Archive for December 8th, 2009

A Walk On the Rock

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

After a week of floating in the Puerto Ballena we made an amphibious landing on the cliffy peninsula in search of unusual life and geology.

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It was all unusual and its uniqueness was due to the unusual heat. Outside the mangroves its hard to find shade even for a slip of a girl with a big hat.

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This desert chameleon was hanging on the shady side of a rock.

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He was probably looking for a delicious purple striped cricket

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Or a big honkin’ desert berry

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There has to be a trick here. This wretched little plant is a desiccated and forlorn specimen and yet it pops out a huge delicious looking berry. Awfully suspicious.

And another thing, why bother with the vicious mini-cactus message if you are going to provide little succulent red morsels.

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Finally from the worst sticker bush ever, the no-nonsense desert behavior we expect, sending a clear message to anyone craving salad

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24°28.64′N 110°22.63′W 08-Dec-09 22:00 PST

After Midnight

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

Many of you must have wondered what it’s like to spend the night on a boat in a new and unusual anchorage.

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It turns out that not only can you read a newspaper in the light of a desert full moon, you can also take weird pictures.

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Its nice to look out a port and see all the rocks around as the wind and tide swing the boat through a disorienting nighttime waltz.

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While we did not identify any lunacy effects (admittedly difficult with a normally high baseline), it was light enough to go for a stroll on deck without losing a toe to the fixtures, and perhaps carry out some light maintenance and cleaning.

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In fact the moon was so bright it stayed up all day, lighting up the dark side of every cactus in the land.

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24°28.00′N 110°22.50′W 08-Dec-09 14:00 PST

Back in Action

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

The wedding was grand. Lots of incense, icons and smoochin.116

We were sad to leave the big family gathering and a little disoriented crossing the border in Tijuana to catch our flight and “go home” to La Paz.

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But La Paz has been a great town to operate out of. We admit to treating Mexico as a zoo of natural wonders, a grocery store and fuel station. At some point we will slow down and observe this ancient nation as it should be observed, but probably not in La Paz.

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After a day or two of errands we headed for Isla Espiritu Santo, a national park with excellent anchorages and spectacular desert scenery and lots of gringo boats.

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SundayAM 021 We anchored between some islands next to a cliff with cactus sentries guarding a thriving coral reef below.

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We took a hike up the back side for the view from the top.

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For several days we had the place to ourselves with occasional visits from skiffs setting seines and gill nets.

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Its hard to beat this spot anchored a few hundred feet off a reef full of snapper with an unnatural interest in the business end of the pole spear (yes, the parts came from the Shilshole dumpster).  Curiosity has killed some snappers and fed the crew.

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24°28.40′N 110°22.85′W 08-Dec-09 14:00 PST

Birds of the Mangrove

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

The birds of Baja gather in Mangrove stands to relax in the shade and amuse visitors.

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We held the constant attention of at least one buzzard every minute of the day. Happily they were all disappointed by our good health and safety conscious mortality avoidance procedures.

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We call this one Darth Vulture.

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The birds that actually sit in Mangrove trees are pretty skittish.

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We take their pictures.

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And they fly away.

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Eventually we learned how to sneak on them.

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This guy had a serious cowlick.

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He might have taken some grooming tips from this guy:

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who was elegant from every direction but the rear

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24°28.60′N 110°22.10′W 08-Dec-09 14:00 PST