Friday, January 22, 2010

Waiting for weather

We left La Paz on Sunday the 17th, almost a week ago. And we're still waiting for the weather to offer us some ideal conditions for the crossing from the Baja coast to mainland Mexico. As we sit in Puerto Balandra, the winds are blowing through here enough to temp us to set up our windsurf gear. And outside, in the La Paz bay, we hear boats reporting 30-35 knots of wind. Not terrible, but we'd rather wait for somewhat calmer conditions.

It seems like a big storm on the Pacific coast of the US has caused some repercussions for unusual weather down here. But we're not suffering too badly as we wait. We've been island hopping, as we wait for the weather to turn around. Most of our days are spent snorkeling, John is learning to spear fish (score so far - John-2; fish-8+), we've done lots of walking on beautiful white beaches, and exploring in the dinghy. We've even had some productive moments - I touched up the brightwork, we scrubbed the ecosystem off our hull and keel, and generally cleaning up and organizing the boat. Mind you, we're also spending a lot of time being very unproductive - reading and general laziness.

This mushroom rock at Balandra Bay eventually eroded and toppled over. But not to fear - these clever Mexicans are on the case. Nothing a little rebar and cement won't fix!

Here's the view of the bay from the hilltops above:

It's possible that we may have an opportunity to cross to the mainland tomorrow. We may choose a shorter route to Mazatlan, as the weather is somewhat unstable still. Our fresh veggies are getting slim, so we're already diving into our canned goods. Oh well...lots of places to shop on the mainland.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Books, Books and more Books...

Shantaram: A NovelSome time ago, I mentioned that I was reading Shantaram, by Gregory David Roberts. I'm now finished it, and it was fabulous!! I think this has to be my favorite book that I recall reading in a very long time. be truthful, for the past couple years, I haven't read anything that isn't to do with how to sail, why to sail, when to sail, where to sail, and so on. This book was a real treat - thanks to Sooh for passing it on to me. It has made me add "Explore India" to my list of life's goals.

I also just finished reading An Embarrassment of Mangoes by Ann Vanderhoof. Betsy passed this book to us in Sausalito, and we both enjoyed this easy-to-read account of a couple's 2 year sailing interlude in the Carribean.

Now, I'm reading Lord of the Rings. Shocking, I know. I've never been tempted by fantasy fiction-witches, wizards, goblins have not caught my interest. But Steve from Narama gave this to us, and since I've not actually read any fantasy before, I thought I should at least give it a go. And since I've seen the least I have a bit of a head start. I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Fish Speared!!

SUCCESS. Yesterday, John shot his first fish. It has been a while in coming. He first used a pneumatic spear gun, but wasn't able to find any love. Then, in La Paz, he bought a used band spear gun (with Eric's help), and on his first day out, the handle broke right off the shaft. Hmpf. So after a day of being as sad as a young boy who has just lost his puppy dog, he was finally able to put it back together with a wooden dowel, lots of epoxy, and sheer determination.

This afternoon, he tried it again, and he arrived back at the boat with two small fish, one with a big hole in the mid-section, and a broken fishing rod! We were also gifted with a good size fish, shot by Bruce on Far-Fetched. We ate like kings.

If you look closely, you can see the spear hole

This is the guy that broke the fishing rod:
Today, we went snorkeling around the caves on other side of the islands. Again, there were tons of fish, big and small, of all colors and varieties, but none found themselves victim to the spear. We still have fish in the fridge from yesterday, so we're not working too hard at it. I did spot a few scallops, and used Eric's advice to quickly cut the muscle before they had a chance to close up. They are attached to the rocks with their two shells opening up, not like the swimming scallops that we have at home. We brought home a few to sample and enjoyed them with a superb seafood pasta dinner - yummy. (BTW - the recipe was from the new PBS cookbook, for all you Nanaimo-ites).

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Leaving La Paz

Although the weather won't be ideal from crossing to the mainland for a few days, we're leaving La Paz with plans to explore the islands again, and then cross to mainland Mexico. We took off this morning, after saying good bye to our new fabulous friends, Eric and Merry, on Sorceress. What a great time we've had with them, and we're hopeful that we'll catch up with them again in the next few days, or in Colorado!

We're now anchored in San Gabriel, with plans to explore the sea caves on the other side of the bay.