Friday, May 5, 2017

En Route to Santa Rosalia: Fishing Coyotes, Birds, Whales, Bees and Beach Yoga Challenges

We just weighed anchor and departed Bahia San Francisquito for our overnight passage back to Santa Rosalia.

I apologize for all the typos in my last blog; I forgot to proofread before I pressed "send" and there is no way for me to edit a post via satellite after I've sent it.

So, first, back to Puerto Don Juan. I forgot to mention something interesting that happened while we were digging up clams there on Sunday. We had noticed a couple of coyotes on the beach that morning and figured when we approached with the dinghy they would run away. They didn't. One continued to scrounge around the beach looking for scraps to eat. The other coyote joined us in the shallow water, not 100 yards away, to try his luck at fishing. She would stand in the shallows and wait for a fish to swim by and then pounce on it and try to catch it in her mouth. When that didn't work, she decided to sit on the rocks just above the water and wait out of sight of the fish. The coyote never caught anything, but tried hard and it was nice having animal company nearby and fun to watch.

Then, back at Punta El Pescador on Tuesday, Renee had another close animal encounter when she beached her kayak to explore the little islet in the anchorage. It was nesting season for seagulls and they weren't at all happy with Renee stomping around among their young. They swooped at her very aggressively and chased her off the island, a scene right out of Alfred Hitchcock's movie.

On the way to Bahia San Francisquito yesterday, we saw two whales, one of which passed directly under the boat as it swam to wherever it was going. I'm not sure what type of whale it was; it had a small dorsal fin on it's back half, which would make it either a Fin Whale or a Bryde's Whale. The two look pretty similar in the pictures I have, but I'll go with it being a Bryde's because it was smaller and our whale guide says the Bryde's is a "common visitor" and the Fin is an "occasional visitor", although I've heard people say Fins are commonly seen here. I admit to having limited talent in identifying wild plants and animals, but I'm trying to improve.

We took the dinghy to the beach late yesterday afternoon. Renee explored while I did beach yoga. Beach yoga can be interesting. The firmness of the sand affects how well you balance, sometimes making it easier, often making it harder. If there is any slope to the beach, I've learned that facing uphill works best. One pose that I do involves standing with your legs spread wide apart and then bending forward and down from your waist, grabbing your ankles and then trying to pull your head to touch the ground between your legs. The first time I did this on the beach I was amazed that my head actually touched the ground; I'd never been able to do that before. Then I noticed that my feet had sunk at least six inches down into the sand. A great yoga cheat to remember.

At this beach the sand was pretty firm and level, but I encountered two challenges. One were bees (more about them to follow), for which my sweat was apparently the bee equivalent of sipping a chilled Pinot Grigio on the beach. I kept track of where the bees were but managed to ignore them buzzing and landing on me for the most point. Chalk one up to yoga focus. The other challenge was more gruesome. I did my yoga routine facing the beautiful water of the bay, often focusing on a rock at the water's edge to help with my balance. An interesting red "rock" in front of me caught my interest until I realized it was actually a headless, disemboweled duck. Quite disgusting and not good yoga karma. I shifted five yards down the beach to get away from it. Two poses later, it had drifted in front of me again. I spent the entire standing series of poses moving up and down the beach to get away from the duck corpse. I am not going to try and interpret any cosmic meaning to this even
t; it could only be horrible.

Getting back to the bees: We've been invaded by bees on four different occasions while at anchor. Right after we drop anchor, one or two bees appear and scout out the boat. They inevitably find small sources of fresh water, despite our attempts to cover containers and wipe up drops and spills. They must fly back to their hive and announce their discovery, as within fifteen minutes there are literally hundreds of bees all over the boat, some finding water, others crawling around thinking that they have. They force us into the cabin and buzz around for hours. It's like living next to a bee hive. They disappear when the sun goes down and then return again at dawn to drink up the dew on the boat. They are Latin American bees so they also go away in the mid afternoon to take a siesta.

Despite the bees being a buzzy nuisance, I've grown sort of fond of them. They live in an awfully dry desert. They must be thirsty all the time. I imagine when a bright white boat arrives, smelling of fresh water it just shouts our "Party time!" to the bees. They crowd onto the boat, making it look like a bee's college Spring Break cruise, with crowds of them lounging around the pool, or what they see as being like a pool, having a great time. The ones that do find freshwater seem to get drunk on it, too, eventually struggling not to drown themselves in whatever puddle or container from which they imbibe. Just like college students.

So, as we continue to head south you may be asking "What's next?" Well, first we rendezvous with my son Luther who will be flying into Loreto from Vancouver and taking the three hour bus ride north from there to Santa Rosalia to meet us. We'll spend the next week sailing south to Puerto Escondido, introducing Luther to the Sea of Cortez and various anchorages along the way. Then, when we arrive in Puerto Escondido, we'll spend the next week preparing the boat for dry storage and haul out on Wednesday, May 17, the official end of The Voyage. On the 19th we all head to New York City to attend my daughter Hannah's graduation from NYU on the 22nd.

Then I head back to California to....???