Monday, April 28, 2014

Tucson

From Guaymas, we caught a bus up to Tucson. It was our first time in Tucson and we really liked it.  Dina’s former colleague Barry now lives there and was kind enough to have us stay with him. He recommended the Arizona-Senora Desert Museum, and after we went there we can understand why. In addition to lots of information about how plants and animals survive the desert conditions, we enjoyed the two aviaries (one with local birds, the other just with hummingbirds).
Flowering CactusLocal resident


Pretty Bird Hummingbird in flight

There is also an observatory at Kitt Peak with a night program for the public.  After our astrophysicist Nikki visited back in December, we’re both watching the night sky more, so we went with Barry up to the observatory (http://www.noao.edu/outreach/nop/). Perhaps Barry has become interested enough in the night sky to buy himself a nice little home telescope.
Sunset from Kitt Peak
The start of the Night Observation Program


Before leaving Tucson we visited the University of Arizona campus.  It’s a lovely campus with a great museum and the Steward Observatory Mirror lab (http://mirrorlab.as.arizona.edu/), both of which were very interesting.  We didn’t have enough time to drive up to the ski hill.  The road is supposed to be fun and the views are said to be awesome.


Tucson is on our list for our return trip and we’re looking forward to it. Hopefully, we’ll see Barry and his wife will be in town. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Leaving the boat in Guaymas

We didn't have much wind, so Dina got sent up the mast to fix the wind instruments and disconnect a few things in anticipation of storing the boat in the heat and dust for the summer.  After that we motored overnight to Guaymas and did some final preparations for leaving the boat.

One of the most important jobs at this time is to ensure there is no food or wine that will spoil over the summer.  In order to do that we had to cook the food and drink the wine. Luckily Lee and Cynthia had also brought Goldenheart over to Guaymas so we all helped each other out. It took a few meals, but we did clean out the freezer and the wine cabinet.

We figured the Tequila and Gin wouldn't go bad, but we had to do something with those limes so Malcolm was on bar duty for a few afternoons evenings.

Some of the less important jobs involves removing everything from the outside of the boat that might suffer UV damage in the extreme sun. That means all the lines and anything canvas or plastic.  Luckily we have a "winter cover" that we brought with us from Vancouver, so it'd work as a big sun shade.

Dina worked inside the boat getting things cleaned up and oiling the teak, Malcolm worked outside washing salt off of everything.  It took a few days, but the boat was finally ready to go up on the hard and wait out the summer.

We motored over to Marina Seca Guaymas and had the boat hauled out without incident. We put the "winter cover" on the boat, said good bye and went to a hotel for the night before catching the bus to Tucson. It's a bit odd leaving the boat, but we know the people at Marina Seca Guaymas will check on her.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Semana Santa

In Santa Rosalia, the Catholics have a "Stations of the Cross" procession that re-enacts Jesus' journey to the cross. They have 14 stations along the procession route, starting in town and ending on the hilltop where they've got three large crosses set up. It was very interesting and provided a great opportunity to see lots of local culture.

  
Station 2 - Jesus carries his cross

One of the thieves


Later in the day we went to see the Yaqui ceremonies.  The Yaqui's are an Indian group that was brought to Santa Rosalia many years ago to work in the mine.  The descendants of those people are still in Santa Rosalia and perform a ceremony which is a blend of their original ceremony along with some Christian overtones. Basically, the people who feel they need redemption or extra help participate in the ceremony, they're masked as animals. Along the way, Jesus is killed and the people looking for redemption chase the killers away. After removing their masks, the people go to Jesus' tomb and are redeemed.

Yaqui's in animal masks

Procession

Bored "angels" at Jesus's tomb

Chasing killers away

Praying at Jesus's feet


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Northbound: La Paz to Santa Rosalia

We worked our way north from La Paz and enjoyed the wildlife and beaches along the way.  Each of the anchorages was a little more crowded this time as lots of other cruisers are working their way north to get away from the heat and out of the hurricane zone for the summer months.  The dolphins seemed to show up more often too.



Along the way the scenery was as beautiful as ever.




We found out that there are a number of interesting activities in Santa Rosalia for Semana Santa ("Holy Week") so we headed up there before crossing to Guaymas. We pulled into Santa Rosalia a few days before Good Friday.  That gave us some time to catch up with Lee and Cynthia on Goldenheart (http://www.ongoldenheart.com/) before going out to watch the festivities.  We exchanged lots of stories with them about our trip to La Paz and back, and their time in Bahia Conception. 

Our friends on Solar Flair has sailed along with us for the last couple of days towards Santa Rosalia and gave us some photos of our boat sailing along.  That was a nice treat as we don't have many photos of own boat under sail.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Visitors

Back to La Paz and Gary and Karina were onboard from March 9-16. We sailed to Puerto Balandra then on to Bahia San Gabriel on Isla Espiritu Santo. In the heat of the day, we took the long hike across the island to Playa Bonanza, where the water felt especially refreshing after the hike. We sailed to Los Islotes and Malcolm, Gary and Karina swam with the sea lions.

We anchored in Ensenada El Cardonal on Isla Partida and did the shorter hike to the east side of the island. Then we sailed to Isla San Francisco and swam in the warm, clear water.

On the sail back to La Paz, we saw a speed of 9 knots, but we are not sure if it was when Gary or Karina was at the helm! It was great to see them and we're looking forward to them getting down here with their boat.

After Gary and Karina left, we received another surprise email. This time our landlubber friends, Bill and Anita Rudiak, from San Francisco, California were coming to visit! Rather than stay at the marina waiting for Bill and Anita’s arrival, we took off for Espiritu Santo and La Partida islands. Not having to get the boat ready to cross the Pacific Ocean gave us a lot of free time!

With limited time and not wanting to risk seasickness, we arranged for a private panga tour with Bill and Anita. First we found a whale shark. These are the world’s largest fish. They can grow up to 46’ with a 5’ wide mouth. Bill and Malcolm swam with a juvenile whale shark that was only 30’.
Then we went to a sea lion rookery and swam with the sea lions.

Finally we went to the beach at Puerto Balandra for a picnic of nachos, salsa, and beer.

Along the way, we saw some blue-footed boobies.


We took Bill and Anita to a couple of our favourite restaurants in La Paz; burgers at the Shack, breakfast at Harken Boards (patio on the roof, paddle boards on the main floor), and Las Tres Virgenes. It was wonderful to catch up with them!