Loading Map

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Gin Clear Water

6 November 2005
Bahia Salinas, Isla Carmen

A very bad swell developed during our overnight at La Lancha. The hobby-horsing was so bad that John and I brought the dinghy up on deck at 2:30 in the morning just in case it got any worse and we had to leave in a hurry. Fortunately it didn't, but we were still underway by 7:00 AM, with SolMate following shortly after.

By 11:00 we were anchored in Bahia Salinas, which had been our original destination before we diverted to La Lancha the day before. At 4:00 PM we went in for a walk around the "ghost town." It would have been nice to have leisurely poked around the abandoned buildings which used to support a large salt evaporation pond operation, but we were attacked by biting bugs as soon as we landed our dinghies on the beach. After asking permission from the lone caretaker we made a hasty tour before John pleaded to return to the boat. Sure enough, the next day his legs were covered in bug bites, and he's been in itching agony ever since. For some reason the bugs don't seem to find me as tasty as John. We have 1% hydrocortisone ointment (advertised as maximum strength), but it doesn't give him much relief. If anyone has any suggestions (besides using bug repellent in the first place!) for treating his bites, we'd love to hear them. Is it true an antihistamine like Benedryl will help?

The next morning we went on a snorkeling expedition. There didn't seem to be much life in the big bay itself, but the water was "gin clear" and we couldn't pass up the excellent visibility. John wants to know where I got the expression "gin clear water," and I don't really know - I suppose it's something I picked up from my parents or grandparents. All I know is (and he agrees) this was the clearest water we'd seen the whole time we've been in Mexico. We picked a patch of rocks inside a point a couple of miles from the boats and lucked out with the best snorkeling of our entire year. Not a lot of big fish but a nice variety of everything else. It was just beautiful and made up for the awful trip to shore the previous day.

8 November 2005
Arroyo Blanco, Isla Carmen

On the advice of some friends we continued SE along the island and managed to cover nine and a half miles (that includes our four tacks) in four hours of sailing. It was slow but very relaxing as we listened to XM Cafe on our satellite radio (the XM station that most reminds me of KFOG back in San Francisco). This spot is not a protected anchorage, but in the calm conditions we set our hook and waited for SolMate to arrive so we could take the short hike up the arroyo. The rock formations were fascinating and we're very glad we made the stop.

9 November 2005
Candeleros Chico, Baja

This morning we snorkeled with the largest school (thousands) of bait fish I've ever seen. I'm sure the almost 60 pelicans I counted on the cliffs above were happy to see us leave. After lunch we sailed past the southern end of Isla Carmen and back over to the Baja. We were enjoying a nice leisurely spinnaker sail until we spotted another sailboat making a beeline for the same one-boat anchorage as us - only they were motoring! We immediately doused the spinnaker and started the engine, but the little trailer sailor beat us in. There was no place else to go before sunset so we picked out a corner and set a stern anchor to keep out of their way. We'll probably head to Agua Verde after another snorkel tomorrow so it doesn't really matter that much. Oh, and we saw two coyotes going about their business on the beach at sunset tonight!

Linda and John