Summer in the Sea - 2008 Part 2 - Loreto to Santa Rosalia
The Doctor wasn't in the day we
visited
This sign, posted on the beach at La Lancha Cove, made us very curious. What could lie at the end of that hard-
packed dirt road? We had seen pangas arriving daily with visitors (gringo types), complete with luggage. They
would be picked up at an appointed time, hop into the back of a pickup truck and travel to their destination.
Occasionally, while waiting for the truck they would swim in the waters to cool off. John and I , along with Paul and
Kathy of s/v Tequila Rose, decided to walk the long, dusty 4 miles (each way) in 100 degree temps. from La
Lancha Cove, Isla Carmen to an Ecological Preserve on the other side of the island. It's a good thing they've
decided to preserve it now before there is nothing left! We wondered how the visitors rated their experience upon
completion....there were lots of bees and no see'im  bugs...mostly it was a pretty hostile environment for all but the
hardy. Generally the groups only spent the night and we're on their way back to  Loreto early the next morning. No
surprise there!
Isla San Marcos
A modern day gypsum mining operation
San Juanico is a special place! Some people refer to this as cruiser trash but officially this is the "Cruisers Shrine". We donated an old "Sailsoon" cap which you can see stuck
on the branches just above my head.  Photo at right shows one of the many lovely outcrops of rocks.  WE love this place..in good weather!
Our exploration was shared with good friends Kathy
and Paul (s/v Tequila Rose) and Annie (s/v V'ger)
The gypsum mine operation made it a very dusty
place. We often wondered about the residents health.
A peek at the town as we approach the mining
operation
A new playground is located dangerously close to  the
mountains of dusty gypsum
Gypsum is loaded into freighters
How many beaches have immediate access to an open
air restroom? Now this is a room with a view!
Back at anchor we were treated to "flying" manta rays. Often there were several dozen doing a "love dance" (or at
least our romantic minds imagined it to be)
A hard sand bottom with patches of weed made anchor
deployment a challenge at Puerto Viejo. After several
attempts with the Bruce we found it necessary to
deploy the Delta. We payed out 110' of chain in 12.5'
of water.
A foot bridge is
suspended between 2
large rock outcrops.
The locals dive off the
far rock into the
refreshing water.. a
long drop about 30'
off the water
Finally! The wind velocity and direction are working in
accordance with our rhumb line.
We weren't breaking any speed records but we were
making forward progress!
Just another day in Paradise!
John's chanting " I know I can, I know I
can" (and persistence)  paid off!
                                        Fun facts
Early to Mid Aug. 2008
Avg. Temps: 85 to 95F. Days, 80 to 85F. Nights (on the water)
Water temps were about 85 give or take a degree or two
Humidity hovered around 75 to 80%
Barometer was steady at 1008
Water visibility crystal clear to 30'+
Chubasco winds occurring  nightly with  lighting  visible to the east.
Santa Rosalia and the Giant Humboldt Squid
A Dockside Education
In the Central Sea we call Santa Rosalia our
 home port. We've written about it before
so you know all the nice features it offers.
But! When we stopped  to provision on
Aug. 15th. we were delighted to find a
group of scientists at the Singlar Marina.
They were in the process of studying the
Giant Humboldt Squids.  We were in the
company of a very intelligent and famous
man, Scott Cassell, who rewarded us with
information and demonstrations on these
giant swimmers. This was a very different
sort of dock party. Plus, we were able to
assist him by supplying a salt water pump
and hose to help circulate the water thus
keeping the specimen alive for the testing.
Best of all, we've included links to his
website and those of others who sing his
praise, noting some of his accomplishments.  
Go to these websites and you can read all
about it!
Thank you Scott and team for being so
giving of your time and sharing your
knowledge!
http://underseavoyager.org/index.html  
http://sharkdivers.blogspot.com/2007/12/
scott-cassell-bad-ass-squid-guy.html
http://diver.net/seahunt/fend/f_scottc.htm
Check this link to find out the next
exciting adventure Scott has planned!
Making a run to Bahia San Francisquito on the
heels of tropical storm Julio
There are times (like these) when being armchair sailors would suit us just
fine! We  enjoyed the middle sea so much this year that we dilly dallied a bit
longer than perhaps we should have. So, when forecasts for tropical storm
Julio had the potential to turn hurricane like, we had to move north. Since
Bahia de Los Angeles was further than we could comfortably go on such
short notice, we made an overnight stop at  Trinidad and moved on to Bahia
San Francisquito inner anchorage. Although not a "hurricane hole" we had
heard good stories from cruisers who'd had previous experiences there so
we were going to make the best of it. We arrived with 3 days to prepare the
boat for hurricane force winds.
The Mexican Army has a small camp here. The members live in tents along
the beach and patrol the sea in pangas in an effort to control drug trafficking.
We took some comfort  at  knowing we'd be in good hands if a hurricane
did hit. However,  they relocated elsewhere when the threat was a strong
possibility (so much for that!).
Along with preparation and multiple discussions on anchoring techniques we
did some hiking, swimming and  celebrated our wedding anniversary. We
had our good friends Annie and Casey (s/v V'Ger) and Paul and Kathy (s/v
Tequila Rose) over for a brunch that lasted most of the day. What a treat it
was! (yes, it included champagne and kalhua coffee.)! For some reason,
though, we have no photos!
Later that day the guys assisted in towing Ray and Diane of s/v Emerald Star into the harbor. They had been heading across the sea to San Carlos when their motor went out. In
a strong  negative current with big winds and even bigger seas they were making no headway.  Since they didn't feel confident that they could make the eastern shore before
Julio hit, they changed course and headed towards our location. By using the SSB and VHF radios we were all able to pass along updated weather info and local conditions.
Upon approach to the outer anchorage the boys readied themselves and the dinghies to give them a tow through the shallow, narrow channel that separates the inner and outer
anchorage...........
We started to feel the effects of Julio a few hours later. Winds built and it rained very hard for 2 days. Fortunately we all were
spared any serious issues. The anchorage was generally comfortable with very little swell. Not so fortunate were the folks in the
Loreto area, where Julio left mass destruction to land, roads and buildings!
Not sure you'd want to sit on this "throne"
Use what you have, right?
A bit of pushing....
......and pulling....
...and before you know it, the anchor is down!
What happened next is anyone's guess. The Three Stooges comes to mind.....perhaps it was a man overboard
drill?
"Say please, Casey" says John who clearly has
the upper hand!
Mission accomplished! These guys are real heroes! Take a bow, boys! John (l), Paul (c) and Casey (r) save the day!
This bird sat perched on this cactus
through wind and heavy rains for the
duration of Julio (about 24 hours)
The skies darken as Julio approaches
s/v Emerald Star sits comfortably at anchor just a few  hours
before the storm
And rain it certainly did! Once the deck had a
good washing we were able to fill up both of
our fresh water tanks (40 gals), our solar
shower bags and a couple of buckets!
Unfortunately our dinghy was strapped upside
down on deck.. Otherwise, we could have
filled it and had a nice bathtub! When the first
rains started it was just after midnight. John
invited me out to the cockpit for a shower at 2
in the morning but I declined. Can I say it was
too cold? Well, it was! And that's my final
statement. : )