post, but probably soon.
Here is a video of the island of Isabel:

Monday, February 9, 2015

Isla Isabel

 We went to Isla Isabel.  For me it was the 8th time, I think, but every time I love it more and more.  This time I saw two birds totally new to me: Sooty Tern and a Grooved Billed Ani.  There was a whole colony of the terns and they were making a racket, not too bothered by our visit.  I also saw a Perigrine Falcon, which I didn't know went out there.  While going to the north side of the island, we went out on this little intertidal island thing, which Abe and I have tried to constrain the waterspouts (where the water splashes up through a crack in the rocks when the waves come in).  Lindsay calls those spouts "dragons" and so we tried to tame the dragons.  Not much success.  Anyways, this time as we walked along, there were some Tropicbirds nesting in the rocks just a few feet away!  Usually they are on the cliffs and I had never got a good look at them before this.

Also, the water was 80 degrees, and holy cow, we spent so much time in the water.  I went spearfishing a few times and shot a nice big Pargo, or snapper, about 12 lbs, and we shared it with some new friends on board a 100' sailing yacht.  The next night we dined in style aboard the Shamaness, which is a boat that belongs to my friends Dennis and June, who I had met way back in the day on my first trip down here.  We were hiking along and I looked over, saw the sail, and thought to myself, that looks like a Chung-Wa!  Then looking through my telephoto lens, my suspicions were advanced, and then looking at the picture zoomed in, I could read the name and it was confirmed.  So we went over to visit later on.  The next day after that, I shot a large (24 lb) Amberjack, similar to a Yellowtail, and then brought some fish over to the encampment of phototourists (mexican tourists) who had arrived in a Panga, and they gave me some smoked sailfish.  So then we went over to another boat (an 80 footer, I guess my standards are dropping) and shared fish tacos with them.  All this visiting has made me realize that I need a 100 foot boat with all the luxuries, like a hot tub and water toys...  Next trip.
After 4 days at Isabel we departed and we motored all day to San Blas, where we snuck into the showers for the marina there and got all cleaned up.  San Blas is a beautiful town that is preserved by the fact that the insects eat all the people who try to change things.  There is a lot of Mexican tourists who come to the beach here and also lots of fishing that comes to market here, and a base for the Mexican Navy.  It has been a port since the 1500s, for Spain, then for Mexico.