Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sea of Cortez March update

March 27th
After a wonderful days sail from Balandra we are anchored here inside a volcano (Bahia Partida) on Isla Espiritu Santos. We caught yet another bonito along the way and decided to make sushi. I've been dying to try the meat raw so we figured that this was a good  time to do it as it would be so fresh. Lee carved off the best parts of the fish for sashimi and we had an amazing lunch.

Home made tuna rolls topped with spicy lime mayo made with the fish that we caught 

Lee Rolling
Me filleting my first fish

Afterwards we saw turtles swimming and we were approached by a man on a panga. He wanted to know if we had any spare AA batteries, so we gave him some. He told us that he would bring us some fish maƱana (tomorrow). I wonder what he'll bring, I hope it isn't bonito. It is so beautiful here that we have decided to stay for two nights so that we can snorkel tomorrow.


8pm - We just caught a Tiger Rockfish but we let him go as we're expecting a fish delivery from our fisherman friend. It was another amazing night for Pacific wildlife. The boat was surrounded and they put on quite a show.

March 28th
The solar panels have a new power producing high. 730 watts at 60 amps which is 25% higher than the rated topside capacity and close to the theoretical maximum which is 30% energy from the underside of the panel in addition to the top side capacity. We are averaging 200-250 amps per day with a peak of 280 amps on 20th March and is supplying all the energy we need.

March 29th
Yesterday was another amazing day. We started with a full English breakfast cooked by Katie and Lewis then we took a dinghy ride through the channel between Partida and Espiritu Santos. The water between the islands is very shallow so it took us a while to navigate through, but it was well worth the effort. The water is crystal clear so we were able to watch Manta Rays and other fish swimming beneath us. When we made it across to the other side we took the dinghy into some beautiful caves.

View from inside one of the caves

Later we took a ride out to a snorkeling area and Lee tied the dinghy between some rocks in the middle of the sea! We jumped into the water and swam around the reef where we saw many different types of fish, starfish and coral. We were all swimming when Lee got out and stood up on a rock to prepare his speargun. He looked across at Ashley, Elan and I and shouted that there was a fin in the water right behind us. Ashley and Elan laughed because they thought that Lee was joking but knowing that Lee wouldn't joke about something like that I quickly scrambled up onto a rock which is really hard to do in flippers. Whatever it was, it quickly disappeared, but we kept a keen lookout after that.

Lee's with his new toy

We were all freezing cold when we got out of the water so we headed back to the beach where it was nice and hot and took some ice cold drinks to the beach. We saw hundreds of fiddler crabs at the beach and the water was an amazing milky turquoise color. 

March 30th
We left Partida at about 9am this morning and we have had the most amazing experience swimming with wild sea lions on Los Islotes. Some of the sea lions were huge, about 8ft long and apparently about 800lbs. There were also lots of baby sea lions that came very close to us. They were so curious that  that they almost touched our snorkeling masks while trying to take a good look! They also nibble at your fins which is quite scary at first. It was actually an overwhelming experience and too difficult to describe. 

When we climbed back into the dinghy, a baby sealion jumped aboard and sat next to me! I thought this was really cute until Lee tried to stroke it and it snarled at us. When we realized that he wanted to stay for a while we got a bit worried that he might bite us and his mum and dad started circling our dinghy so we started the engine and shoed him away. We then continued the day trip up to Isla San Fransisco with its beautiful crescent shaped bay. Once securely anchored we took a sunset hike up the rocky hillside with the silver lining crew.

Anchored at San Francisco Bay (The Mexican one is less busy than the US one!) 

Solent ancfhored in Caleta Partida

Fishing village in Caleta Partida
Me and my Sis in Amortajada Bay

The lads enjoy a beer after navigating the Mangrove Lagoon

Le Paz hotel!

Solent anchored at Balandra Bay

The famous mushroom rock!
Blue whale in front of Solent (Silver Lining in front)

Blue footed Boobie

View from top of San Francisco bay

Collecting salt from salt pond

We came across four large salt ponds as big as swimming pools and each with salt half a foot deep.  We had run out of salt on the boat so it was quite a useful find. We carved some salt for our salt grinder, but we probably have about 5 years worth now!

Rob, we got your email, thanks! In answer to your question, yes we ate the fish and it was great.

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