Sunday, September 25, 2016

Our Third Hurricane, named Paine

Hurricane Paine (hurricane #3 of the summer for us), projected 
to head into the northern Sea of Cortez

It was only 2 weeks ago when the entire Bay of LA sailing fleet headed into the 
hurricane hole Don Juan (again) to escape Hurricane Newton (hurricane #2).

After Newton passed through, fortunately with only a little wind and rain
      (for US, anyway -- he inflicted great damage to the southeast), we all headed 
ashore for a "We Survived Hurricane Newton" party. 

The family on s/v Kenta Anae rows ashore for the party

Hurricane Newton sunk several boats (including that of our friends, s/v Siga Siga)
 to the southeast in Guaymas, and sunk a fishing boat at sea, killing its crew


The Bay of LA is far enough north that if a hurricane does actually reach us, the air and water are usually cool enough that the storm weakens without doing much damage.

Emphasis on the word USUALLY.    :-) 

The next morning we went for another SCUBA dive with our friends aboard Manta. At about 50 feet down, we nabbed a couple of fresh scallops for dinner, and we spearfished as well.

Fresh scallops from our SCUBA dive

After our "We Survived Hurricane Newton" party in Don Juan, one by one we all poked our nose out and returned to "normal" life here in the Bay of LA area during hurricane season.

Not two days after we returned to the Bay of LA and dropped the hook, we saw this on the satellite:

Meet our new buddy, Hurricane #3, named Paine. It was barreling north, and we were already feeling the effects in early clouds and rain (we were under the blue/purple on the northeast coast of Baja).

This is me watching the early bands of Hurricane Paine during my afternoon swim.
Nothing stops my daily swims. Well...almost nothing. 

Guillermo lit a candle for the hurricane
at his BLA seaside restaurant

Fortunately, the cooler air and water of these northern latitudes caused Hurricane Paine to weaken and dissipate within 48 hours. Yet another bullet dodged!   :-) 

Clearly, hurricane season in Mexico is no joke. Which means the 10-15 sailboats up here had some time to kill before heading south. Fortunately we're in a beautiful place with some pretty cool people!

After Paine settled down, we all sailed over to La Gringa for the monthly full moon party.

After swimming and floating in the "rushing rapids" of the La Gringa "river" all afternoon, the crews of Firefly, Linger Longer, Venture Forth, Stryder and Espiritu enjoyed a sunset potluck aboard s/v Volare. 

The full moon which rose at sunset did not disappoint, and sprinkled a diamond studded path 
across the velvety surface of the sea

Everything about this evening with our friends personifies the beauty of "Summer in the Sea:" -- the gorgeous moonrise; the clear sky so free of pollution that mountains are visible as far as the eye can see; the warm, clear water gently lapping the hull; the gentle breeze caressing our faces in the cockpit; and most importantly --


To be sitting out in the cockpit during a tropical evening without needing bug spray is, pure and simple, a miracle. 

This is the beauty of the desert Sea of Cortez.

Chris hangs with Captain Ted of s/v Firefly during the potluck.
Retired cop Ted is one of the good ones, and we're grateful for his friendship. 

After dinner, I suggested a rousing game of Charades.

Meg Ryan famously did her best to portray "Baby Talk" in a famous 
scene of "When Harry Met Sally." 

Oh, we miss you, Bruno Kirby...

We didn't use the drawing board like Meg did -- we went old school and acted them out. Take my advice: the next time you're at a get together and people are running out of things to say -- one word will save your party:

 Charades, baby. (OK, that's 2 words)

We hadn't laughed so hard in weeks -- and after all of this hurricane 
business it felt really good to let loose. 

The next morning it was back to the Bay of LA for provisioning, diesel, water-making and minor repairs aboard Espiritu. 

After our work was done, we did some more exploring along the areas beaches.

Fish, fish shadows and rocks in the crystal clear waters of the Bay of LA

We found these teeny-tiny baby starfish along the beach

And further offshore, a grown-up

We loved this gorgeous strip of beach south of town lined with modest yet well
 cared for vacation homes. Unlike those in other places, these are safely up away from
 the beach and protected from bad weather. 

Not surprising, NONE were for sale. These people have a good thing going, and they know it.

Seagulls and a great heron respecting each other's turf

Well, this was just dumb. This gringa relaxed in the shade nearly completely 
nude along the public beach.  Good luck with that.   :-/ 

Outside Alejandrina's, another simple little eatery in the village

Me and a little local charmer

Trail to the lighthouse

There are 6 small tiendas in town. It's fun to pop into a different one each time to see what's new on the shelves.  Along with fresh and canned foods, they also have hardware, clothing, toys and a variety of other items.

I was in the market for a 2017 desk calendar, and was purplexed 
by this find at one of the tiendas:

Yes, they had four pocket calendars. Unfortunately they were all for the year 2012 (needless to say, there were none for 2013 - 2017). The weirdest thing of all? The price for these 4 year old calendars was 90 pesos (about 5 dollars). wonder they weren't flying off the shelves.

Well, alrighty then. Welcome to Mexico!

This young girl, a checker at one of the tiendas, does not speak English and she swears she has no idea what this donated English t-shirt means:

"Look like Barbie, smoke like Marley."
Does she really not understand it?
Hmmmm...the mystery continues...

One of the tiendas sells pinatas. 

Buchanan's whiskey pinata for sale -- perfect
 for your next kid's birthday party

I keep hearing about Donald Trump pinatas being popular here in Mexico.

Trump pinatas -- all the rage in Mexico

Fortunately I haven't seen one yet. Of course my lizard brain self would love to take a whack at a Trump pinata if given the opportunity, but I'm sure I would pass. That's just not cool. Plus, it wouldn't really deal with the actual problem now, would it?

Although we love sailing, diving, spearfishing, hiking, provisioning and exploring, the truth is a great majority of our time here is within a few hundred feet of Guillermo's on the beach.

We all park our dinghies on the white beach in front of Guillermo's here in BLA

Guillermo's has WiFi, good affordable food, nice people and the NFL on Sundays. 
What more could we ask for in a hangout?

Guillermo lets us do yoga on the beach in the shade of the desert pines.

Dawn of s/v Manta, Brenda of s/v Firefly, Allison of s/ Kanta Anae, me and 
the local cat Lupita, who likes to sit in the mush pot

Baja buggies passing through stop at Guillermos

Hanging with the boys of Kanta Anae under the Guillermo's palapa

Mexican train dominoes with crew members of s/v Adagio, Adios and Kanta Anae --
-- at Guillermo's, of course. And also under the "of course" category,
Captain Chris won. Again. ;-}

So, that's where we are -- still in the Bay of LA awaiting the wind-down of hurricane season before heading across the Sea of Cortez to Guaymas/San Carlos. 

As I write this, there's yet another tropical system spinning up down south (sigh). Stay tuned...

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