Friday, October 22, 2010 - Cruising down Cerralvo Channel
The outboard was quickly repaired, I don’t understand the technical issue but apparently the motor should now start more easily than ever before. We had planned to leave on Wednesday morning, but Earl was feeling a little under the weather. Instead, we took advantage of having John’s car and a free day and did a little shopping in the afternoon. First stop was a Ferra Mar (marine store). The stated reason was to search for a speaker that we could mount on the boat deck. Our first stop was disappointing in that area, but had lots of fishing gear which is as irresistible to Earl as the pottery is to me. Laden with new lures and hooks for him and a new hat for me, we left and tried two other stores for speakers, including the last, Yee’s. Yee apparently is the La Paz speaker store. He had a huge inventory, but not what we wanted. A final stop at Ibarra’s pottery for couple of minor purchases and we were set to go out.
As usual, 8 am meant sometime before 8, so we got an early start. Earl wanted to catch a fish and we trolled fishing gear for 65 miles over the next 10 hours to no avail, up the east side of Espiritu Santo and Partita and back again to Bonanza. We have charts that indicate the hot spots and we did see other boats fishing some of those, but we got nothing. While it was perhaps disappointing for Earl, I thought it was a lovely day. We saw the usual dolphins and a rarer group of seals. Coming into Bonanza we saw a large school of fish, probably about 2 or 3 pounds, jumping apparently chasing something. When the prey jumped in turn, we saw a school of little fish, maybe an inch or two, jumping as well, lovely little bits of silver.
Today we left early after a lovely sunrise. We have decided to go south towards Muertos since the fishing is supposed to be better in that direction. Shortly after we left our anchorage, as I put the eggs in the frying pan, I heard the clicker on the fishing rod. Great excitement – we have our first fish of the year, a beautiful 20+ pound dorado. I won’t need to defrost anything for dinner tonight.
We are now running south down a channel formed by Isla Cerralvo and Baja. We will be passing La Ventana which we visited by car with John and Maria last week. This is reputed to be an excellent fish area, so I am watching out front while Earl is sitting back with the fishing lines. I have company – Daisy is sleeping in the sun, and a white egret has joined us. After flying around the boat for 5 minute or so, it decided that we looked like a good perch. He has been sitting on our bow railing for 45 minutes now.
Monday, October 25, 2010 – Running up the west side of Espiritu Santo
We are on our way north, running up the west side of Espiritu Santo to Evaristo for the night. On Friday we ran down to Muertos, catching only one other fish over the next 8 hours. It was a bonito which we released. Muertos is a beautiful anchorage and we did not have to share it with too many others. Actually, other than pangas, there was only one other boat, a 42 foot Krogen named Hobo which the owners bought in Sitka. Since we had run 120 miles over the last two days, Earl agreed to spend a day at anchor in Muertos. I loved it. I did some housework (or more appropriately boatwork) and then we cleaned up at went to the beach for lunch at the palapa. There we met a couple from Chicago who are vacationing in a house at Muertos with their two daughters, aged 6 and 7. When hearing that we were from Alaska, the 6 year old asked if we had met Sarah Palin. Pretty sophisticated 6 year old. Interestingly the girls are going to the Lycee in Chicago. Their mother said that after 12 years of French in school, she still felt that she could not speak and was determined that her girls would have a different experience.
That evening, Larry and Lena from the Hobo came over from drinks and burgers. They are in their early 50’s. Originally from Vermont, they moved to Seattle and worked there in the environmental field before retiring 12 years ago while in their early 40s. They had a 42 foot sailboat which they pretty much took around the world, sailing first to Alaska, then down the Pacific Coast past the West Coast of Vancouver Island, to San Francisco Bay. Then on to Mexico, New Zealand, South Pacific Islands, Australia, Indian Ocean, West Coast of Africa, South Africa, Brazil, and the Caribbean. They tried living in Seattle again, and after a couple of months of winter, asked themselves why? They have spent two years down here with the Krogen and are now going to head for the Panama Canal and Trinidad.
(Just interrupted this, while Earl played with a nice Dorado. Since we had a bunch in the freezer, we let him go. I don’t know why Earl buys so many lures. I think we have caught almost all our fish on the same small lure which is called a Mexican flag because it has the same colors.)
Sunday we headed back to Bonanza. We caught and released a couple of bonitos, and now we are headed north.
The weather changed rather suddenly over the last week, for the better. The high temperatures we had been having are gone and it now is a more delightful range in the 80s. Apparently this is typical here, sometime around October 15th, summer goes away.
Monday, October 25, 2010 – San Evaristo
We are anchored at San Evaristo, a small village of about 20 families with a beautiful natural harbor. We were in here last year, later in the year. This year, it is unexpectedly green. I am once again amazed at the ability of the flora here to flourish in the desert. Our neighbors are two Canadian sailboats, and we are all riding peacefully. It has turned out to be a lovely day, not only because of the weather and scenery. We caught fish. Actually, we ended up catching 6 dorado (on the same lure) and 1 Mexican bonito, all of which we released.
Tomorrow we will head for Los Gatos. We are hoping that the lobster fisherman who fed us last year is still there and will bring us our dinner.
Before we turned in for the night, an American sailboat pulled in. The passengers were a pair of Alaskans who were excited to see our Alaskan flag. They came by and visited. Keith and Marsha are from Sitka, although Marsha taught school in Anchorage for 16 years before she married Keith and moved to the Southeast. They are an interesting couple. Keith is an artist and they make their living selling stuff to tourists in the summer, and, as a result, they can vacation in the winter. They were with an old friend, the boat captain. Keith made a big thing about Henry, the captain, sailing all over the Sea of Cortez, despite his very advance age – 80. Earl, at almost 76, said he did not think that was so unusual and that 80 is not that old.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - Puerto Escondido
We bypassed Los Gatos. According the Keith, the lobster man was not in evidence when they anchored there. Agua Verde is not very far further north. Along the way we caught an additional 3 dorado, still on the same lure. Daisy is becoming a very good fisher dog. She usually hears the clicker on the rod before we do, and she bounces up and lets us know that we have a fish on.
We saved one dorado, thinking, correctly, that there would surely be takers for fresh dorado at Agua Verde. There were some very happy sailboaters. According to one of them, you need to go at least 6 knots to catch a dorado, and 7 to catch a yellow tail - interesting, and possibly true. We were also told that the water this year is much colder than usual. The water in the northern sea did not get to the usual 90 degrees this summer which helps account for the absence of hurricanes. The hills around Agua Verde are very green right now. Apparently some areas got occasional rain storms.
We will go ashore later today and hopefully the internet connection will be good enough to post this. We are looking forward to dinner at the little restaurant here at the marina. We enjoyed it last year.