We spent 2 days in Ensenda, clearing in on the first day (3 hours of 'streamlined' efficiency) and visiting a museum and a festival on the second. We stayed at Sergio's marina for a very reasonable 10 dollars a night (negotiated from 20). We had supper with our friends from Butukia, Francis and Beth, enjoying cactus tortillas at their lovely house, which overlooks the harbour.
Our next stop was Isla San Martin, where we spent 2 days, climbed the volcanic hills, and chatted with fishermen who were harvesting Sargaso (seaweed) and sea urchins (see pictures). The views from the crater rim were quite fine and the anchorage is well sheltered from the strong southerly winds we experienced. Some pictures follow:
Elephant seals lazing on the lagoon at Isla San Martin
Chris with his cactus pal - he ended up with a number of
spines in his foot from similar plants.
Rani and Chris on the top of the extinct volcano
Rani standing on a lava flow.
Curious elephant seals - they followed us around the lagoon
The next day we sailed south, but llight winds and an evil spinnaker wrap saw us stop only
Early in the second night, the wind swung to the south west giving us a some shelter from the nearby rocks and beach. However the boat now lay side on to a huge swell and was thrown on her side at one point. The outboard motor sheer plate was torn away and the motor began to swing freely on its mount. I must admit that I was only truly worried during one particularly nasty squall when the rain felt like nails and the tops of the waves were coming apart and blowing in wraiths of spume across the troughs. It seemed amazing that our anchor could remain dug in during such violence.
Rani however was terrified. She told me later that this was the most frightening experience of her life (and she has had quite a few that I would have thought would top it!). The lightning storm on the 2nd night was the last straw for her and she made ready a 'ditch bag' and got out the life jackets in case we had to swim for it. Rani spent a lot of time staring out the windows at approaching waves and worrying about me out on the foredeck adjusting the anchoring tackle. To her credit, she is still on board the boat although she did tell me that maybe this sailing thing is not her cup of tea. I replied that everyone feels that way after their first storm at sea, but I don't think I convinced her :)
After the storm, we sailed south, staying in radio contact with Ali Baba, a
In Turtle Bay we met Tim and Sue of Ali Baba in person and will have a potluck dinner with them tonight. We plan to spend a couple of days relaxing here before our next leg to Magdelena Bay where we will most likely celebrate Christmas. We hope to get in some hiking and whale watching (the grey whales calve in nearby bays).