Thursday, March 6, 2014

March 6, 2014 – Heading towards La Paz

The last two weeks have been a lovely -and mostly unsuccessful - fish hunt.  If somehow I had forgotten, I was reminded that I am married to a man who would rather fish than do almost anything else.  So early the 22nd of February, we left Puerto Escondido to head way off shore to the east of Isla Catalina where the fish were rumored to hang out. 

It was a spectacular day.  The sea was glassy as a pond and the sky clear.  One could see any surface activity from miles away.  And we did see a lot.  We passed several groups of our sun bathing seals and, every five minutes or so, a large turtle would float by.  The turtles were normally dozing, but would occasionally wake with a start as they felt the boat and quickly submerge.  The water temperature was up to 75 degrees – a good sign for fish.  It was a lovely day to read and knit – but the fishing was nonexistent.

Earl was disgusted.  We had everything except the one thing he really wanted and he had held such high hopes for this particular fishing hole.  The only fish we saw was a large bunch of bonitos – which was of zero interest to us.  So, his patience exhausted, the skipper headed south to the north end of Isla San Jose. 

The next day we cruised the San Jose Canal, normally great fishing.  Again, we had another lovely day and saw whales and dolphins, but no fish.  We continued south for the next couple of days.  The weather was as good as we have ever had and the fishing the worst. 

We went to the marina for a couple of days to get some fresh food and enjoy some of our neighbors.  Emiliano – our electrical wizard had done some work on the cell phone booster that we had installed 7 years ago.  It was actually the second one, but neither had had ever worked and I had forgotten about it.  We ran over to Bonanza for the night to test it and to my amazement it actually made a significant difference.  We had also planned to work on adjusting the big lights Earl has installed that night, but instead we were on our way back to the marina after a quick swim.  Our fresh water pump had gone out.  When Earl took a look, he found the pump housing had cracked and we had a shower in the lazarette.  Without fresh water on our boat, our heads don’t work – not good!

The next day our wonderful Fito – who has a slender, flexible, young body replaced the pump with our back up pump, one Earl had rebuilt. 

Our neighbors Sharon and John on Warren Peace had arranged for a birthday celebration for John from the sailboat Swagman.  It was a lovely evening potluck and Peter, our other neighbor on sailboat Formula Won, played his guitar and sang accompanied by a Mexican friend who played harmonicas.  It was great fun. 

The next day we decided to go visit La Ventana by road. It is a community south of La Paz on Canal Cerralvo.  It is a windy spot and famous for its kite surfing.  Friends had recommended the trip and told us it was only 30 minutes.  We took the wrong road, so it took us significantly longer, but even coming home it was an hour not 30 minutes.  Whatever.  It was a lovely day, a charming drive and a good meal at the restaurant Las Palmas overlooking the beach.  We sat on a covered veranda on the second floor and overlooked the kite surfing, while the wind blew away our chips and empty beer cans.

Kite surfer - Ventana 

Looking north from Las Palmas

We had planned on leaving early on Monday morning to cruise south, hunting fish.  It did not happen.  The pump Earl had installed proved to be not much good.  It overheated.  After a trip to Lopez Marine Store, Earl was back with a new pump and shortly after we were off.

A short cruise to Bonanza, which was ours for the night.  We will be bringing the Serenity back to the Northwest this Spring and I will really miss being able to shed my clothes and jump into beautiful clear water.

Earl just knew he would catch fish the next day on the way to Muertos and in that area.  Years ago he and his brother-in-law had gone fishing in a panga out of Muertos and had fished till they were exhausted a few hours later. 

We had not been to Muertos in a couple of years.  It is a good north wind anchorage, and with the beautiful resort Los Suenos on the southern side and a delightful restaurant on the north it can be a pleasant place to spend a few days –which is what I thought we were going to do.  How foolish of me!  7 am Earl told me we were heading back north since there were no fish here.

So back we went – blessed with lovely weather.  Just so that we were not skunked, we caught (and released) a small dorado, and, just as we headed toward San Gabriel to anchor for the night, the Sea of Cortez gave us a gift.

There were two humpback whales cavorting in front of us.  They were finning and jumping and put on a show for at least half an hour.  It was incredible – this has certainly been our year for whales.  I got good photos (using an iphone if you can believe it) and Earl shot some video clips.  It was the high point of this cruise. 

I just read this to Earl and he corrected me.  He said the high point of this cruise has been the beautiful evenings on the boat deck with me and Daisy.   He has a point.