On our way!

Most everything is working on Stray Catz that is necessary to survive. Our roller furler is broken, so we have no working head-sail. The roller furler is what makes it possible to let out and pull in the jib or head sail without raising and lowering it each time. Once the device is installed, it’s not an easy task to raise and lower the sail without the furler, and not one I want to have to do in dangerous situations. So no jib till I get it fixed. I knew it was going out when we parked Stray Catz, but I kind of forgot about it. And after 17 months it didn’t fix itself.

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While anchored in San Carlos, we had fun watching the pelicans on a feeding frenzy. The bay was swarming with these little fish so much that you could see dark clouds in the water. The pelicans were obviously taking advantage and started before the sun was up and fed all day long until after sunset.

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We’ve been on a couple of short trips in the San Carlos area and were ready to say goodbye to mainland Mexico and cross to the Baja peninsula. It’s about a 75 mile trip across the Sea of Cortez. Not that impressive compared to some of our other jaunts, but still long enough in open seas to respect the journey. We travel just over 5 knots normally while cruising, so the journey should be under 15 hours. Not something we can do in daylight hours.

We will be buddy boating with our friends on Scuba Ninjas, Brent and Dee Dee who are rather new sailors and a little nervous about an open sea crossing coupled with an all night sail. Scuba Ninjas are very into videos and photos, so be sure to check out their YouTube channel.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbWbqy8jMJXekFj4Gg80UXg

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We took a nap in the evening and set the alarms for midnight. By 1am we were leaving Bahia San Carlos and headed out to sea. The trip through the night was just what we could hope for, boring. Albeit very cold. When daylight finally arrived we were blessed with a few dolphin sightings, but none who came to play in the bow wake.

Now we are anchored in Santa Rosalia. We’ve gotten to go out and explore the town. This town has some very interesting history. Without trying to repeat everything that’s already written in the guide books I’ll give you a little run down. Santa Rosalia was a major player in copper mining back in late 1800s and early 1900s. French owners of the mine had a major influence on the architecture of the homes and buildings throughout the town.

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Mine shafts are seen along the highway through town as well as many structures that are about to collapse. Most of the town would have a fence around it for liability reasons if it was located in the USA.

Of course that only slowed us down from exploring the crumbling structures located in the city. No fence means it must be ok, right? Unfortunately the mining museum and Mahatma Gandhi Library(so named because of a personal visit to dedicate it) were closed for rehabilitation. It would have been nice to learn more about the structures we were climbing through.

We will spend another day here knocking stuff from the to-do list for Stray Catz before heading south along the peninsula.

In the loop

So as of December 4th here is whats happened. We didn’t get Stray Catz back in the water on the last trip like we thought we would before we had to make another trip back to the USA. It wasn’t until 10/30 that we made it back to Guaymas for final prep work and launch. On November 9th Stray Catz was loaded up on a trailer (the same one that pulled her out of the water) and lined up with the boat ramp for an early morning launch. Early morning turned into early afternoon, but she got launched. Then came the task of working out all the bugs.

dscf2093And we still need a dinghy.

 

After fixing some things that were necessary to motor off, we headed across the bay to anchor in front of the marina that we had first stayed at when we arrived in Guaymas back in 2015. This is the place that 5 or 6 boats had sunk in the hurricane. It is unfortunate that happened, however with a few missing dock fingers, it made it possible for Stray Catz to pull along side and take on water and handle a few other things.

We met up with a young couple who were in the process of buying a boat to go cruising. We hit it off and have been spending a lot of time together. Both are SCUBA instructors with a ton of experience but limited experience with sailing/cruising. Needless to say there is a lot of brain picking both ways. Dee Dee is fluent in Spanish and has been a great help in hunting down parts for Stray Catz.

The plan is to ready S C for the sea and head out to go explore the Baja side of Mexico. We are hoping to be under way in a couple of weeks.

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dscf2103Feliz Navidad to all our friends family and followers.

 

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Bird with a grudge

The other day we had been working on the boat all day without the chance to get off the boat. So about 4pm we took a trip to a nearby shore and let Diva get some exercise. It was a low tide so there was lots of beach. Upon reaching shore Diva right away was running up and down the beach. Nearby there was a Great Blue Heron catching fish in the shallow water. These are very large and beautiful birds. They stand about 4 feet tall, long legs and have blueish gray feathers. Darker feathers on the crown of their heads and sometimes white and a dark blue-gray feathers on their wings. As Diva neared not paying any attention to the beautiful bird, the heron started to growl in a way only a heron can. For those who have never heard it, their squawk is very distinctive. A low gravelly rumble that sounds like it could be some land animal threatening an approaching foe. Since the growling wasn’t working the heron flew off. We continued our stroll down the beach.

About 10 minutes later we happened across this same heron again in it’s new location. Diva having a good time investigating the entire beach, wandered too close to the bird and again more squawking and growling to voice its displeasure before relenting and flying off. And we continued our stroll.

After an hour of walking we eventually made it back to our dinghy and wouldn’t you know it, the same heron was feeding near it’s original location. Of course you guessed it, Diva ended up causing it to fly off, squawking and growling madder now than ever. Probably wondering if he was ever going to get rid of the annoying people who kept disturbing all of his favorite feeding spots. It may also have been planning a way to get back at us.

Done with our walk we loaded up in the dinghy and headed back to Stray Catz at anchor. On the way out of the small river we had parked in, we passed a small sand bar where that same heron was standing on the far side giving us a very evil eye and watching us the entire way. Who knows for sure what was going through this bird’s mind. All I know is what happened later.

After returning to Stray Catz we were back to doing some of the little stuff that is always needing done on her. As I was standing in the salon door looking outside, the beautiful Great Blue Heron flew up and semi landed on the top of the sugar scoop. He saw me and I saw him. He sort of stood there for a few seconds voicing a few words before flying off. I thought at the time it was rather lucky encounter to be so close to this very large bird. In hind sight, I believe he just flew over to verify which boat we had returned to.

The next day we had business in town and we were off Stray Catz most of the day. When we returned in the afternoon we were greeted with a gift from the Great Blue Heron. One thing is for certain about very large birds. They have very large waste piles. And sure enough this bird must have seen us leave in the morning and spent the rest of the day relieving itself on our boat. Needless to say there was a mess to clean up. But I don’t think he was finished.

Later that evening we visited some friends on another boat. Upon exiting from the inside of their boat to return to the dinghy, there was that same heron perched on our dinghy. I am not sure what he was planning, but luckily we thwarted his plans. Our friends are now nervous because we’ve been spotted on their boat.

It’s been a few days now and we’ve had no more visits from Big Blue (my name for him). I can only hope he feels vindicated for all of our disturbances. I love all the wildlife we are blessed to see while out here, and I wouldn’t normally believe in wildlife conspiracy theories. However in this particular instance, it seemed pretty clear to me this bird had an agenda. We had disturbed his dinner. Similar to an obnoxious telemarketer, and he held a grudge. I have no hard feelings toward Big Blue. In fact I would love the opportunity to see him again. I just hope our next visit is on better terms.

P.S. No animals were harmed in the telling of this tale.