Dec 15, 2011

Wild Ride Down Under and Gilligan’s Island Tour

Where all think alike there is little danger of innovation.
Edward Abbey 

Beautiful sunset from South end of bay
Have been here seven days since the winds are not cooperating to head anywhere (never mind south). Patience is this new virtue I never knew I could possibly have this much of.
Have been lucky enough to enjoy great hikes, do some yoga on the boat (it is finally warm enough – we don’t like doing yoga in the cold), read great books, and take pleasure in beautiful weather and good company.

Nice breezy hike
Had late afternoon appetizers with people from three other sailing vessels: Gallivanter, Reunion, and Sockdologer; was nice to meet such knowledgeable sailors. We can always learn from their stories or how their vessels are set up. With the provisions running a little low since we’ve been here so long, it is nice to have a little extra variety of goodies to sample. The main comment at the end of our nice visit was “Well, where else do you get people excited talking about amps, volts, solar panels, careful water usage, etc”… It is definitely a different world.

Windy ride to our 'neighbors' for appetizers and fun time
Have been drenched a couple of times already trying to dinghy out over waves but thankfully the water is a warm 69.8 degrees so it’s rather painless – just a little inconvenient (especially after just having had shower).

The desert around here is quite similar to Arizona so it feels a little like home. The ocotillo and various other cacti similarly found in Arizona are lower to the ground and tortuous rather than straight shapes in Arizona – not sure why (more wind, less water than Arizona?) sub species, but it is interesting to notice. Many are in late bloom so the landscape is dotted with oranges, bright reds, some yellows and hints of purples. Nikki even had a few chances to chase lizards, her favorite thing to do. We saw about 5 of them on our last hike. Along the way we also were ogled by many buzzards and a couple of gorgeous fish hawks were perusing the ocean. As long as we stay in areas where vehicles do not have access, things are pretty clean but as soon as we step near areas where vehicles roam, everything is covered with litter/trash.

Mike has been trying to fish with no luck so far, other sailors nearby are bringing in halibut, sole, etc. I guess one has to learn the technique over time…

There is a small fishing village at the north end of the bay. What a hard life these people must have: working with the tides no matter what the weather, always wet and cold (comparatively speaking but still cold). The village is without electricity and it’s interesting that for lobsters, they would rather exchange batteries for their GPS or candies for their kids – money not their main incentive. They live with very few things. There are no roads in/out of this area, just a barge bringing supplies and water once in a while. They are all seemingly happy and very friendly towards us.

After 5 days here, we moved to the south end of the bay (9.1 miles) to see different scenery and check out a small grocery store. It took 3 hours to get there (still no wind) and the grocery store (Man of War Cove – an additional 2.5 mile walk from the beach) was not open and all contents seemed to be covered with dust so no telling if it is still open. Mike noticed also that there were no sailboats anchored in the whole bay. It was just like a ghost town.

On the dinghy way there, I was knocked over by a four foot wave and pushed under water (wild ride down under). Mike and I had joked for some time that it was time to test (per manufacturer’s recommendation) the 1+ year old safety self-inflating vests we have = well that got done, mine still worked. Can’t say it was the most enjoyable soak but now I know just what it feels like – we survived that one. I was covered in red seaweed from head to toe. Thankfully Mike and Nikki were spared but on the way out, Mike got soaked and his safety vest inflated. Two for two! You just have to take these events in strides or you’d never get out (or be careful what you ask for – we should’ve had these tests done in a more controlled manner). It puts me outside my comfort zone but I come out of it stronger. Nikki thankfully stayed on the dinghy the whole time so we didn’t have to chase her down a wave however she does smell rather like fish. Seems like time for a puppy bath when we get to our next marina.

Perspective from the Gilligan’s Island Tour: While in Man of War Cove Mike met a couple from Olympia, WA. They were taking a “three hour cruise” of Magdalena Bay. Part of the cruise was to land ashore, climb the sand dunes and look over the bay where we were anchored. The guide portrayed this as such an idyllic sailing scene. Little did they know of what we had just gone through. From their perspective it was a single beautiful sailboat in a serene bay surrounded by clear aqua colored water, white beaches and gorgeous mountain backdrop. From our perspective it was heavy crashers (waves 4'+ high) difficult to maneuver in a dinghy and making for a very bumpy anchoring and with a beach littered with trash… Of course it was quiet, we did remark on the cleanliness of the water, we watched several wonderful sunsets, rainbow right above the mast, and a full moon (missed the eclipse but heard about it) but certainly 2 days there was long enough. 

Working on netting to put around the cockpit so Nikki can’t fall out should a wave come by while anchored. She is always harnessed when we are sailing but when we anchor we want her free to roam the boat safely. She used to roam freely when at dock but anchors can sometimes get a little rocky. Nice to have projects while waiting for proper winds to show up.

Speaking of no wind, we were just chatting about the perceived value of 5 knots of sailing. When you are fresh after a good sleep and the wind is going the direction you are going, sailing 5 knots is very enjoyable. When, on the other hand, the direction is wrong, and/or you are tired because you just sailed 70+ hours straight, you perceive the same 5 knots as almost too fast even though it is a very comfortable sailing zone. Perspectives really change…

Time for warm popcorn (you’d think all I do is think of food!)…

Clever Boat Names: Knotty Moment, Sailfish, Luckness

No comments:

Post a Comment

We are always happy to hear from you but at times it may take a while to get a reply - all depends if we have access to the internet.