It takes nothing to join a crowd.
It takes everything to stand alone.
Hans F Hansen
|Mike and whale jaw bone - boat in background|
|Beautiful lines of nature|
It takes a lot of self-questioning and overcoming of doubts before embarking on such adventures. Most books we read, opinions we heard, advice we received say we shouldn’t be attempting this impractical idea, making it difficult to stand alone but the rewards of finding gems on our own or overcoming the odds feel incredibly rewarding.
|Lagoon, kayaks, our home in La Mona|
After leaving the island we visited Animas Slot and the bays of Animas and Quemado (a lot of places named after souls around this area)… Many coyotes howl or yap in the night, we see them roaming in the day or cooling off in the sea of under the shade of small desert trees. We cannot understand how they can survive in such a harsh environment but they all seem healthy. We have to watch that Nikki stays nearby for she would be a quick and easy target to these sly animals.
On one of the beaches we visited, we spot what at first we thought were parts of a sunken boat. Upon closer inspection however, we found it was the skull and jaw of a whale. It is very large and we cannot move it. It rests at the highest level of tide and we cannot tell if it floated there or if the animal beached itself in that location. If it floated there it explains why there are no other whale bones nearby. If the animal beached itself there, the rest of the skeleton is missing, probably from people bringing bony trophy homes…
Speaking of tides, as we approach the northern part of the Sea of Cortez, tides get up to about 23 feet… A little research showed that this area provides the third largest tides in the world; the largest ones being in the Bay of Fundy in Canada and seconds in Alaska’s Cook Inlet. When in Animas Slot anchored in a ‘safe’ 15-18 feet water as our previous time there; we woke up to find only 6 inches of water under the keel… That was a little too close for comfort so we re-anchored a little further out… We cannot let our guards down near full moon’s and new moon’s tides.
|Four paper nautilus - so delicate and wonderful|
|Sea biscuit and paper nautilus (Argonauts)|
While we wait for the winds to blow over we hiked the area and for the first time in her desert life, Nikki met face on with a cholla cactus, one of its small branches attached to the side of her nose. Thankfully it hadn’t quite dug in yet and was quickly removed. Not sure the little girl even remembered it happening for she went digging for lizards near chollas right after she was cactus-free.
|And yes, this tree is alive|
|But this one is|
We have days of very little breeze between the cloudy skies brought on by hurricanes Ivo and Juliette which are thankfully passing quickly on the outside of the Baja Peninsula and away from us. We go kayaking to create a small breeze to help us cool off and spend more and more time in the water.
|Then we were surrounded by 12 whale sharks|
At night we are enjoying meteorite showers between the clouds while listening to the many howls of the coyotes often accompanied by the yips of their little ones.
|Quick before the tide come in...|
We are nearing the end of our second season in the Sea with a return to the US for a small break. We enjoy everything a little more intimately and thoroughly. The end of an era seems to bring that out in people.
|After the rains.. cactus in bloom.|
From the sturdy bones of the largest animals on earth to the extremely fragile and fleeting paper thin nautilus, from the stoicism of sentinel-like pelicans to the flutter of hummingbirds, from the calm and silence of the sea to the forces of hurricane winds, thunder and rain traveling nearby, from no man-made lights seen anywhere around to extra-modern satellites floating amongst the stars miles overhead, from the scorching sands to the cooling water of the sea, from nearly dessicated desert cacti to mangroves and jungles, from soaring majestic ospreys to silently gliding manta rays, from hundreds of pounds of anchor chains securing us to the tiniest puffs of breezes guiding our way, from the daily rhythms of nature back to a city we no longer honestly know.