Saturday, May 30, 2015

May 22, 2015 - Agua Verde

As we arrived in Agua Verde, we were happy to see the most desired cove to not have a vessel in it.  After a few minutes of scoping the depths we gave it a try and had a good hook and felt that our distances to rocks and the shoreline were acceptable.  We now felt as if we had the perfect spot here in the beautiful water.  Many boats came in and around us during that day and the following but with it getting deeper quickly and too shallow further in, we had the nice view and most wonderful spot imaginable.  
Steve, CIndy and Kevin on our hike, looking into the bay and Adagio in background
Continuing on our hike, it is hot!!!!!
Looking west toward the mountains.  Agua Verde is Baja mainland although
to get here you need to drive 25 miles on a dirt road

The cove we are in, Adagio is first vessel you see out here
another awesome shot of this beautiful spot.  Looking northward, Adagio out there.
need we say more about this beautiful location?
Kathy, Kevin is our dinghy rowing and Cindy on shore walking

These vehicles came down the long road to camp for USA Memorial Day weekend

Now that is the way to keep your tent, the car toppers are not storage, they are the tents.
No sleeping on the ground.  This was some sort of tour so there was a truck with food etc.
ok, another beautiful sunset
Steve, with the regulator scraping the bottom in record time now not having to come up for air!

We are making Pico de Gallo.  We had some strong onions so the kids figured out how to keep from crying!

Our view as we motored north to Agua Verrde

Friday, May 29, 2015

May 20, 2015 - Los Gatos

We left early for a nice and calm ride north for a four hour passage.  There are a few clouds and it almost seems like it might rain.  We have not really seen rain too much so we are mesmerized by some unique cloud formations here.  We arrived at Los Gatos by 11am to find out that there were no other boats here which seems odd since it is considered a gem of a spot.  Fairly soon after there were two other sail boats to join us and a rather large motor yacht (that left later in the afternoon).  We are still working on homeschool so I worked with the kids while Steve took a much needed nap on the bow (I got mine while motoring prior to reaching our destination).  We had a nice but short hike on the wind swept rocks and fun watching the pelicans dive for fish.   We explored the reefs to see about some snorkeling at another time since the afternoon winds and waves are making it a bit more uncomfortable.  A wonderful calm night once again, we are felling lucky or maybe this is how it normally is north of La Paz. 

a sight while motoring north of the Baja side, some type of whale/dolphin on the same path
On our way to shore to explore the sandstone

walking on the beautiful rock
From the beach, looking at the landscape and family

Going upward, not so smooth!
This bug was big!
Kevin and Steve, dinghy ride back to the boat from checking out the reef, Adagio
in the background
another beautiful sunset
Worn and smooth rocks, wow!
Cindy's plate sized pancake she made
A photo sequence we made of a ray jumping as we passed it by

Monday, May 25, 2015

May 19, 2015 - Mangle Solo

We have new memories for each location.  Mangle Solo (we believe it is pronounced "man-ha-lay solo") brings several new ones for Steve and me but I am sure they are different for the kids.  As we approached and spent the afternoon and evening here, we found that Rays abound.  Many would be doing flips out of the water and it is wonderful to watch.  For Steve and me it might be the 6am wake-up call of the smoke/carbon dioxide detector that is most memorable.  The night was one of the calmest we have ever had, although when we went to bed there were little bugs in the salon that seemed to love the interior lights.  We left one light on so they would stay in the salon and not try to visit us in our stateroom.   Well, they were the devils that set off the alarm by just being there (thousands of them in the salon by morning).  Steve and I decided to vacuum them up along the one side they seemed to all be.  We spent 20 minutes or so trying to rid ourselves of these little bugs and were mostly successful in that endeavor.  We had decided to sleep in as long as we wanted, but were now awake and ready to motor by 7am to our next location, thanks to our unexpected alarm.  It was nice to have a quiet night though and the place to ourselves.  We did have a unique experience here after turning on our underwater lights, a large sea turtle kept swimming around which was wonderful to see.

Steve with a balloon-fish skeleton
Walking the beach
Kevin with a perfect stick find!

Walking back down the beach toward the dinghy and boat
Come on everyone.  I'm ready to get back to the boat so we can do some
home schooling!  ha ha....

another Zappa photo with Kevin
Kathy with the cardon cactus.  One of the largest cactus varieties
in the world, growing up to 70ft tall
Adagio with the mountains behind

May 19, 2015 - Los Islotes

We have passed by these islets four times now.  Maybe half of the time would we have considered dropping into the water for snorkeling and swimming with sea lions, but the timing just didn't work out.  Well, this time we left Caleta Partida at 7am and were there at 9:30am.  Cindy was not yet up and Kevin and Steve did not have much of an interest to swim/snorkel with the sea lions.  Well, I really really wanted to swim with the sea lions.  I would have been much happier with some pangas with tourists or some other boat there.  No one was there and Kevin did not want to get eaten were his exact words.  Cindy barely got up so she was not in the mood and we could not anchor so Steve had to remain at the helm and keep the boat in position in the currents passing by these islands.  I did offer to give him a turn after I was done.  So Steve got me close enough and I slide into the water, all alone, expecting to swim with sea lions.  Adrenaline for sure was running through my veins since everyone warns swimmers not to get near a bull sea lion.  When we approached we did not see many sea lions in the water as they seemed to be sunning themselves on the rocks.  We decided that I should wear a life jacket to keep me afloat rather than our float cushions just to be safe.  Well, as I snorkeled near I saw many fish and no sea lions and tried to get closer.  I then saw on each different islet one huge bull so was very nervous about this.  I saw many beautiful fish and this I would say was the best snorkeling yet.  Every sea lion interaction from the first to the last, only about four of them, I held my breath and hoped that they would not attack.  They were flowing and beautiful, I wished I spent longer there with them but the family was waiting and I was nervous being all alone.  Plus a large bull on a rock was barking continuously at me which was somewhat unnerving. 

Approaching Los Islotes
Kevin watching Kathy swimming with the sea lions
Some of the beautiful fish
Kathy snorkeling with sea lions.  Notice all of them on the rocks.
Kathy's view of the sea lions.  She took this picture.
and another

video of the sea lions from Kathy's point of view

May 18, 2015 - Caleta Partida

We just can’t seem to get enough of this place although this stop was mainly because we did not want to go further north on this day since we left La Paz at 1pm (a late start for us, due to swimming with the whale sharks).  The two other kid boats were headed north as well so we expect to see them again.  We ended up ahead of the vessels and were happy that they decided to come into the same bay as us.  So there was a kid movie night on our boat for all 6 of them.  Not much else for this posting since we arrived late in the afternoon and left early the next morning.  Although nice and beautiful we had seen enough of this anchorage for a while.

s/v Pesto arriving in Caleta Partida
Followed later by the aririval of s/v Coastal Drifter.  Raquel took this voyage with them.

May 18, 2015 - La Paz Whale Shark excursion

Before we left La Paz we had heard that you should swim with the whale sharks.  Well, we can say for sure it is a humbling experience.  We hired a panga and driver to take us out there which turned out to be the best move as they find them and then stay with them allowing you to slide out of the panga and swim along with them.  The panga driver then picks you up, moves the boat to them once again, drop you and repeat this experience.  First time out we all were mesmerized at the size.  Also, they let us off in front of the shark and this basically bus sized fish just swims toward you not paying attention to the humans, peons, that are near it.   It was difficult to stay with them, they seem to not notice us humans and continue their journey.  Some of our drops were right in front and we had the thought of them swallowing us up, they are HUGE!   I could hear Cindy scream a few times and try to swim off to the side to avoid it but in reality it really did not seem to notice us and may have been further than we thought.  Great time but difficult photos and video so we are adding a photo or two from the internet and some information Cindy has found out about them.  If you go to La Paz, definitely do this!

Picture we took of a whale shark
Another whale shark picture from us
A picture from the internet since ours do not do it justice.  
Heading back to La Paz

Information on these creatures from the internet:
Whale sharks - the largest fish in the ocean and return every winter to the waters of the Bay of La Paz. Swimming with these gentle giants can be the perfect end to a dive trip or island outing.
From early winter until late spring the whale sharks can be found feeding in the rich waters of the Sea of Cortez and in the Bay of La Paz in Baja California Sur. The gentle giants of the sea are the largest fish in the world and each season return to the waters close to the city of La Paz. Seeing these ocean behemoths in their natural environment or swimming close to these fish can be an exciting outing for young and old. Island tour boats that visit the Isla Espiritu Santos or the sea lion colony at Los Islotes often close the trip with a whale shark encounter.
whale sharks in the Sea of CortezWhale sharks are fish, not air breathing mammals, as they come from the family of the second part of their name, sharks and the Rhincodon genus. These giant filter feeding fish known scientifically as Rhincodon typus eat amongst the smallest creatures in the ocean , plankton. Moving slowly through the water, filtering thousands of gallons per day, these fish glean their nutrients from the rich winter waters of the Sea of Cortez.
Whale shark encounterWhale sharks are the largest known species of fish, growing to 12.5 meters and can weigh as much as 79,000 pounds. The whale sharks here in La Paz are often 7-10 meters in length. The fish can live as much as 70 years. The species originated about 60 million years ago. Whale sharks have very large mouths, they feed mainly, though not exclusively, on plankton, microscopic plants and animals, and occasionally on small fish.
whale shark in Bay of La PAzOnce plentiful in the waters of the worlds oceans, the whale sharks are an endangered species and protected under international and Mexican law. They are not good eating.