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Thursday, June 28, 2007

La Ramada

28 June 2007

Things I'd rather be doing instead of composing this blog: walking on the white sand beach looking at shells; reading my latest good book, "Barometer Rising" by Hugh MacLennan; snorkeling and swimming in the aquamarine swimming pool we call an anchorage, and looking for the school of 15 golden rays residing here; hiking to San Juanico bay over the small hills to the south; listening to the two morning nets to find out where our friends are; or working a crossword puzzle with John. Things I've had to do instead of writing a blog: vacuum the boat (the first time this summer that the heat and humidity were so high I had to wipe up the sweat dripping from my chin and elbows as I went along); clean out the cockpit for company (where does all that sand come from?); get outboard parts out of long term storage for various repairs John had to make; and make the morning coffee and lunches, and wash the breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes. Okay, so there's not all that much to the latter list!

We've bounced from La Ramada to Punta San Antonio (just north of Punta Pulpito) and back south here to La Ramada, one of our favorites. The boats already up in Bahia Concepcion are reporting cabin temps in the mid-90s and water temps from the mid-80s to the low-90s, depending on depth. If that keeps up, we will most likely not go to El Burro Cove for the Fourth unless it's by rental car from Mulege! So we're taking our time and enjoying the places we like best for as long as the weather cooperates.

We've been a bit dismayed by signs of development in both the San Juanico and Punta Pulpito areas. New dirt roads have scarred both landscapes, heavy equipment and a construction trailer have sprung out of nowhere, and Pulpito is sporting an expensive looking and perfectly straight (great surveying job), three strand, barbed wire fence, protecting what looks like a dirt air strip in progress. The latter runs from the beach up an incline to the west which means the prevailing north-south winds blow at right angles to the air strip. That should make for interesting landings - up a hill in a cross wind. I guess the takeoffs would be downhill, except that if you didn't get lift off in time, you'd end up flying off the bluff into the sea. Kewl!

The fancy fence prevented us from hiking to Punta Pulpito, but the cleared area next to it made for a nice path out to the SE edge of Punta San Antonio where we could turn west along the bluffs back to the beach. There were a couple of interesting veins of quartz and some other crystallized rock along the way and, because it was Saturday, there was no one around to chase us off if they would have been so inclined. It was interesting to us that unfenced San Juanico had a few "Propiedad Privada" signs posted on the new dirt roads, while at Punta Pulpito the fence was the message. During the week at San Antonio clouds of floury dirt were created by the industrious work of a dump truck, a bucket loader, and a grader. The workers drove their pickup trucks to and from the work site along the pristine white sand beach of the anchorage. Curious that an airstrip would take priority over a proper road out to the site.

We returned to La Ramada and found that the annual squid mate and die event had arrived. There were at least 100 dead squid (1-2') in the shallow water by the rocky berm. They haven't stunk up the anchorage because they're not up on the beach, and the gulls and rays have had a feast. One night we could even hear what must have been a new batch of squid dying in the shallows of the far corner. As they sucked air they made a racket of gassy sounds which was quite unique and entertaining in spite of the somber finale.

Monday night we watched a bright object move across the sky at a rapid clip before fading into a red dot and disappearing. Tuesday night at about the same time but in a different part of the sky we saw the same, Venus sized object pass by again. Wednesday we put the word out on the net and were informed by another boat that it was the International Space Station. We looked for it again last night at the same time and saw something only half as bright pass overhead west to east. Definitely an event we would have missed had we not been sitting outside enjoying the cool of the evening.

As many of you know I collect shells, and am especially enamored of very small ones. I check them carefully to make sure there's no animal living in them but I've occasionally been surprised by a tickling in my palm when I'm holding shells in a loose fist and a hermit crab decides he wants off this ride. The other day I brought some home in the little container I carry and I forgot to wash them in fresh water until the next morning. I laid them carefully on a galley sponge to dry, and we went for a hike. We walked over to San Juanico and got to watch sting rays munching on dead squid in one foot of water, which was pretty interesting. When we got back to the boat I went down the companionway steps into the galley, squealed, and then burst out laughing as I tried to tell John that one of my shells was walking around on the counter top. John was kind enough to run the little guy back to the shallow part of the beach where I found him.

And now my "homework" is done, and it's finally time for a swim!

Linda and John