New Places, New Faces - Prairie SeaShell Sea Stories
While we were waiting for the right weather to head north to San Carlos, we decided to take in a "gringo" tour. We went with Jeff & Janie of s/v Adagio on a bus trip to Copala & Concordia, a nice trip up into the mountains, lots of shopping stops along the way, and lunch was included at one of the restaurants.
Unfortunately, the all inclusive lunch wasn't wonderful, Don, Jeff & Janie were all sick the next day. We learned our lesson, stay away from the tourist traps!
First time we have seen poinsetta growing, although we have been told it is considered a weed here in Mexico, much like our dandelions
We watched a local artisan making ceramic tiles
I got to sample some freshly made bread & cakes from the local panaderia. One of the few things Don misses because of his Celiac Disease.
The cathedral in Concordia, unfortunately it has taken me so long to get this chapter done, that I have forgotton the name and age of this church. It was however, architecurally spectacular!
A very old tractor and some very impressive cactus
Looking back at the restaurant where we had lunch, with the abandoned gold mines in the background
Once again, it was time to bid farewell to Mazatlan, we headed up the Sea of Cortez, first stop, one of our favorite places, Aqua Verde.
We left Mazatlan around 7 A.M., on Sunday, April 6th, calm seas all day & night. We spoke to Jeff & Janie around 7 A.M. the following day.
They were at the entrance of Altata waiting for the fog to clear, however, we didn't encounter fog until a little later in the morning.
We did see lots of dolphins jumping straight out of the water, almost like a whale breaching. Calm seas again, we were making good time at about 6 kn.
On route to Aqua Verda
Sunrise at Aqua Verda
Problem arose around 10 am on Tuesday morning, the alternator belt broke because the shunt fell apart. Repairs were done within the hour and we anchored at Aqua Verde around 4pm, just in time for a swim to cool off, air temp around 100 degrees F, but water only about 72 degrees, and still no visibility.
On Wednesday morning, we moved to the other side of the bay to get out of the wind that had piped up. Even though the wind had howled at 4 am, there are no swells here, so it was noisy, but still comfortable.
Also, there is no dew in the morning, we are definitely back in the desert, humidity read only 28% instead of 85 - 95%. There are, however, some pesky little flies that like to hang around in the heat of the day, they don't bite, but like to fly into your eyes & ears ... Ugh!
Both evenings here we had company via panga. A couple selling necklaces, who also took our garbage, and then a boat load of kids looking for candy, and maybe to practice their English. They counted for us in English, but only the Dad tried to talk to us. Too bad the diving is still not good here, I think this is a place that we could get to know the local people and maybe volunteer at the school, etc.
We left Aqua Verde before 9 A.M. and headed towards Escondido. Seas fairly calm in the morning, wind on the nose started to pick up in the afternoon.
We had a big school of white sided dolphins along side of us just as we approached Los Candeleros (The Candlesticks), then it took us several tries to anchor at the Waiting Room in Escondido. It is very deep (about 60ft) very crowded, and very windy.
Main Street Escondido-not too much traffic - I could drive here!!
Condo complex in Escondido. A developer had some great plans many years ago, however, it was never completed and now reminds me a a ghost town
We did go ashore very briefly to see if the mooring balls looked like a better possibility for anchoring. Very strange place, almost like a ghost town. Roads, sidewalks, street lights are all present, but no town, no tiendas, etc. The Pemex station and the guard shack are staffed, but everything else appears to be deserted. Not sure what the guards are guarding?
Sea Bird at Escondido. We shared the anchorage with this National Geographic vessel.
A big National Geographic boat, "Sea Bird" has pulled in at what appears to be a Navy Dock.
On our way back to PSS, we stopped in at s/v Philosea who pulled in here about the same time as us. They told us that the Marina project here was started about 15 - 20 yrs ago, but never got completed.
Singular (the Gov't run marina agency) moved in a few years ago, they have a travel lift and tons of boat stand, but are lacking on services. Maybe some day they will become another San Carlos.
We also stopped in to say hello to s/v Angelos, a Canadian boat who have been here for several years. After Don did a fuel run with Kip from s/v Angelos, we cleaned up and met with Barb & Craig from s/v Philosea and went to pay for our anchorage.
We went for a walk to the Tripui Hotel for lunch, and during our conversations, discovered we had met Barb at the English school in LaPaz.
Trailer Park at Tripui. Very upscale trailer was built after the old one with palm frond roofs was destroyed by fire. Now the enclosures are all cement.
We walked thru the very upscale trailer park at Tripui, these trailers aren't just under a thatched roof palapa like at Bahia Conception, but instead they have a cement house built around them.
The first night we were anchored here, the wind died right down at night, it was beautifully calm ... boy, did we pay for that luxury the next night! The wind howled all night, and well into the morning, not exactly what you want when you are anchored in a crowded bay in 60 ft. of water.
I made some cookies to try to take my mind off the wind, and by late afternoon, it was calm enough to go to shore, get rid of garbage, and pick up a new book at the very deserted cruisers library --- I'm sure some of the books have been there for 20 years.
If the weather is right, we may head off in the morning. However, the morning weather report was for north wind all day today, but should be east by tomorrow, so we will stay put and attend the brunch at the Hidden Port Yacht Club (very appropriate name) and then try to catch a bus into Loretto.
Shopping Promenade in Loretto.
We waited at the edge of the highway for about 25 minutes, but still no bus, so when a girl from Alamo Rent-A-Car offered us a ride, we gladly accepted. Her office was right down the street from the cathedral and main square, so we did a little shopping for birthday presents and had lunch at a restaurant on the water front. Glad we didn't leave today - still lots of white caps out there.
Got to the bus depot around 4:00 hoping to take the 5:00 bus, which didn't happen until 6:00. Was a rather long wait, but had 2 year old Luis, who was waiting for the bus with his mum to entertain us for a bit.
Town Hall in Loretto. Loretto had once been the Capital of all of the Californias, now it is a quaint little tourist town.
Bell Tower in Loretto.
We left Escondido under the moon light around 12:30, calm seas, and a visits from lots of dolphins. Anchored for the night at Punto Domingo, then headed into El Burro Cove in Bahia Conception in the morning.
Saw Tom & Ruth (our friends from Canmore) leaving in their dingy just as we arrived, so, stopped into say Hi to Geary (the Sonrisa Net Guru) and check internet.
After breakfast the next day, went for a swim. Should have taken tanks. Saw huge angel fish, lots of sand rays, and the seaweed grows like huge cedar trees, creating an underwater forest - kind of surreal!
Tom & Ruth came over for a drink in the afternoon and we arranged to go to Loretto with them tomorrow. Had another calm night, and left for Loretto around 9:30 enjoying the scenery and the company, along the way.
Lots & lots of really big cordone cactus. We treated ourselves to lunch, found the tortilleria, a cappuccino shop, and the bookstore before heading back to El Burro. We had supper at Bertha's Restaurant, and watched the sun set!
We got an early start in the morning, wanted to reach Punta Chivato before the afternoon winds pick up. Arrived just in time, and were greeted by a sea lion and some dolphins.
Shelling wasn't as good this year as last, it appears there are more homes on the beach, so more people collecting and more ATV's driving over the shells. This is our last stop for this season, we will cross over the Sea during the night and should be in San Carlos by mid day.
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