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  October 23, 2017    
 Prairie SeaShell oldSeason 1Mar de Cortez   
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Mucho Mas Mar de Cortez - Prairie SeaShell Sea Stories

 
Isla Coyote
 Isla Coyote - small fishing village on an island
Our port of call after leaving Isla San Francisco was just a short hop away, San Evaristo. On the way there, we passed a tiny little island, Isla Coyote with very neat homes and buildings. The children from this island are shuttled to and from school in San Evaristo by pangas.

We anchored in San Evaristo with two other BCA (Bluewater Cruising) boats, s/v 2 Pieces of Eight and s/v Warm Rain who stopped in for a quick visit on their way to "town".

We had a wonderful calm, quiet night here at San Evaristo, and in the morning, we heard s/v Zugunrude calling any boat in the anchorage. They were trying to determine if there was a tortillaria in "town".
 
Since we were on our way in, we stopped in to introduce ourselves, and ended up spending most of the day with them. We had a tour of their boat, an Island Packet which was one of the boats we had toured the factory of in Florida.

We dingied into town with them, walked  out to the salt flats and then to the tienda, which unfortunately was closed today as the owners had gone to La Paz. Mike talked to the lady who lived next door to the tienda, and she offered to make some tortillas for him, so of course, we had her make some for us as well.

Then we stopped off at the fishermen's hut and bought a cabrillo, (rock bass), and watched while the fisherman cleaned and filleted it for us. Mike & Cheri stopped in for a drink, then we went back to shore for our fresh made tortillas.

Baja version of HooDoos
Baja version of Hoodoos [Lynn is referring to Hoodoos in the Badlands in Drumheller, Alberta, Canada]
Our next stop along the way was to be Los Gatos, and we thought we were going to be in for a great sail today. For a few minutes, we were clipping along at about 6.5kn, the next minute, the wind died and we were motoring.

We arrived at Los Gatos, and anchored along side of s/v Scrimshaw, after a fisherman waved us off of a rocky spot. The fisherman returned shortly after we were anchored, asking to take our garbage away and to take orders for fresh fish.

We gave him our trash, and watched him take it to shore, where, I understood he was going to burn it. However, the next day, we went for a walk, and discovered where the dump was. Looks like he had been collecting for some time now, and nothing had been burned. However, the lobster we bought from him was very delicious, and I was even able to understand his cooking instructions.

We left Los Gatos, and headed to an little unnamed bay on the north tip of Isla San Juan. We could see this bay on the charts, but found it odd that neither of our cruising guides mentioned it.

When we got there, we could understand why. It really wasn't a bay at all, it was terribly misrepresented on the charts.

While we were travelling down the Canadian & US coasts, the electronic charts were so accurate you could tell when you had moved from one side of a dock to the other.

The Mexican charts however are another story. According to their charts, particularly in the Sea of Cortez, many times we have been anchored on land, or have portaged the Prairie SeaShell over land for many miles.You really do have to depend on manual navigation around here.

Aqua Verde home
Our home for five days - Aqua Verde
We arrived safe and sound in Bahia Aqua Verde after watching some huge rays jumping out of the water, about 6 feet in the air, and doing multiple somersaults before landing with a great splashing belly flop!

Many of the houses in this bay were nothing more than a shack with an outhouse out back. Some of the outhouses didn't even have real walls, they were just curtains, and yet again, the vehicles were all new and shiny.

It would seem that the vehicles took much higher priority in their lives than their homes, even though the nearest highway was almost 25 miles away.

Aqua Verde is a really large bay with three separate coves. We dingyed around to all of them to check out the snorkelling, but found it always best in the bay where we were anchored.

The grass is not always greener on the other side ... or in this case, the water is not bluer on the other side.

The angel fish are very large here, and very yellow, much different than any we had seen in Cozumel, Belize etc. Saw the biggest rainbow parrotfish ever, lots of good sized sergeant majors and something that resembled pencil fish, only darker colored, and swimming in schools.

The puffer fish here didn't line up along the anchor chain, but rather all nestled together in little indents in the sandy bottom. Saw a few varieties of fish that we had never seen on the other side of Mexico.

At one point I got into some very shallow water, with lots of little tiny fish, spotted trunk fish, little black fish with a purple and yellow stripe, some tube worms and lots of sea urchins. I'm hoping that some of the three rolls of film I took will turn out OK.

This was such a nice place that it was hard to pull up anchor. The air temperature in the cockpit hovered between 95-99 F and in the sun it was 110F.  This will certainly help to warm up the water temperature.

Baha Salinas
Bahia Salinas. Buildings and equipment just left to rot.
Next stop was Bahia Salinas on Isla Carmen. At one time, this had been a very busy place operating a huge salt refinery.

The place was abandoned now except for a few buildings that had been restored/rebuilt and it appears they are used by some Eco Tour type operation, where biologists, botanists, students etc come to study the surroundings.

Sinking in salt sludge and getting stung by a jelly fish was enough excitement for one bay ... time to move on to Caleta San Juanico. Another Canadian Yachtie hangout, of the 10 boats in the bay, 4 were Canadian.

Although it was a little rough when we anchored, the wind settled down and we had a good night sleep.

The next morning, Mother's Day, as we dingyed to shore, we watched the Mexican version of "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" a rubber dingy with wings flying overhead! Some enterprising folks were taking people on mini flights over the bay.

 

Cactus Blooms at Isla Carmen
Cactus Blooms at Isla Carmen
Salt Statues at Isla Carmen
Salt Statues at Isla Carmen

 
We had been told there was a cactus garden close by, however, we never did find the "garden" so to speak, but certainly did find some huge cactus, some of them starting to bloom. There were also more remains of a once thriving town here ... many piles of rusty tin cans and old jars and bottles.
 
We went for a long walk along the edge of the salt flats, a fairly easy walk along what was at one time a landing strip for small planes. Looking out at the salt flats, you would almost think you were looking at little ice bergs, however not likely, the temperature was over 90F.
 
Trying to get a close up picture of the salt statues, I strayed a little too far off the path, and found myself knee deep in salt sludge.  I think I now know what it would be like to be stuck in quick sand !!!
 
We continued our day with a hike across the peninsula where we saw lots of little sand colored geckos, some cute grey & black chipmunks, and a road runner.

After lunch we went for a swim and saw an octopus, out in full view, being harassed by some small angel fish. He stayed with us for quite some time, I could have had some great pictures ... if I had remembered to put film in the camera!

The water is starting to warm up, and we have seen some new varieties of fish, but unfortunately with the warmer water, comes reduced visibility for a while. Sure wish it would hurry up so we can do some real diving.

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