Sunday, February 15, 2015

Our first visitor in Baja

Picture altered to protect the innocent
We've had our first friend come down to see what life is like for us here in Baja.  She's declared she's leaving her job and staying full time so we call her Mrs X for the duration of the post to keep her identity secret.

After a quick flight from San Francisco she braved the bus to La Paz where she immediately experienced  her indoctrination to the cruising lifestyle.  We were at anchor and the wind was blowing hard against the current making our small dinghy more like a submarine.  After a luggage delivery that almost ended in disaster we ferried her to the boat and then gave her 20 minutes notice that other cruisers were coming for dinner.  Being the perfect guest that she was, Mrs X had her gear stowed and was dried off and presentable long before they arrived.

Puffer fish are mean even when they are dead
The next day we headed out Espiritu Santu and had a great sail much further than expected to the top of the island.  We had the peaceful anchorage to ourselves equipped with a private beach and beautiful sunset.  The full moon even rose perfectly framed in the valley in front of us.  Karina and I were happy as the memories of the first day of Mrs X's trip faded, replaced by calm warm water, sandy beaches and perfect star filled nights.

We spent two nights in Mezteno greedily anchored in the middle of the bay to keep our "one boat anchorage" a one boat anchorage.  Other boats tried to join us but our laserbeam stares with arms crossed scared them all away.  The days went by quickly with walks on the beach and Mrs X playing with her new camera.

We then headed north to Isla Islotes, famed for it's sea lion colony that loves to swim with humans.  We had a great experience there and Karina even managed to get invited to join their synchronized swimming team.  Mrs X's camera also works underwater so we got some great shots without having to worry about our waterproof camera leaking (which it always seems to do)

Swimming with the sea lions

Karina gets checked out

Karina joins the synchronized swimming team
Many endless beaches to walk on
We then sailed south to San Gabriel known for its population of frigate birds.  These graceful birds have colonized the mangroves by the thousands and are undisturbed by dinghys and pangas floating a few meters away from their nests.  It makes for some great photo opportunities.  We were even treated to the start of the chicks hatching.  In stark contrast to Karina and I, we noted that the chicks start off with completely white feathers and slowly progress to black as they age.  The male frigate birds are famous for their method of attracting mates.  They can puff up their chests and display an amazing red plumage that looks like party balloons just about to pop.  Again we had long walks on the empty beaches to keep us entertained and were treated to yet another perfect sunset.  

Our friend might have decided not to return to work

Attack of the birds!

Oh to have wings

Check out the baby (all white)

Vegetation has a tough life in Baja

The males really do get puffed up when they want to mate

More chicks
Jacques Cousteau Monument
 We then made our way back to La Paz where Karina and Libby made the long trek along the malecon into town for some quick provisioning.  It was one of the hotter days of the season so ice creams in town were especially appreciated.

More art on the malacon
Whale museum
Alas Mrs X's trip was coming to a close and it was time to for her to head back to the "real world".  We put her on a shuttle with full expectations of finding her back at the boat after our walk with Charlotte.  We recently received an email from her employer asking if we had seen her recently.  We responded that we had no knowledge of her whereabouts.

Obligatory sunset picture

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