With Cyclone Paul due to pass over mid Baja California on October 16th it was time to scoot out of Santa Rosalia on the 15th. We were on the windward side of the dock and a protruding pole bracket would have been a real hassle. It was a pleasant motor to Playa Santa Barbra at the southern end of Bahia Concepcion where we could lye out Paul. 5 other yachts had the same idea, thankfully there was sufficient room for all to tuck behind the substantial peninsula.
Paul arrived late in the afternoon of the 16th, it passed some 60 miles to the west which ensured the predicted North Easterly to South Easterly winds would follow, should it have passed to the East it would have been quite a different matter with winds from the Western quarter. We took down all our awnings and generally made sure all was ship shape. Maximum wind gusts of around 50 knots were safely negotiated, the 8 inches (200mm) of rain in some 8 hours meant full water tanks. One forgets that not only are there the actual physical effects of the storm, but the large quantity of debris in the water meant it was not possible to run the main engines due to the raw water strainers getting blocked.
By early on the 17th the sun was shining with a light breeze – how quickly the situation changes. One of our neighbor’s was ‘Harmony’ with Robert and Virginia onboard, we quickly became good friends, especially when they brought presents for the boys, and then took them ashore for a treasure hunt. No doubt having 8 children of their own meant considerable knowledge on the child raising front – a delightful and interesting couple. Virginia’s book ‘Harmony on the High Seas’ is full of useful information.
3 days at Coranados Island brought us back into the summer cruising mode, crystal clear days, warm sea, and cool nights at our favourite deserted white beach had Mel confirming this was the ideal life. Friday the 19th carried us into 10 years of contented marriage, just a pity it now passes so speedily. At least we realize how fortunate we are, time to contemplate our lives, and enjoy the perfect buddy and lover .
Nothing had changed in Loreto over the past 3 months, shopkeepers welcomed us back, almost like friends – time to chat and talk of the summer past. A pretty and sensible small town, all the necessities one would need along with a real character – Mexico at its best. I popped into a local dentist to see about a broken tooth – a crown was the solution, when could he repair it? Now! How much? $250 wow! No rushing, no hassles – life in the slow lane!
We are now bunkered down in Puerto Balandra, some 10 miles to the East of Loreto, a steady 20 – 30 knots of Northerly blows over the hills; still it is bright and sunny with white caps outside. This should last a few days, the seasons have changed and another facet of our lives is determined by Mother Nature – a small yacht but an enormous backyard. The recent rain has put a magnificent green face to the normally barren and austere hills, grass and bushes are bursting out, autumn flowers and scents tickle the senses, birds chirp away amongst the empty sounds of the desert, peace and nature make complex and hectic human society feel all the more tragic, rather meaningless.