Monday, April 14, 2008


Caleta Partida in the Sea of Cortez

After a gloriously uneventful 2-day crossing of the Sea of Cortez from Mazatlan, we dropped the hook in the little bay of Los Muertos on the Baja California peninsula. The next morning we again hoisted the anchor and motorsailed the short day trip up the sea to Isla Partida and Isla Espiritu Santo - two islands with beautiful coves just north of La Paz.

We anchored in Caleta Partida and
then we...well...just hung out, and played, oh, yeah and I knit. Yep, we found a sheltered spot and parked the Niki Wiki for 2 weeks. The air temperatures were perfect although the water was a little too cool for swimming (70 degrees) except in the shallows where it was close to bathwater warm. The "Toes" photos show the shallows in our cove - Caleta Partida with white coral sand, and also in the neighboring cove of Cardinal which had this wierd lettuce leaf like sea weed in it.

Twice, we got hit with "Northers" which are strong winds, but no biggie. We were tucked away in our safe little cove and well anchored.

Although I did spend quite a bit of quality hammock time, watching the sunset and gazing at the stars it wasn't ALL so lazy. I did have to cook all the meals. No restaurants here. Nothing except some temporary shelters for the fishermen. And speaking of fishermen, they brought over delicious fish - neatly filleted - that we got by trading some batteries, water, beer, and a few token gifts. We ate Cabrilla and Sierra fresh from the sea which I cooked in many different ways. Mmmmmm.

For exercise and fun, we took the dinghy across the long shallow shoals to explore the island. First we used the little motor, then when it got too shallow, we rowed the dinghy, then we had to get out and walk the boat a long ways up to the shore.

It is rather rough desert terrain out on these islands. The stark beauty of the volcanic rocks and brightly colored rock formations combined with the colors of the sea is striking. It was worth the few cactus pricks we got during our hike. Check out this rock - it is a volcanic "tuff" pumice material of ash that mixed with the other rocks during a violent volcanic explosion eons ago. So now there are rocks within a rock!

See all those little dots in the photo of Jonesy walking along the beach? Those are CRABS! Thousands of little crabs who scurried away from us as we walked towards them.

We also took our dinghy out to explore around the island and into some of the other coves. Our cruising friends Terry & Michelle from the sailing vessel Coastal Passage came with us on one of these 3-hour tours (photo below). The water was so clear and the seas were totally calm so that we could just look down from the dinghy and see all the sea life below! Our own personal aquarium! This photo is of some sea urchins. We saw lots of different shaped and colored starfish, corals, and of course, tropical fish.

Around one point, we came across more wildlife - Richard and Dona in their dinghy!! Richard is the publisher of the cruising magazine Latitude 38 out of Northern California and the Grand Pubah of the Baja Ha-Ha Rally from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas. They were in the islands as part of a sailing race event. Thats the way cruising Mexico is...hundreds of miles from nowhere and you run into folks who you know.

With Captain Jonesy at the helm of our little dinghy (known as Scooty Puff Jr.) we soon had enough fun in the sun and headed back to hang out on the boat. Can you believe these rock cliffs??? They looked to me like giant mushrooms.

KNITTING CONTENT: So, what have I been knitting? My biggest project was a vest knit with Lett-Lopi wool yarn from Iceland - the CALETA VEST. I decided to use the rusty colors of the rocks, the greens of the scrubby vegetation, and the blues from the sea around me. This I combined with fair isle type patterning with waves running lengthwise.

I LOVE this vest! It was a joy to knit. I've got it all charted out in Excel for sizes 34 to 52 and will be writing up the pattern soon. My vest is a finished size 36". It will be sent off to the folks who are gathering together warm knit items for the Akkol Orphanage in Kazahkstan.

For mindless knitting, I cranked out a couple of wool hats with yarn leftovers from my stash and another pair of heavy wool socks - all adult sized for the teenagers.

We left the islands a couple of days ago and sailed over to La Paz - the big city! We are anchored right off of the Malecon (boardwalk) of the city front. We needed to come here to re-provision our groceries, check our email, and eat out at restaurants!

Keep on knitting!

'Allo! It's you sister Nancy! Mom sent me your blog and I just love it and what you have done! Of course the funny line is "Watched Captain Ron one too many times?" Well, talk about living the dream! Your pictures are amazing, your blog is lots of fun to read, your knitted stuff in incredible and I love being able to stay in touch with you this way!
Forgot to mention, I am a fellow blogger, here's my site. Wish everyone in the families had one!
Wow, the sky is so blue in your pictures and the water looks so inviting. The colors in the vest nicely echo the colors in your surroundings. Very nice. Glad to see you are still enjoying your adventure.
Kathy - the girl you gave a ride to knitting camp a few years back.
I am so envious, the water is beautiful and you look like you are loving life! And you knitting is gorgeous!

Hey, glad to see you had a safe and beautiful trip. The pictures are beautiful, as always. Live the mushroom clifts.
The vest is truly a work of art. love all the details and colors.
Great pics!!!! I love looking at them and imagining I am there :-) I bet your nice and tan! :-) Cant wait until you come to the states to visit!
Thanks for the mini vacation!! Your vest is BEAUTIFUL! I love the socks and hats that you are sending away to the children - lucky them... you do such great things with your time on the night shift and it shows.

Now to the day job where I have an office that has no windows! SIGH! Even my basement has windows!

I will be thinking of you everyday all day as I sit in my cave. I am on the lookout for a new day job so keep a good thought as you sail the days away! Thanks especially for the pictures of the rocks that look like mushrooms - that is a picture I can carry in my head all day long!
Finally the snow is gone in Maine and I'm a bit less envious of your adventures - but not a lot less! Thanks for posting as you do. Absolutely love the vest.
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