Posted by: Carol | January 13, 2008

Off Scammons Lagoon

2008 Mexico – San Diego to Barra

CBParker_D3_20080123_PacMex-003It’s mid-morning after our first night at sea – all going well, with only a light wind behind us so we are motoring but have a current helping us out. After three days (and three hundred miles) of fog bank, this morning it is starting to lift. The sun is out and we can finally see blue sky.

We refueled yesterday in Ensenada and then pulled out of the harbor about 1:30 p.m. Now we’re a couple hundred miles (nearly) south of Ensenada and about 30 miles offshore from Scammons Lagoon. Captain Scammon was the whaler who discovered the gray whales wintering in the lagoon here and slaughtered just about all of them, going home a rich man with his ships’ holds full of whale oil, while other whaling ships were chasing single whales at sea when and where they could find them.

I am well-prepared for the chilly nights. Hopefully in a few more days those will be well behind us! On my night watches last night (8-10 pm, and 2-4 am) I was outfitted in wool New Zealand socks inside my foul weather boots, two pairs of pants (sweatpants over blue jeans), a battery-heated carbon fiber jacket (Xmas present that I stole from Mike) and a big poofy down jacket over that (Xmas present from Michelle a few years ago), a wooly red scarf wrapped a couple of times around my neck (another Xmas present, this time from Armando), a knit stocking cap (souvenir from the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii) pulled down over my ears, and a pair of gloves (another Xmas present stolen from Mike). And on top of all that, a blanket! Very stylish! And thank goodness for Christmas presents!

As a result I was toasty warm and enjoyed the night sail – black moonless night, foggy with no stars, just me and the instruments – my favorite being the trusty radar giving advance warning of freighters and cruise ships running up and down the coast parallel with us, but much bigger and faster! There was a lot of phosphorescence in the water last night – Raven’s wake was lit up as if by an underwater headlight, full of greenish-white sparkles. Also a new experience for me (but not to Rod) – we were accompanied for hours on end by the sound of chirping birds. Not sure what that was all about, and too dark to actually see them, but Rod assures me it really was birds and not squeaking in Raven’s rigging.

Yesterday we saw a huge pod of porpoises, easily a hundred or more, on a tear – really ripping along churning up the water and flying through the air in great leaps. Don’t know if they were rushing off to lunch, or if a great white was on their tails, but they were really on the move. We saw another gray whale as well, this one with birds perching on its back whenever it surfaced.

That’s the excitement from here – another couple of nights at sea and we should arrive early morning at Mag Bay. Ferdi – the diving may be great at Thetis Bank, but the water temp is a very chilly 14 degrees celsius (57 degrees fahrenheit) – we’ll save it for our return north later in the spring!


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