Friday, December 11, 2009

Enjoying Bahia Magdalena

We're still anchored in Mag Bay, and are now in the company of several other boats, most of whom we've seen in previous ports/anchorages.

This morning, Bob on s/v Mojombo was kind enough to spend a few hours with us and give us a crash course on celestial navigation. We were finally able to put our theory to use, and take a sight with our sextant and work out our Line of Position. Again...just like those early explorers. Now...we need to practice!

We also had an interesting conversation with a fish wholesaler here. His view of the resource was very different than the girls we talked with yesterday, so it was great to be able to hear two sides of the story. If only our Spanish was better, and we could chat with the fishermen themselves!

We're now getting the boat ready to head towards Cabo San Lucas - the southern most tip of Baja.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bahia Tortuga to Bahia Magdelenia

Well...another passage of two days and two nights. And it rained (well, showers). Shocking, but true. I know that everyone at home has absolutely no sympathy for us. But we've come to enjoy this dry climate. In fact, it was our fifth day of rain since leaving home in August. Rain has become a major inconvenience although at some point the rain will become critical for replenishing our limited fresh water capacity.

John reminds me that Tillman (some ancient mariner and mountaineer) would travel 6000 miles with 5 crew and 200 gallons of water. Obviously, Tillman would have me walking the plank. I appreciate washing dishes after each meal, and the occasional shower. Just call me wasteful.

Our passage from Turtle Bay to Mag Bay (gringo-speak) was good, we had some of the most fabulous sailing of our entire trip so far. We had to motor for about 11 hours (we have learned that we have little tolerance for flogging sails and low boat speed), when the wind disappeared, but arrived in Mag Bay during daylight, which is a huge bonus. We are now anchored in Man of War Cove, in the community of Puerto Magdelena. It is a very small communtiy of less than 200 people, and has been hit hard by the recent hurricane in August. We found ourselves woefully ill-equiped to provide any treats for the communty. We ransacked the boat, and came up with some supplies to donate to the school and the children. And we're determined to purchase more supplies for schools once we arrive in Cabo San Lucas, in the event that we come across communitites in similar situations.

Bahia Magdelana is huge. One book suggests it is the same size as San Francisco Bay, although to me, it seems even larger. We had a nice walk across the peninsula, to the Pacific and Bahia Santa Maria beaches today:
There were a couple of women here today from an NGO in Mexico City doing interviews with the locals to document their history and relationship with the Bay. We had a fabulous conversation with them and it seems that the community here is quite poor and the fishermen all belong to a cooperative that is attempting to encourage them to convert to 4 stroke outboards, and to help them to sell their product at market, but they make very little for their efforts. Very hard to encourage conservation of fishery resources for future generations when they are struggling to provide for the needs of their families today.

We have a friend, Eduardo, whose family is from this community, we think. But we haven't found them yet. We'll keep looking!

There are three other cruising boats here. One is Mojombo, from Comox...small world. We met them in San Diego, and had a nice evening with them tonight. Doin' It from Hawaii left today for Cabo, and Gert on Tate arrived today.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Bahia Tortugas

A couple pics from Bahia Tortugas...

John dives on our find it missing...again. I end up fitting a replacement prop nut and zinc, in many, many 10 second increments of breath holding. fun.

Fishermen are scooping up the sardines from the bottom of their boat into crates, which they then pass along the line into the waiting truck. Of course, the odd sardine makes a dash for his freedom...and the waiting gulls are gleefully waiting...