Nov 25, 2011

Bahia San Quintin, A Whale of a Back Scratch

Turn your face to the sun and the shadows will fall behind you.
New Zealand Proverb 

Various old volcanoes (Isla San Martin, Ceniza, Monte Mazo, etc) around the estuary in north of the bay we were anchored in.  Quite the desert landscape – raw and unadorned.
This finally feels like traveling rather than preparing, now that we have completed the immigration and customs paperwork.

Today we are visiting Marie-France’s namesake. Quintin over time has become Cantin in some languages and regions. On the way in we notice the shell of a large motor vessel beached near the reef. A great reminder to always be on the look out!

At the entrance of the bay, we crossed paths again with Prairie Rose, heading for Turtle Bay.

Here to recuperate from 53 hours of sailing 185 miles with a weakened jib that we had to sail with very gently. We had planned to stop at another anchorage further North (Colonet) but it was too dark and too narrow an area to entertain anchoring in pitch dark so we kept going South.

We blew the jib’s clew in high winds and temporarily fixed it until we could get an anchorage to permanently fix it.

We arrived here at sun down (once again seems to be our time to arrive at all anchorages so far) to find only one more sailing vessel anchored in this 4-5 mile wide bay. We nearly have the place to ourselves.

The following morning, while fixing the jib in the cockpit, another whale comes inquiring. That in itself is not surprising since this is part of their calving area in the winter. What is surprising is that this is within 20 feet of Déjàlà and we are only in 13-15 feet of water. Neither of us knew that whales could be found in such shallow waters. Another beautiful wink from Mother Nature!  One decides to use Déjàlà as a scratching post, making quite the motion...

All is fixed on the jib. The clew had just been weakened by the constant UV rays it experienced while rolled up, always showing the same portion to the elements. While the jib was down, I decided to reinforce the tack and the head as well. Thanks to our hand cranked commercial sewing machine I was able to accomplish just about as good a job as a professional (I think). I guess it is now time to test my “fix-it” skills on the next leg of our trip, Turtle Bay – nearly 175 miles from here.

We have had 2 really quiet nights, no cars, sirens, airplanes, etc. only wind and the surf in the distance (we are ¾ miles from some protective reefs). We decided not to go to land to help teach Nikki that she has a “pet area” she needs to learn to use while at sea. It has been a difficult transition for her but she used it 3 times while we were here (no choice since it had been 60+ hours since land)… She obviously still doesn’t like soiling her home but I think she’s starting to get the picture.

Waiting for the wind to pick up we cook for the upcoming 2-3 days of sailing: beans, coleslaw, chicken casserole, bean sprouts salad, egg salad, etc.

Finished reading: Two years before the mast by Richard Henry Dana (the person Dana Point, CA has been named after). We heard about his writing and his life while visiting the Oceanic Institute and thanks to Kindle, were able to download the book immediately and read it on the way down the coast of Mexico. It is a very descriptive read of the ‘true’ life of sailors in the mid-1800. Richard H Dana then became a huge advocate of fair treatment of sailors once he became an esquire.

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