Sep 9, 2012

Bahia Los Angeles Village - The Famous ‘Elefantes’ Winds

You learn a lot when you're barefoot.
The first thing is every step you take is different.
Michael Franti 

They don't call it Agua Verde for nothing
Late picture of us there in that beautiful water
Just as I was to post about our stay in Bahia LA Village, an email came in from s/v Moondance sharing June's pictures of Déjàlà in the bay of Agua Verde and leaving that bay...  Thought we'd share them with you before talking about our next location below...

Leaving Agua Verde to head further north
Ready to turn left at Solitary Rock
Our first and only (so far) brush with the so-called elefantes = warm winds that come from the Pacific over the Baja Peninsula and down into the sea as fast and furious as 40 knots without warning! The name supposedly comes from clouds in the shape of elephant trunks occasionally showing up just before it blows. We ‘endured’ them for a full day at upwards of 35 knots. Difficult to get out and about via dinghy when such winds howl around you… This area is particularly prone at this time of the year but we needed a few groceries so we swiftly made our forays into town between gusts.

There isn’t much to do or see in this small village of about 1,500 so only a few provisions were purchased before we headed out. There are neither banks nor ATM machines – you have to drive 2.5 hours away to get to the nearest bank! Even internet is difficult to access unless you go to a hotel and pay for the service; we may do later but don’t feel the necessity now. Our only existing urgency is to quickly and creatively eat any of our perishable food since our fridge finally gave up the ghost. What timing hey; right at the hottest part of the trip! The fridge was one of the only 2 things we hadn’t yet replaced on the boat, the other being the head (toilet) – can’t wait for the fun of changing that one when the time comes!

Just before heading into Animas Slot, we caught a whiff of some very nasty chemical but thought another boat nearby must have spilled something. We didn’t for a moment consider it coming from us. Looking back we now believe it was the Freon escaping from the fridge. It is quite an adjustment to no longer have your choices of meats, condiments, milk, cheeses and certain types of vegetables but we’ll adjust. We will get a new unit in about 6 weeks when we make it back to the mainland and Arizona.

It is a good learning experience that actually has a very positive outcome = we have so much power now that we don’t know what to do with it all! The fridge is the largest consumer of the solar power we make every day. Not having one makes it that we don’t even need to worry about leaving the computer, radio or lights on when we are done with them – not that we would but it no longer matters that much. We can also use a little more water for showers (poor Nikki has more baths now), for we have additional power to make extra… It will also force us to use the dried and canned meats and vegetables we had purchased, just in case, something we normally don’t get to use because we’re always storing fresh foods and who wants to eat canned over fresh? It’s probably a good time to rotate these rations for they’ll get too old eventually. Finally, we can purchase a much more energy efficient fridge (will use about ½ the energy of the old one) so we’ll come out ahead once we replace the old one; all in all, a good thing. Oh and I forgot, this one can also make ice cubes!!! Here come the ice teas we haven’t had all summer because our old fridge wouldn’t cool things down this low.

Humidity has been quite high – a possible precursor of thunderstorms and such, yet to no avail. Lots of great cloud formations to watch build, grow, and then dissipate. We do not have a humidity meter (hygrometer) onboard but as the humidity goes down, Nikki’s fur goes straight and feels more like straw and when the humidity goes up, she becomes a true puffball of fuzzy fur – she is ‘our’ official hygrometer. Right now it’s very humid!!!

Full whale skeleton in someone's yard on the beach
Other view of whale skeleton
In Bahia Los Angeles Village, August is the month to celebrate their relevant saint so music is heard until 4:30am weekdays or weeknights. A small carnival is in town and kids are delighted at the opportunity to go crazy and have fun. At one point there was kayak racing around and shortly after several pangas filled to the brim with people and garlands of white and blue balloons circled the edge of the bay sending fireworks in the air as they went. Unfortunately, it was so light out, we missed seeing the colors only to hear their sound and see their smoke. The place feels very festive but we are happy to move away for it is a little difficult to sleep with all the nightly celebrations and music.

Small chapel.  A family tried to build a church for the town.
The town's people didn't want them to do it so they complained
to the leaders of the church who had the original church blown up!
Family built a chapel on their own land instead.... 
How the politics of small towns.

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