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Gato Loco Led #6 – Isla San Marcos to Santa Rosalia

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Friday morning, last full day on board Gato Loco. BUMMER! This just shouldn’t end! However the day does start on an embarassing note. Yours truly pulled his towel and swin shorts off the railing lines where they were hung to dry, only to lose the swim trunks overboard. First order of business for the day, a snorkel run into 15 feet of water to harpoon retrieve my swim trunks from the bottom. Everyone certainly has a laugh at this! As you can see, winds are calm, though the bee population is huge after a very humid, night… thus Gato Loco is covered in condensation (read – fresh water to the bees). Time to move!

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On our short motor away from shore (and bees), we begin to notice several groups of Manta Ray “jumping” out of the water. There are three different groups of them all going at it pretty good. Here, 2 of them are getting air at the same time, one up, one coming up out of the water just off the bow of Gato Loco. This went on for almost an hour, truly a fun “show” for all of us to see first thing in the morning.

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This one you can see is actually flipping over in mid air. The white is the underbelly of the Manta Ray. This seems to be a pretty normal occurance, as we see this happen alot. Once in a while, we see one actually rotating clockwise in mid air!

After watching Manta Ray for some time, and the temperature getting wamrer, and fast, Bill decides we’ll check out an area of shoreline just north of our anchorage for a spot that Lowell had referred to from his Legs a few week ago. Here comes a major surprise!!

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We anchor again just a short distance away from where we were, and load up on the dinghy to have a look at what seems (from a distance) and possible good snorkeling. Bill drives us over to the spot, and here it comes…

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At first look, this seems just a rock formation with some kind of beach. As we get closer, we realize that this is actually a full blown rock arch that we can PASS through by small boat, then land on a beach! AND, it looks like openings go through, or close to it on either side. Wow, this coul be REALLY cool. What might we find???

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Left – Entrance as we approach, Center – designated dinghy driver Bill looking closely & making sure we don’t hit rocks, Right – the opening of the arch as we close in.

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WOW, inside the arch we find a beach (left), huge rock in the center (group photo on top), and Alaskan sized king crab exo-skeletons!! That’s Bill’s hand… the crab is THAT big! We’re amazed to find it here!! Smaller crab skeletons too!

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Photo from further back inside the arch. This is Caleta de Arcos on Isla San Marcos. We are just stunned at how amazing this place is. I have may more photos, as I could overrun this blog with them from this location. Linda & I both can’t stop taking pictures.

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Left, another angle from inside the arch, center- great view from the beach on the north side of the arch, right – another picture from the beach inside the arch looking out.

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Left – another amazing sight, a hole in the rocks about 20 feet up, center – another angle of the arch from the beach, left – the hole and the rock by themselves.

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We could have spent much more time here, there are so many more photos we took it’s a show of its own, but we need to move on to finish our Leg of this trip. Returning to Gato Loco, Linda can’t resist the photo op of the catamaran that made this week possible. Great boat, great trip, great experience. We load back up and start the final segment of today’s trip, the short trip to our final destination, Santa Rosalia.

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Heading toward the harbor at Santa Rosalia, we catch some afternoon wind that kicks up, go sails up and cruise along at about 5 knots. Nice to catch some sailing time on the last part of the trip, the stretch from Isla San Marcos to Santa Rosalia.

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Ellen is watching Manta Ray and checking out the scenery along the Santa Rosalia shoreline.

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Entrance to Santa Rosalia harbor. We have some final chores to handle, getting fuel for the next Leg, water and cleaning up after ourselves! It’s midday in the harbor, and hot.

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Couldn’t resist this one… Ellen, Bill and Supervisor Dave filliing the fuel tanks, not really conveniently located under the salon table. Bill and Leg 7 have a LONG haul to get back to Puerto Penasco, so every drop of fuel is precious.

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A major surprise at the harbor/marina… access to a POOL on the second floor of the main office area! It’s a hot and humid day, with almost no wind inside the marina. The pool is a GREAT amenity. Yes, it’s about 2 inches deep on the right side where the chairs are (and Dave is sitting). Then it’s “lap pool deep” where Bill & Ellen are hanging their feet.

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Below the pool area is the dock, here’s a shot of Gato Loco in dock (third up from the right) with other sailing craft from all over the west coast. We’ve met a large number of people from oregon on this leg.

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I think we’ve seen this restaurant before in blogs here… I think it was Mike Clark at the beginning end of the 1-meter long pizza they serve here! We did it too! However, Ellen & Linda helped polish this thing off. Still, very good pizza!

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Santa Rosalia cultural moment… I didn’t quite catch the details here, but Linda did in next photo… just need a translation!

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Something about being built in Paris, then dismanteled and re-built in Santa Rosalia circa 1896 – 1897. This church was open and active as we passed through!

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Street shot of Santa Rosalia. What’s weird is that even though we’re in Mexico, the buildings here have an incredibly strong French architecture. Makes sense with the church having been designed by Eiefel himself, the man who designed the Eiefel tower!

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Passing back through town, we pass back by the pizza place. We had made a joke among ourselves about delivery of a 1-meter long pizza. Well, here’s the proof. They DO deliver their 1-meter pizza!!! Here’s the custom designed delivery carrying aparatus!! Service to where you live! (Servicio a domicilio).

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A final look at our final location of interest in Santa Rosalia, the town square. Pretty interesting place to see in the middle of the Baja.

Thus, the end of the “Rookies & Owners” Leg#6 for 2010! We can’t thank Bill Hensler and Ellen & Dave Redden enough for allowing Linda and me to be part of this amazing adventure. It’s an fantastic and gracious gesture that all of the Gato Loco owners share this experience with people they know, and don’t know all that well. We felt welcome from the first moment to the end, and we both thank you all for the opportunity to taste the amazing experience of sailing the Sea of Cortez. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Linda & Larry. Rookie sailor/blogger out, Leg 7 is next!

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