Heading to Puerto Penasco
|Life is good on Baja as Neely and I enjoy a sunset on Conception Bay. Driving north from Loreto it didn’t take us long on stop at playa El Requeson at the south end of Conception with a sand spit creating both a east and west beach. We set up camp mid-day on Sunday and hoped the beach wouldn’t get over crowded with Sunday beach goers.. No problem, by Sunday night we only had one other camp site on the beach. Nice breezy night but a little warmer. Frankie and Neely decided to sleep outside on the beach…Heading north on Monday we stopped by Gerry’s Palapa on El Burro beach the resident ham radio weather guy and famous poet but unfortunately didn’t catch him at home. It’s always nice to thank people like Gerry for the service they provide to boaters in the central and southern Sea. Hopefully Gato Loco will catch him when they sail into Conception.
Mulege is our stop for Monday night. We arrived mid afternoon and the heat is on so we decided to run for a camping spot with power to get the AC running during the afternoon. After a bit of cool down we decided to go swimming out at the lighthouse on the north side of the river and then on to El Patron for an early dinner (Us at the entry of El Patron).
Mulege is still recovering from hurricane Juan two years ago. Most houses have recovered from flood waters that went nearly to their roofs although some still set abandon. The city is doing a beautifications project on the river removing mangroves, dredging the river and adding a north side malecon some time soon. Info from the hotel we staying at indicated they are making steady progress but equipment is pulled off at the moment readying other areas for the hurricane season again!
While swimming at the lighthouse we ran into Myron & Marilyn (M & M) who we meet in Guerrero Negro on our first day driving south a month of so ago. They’ve been hanging out at their homes in San Lucas Cove just south of Santa Rosalia. They invite us to camp at their place on Tuesday night.
Tuesday morning we’re heading to Santa Rosalia first for propane then to the ferry terminal to secure our tickets for our Wednesday crossing. The ferry ride will cost us $405 for Pee Wee our van RV and two passenger tickets. Seems like a reasonable price to avoid a 2 day drive through northern Baja. By the way, gas in Mexico is $2.40/g and deisal is $2.00/g making traveling in Mexico a bargin compared to the states.
After a little more site seeing we’re off to M&M’s for the afternoon.
We found our new friends M&M working at their house in San Lucas. It’s warm again today so we quickly move to their beach trailer camp on the water on San Lucas Cove. Myron’s parents have had a house in town for years. The cove has fishing camps, trailer parks and a military base that plays reverley every morning. They are compelling talkers and after sharing life long stories we soon nest end for dinner and spend the night parked on a high point overlooking the cove providing a much cooler night for sleeping. Very nice couple who would fit right in with our Cholla neighborhood. We invited them down to Cholla for a visit.
Wednesday morning we’re off for our ferry adventure from Santa Rosalia to Guaymas. This ferry is small and they sandwiched 6 or 7 vehicles onboard including a old truck full of squid that fisherman have been catching between San Lucas Cove and Isla San Marcos setting 5 miles offshore. Squid fishing is seasonal and the catch has been good over the past week. We know the truck is full of squid because we were almost crushed by squid when the truck broke loose from it’s chains and laid over right where we had been standing with Neely. Luckily the Ferry Gods were looking over us. We decided to put Neely back in Pee Wee as things were getting a little rough with north winds. As I came out of Pee Wee putting Neely back I see the truck crash down where I had just left Frankie standing. Running like a mad man I made it to the area, thank God Frankie had felt the big wave and saw the truck coming at her, quickly dashing into the nearby port. Squid hanging out of the ruptured truck and our adrenalin pumping to the max but everything is OKAY…. The crew decided not to right the truck at sea fearing secondary problems and not wanting to completely rupture the truck and loose all the squid so they motored towards Guaymas with the ferry listing to port at 15 degrees. Life was good for Neely after that as the Captain allowed her to come the top deck and hang out with us during the crossing. Soon the word spread about the close call with the squid truck and Frankie and Neely were pampered by everybody on board. The owner of the truck made sure we found the shady spots on deck and carried Frankie’s bags off the ferry at the dock. Ones who could speak English wanted to hear the details all very concerned about what had happened.
With the boat listing our progress was slowed and the captain had to steer to avoid the afternoon south swell at 5′ arriving south of Guaymas and tacking to ride with the swell in to the Guaymas harbor. That’s when the fire drill began. They decided to offload cars and trucks from the front of the ferry which completely opens up. They normally use the stern. They didn’t have lines set for this and the boat is listing so it took an hour to finally free Pee Wee from the ferry. It turned into a 11 hour tour as they say but we made it to San Carlos for the night and will take a ferry in the future but pay very close attention to old squid trucks!!!!
I’m finishing this update on Thursday morning as we prepare to drive to Cholla Bay. This weekend is our friend and Leg 8 crew member Sally Dalton’s 60th Bday party at her restaurant Xochitls. Not to be missed
The Gato Loco Land Crew.
Leg 1 April 11-19, Crew: Lowell, Bill, Dave – Puerto Penasco to San Carlos
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