Posted by: Carol | August 1, 2008

Ensenada Grande

CBParker_D3_20080401_LaPaz-193PHOTO GALLERIES
2008 Mexico 3 – La Paz to Loreto

We arrived exactly on time, no hitches, every airline on schedule. Rod met us at La Paz airport and by mid afternoon we were back aboard Raven, unpacking, catching up on news, and doing not much of anything else. For dinner we went to our favorite restaurant in La Paz, El Patron, sitting out on the patio overlooking the bay. It was definitely hot in La Paz when we arrived, but in the evening a south wind springs up (the coromuel) and cools everything down nicely, so it was a beautiful evening. Mike and I elected to walk home along the malecon (oceanside promenade), a few miles in the cool of the evening, nice exercise. There were literally hundreds of people out enjoying the evening – surprising to us since it was a Wednesday, not the weekend, but maybe it’s just a way for the locals to enjoy the cool breezes after the hot dry dusty days.

Next morning we had a date with the fuel dock at 7 a.m., filled up with diesel, and then motored northwards to Ensenada Grande, one of my favorite anchorages from previous trips. We were pleasantly surprised to discover it is NOT hot here out in the islands – apparently the relatively small land mass of the island is kept cooler by the wind blowing in over the expanse of water. We do have an air conditioner – a window type that we bought at a local appliance store and which Rod rigged up on deck with a tent arrangement so that the cold air blows down through a hatch into the salon. It was a welcome addition in La Paz, but appears to not be needed out here cruising! I’m writing this at 1 p.m. and the high for the day so far on the boat is 85 degrees. Unexpected nice surprise! We were expecting temperatures like home.

The water temperature is a perfect 82 degrees…just enough to gasp when you first jump in (refreshing) and then absolutely perfect for extended swimming. Mike and I both took a nice long swim/snorkel along the edge of the red sandstone cliffs – there were a lot of fish in the water, great variety and several of quite a healthy size. This area is a marine park, so the fish are protected. We had a visit from a park ranger by boat who collected a fee from us, but was extremely pleasant and charming. We were happy to pay if it helps protect this environment, which is quite special and unique.

Rod had a surprise for us – the announcement that on his recent vacation he officially married his girlfriend in the Philippines, Geraldine. He had planned to marry a year or so ago, but was stymied by the fact that Geraldine had no birth certificate and therefore did not actually exist in the bureaucracy of government paperwork. They have resolved the birth certificate issue after much effort and a passport is in the offing – at which point Geraldine will join Raven as part of our crew, probably next spring. Along the same vein, we recently heard from Anouk who is currently living in the Dominican Republic (on the beach, what else) and is expecting a baby girl in September!

The guys are packing the gear for our first dive of the season (haven’t been since last Halloween), so time to go suit up for our morning exercise. Afternoons are devoted to naps and reading books!

Later in the day…
Back from our dive, plus an hour long kayak this morning, and I’ve had my exercise for the day. Interesting technical detail – I got a bloody nose diving (have been having trouble for a few weeks in Arizona with my nose) – the blood got in my mask and was green rather than red. Took me a few minutes to figure out it was blood, not algae, fogging up my mask. Came to the surface, rinsed everything off, and finished the dive without any more incidents!

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