Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Back to Guaymas and home for the Summer.

2300, At sea on our way to Guaymas
We departed Punta Chivato just before sunset and we are on our way to Guaymas on our last night at sea for this season. It is with a tinge of sadness that I write these notes as it is another of those magical nights on the water.
The first crescent moon is just slipping under the horizon to the west and the stars are brighter than ever. The sea is absolutely flat and there is not even a breath of air to disturb it. Perfection would have been a 10-12 knot breeze so that we could sail across without the engine noise but this is second best and very enjoyable. For the past hour or so I have been watching forms eerily materializing in the water near the boat. Many streak directly to the side only to veer off at the last instant while other larger shapes parallel our course momentarily before angling off. I am seeing the phosphorescence excited by the passing of creatures, curious of the engine noise and the passing of Gosling as we make our way to the east. Normally the larger of the shapes turn out to be dolphins but they are not following the normal routine of going to the bow to ride the pressure wave. The really large ones are undoubtedly large manta rays feeding on the plankton and other food critters that rise to the surface layer once the sun is gone.
Over the past few days the mirror-like sea conditions have enabled us more sea-life than we have seen all trip. There have been rays flipping out of the water, sea-lions lying on their backs with all their fins sticking out of the water, numerous whales, including a brownish grey loner yesterday near Punta Pulpito. There have been dolphins and sea turtles and fishing has been good with a Cabrillo yesterday and a yellowtail jack today. After the high winds of last week this is an unexpected bonus.
We arrived at Isla Coronado in early afternoon to join 2 other boats. By late afternoon there were 20 boats and millions of bees. Someone had organised a Seawind catamaran rendezvous for that evening but they were a quiet bunch. We were 5 boats in our group with Tanque de Tiburon, Moshulu, Journey and Loomba Loomba. All but Tanque repaired ashore for sundowners. Bill was still trying to get his outboard going after his mishap in Pto Escondido. This was the last time this season we’d see many of our friends so it was a bittersweet event. We all bid our fond farewells and escaped the bees to return to our boats for a quiet night at anchor. On our way back we dropped in to say hi to Carl and Claire, on Paradox. They had drifted in while we were ashore and not being a Seawind they were excluded from the cat get together. We’ll see them in Guaymas before we go back. We also passed by TdT to bid Bill and Linda farewell as they were headed for San Carlos the following day.
We weighed anchor about 7 and headed north in a flat calm ocean. We didn’t really have a destination in mind until mid-day when we decided that Punta Pulpito would make an interesting stop. We’d never been there before and the imposing Obsidian headland has been beckoning us every time we have passed by over the past seasons. We spent the remainder of the day swimming and exploring the shoreline by dinghy and in fishing off the promontory. We were rewarded by a small Cabrillo (sea bass).
We set out early again this morning, again on flat calm waters and arrived at Punta Chivato by mid-afternoon. We had time to take Rosie for a walk along the beach and a tour of the shoreline and then we readied for our last crossing to Guaymas. We decided to leave before sunset to navigate through the shallow passage south of Pta Chivato in daylight so here we are, 10 hours to go before it is all over for another season.
2200, 11 May 2011, On the hard, Singlar marina, Guaymas
What a difference a few days make. We are now in the storage yard after 3 days alongside at the Singlar marina getting Gosling ready. Fran and I are just wasting time waiting for another hour before we make our way to the bus station. We are taking a break and heading to the Copper Canyon. Yes, it is really happening this time. Fran has been quite excited about it and has been studying every aspect of the trip, asking friends and reading notes from others about their experiences and reading everything she could get her hands on to find more info. All this time J-G has been taking down sails, reorganising lockers, removing and washing all the running rigging, organising what is going back to Canada and what is staying with the boat, tending to the batteries and all of the many preps necessary to put Gosling in long term storage, well till Oct/Nov anyway. OK, Fran did help out too on many of those tasks but her mind was on the trip.
We had a visit from Omar (mechanic extraordinaire) today and he will be coming back in November to make some adjustments to the engine and gearbox before our next odyssey. He thinks our injectors and valves may need adjustment to get rid of the soot problem on Gosling’s rump.
When we arrived we were met by Phil (Manasea) who is leaving early tomorrow morning for Sacramento. We were surprised to see Warren Peace (Steve and Linda) at the dock when we arrived. They were late departing and they remained in the northern part of the Sea for most of the season. They will be hauling out early next week at San Carlos. It was nice to be able to socialize with them for a few days. Later that day Chris and Ronnie aboard Ladybug pulled in. They are getting ready to haul out at Gabriel’s yard across the bay.
The haulout was non-eventful. We are in a good spot amongst a myriad of other boats. It will be a full yard this year. Singlar’s reputation is increasing among the cruising public and there are as many on the waiting list as there are reservations. We are in good Canadian company with Blue, Forbes and Cameron and Relax close by. Many other Canadian boats will be arriving in the next few weeks. Francisco the painter has 3 boats on the go, at present, so he is keeping busy. Rumours are that his girlfriend is expecting a baby any day.
Bill and Linda (Tanque de Tiburon) have taken Rosie home with them so we are free to go to the Copper Canyon without worrying about her welfare. Linda has sent a few e-mails to re-assure us.
We are off to the Copper Canyon later tonight, taking the late bus to Los Mochis to catch the morning train to the canyon. Many of our friends have asked for lots of detail so they can use the info in planning their trips. There will be lots of pictures and we will add a few to this episode when we get a chance.

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