Ahoy from the crew of the BlueJacket!
We're in La Paz right now, but I'm trying to get caught up with trip logs and photos. But, the La Paz report is another day's work.
The last report that I sent was from Los Frailes and we were going to stick around there for another day so that I could dive and Sue could go snorkeling. In order to dive at the Pulmo reef you have to go with a guide. Sue didn't want to do her first dive in a while with a group of people that she didn't know, so she went snorkling.
Through the magic of the Internet I was able to get in contact with the dive company. At Los Frailes I was able to find an open Internet access point; use Google to find a dive company; use Skype to call them (there was no cell phone service) and arrange a dive trip the following morning.
We had to take our dinghy from Los Frailes to Pulmo, which I thought was much closer than it was. Luckily we had flat, almost glassy seas, for our 25 minute high speed ride to Pulmo. On the way there we saw a young Hump Back whale completely breach and crash down into the water with a huge splash. That was quite a site and thankfully it was close enough to be seen clearly but far enough away to not cause any issues.
The dive shop clearly catered to Americans as almost all of the staff was from the US and had nicely maintained equipment. I was with a group of about 8 other divers and Sue was actually going to be driven back to Los Frailes where they have their snorkeling boat! The Cabo Pulmo reef is the only living hard coral reef in the Sea of Cortez. I went on 2 dives and was less than impressed with the coral. While there's some living coral, the majority of it is dead. However, there were a lot of small to medium fish on the reef and I saw and photographed a lot of fish that I've never seen before.
Sue had a good time snorkeling. The highlight of her trip was when they went to a Sea Lion colony very close to where we anchored the boat and got to snorkel with the Sea Lions. I guess that they're actually very curious and friendly and will approach you if you don't make any sudden moves. That sounded cool!
The next day we headed to Bahia de los Muertos. The forecast was for the 15-20 kts pretty much dead on the nose, so we left Los Frailes early in hopes to get in before it really picked up. Well, it was blowing 20-25 by the time that we got there and it was a very wet, salty ride. The Sea of Cortez is the 2nd saltiest ocean in the world and when you combine the sea spray with hot, dry winds, everything gets coated with salt and I mean coated! Fabric gets crunchy, surfaces grow salt crystals, lines get stiff and your body get coated with salt. Yuck! The winds blew 20-25 for 2 days and we stayed put until the winds relaxed.
Bahia de los Muertos translates to Bay of the Dead. I don't know what the history of the name is, but it's a beautiful bay. It appears that the high end resort at the other end of the bay didn't care for the name, as they renamed it Gran Sueno (Grand Dreams) which is much nicer sounding! What's surprising is the number of high end resorts along this coastline, many of which have beautiful golf courses designed by big name people. The contrast of the bright green grass really stands out against the desert brown. I can't imagine how much it costs to keep the courses watered!
As I mentioned, we're in La Paz trying to figure out how to import a part for the generator. It's rediculously difficult and I'm sure that will be a log unto its self.
-- Geoff & Sue
For the cruiser:
If you want to dive at the Pulmo reef, contact Cabo Pulmo Dive Center at firstname.lastname@example.org via phone at 52-624-141-0726 or you can try on VHF 82A. We took the dinghy there (25 minutes planing) on a very flat day, but I wouldn't recommend it if it's not flat. They'll probably pick you up at the beach in Los Frailes.
At Bahia de los Muertos we anchored at about 23-59.53N, 109-49.62W in about 20' over sand. Great holding. This is in the NE corner in front of the pangas and to the left of some mooring balls. We ate dinner at the restaurant overlooking the anchorage and weren't impressed. Go for drinks at sunset.
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