Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Yelapa and birds

 I've been told by an old Alaskan veteran naturalist that "to become a birder is inevitable."  If you spend enough time outside you will start to love the birds and get a pair of binoculars slung around your neck.  Any avid reader of this blog will know this happened for me years ago, but I went to Yelapa yesterday and sought out some of the birds that wade and flutter around the river over there.  The river was full of water and fishes.  And birds.  Here are a few photos.
Before going to Yelapa we sailed (and motored) out from Punta Mita, across bandaras Bay, to near Cabo Corrientes.  The water out there is super clear and we saw tons of fishes, with about 80 ft of visibility.  We also swam with dolphins on the way across, just jumped off the boat and swam for a while with them.  They were a new kind of dolphin for me, a "ragged toothed dolphin"
Now there is a hurricane coming and I am hanging out near La Cruz to be close to the marina in case we need it.
The birds:  Black Necked Stilt.  Then Magpie Jay, then Yellow Grosbeak.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Hanging around the bay

As you might be able to see from the picture, I am swinging from the mast like a monkey.
Bandaras Bay is quite warm, and after the scare from hurricane Patricia, I figured the season was winding down.  I am not quite sure, but looking at the forecasts for the area, it looks like there is another punch waiting.  And i don't know if we'll dodge it.  There is another storm brewing off the coast of El Salvador, that is predicted to come out, go past the headlands of mountains that protect the bay from the south, and then come sweeping in from the west.  Just like Hurricane Kenna did in 2002.  If this happens, I am not sure what I'll do.  Kenna destroyed a lot of Puerto Vallarta and the towns to the north.  The storm also took out the Marina La Cruz, the one that i will go into to hide.  They rebuilt it, and hopefully they did a better job of it, but nothing can really stand against a big storm.  So stay tuned to any hurricane forecasting site to see the epic battle between winds waves and fiberglass.  I will make sure that my person will be safe and sound, regardless of the state of my fiberglass.
That is all conjecture, but I am a bit worried about it.  You never know what the weather will hold.  In other news, the surfing is nice and the water feels great to be in, because it is so warm.  I am waiting for it to cool off, but El Nino is not going to let it happen that soon.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

A swimming hawk

 We woke up today and watched the birds flying around.  There were pelicans plunging into the water after the little fishes, then the boobies diving in from the heights, and some little  Black Terns, and some Elegant Terns too.  Then we spotted a bird I didn't recognize...  It was floating really low in the water with a funny looking bill for a sea bird.  It was a hawk!  We got into the skiff and went over to it to help, and pulled it from the water with a net.  We set it on the deck to dry out, but after a bit it tried to fly away and didn't go far, back into the wet.  This time I got it and put a sock over its head to keep it calm.  We got it to shore and gave it a fresh water shower to get the salt out of the feathers and then the guards from the marina took it in and put it in a cage.  Later on they said it flew away, so I hope it is ok.  It was a "Grey Hawk" according to the bird book.  I am really impressed by the size of the eyes.  Also its feet were super strong and have great big knives on the ends of the toes and I got a bit cut up.  Not too bad though.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Return to Mexico, and a summary of the Fall

 I am back in Mexico again, and back on Altair.  My trusty sailboat was anxious to get out and moving, and I believe she was nervous about the big Hurricane that came nearby not long ago, but she was spared any damages from that by the Sierra Madre, the mountains that protect this area, much like the pantheon of Olympus would protect the underlings in Greece.  Hot, humid conditions, however, are taking their toll on the machinery, and I am doing my best to do battle to that.  Last wednesday, I took Altair out of the marina and out to go surfing, to my normal haunts and anchorages near this area.  A dark cloud sprung up from the south and the extremely warm water (which was 90 degrees F) fueled the convection frenzy.  The winds howled and I shivered with fear and the lee shore drew closer, but through the night the anchor held and we passed through the storm without too much trouble.   It was the biggest storm I've seen here, winds over 40 kts and waves near 8 ft.  It turned out that the Hurricane wasn't the big problem, but rather an unnamed storm that gave me the biggest scare.
Before Mexico, back up in Bellingham, I got a few pictures.  One of sunset at my brother's house, and one of his best man's daughter, in a bucket, the highlight of the wedding presents.
 And on the trip down, in which my friend Wes and I drove, we stopped in the middle of the desert in Arizona and I got a few shots of a cactus.