We leave San Carlos tomorrow to sail across the Sea of Cortez for Santa Rosalia (about 1/2 way up the inside of the Baja peninsula). Our time here has been divided between boat projects and a some hiking, partying, and sailing.
We attended the local Carnival parade last week. Floats and dancers of all ages. Lots of Tecate beer but very few staggering drunks - more of a family affair. See pictures below:
Rani, Cheryl, and Frank enjoying the Carnival parade. Cheryl and Frank have been great friends here in San Carlos, sharing their floating home (Serendipity - a Hans Christian 38) with us and going out on hikes and sails, too.
Pirates were popular this year.
Carnival Queens and dancers
Japanese dragon float.
Chris and Frank enjoy some 8 peso (70 cent) Tecate beer.
Last week we went for a hike to nearby Nacapule canyon, which is located in the desert, yet filled with palm trees and pools of water from underground streams. This hike was one of the most interesting I have ever done because of the stark contrasts between desert and oasis. We saw a number of lizards and insects that we have not seen before as well as the palms (which are not native to the area and must have been brought in) and a tree that looks like a paper birch. We hiked the length of the 'official' canyon trail and met a Dutch fellow who told us that we could hike around some obstructions and continue to a ridge overlooking a ranch. We managed to squeeze our way through some pretty tight places and found the ridge with some spectacular views out over the ocean and San Carlos. We returned via the ranch under a blazing sun, climbing a couple of fences and disturbing herds of goats and Brahma cows.
Chris and Rani in the canyon.
A lizard in the canyon.
We went sailing last week as well, taking out our friend Hans Backer and Cheryl and Frank. This was a shakedown sail to help us get a hang of the boat. We found that the boom vang control is very necessary with the Garhaur vang because this solid vang is spring loaded and must be held down in order to get a good mainsail shape. It is a puzzle as to why the previous owners did not complete the vang installation. We also found that the boat has plenty of canvas with its new tall rig. We are looking forward to seeing how she sails across the sea tomorrow...
Hans Backer with his stylish garbage bag vest to keep him dry during a rough dinghy ride to the shore.
Cheryl and Rani cruising near San Carlos.
We have finished most of our boat task list: the outboard motor works well now, we have changed engine oil and installed a newly fabricated stainless exhaust elbow (Hernandez brothers in Guaymas made this for us in an evening for a very fair price). We need to rig up a boom vang cleat, install a new bow light, and set up the wind vane before we leave.
We have heard from some other cruising friends who are on the Baja side and hope to run into them after we cross the sea. It may be a while before we post again...