Welcome back and thanks for checking in. If you haven’t already, please check out Part One of our Sea of Cortez adventures.
As I was saying, there were things we loved about the Sea, and some things, well…not so much.
The loving part was easy. The wildlife was so diverse, and we were treated to our own up-close and personal display of the amazing-ness almost daily. See “Mooonlight Madness” for another example of nature’s quirks.
The first full night we spent in the Sea, near an anchorage named Los Muertos, we were greeted by the slap-slap-slapping of Mobula rays doing belly-flops and acrobatics just off our stern. At first, we couldn’t figure out what all the smacking noise was. It sounded like popcorn, but louder. And without that yummy smell. I was fortunate to have my phone handy, but I couldn’t catch one doing cartwheels and full 360’s. (But they do, I swear.) This was a sight we would be treated to many times in the Sea, and we never tired of watching.
We also saw lots of stingrays that hover on the ocean floor, sometimes partially buried by the sand they blend so well into. Pretty creatures. And fast! But beware, these little suckers will serve up quite a sting if you mistakenly step on one. Thus, the “stingray shuffle”, where you shuffle your feet as you wade near the beach. They were reason enough for me to prefer jumping off the back of the boat in deeper water than risk getting stung.
The birds were plentiful and diverse, and I especially loved watching as they flew along with El Gato. Among them were pelicans, boobies, cormorants, hawks, egrets, seagulls, oystercatchers, yellowlegs, frigate birds and lots of diving birds.
My favorites were the lesser grebes that often swam in large flocks. They have eyes resembling red rubies, and, unlike other water-fowl, they have lobed toes instead of webbed feet, making them excellent swimmers and divers. (Interesting fact-the closest relative to the grebe is the flamingo. Huh!! Who’d a thunk it??)
We learned that dogs are not welcome on certain islands that are part of the National Park System, and we tried not to anchor there. “Love me, love my dog”. Speaking of dogs, we have been pleased that nearly all of the local dogs we have met here are no more than vaguely interested in Roxie and Chance, and vise-versa. The only dog Chance had a run-in with was owned by an American and was off-leash.
One night. we, along with our friends on Redwood Coast hosted a bonfire, and drove through the anchorage inviting other cruisers. We had a good turnout and met some cool people.
Our good friend Neil came to visit and we headed north to Bahia Conception. Here, many US and Canadian RV-ers come to spend the season. There are great structures built to use as a home base. I believe most of these are privately owned, but there are also RV campgrounds a plenty.
We had heard there was good snorkeling here, so Neil, being the water-dog that he is, gave our method of “drive-by snorkeling” on the paddleboard a try. After that, he got a tour of the bay in grand style!
The people are so warm, and despite our lack of Spanish conversational skills, always tried to engage us in some small talk. Hopefully, next year we can converse more than rudimentary courtesies and pantomime.
So, knowing what we know now, will we return to the Sea? You betcha. We’ll go back next year, with a working SSB, less expectations, and eyes wide open.