21st Feb - Traveling to San Carlos
On 21st Feb between San Quinten and San Carlos we spotted a fishing boat that looked like it was heading towards our boat. As they got closer we saw that there were four men onboard. They got close enough to have a good look around our boat and we were wondering what they were looking for. After a few minutes they steamed off and left us alone. About 5 minutes later we were worried to see that they had turned around and were on there way back to our boat! It turns out that they had returned to give us 3 nice big fish that they had caught. We offered them money which they declined so we offered them beers instead and gave them a cold one each. This made them very happy and we had enough fish to last us a week.
Lee filleted the fish and Katie and I breaded them using Lee's mum's NZ recipe.
|California Sheepshead fish|
22nd Feb - Bahia San Carlos
We arrived at Bahia San Carlos in the afternoon after a good trip down. We didn't know what to expect as the guides were not that favorable, but we found it to be a great anchorage and one of our favorites on the trip down the coast.
|Bahia San Carlos|
We decided to leave the following morning as we had a good weather forecast for the trip to Cedros. We left at 4am in the dark, but would only have less than two hours of darkness until sunlight. after a while i noticed that we were not making the speed we should be and thought we had picked up some kelp around the keel. I brought the boat to a stop and then saw my nemesis, the rope from a crab pot taught behind the boat. Not sure how long we had been dragging it, but we quickly cut it away from the boat. We could still hear the floats banging under the boat, but had power and headed back to San Carlos so i could dive under the boat.
Once back on anchor we sent the underwater camera down to investigate. The shaft was still pretty bound up and the floats were wrapped around the rudder. Time for a dive under the boat for some cutting. I'd been wanting to use my new scuba bottle and wetsuit anyway so it was the perfect time to test them. It was cold though, 55 degrees F.
|Bound round the prop|
|Bound around the shaft|
|Floats around the rudder|
|Getting ready to dive|
Things went well with the scuba bottle and i got relaxed under the boat gradually clearing the lines. After a couple of minutes though it got difficult to breathe more air and then nothing more form the bottle. It seemed to take forever to get back out from under the boat following the shaft back out to the stern of the boat and i took a breathe of water before making it up. The bottle was supposed to last 25 minutes so something was up. I can only think that they didn't fill it properly.
I was hopeful that i had managed to clear it though and got showered and warmed up. A second trip with the camera revealed that it was still pretty bound up. Back in the water, but this time without air. I tried diving from the side a couple of times with a mask, but it didn't allow enough time to work. Time for plan B. I took our boat hook and duck taped a bread knife to the end (i'd also tape a torch as well in the future). Using the mask and snorkel and my new tool i was able to cut through the rest of the rope and free the prop. Definitely the best way to tackle the problem.
|Dont laugh at my haircut. It cost $5.|
|It took a couple of hours to warm up. Here I am wearing ski socks and a fleece in 85.9 degrees !|
23rd Feb - Passage to Isla Cedros
On 23rd Feb we departed Punta San Carlos at 4am and later we caught our first fish, an 8 pound Mexican Bonito! Thank you Octavia and Petter for the fish book, its good to know what we are eating. We saw lots of whales along the way and arrived safely at Isla Cedros at around 4.30pm. The island is beautiful and as we approached we could see that the beaches were covered with seals, sealions, and elephant seals, huge ones at that. They started jumping in the water and swimming up to the boat to take a look at us. We got about 12 feet away from the island and we were reading about 300 feet on our depth sounder. We knew this couldn't be right so i made a quick lead line to check the depth. We realized then that our depth sounder wasn't working properly. After a few attempts we managed to secure the anchor but Lee wasn't comfortable that this was safe so we decided to check the boat every hour throughout the night. We woke up in the same place but we would not recommend using this spot as an anchorage!
|Our first fish|