|Caleta San Juanico
|Gary's Birthday dinner - thanks Bill and Phil!
We spent our days snorkeling (which unfortunately wasn't great as the visibility in the water was poor), hiking, and walking the wonderful beaches.
Our stay here coincided with Gary's birthday. After inviting several other Cruisers to help us celebrate, Bill and Phil (both single-handers) took it upon themselves to catch the birthday dinner. Miraculously, they each managed to spear a large parrot fish, so we ate like kings. Gary BBQ'd it with garlic and butter...mmmmm.
|Gary's Birthday dinner
|He even got a cake...with icing
|Leaving our mark at the Cruisers shrine in San Juanico
|Heading north early...Sunrise at Punta Pulpito
We reluctantly left San Juanico and had a very boisterous up-wind sail to an anchorage 8 miles north called Punta Pulpito. We had pretty consistent 18 knot winds directly on the nose, so we bashed our way north with a reef in the main and genoa. Not the most comfortable sail of the year, but it certainly was fast!
From looking back at pictures from our sea kayaking trip 13 years ago, we determined that Punta Pulpito was one of our stops, as was Caleta San Juanico. It was certainly different to see it from the perspective of the sailboat this time.
|Whale shark (dark lump) and campers - Playa Coyote
|Following a whale shark on the SUP
The Mexicans take car camping to a whole new level. Each campsite housed several extended families, each of which had tents with full kitchens, eating tents, sleeping tents, port-a-pottie tents etc. Some families had set up hammocks in the palm trees, and most had water toys of some variety. One night they had an impromptu disco on the beach. While we were there, a small tienda (store) popped up on the beach, along with a hot dog stand and beer tent. And the ice cream truck drove by on a regular basis. Although this sounds kind of awful when you try to describe it, it was actually really interesting to watch. It was a total family atmosphere and so the vibe was really good. No one was overly rowdy, everyone just wanted to visit with their extended family and have fun.
Luckily for us, all the activity in the bay didn't affect the whale sharks, at least for the first day and half we were there. We were able to quietly follow them on the paddleboard while they cruised the shoreline. It was pretty amazing to see them just swimming around our boat.
Another unexpected benefit of going into Bahia Conception was that the water temperature was 25oC. Definitely the warmest water we've seen in Mexico. You could easily swim without a wetsuit. We took advantage of this and cleaned the bottom of the hull (Gary) and removed the tar that had been stuck to the side of Sea Rover since California (me). It was nice to spend a few hours in the water.
|Mulege - oasis in the middle of the desert
Our group of Cruisers (5 boats) had made friends with one of the Mexican families camping on the beach and so the father Ceasar) very kindly drove us into town. We spent the afternoon exploring, enjoying tasty fish tacos and visiting the 250 year old mission. We had an "it's Mexico" experience on the way
|250 year old mission in Mulege
Although we loved Bahia Conception, the lure of strong south winds convinced us to head further north to our final destination on the Baja side of the Sea of Cortez for this season. We left in the company of another Blue Water Cruising boat, our friends Jim and Tricia from Falcon VII, and had our best sail of the year - a 9 hour spinnaker run almost all the way to Santa Rosalia. Truly fantastic! We plan to spend Easter weekend in Santa Rosalia before heading across the Sea to our final final destination of Guaymus, where we will haul the boat out of the water for the summer. More to come!
|Chasing down s/v Falcon VII... Best sail of the year - a 9 hour spinnaker run!!