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Saturday, November 05, 2005

Moving Along

26-29 October 2005
Santa Rosalia

Had a really busy time in Santa Rosalia - well, I did, while John mostly tried to stay off his feet for his cut to finish healing. I made multiple trips to various mercados. I like Santa Rosalia except for two things. The dirt is worse there than anywhere else we've been so far. I always get back to the boat with gritty eyes and a layer of dust on my skin. It didn't help that they were tearing up the street right out in front of the marina. The other challenge is trying to find everything you might want to buy. There are several small mercados and it seems as though they all carry different items. So it pays to stop in each one and scan the aisles to see if they have what you need. We found #4 coffee filters for another boat just by wandering in a store we hadn't thought to try yet.

John did manage to hobble up to town for two evenings out with the gang - once for Chuyita's hot dogs and Thrifty ice cream, and once for pizza at El Muelle. He took a pass on the other major social event which turned out to be a good thing. We had heard about a Halloween show being given on the 29th. The cruiser who told us about it had only sketchy info from a poster she'd seen (all in Spanish, of course). She said something about dancing, 40 pesos a ticket, and a 9:00 PM start time at the Rotary Club. Naturally we all assumed it was a children's show being put on by women, since the poster said "damas." We all made sure we got our tickets in advance and, after leaving John to hobble back to the boat, I and three couples made our way up a steep hill to the Rotary Club. There weren't any cars in the parking lot when we got there but the Halloween decorations outside told us we were in the right place. As we approached the bottom of the steps up to the porch a woman in costume came out and explained to us that this was a dance for women only - no men allowed! Needless to say the guys were all relieved to be released back to the privacy of their boats, but we gals decided to forge ahead for the sake of a unique cultural opportunity.

The inside of the hall was decorated in traditional Halloween style with jack-o-lanterns and orange and purple (maybe black wasn't available) balloons. Aside from the ladies who were there to set up, we were the only ones there. Naturally we had arrived early in order to get good seats for the "show." There was a bar, a dance floor, and a DJ setup. We ordered drinks and stuck it out for about an hour before two in our group decided to bail. By that time the locals had started to arrive and the music started up but no one was dancing yet. Many women were in some great costumes or at least dressed all in black for the occasion. Two of us stayed for awhile longer to watch the dancing when it finally started (just normal club stuff), before the cigarette smoke and repetitious dance beat finally got to us. While it didn't turn out to be quite the experience we had imagined, it wasn't a total loss since it was a fund raiser for a local charity. Our take on the "ladies only" aspect was that they must relish the opportunity to get out for an evening of drinking, smoking, and dancing without the presence of men to inhibit them!

30 October 2005
Santa Rosalia to Isla San Marcos (19 miles)

We departed the day before a Norther was supposed to start blowing. Figured we'd be better off in a protected anchorage than the confines of the small harbor (with questionable holding). The south end of San Marcos is recommended for these conditions so we headed there with SolMate. Had a long day of trying to sail as much as possible, with lots of motoring thrown in. The anchorage is very pretty with the major drawback being that it is downwind of a gypsum mine. We never saw over 30 knots while we were there but the waves out in the channels were pretty big.

1 November 2005
Isla San Marcos to Punta Chivato (13 miles)

We will never anchor in that part of San Marcos again unless conditions are absolutely calm, and even then I think I'd pass. We were under a constant barrage of gypsum dust until I actually started to have a little dry cough. Got a coating of dust inside and out the boat and could feel it on our skin. Wiping off tables and counters didn't help since a new layer would form almost immediately. Ugh! Even though the seas were still up from the previous days of northerlies we left SolMate and headed for the protection behind Punta Chivato where we knew another boat had been riding it out. Had a bit of a wild sail in 6-8 foot seas. We've experienced similar or worse conditions but weren't prepared for it this time, so was a little too exciting. Was a relief to duck into Chivato where John took his first swim since cutting his foot.

2 November 2005
Punta Chivato to San Juanico (55 miles)

Another long day of trying to sail but mostly motoring - this one took almost 12 hours, before sunrise to almost sunset. This is one of most beautiful anchorages in Baja, which we didn't get to explore well enough when we came north because we were sitting out a big southerly. Dirt roads to hike on, beaches to walk on, and great snorkeling reefs and rocks. I could have easily stayed a few more days here.

November 5, 2005
San Juanico to La Lancha, Isla Carmen (30 miles)

Another day of light winds although we sailed the last two hours and anchored under sail. Think we may stay two nights here although we're anxious to get to Agua Verde where Milagro (and Rocky!) is after finishing their crossing from San Carlos yesterday.

We have a reservation at Marina Palmira from November 16 to December 2 where we'll do lots of boat chores and meet up with our friends, Ron and Anita, on Liberty Call II. They are doing the Baja Ha-Ha right now and Ron was the first Ha-Ha'er to check into the Sonrisa HAM net!

Linda and John