Archive for February 7th, 2010

The Flying Manta Rays of Isla Partida

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

We typically get wet to see our friends in the deep, but a fast inflatable can get you a dry look at the Flying Manta Rays of Isla Partida.


These rays fly out of the water to a height of about 6 feet.


At maximum altitude they spin, cartwheel, and flip.


Sometimes they land like airplanes…

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sometimes they land upside down.


  Sometimes they jump with their buddies (Popcorn Rays!).

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They jump periodically throughout the day but they save the serious jumping for sunset and cloudy days.  K thinks they don’t jump when its sunny, its bad for their shiny complexions and their Ray Bans fall off.

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They look absolutely joyous and like most fun things, only the young ones do it.


24°32.60’N 110°24.70’W   6-Feb-10 03:43 UTC

Caleta Partida

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

We escaped La Paz again to squeeze in a few more days in the islands before our upcoming family visits in the States.

Khamseen shared the anchorage at Caleta Partida with 14 other boats.  Seven of them were Moorings charter boats (including Firecat) in a flotilla organized, we heard, by Cruising World magazine.  The anchor lights of the fleet anchored behind us looked a bit like a small city.

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S got a case of fish fever, triggered by the capture of a small tuna by our friends John (of Coral Rose) and Pat (of Gitana) the day before.  We hadn’t had tuna in months, and S’s mouth started to water. 


Schools of small tuna were causing boils of bait fish all over Caleta Partida, so we set off in the dinghy armed with our newly repaired dumpster casting rod and reel. 


We anchored off the rocks on the south side of the bay where the action was hot.  Unfortunately nobody was interested in our lures – that is, until K brought out the Buzz Bomb.  Unlike the little lead-head hook (yellow with a painted on eye), the neon orange spoon, or the glittery yellow sparkle beetle that we tried, the buzz bomb is a no-frills piece of diamond-shaped metal, but it had what it took.  K caught a Little Tunny (no fooling, we didn’t make that up, it’s in a book) within minutes. 

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Then while trolling, S caught another type of tuna (Our crummy fish book has failed us on this one – A?) on the same lure.  

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The buzz bomb now ranks as our inshore equivalent of the candy cane lure.

These fish are gorgeous.  Up close and personal with our recently dispatched specimens, we gained a deeper appreciation for their beauty and elegant design.  First, they feel different than the other fish we’ve been catching.  Rather than limp, slimey, and scaley, the torpedo-like tunas felt compact, firm and smooth, their silvery iridescent skin almost soft.  Plus, we realized that they have (what we call) fin compartments – for extra zippiness!  Note the depression behind the pectoral (side) fin – it lets the fin fold totally flush against the body.  The dorsal fin also folds totally flush against the back.

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Alas, we couldn’t admire them forever, so we got to work disassembling them. 


Full of joie de vivre, S gave in to her well-developed soft spot for pelicans and shared a bit of our good fortune.

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The gulls were totally outraged at this blatant favoritism.

24°31.99’N 110°22.62’W   6-Feb-10 03:43 UTC