As the water and air temperature have slowly receded the whole families spirits have been on the rise, a quick dip is now refreshing. The old copper mining town of Santa Rosalia, some 11 miles North of Island San Marcos was hot and quiet. A typical Mexican lunch in an empty local restaurant (with wifi), a short stroll around the shops and the standard icecream was enough for me. Mel and BJ headed in early next morning to provision with fresh fruit and vegetables, though the selection was rather restricted. The well protected man made harbor is substantial with ferry terminal, fishing panga dockage and small marina, even though one could anchor in the harbor we chose to anchor outside so we can swim and dress in our usual (natural) style. This is my first report without photos, so perhaps a short explanation of our radio based email system will help. It is all computer grounded with the PC linked to our trusty Icom IC-M802 SSB radio via a Pactor modem. The software package is Airmail and uses a number of automatic shore based stations, the Sailmail system. For those who occasionally feel that they have a slow internet connection spare a moment for us sailmail users – I recently had my fastest connection for 4 years at over 10 KB per minute! From the preprogrammed stations I choose an appropriate one relatively close though there are always a few to choose from. Here I have found that San Luis Obispo, several hundred miles to the North on 8020.4 Kh at either 0700 or 1900 is suitable – so long as that frequency is free. Due to the fact that a frequency can only accommodate one user, and that transmission speeds may be slow no attachments are allowed (apart from the danger of Spam and viruses). The ability for us to have an email connection out here in remote locations, without costing the world, more than compensates for this inconvenience. The trip to Bahia San Francisquito, some 70 miles, meant that we would travel overnight for an early morning arrival. About an hour North of Santa Rosalia at 1600, the breeze piped up to 20 knots on the nose, along with the North setting current of 2 knots it quickly became very uncomfortable. We made the easy decision to head back to Island San Marcos and wait for more favourable weather. By 1900, just a few miles from our previous anchorage there, the wind dropped completely along with the chop, so finally as light faded we turned again to head North. It seems that the mountains near Santa Rosalia create their own localized weather as several miles out we had a pleasant motor, at times reaching 7 knots aided by the current. For the first time, in many miles, we rounded Punta San Gabriel at midmorning to the beautiful white beach on the west side of Bahia San Francisquito, the dry scrubby gullies and rocky flat topped hills making the crystal clear water all the more spectacular. Boobies and Pelicans were everywhere, feeding on the large schools of sardines, apart from dolphins, whales, and tuna . We are always impressed by the boobies, circling high above and watching them hurtle majestically and at great speed into the sea, normally just the woosh as they hit the water in a perfect 10 point dive. We wondered how often they succeed in catching a fish ? We saw our first coyotes here on the beach, plus one evening of some spirited howling, they spend some time digging in the beach for the numerous crabs. After 5 very enjoyable days just fiddling around along with two daily ‘beach’ sessions for the boys we motored the few miles North to another idyllic anchorage Cala Mujeres, again a white sandy beach and crystal waters and again not a yacht in sight (or anything else for that matter ). Bj has really taken to snorkeling and had a treat when I managed to catch a good sized octopus – with ink squirting and plenty of action we had a grand time. Today it was a large 1 – 2 kilo Yellowfin Grouper for dinner and a decent sized crayfish for lunch tomorrow. Huon is sleeping through the night, along with a few hours around midday, and with no nappies for washing seems to be moving into a (somewhat) more enjoyable phase. From here we will wander on in a day or so eventually heading to Bahia Los Angeles, about 40 miles, where we can provision again.
Mel has just finished another unit in her Nutritional Medicine course (though at unit 3 out of 28 there will be a way to go before she starts to bring in the bacon) – I have to give her credit as basically (and perhaps to your surprise) she really only has a few hours at midday when Huon is asleep or later in the evening when the boys are in bed, by those I hours I am normally well done, barely managing a few pages of my book. She has managed to make some SERIOUS changes to our lifestyle (practicing what she preaches?) with several alcohol free days and we are now down to 1 midmorning coffee – I will be interested to see how long it lasts (well for me anyway).