Watch out for those Fingers and Toes!

Two weeks have flown by since the family left and Mitzie and Charley hosted Gail and Paul Wesling and then Diane and Bryan Hartsell. We went out to the islands twice and spent the rest of our time in La Paz. We love having friends come visit and introducing them to this part of Mexico. Editors note and apology: the Captain was lame and forgot to take pictures when the Weslings were here so no pics of the Weslings.

We experienced a couple nights of Coromels when anchored out. A Coromel is not a brand of Mexican beer, but rather a southwest wind that can blow quite hard at night. The catch is that all of the anchorages are exposed to the south west which make them lee shores when the Coromels blow. Waves have a long “fetch” over which to build so it feels like you are motoring into waves when you are anchored. If the anchor drags then Snug Harbor gets smashed to pieces on those glorious rock walls surrounding the anchorage.

  
The Captain’s strategy for coping with the Coromels was to invest a few years ago in a very large anchor and chain and to wear ear plugs to drown out wind shrieking in the rigging. It also helps to have a strong stomach.

Last week Mitzie learned personally how dangerous Mexico can be. First she took a misstep in the cockpit and jammed one of her toes. The captain graciously declined to point out to the Admiral his past advice to wear shoes on the boat as a survival strategy for one’s toes. After a few days gymping around the Admiral recovered only to slice her thumb in the galley. The boat lurched to port and the knife lurched to starbord while the Admiral was making us all lunch. The coup de gras came when the Captain and Admiral were horsing around and her little finger found its way into the door jamb when the Captain was shutting the stateroom door! Ouch! And you probably thought the most dangerous thing in Mexico was drug lords!

Puffer fish like to hang around our boat when we are anchored out. I took this picture looking over the side of the boat.

  
We took a hike, actually a boulder climb, from a beach at Ensenada Grande. 

  
In addition to lots of cactus we saw a good sized lizard.

  

Another new thing we first saw, and felt, when swimming at Ensenada Grande was that the water was loaded up with millions of tiny eggs, some in strings, all with black dots in the center.  We never figured out what they were. Yuch!

  
We also checked out Los Isoletes which is an offshore island that is known for its sea lion rookery. 

  
A popular activity in La Paz is to take a speedboat for the 25 mile trip to Los Isoletes and to swim with the sea lions. The Admiral and the Captain did it a few years ago and it was a gas.

  
 Watching the sun go down on the Malecon on my last night with Mitzie and Diane and Bryan Hartsell. 
Everyone left for the States on Friday morning and Charley had a couple days by himself before Mike Pernitzke and Chris James arrive Sunday evening. Charley took the opportunity to deal with a large window in the salon that that was leaking onto the nav station. The caulk that holds the window in place failed after 15 years and the window was getting ready to fall out. Not good if you are planning on motoring 1200 miles upwind and taking a lot of green water over the bow. Getting the window out was easy. It yielded quickly under light pressure. Getting it back in was more of an ordeal, as it has to be installed with special sealer, in perfect alignment, with pressue on it for two days as it sets, but not too much so that it squeezes all the sealant out. The kayak paddles were just what was needed to keep just the right amount of pressure on.

  

Charley, Mike and Chris have two weeks scheduled to head farther north into the Sea Of Cortez. All the cruisers say you ain’t seen nuttin yet until you head north into the Sea. We will have a report when we get back.

5 thoughts on “Watch out for those Fingers and Toes!

  1. Love it! The Sea of Cortez still looks like the last unspoiled cruising grounds. Any chance you will stay in Mexico for another season? If so, count us in. We scrub boat bottoms and tell tall tales for our keep.

    • Dorothy, I would love to have you come crew on Snug Harbor. I will likely take next year off and go again the following year, provided that senility or other maladies have not set in.

      Regards,

      Charley

      >

  2. Great pictures, Charley. Poor Mitzie! I didn’t know sailing could be so dangerous! Anxious to hear about your sail north. As we were flying home I took pictures of the coast of the Sea of Cortez up to Loreto . Great memories and a wonderful time.

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