Monday, December 12, 2016

Fall in the Sea of Cortez

 I've been using my phone for internet and email here in Mexico, and it is a blessing and a curse.  Since I pay per megabyte, I use it mostly for email and then I can't seem to type very well, so I am terse in my emails.  (sorry about that).  An unintended consequence is that I don't go find wifi and lug my laptop around as much, so I am not doing as many blog postings lately.  Again, sorry for that.  So here is a summary about my last couple months of adventures.  First off, I got Altair back in the water!  The place I had it stored did a great job but I was ready to get floating, and I never felt very comfortable in San Carlos.  I didn't paint the bottom of the boat this year because I figured I would be scrubbing it anyways, so why put paint in the ocean?
After two days of working on some things, changing the oil, throwing away things I didn't need, I was ready to go!  I hopped onboard as the boat went in the water and then went down below to check everything was ok, and discovered it was leaking!  Then I turned on the engine and discovered the thru-hull was corroded closed, so I didn't have cooling water!  Despite all these things, and the wind climbing to the 20s, I plumbed the cooling water to a bucket and filled it with water and drove out to the anchorage to work on the things.  The thru-hull was fairly easy, I replaced the valve, and the leak went away on its own later on, so I was all right.  But for a moment there, I felt pretty low about how my wonderful boat wasn't any good anymore.  After a few days of getting the sails ready, I set off across the Sea of Cortez into the teeth of a modest 18 knot wind from the north.  I am constantly surprised at how the slightest winds here make such awful waves!  It took me overnight and a day to get across to Loreto, and I went for a swim in crystal clear 84 degree water when I got there.  Very nice.  But the water was cooling down rapidly, and becoming less clear, so I hurried south.
I stopped at a few islands I had previously never been to, including Isla Carmen, and I found very neat places to anchor and swim and spearfish.
 Also there were awesome cacti and some cool sunsets to whitness.  This one is from Agua Verde.
 This is from Puerto Los Gatos, where you can find Geodes!  This reef has a few stuck in the rocks.
 The end of the summer means that the rains of summer are drying up, and this is what happens to the clay and mud in the river beds, they turn to corn chips!
 I am back in the Choya part of the world, so here is a piece of choya wood.
 And this picture is from Punta Evaristo.  I took a shot similar to this years ago with my dad, so i wanted to try and replicate it.  One of my favorite places, and the fishing was very good.
 I went for a hike up from Evaristo and found a river valley with some blooming flowers and a monarch.
 From Evaristo it is a short hop over to Isla San Francisco, where there is this perfectly round bay.  When we got there it was packed with boats and jet skis and people, but we hung out just the same.  Here is a hike up the ridge...
 Where you can get a view like this.
 On the way down there was a rattlesnake hidden in the sand.  I got a picture before it could rattle and bite me.  I think it was pretty cold because it didn't move at all.

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