Saturday, April 30, 2016

April 19, 2016 - Punta Salinas

We left the anchorage in La Paz at about 6:45AM in order to get to the Marina Palmira fuel dock to purchase 600 liters of diesel.  This should last us for the next month while in Mexico, as well as give us enough fuel to bring the boat back to La Conner from Victoria British Columbia.  Fuel prices are better here than last year but still exceed USA pricing.  Marina Palmira charges a “docking fee” where you pay an extra charge per liter just for the privileged of tying up to the fuel dock.  Plus there is a nice 18% Mexican tax on top of it all, so we are minimizing our fuel purchases in Mexico.  The fuel pricing is government regulated though so nice that we know we do not need to research and try to find the cheapest location.  We have heard that some fuel docks don't charge the docking fee while others do.  We are not sure how this works throughout Mexico.  The Marina De La Paz fuel dock is closed this season, and the Marina Costa Baja fuel dock is out of commission to pleasure craft for 3-4 days while a mega-yacht refuels.  Marina Palmira was our only remaining option.  We will do a little research back home to find the cheapest diesel and then fill Adagio's 4 fuel tanks.  This will take us to Alaska and back with plenty to spare.  In fact we may not need to visit a fuel dock again until 2017.

We were fueled and underway at 8am leaving the La Paz basin northward for a month.  There is a women’s sailing group out right now so we expect that Isla San Francisco would need to be passed by.  60+ women have gathered in La Paz for the "women who sail" group and they have chartered a fleet of boats for a week of sailing.  We were correct about Isla San Francisco (or so we believe) as there were about 15 sailboats in there and more appeared headed that direction.  So we decided to go a bit further north and anchor at Bahia Salinas across from San Evaristo.  A bit of a long day, arriving at 4pm or so.  As dusk was approaching we noticed the water was suddenly filled with something strange.  The surface was covered with little jelly-like creatures that gave the water's surface a texture similar to a slurpee.  We were not sure if this was a jellyfish or what so we collected some in a bowl to get a closer look.  Later a friend told us he thought we saw what is called “string of pearls.”  We have not found much good information about this creature, but the surface of the water was thick with them as far as we could see.  Tens of thousands of them, if not more.  

A bowl full of "String of Pearls"

Surface of the sea filled with these creatures.  (Picture a bit blurry - Sorry)

An interesting little fish we caught at the same time

There we also a lot of these eyeball-like jellyfish.  We have not found any
information about these yet.
video
Video of the creatures that surrounded Adagio

A little info we found on a Mexico Scuba/Snorkel info site:
Agua Malas (bad water) are also known as String of Pearls and are so small they are virtually invisible. They affect the skin with an alkaline agent and sting like nettles or a bunch of little mosquito bites. Usually found in turbid waters, these single celled organisms drift with the currents. A very effective preventative measure is a dive skin or even a t-shirt. The effects are just annoying and last only a few hours. If you find string of pearls, the only solution is to move to a different swimming area. Wash the affected area with white vinegar can be helpful, but usually the skin irritation disappears within a few hours.

The night was flat calm until about 4:30am when the rocking began, waves but no wind.  Steve and I realized we would not sleep so why not start heading north again, a 5 hour run, to Los Gatos.  The water was still filled with these "string of pearls" creatures so we knew we would not be swimming or snorkeling here.  We decided to pull anchor and depart in the dark.  As we got out in the channel to head north we saw a sailing vessel also heading north.  They were slightly ahead of us but traveling a bit slower.  We remained in sight of them for the rest of the transit, although they slipped further and further behind us with every hour.   More on that sailboat in the next blog entry……………

Panga fisherman getting an early start on their day

Sunrise while underway

s/v Terrapin passing the very tiny fishing village of Nopolo.
It's hard to see, but it is just in front of their boat.

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