After checking in at the small island of Cedros, we kept our cold weather clothes on and headed south, hoping for the butter to melt.
First stop Asuncion, then down to Abreojos (open your eyes!) so we could be close to San Ignacio. SI has a huge lagoon and has been declared a world heritage site as it is one of the primary loactions for whales to breed and raise their youngsters. What is special is that you can pay a company to take you out and get up close and personal. This has been a bucket list item for me for as long as I can remember and although we were a bit late to the party, the stragglers, about 80 of them according to the researchers, were still in the lagoon. Plenty in my book. And weeks later they would all be gone. It’s a small window and we fit in. Whew!
The crazy part of this was we had no idea how to get there. No entry for boats, it’s protected and to go by land seemed to be the only option. Turns out we could have anchored closer and called on the radio for a pick up. But the experience of getting there was eventful so no regrets.
After dragging our dighy up the beach between fishing pangas, we walked into the tiny town looking for answers. Eric spotted a police car so we asked the officer how we get to the whales. He took me in his car to find a man who spoke better English. Eric went back to keep the dinghy from washing away as the tide was rising. Ramon took me to William, and he offered to drive us there the following day, Turns out he was the police chief! He borrowed his dad’s car, and we met at 8 AM for a 2 hour drive. Along the way he spoke about the land, the history of his family, where the heirogliphs are, how the Indians walked from the mountains to the bay to get fish and back for water, and we watched coyotes run through the shrubs.
After that 2 hour drive, we checked in at San Ignacio, bought our passes and invited Willy to join us. We had our own private boat since we were late in the season. Cool.
It’s a 30 mintue ride out to the whales and then you get 1.5 hours before heading back. Our captain found a pair and we followed them almost the entire time. The baby was shy and the mom pushed it up to us. It kept spy hopping and checking us out. Sometimes you find whales who want to be scratched, and sometimes the babies are braver than this one. But I wasn’t disappointed. It was very special. And I did get to touch it once when it finally ventured close enough. Very soft. And even though it was only 2 months old, it already had scars from the scallops on the sea floor. Grey whales have all kinds of markings on them. Up close it’s amazing how many marks they have so it must be easy to identify them if you are a researcher keeping track.
The next day we sailed south to San Juanico, AKA Scoprion Bay where the longrst rides can be found on surf boards. This year we have all the toys. SUP’s, surfboards, Windsurfers, kites, wings, and a foilingboard.
Good thing we have a cat! Most of the toys are stored on the trampoline and there’s still room to lay down up there.
Visited with our friends who migrated from the USA,
and a boat came in with more friends who were delivering a yacht back from the Newport to Cabo race. Also ran into another friends who was with DC on Stars and Stripes and America One. Pretty cool to catch up in a small remote village! We love it here and the local fishermen love us. Juan here got his promised El Gato conch shell and is learning to blow.
From Scorpion we went to Santa Maria, 60 miles, and then a long sail, 450 miles to Banderas Bay. We had good wind until passing Cabo and then it was all motoring. One night we were enjoying dinner and the boat caught a wave and took off, rumbling as the wave was breaking under the belly of the cat, and it was loud and scary! We jumped up, ran outside, and rolled in one of the sails. Then we were going 9 knots instead of 15. Safer and more comfortable.
Punta Mita has some good surf and a few friends live there so we checked in and enjoyed food ashore, a long bike ride to Sayulita, and some lively dinner parties on El Gato.
Next stop was La Cruz and this time we opted to stay at a marina. Much easier to get anything done and the bonus is we can use out bikes, shower on land, and be independent in our chores and what not.
We had one excursion up to San Sebastion with friend and fellow San Diego sailor Chris Armstrong. He rented a car for a month and knew the way so we experienced all the coolest things like a tequilaria (think wine tasting style) and missions etc. Stayed in a beaufiful villa that had 6 rooms and a fantastic chef. We were spoiled.
One of the coolest places in Banderas Bay is Yelapa and we sailed there for a day trip last week. Normally we just hike up to the waterfall and this time we turned left.
Friend Brenda organized a cooking class from a local who is normally a chef. We learned to make some delicious suaces, enchiladas, and birria.
Something we had hoped we could find were rugs from Oaxaca and we did! This young woman is already an expert weaver. She was so pround to show us her skills. We bought 2 and hope to find more that will fit into El Gato’s hallways.
Back on the boat we are now preparing for our first charter in quite awhile. Liz and Ryan are repeater charterers who look forward to cruising full time someday with their kids. Here to learn, they will be sponges while Eric and I share as much info and intel as possible. All while enjoying the beautiful coastline of Mexico. We can’t wait to share it with them!