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Sunrise, Sunset

22 Jan


One of the things that those who travel to southern climes find the most difficult to convey to their otherwise appreciative audiences is the colours. I know that sounds very odd, but let me give you an example. On our first trip to Baja, we stayed at an absolutely beautiful beach called Ensenada Blanca, (White Cove). Our neighbours were a young artist and his wife, who travelled Mexico so that he could paint postcard size pictures of all the places they saw. He told us that his work sold well, but the biggest complaint he got from his customers was that he had obviously over emphasized the colours. People just wouldn’t believe that what he was painting were the actual colours he was seeing.


It probably has something to do with the difference in light refraction as one moves closer to the equator, maybe it also has to do with the desert and reflected light, I don’t really know, this is a science that I’m way out of my depth on. What I do know is that everything here, whether it’s natural or man-made has a colour vibrancy to it that doesn’t seem to exist in the cooler climes.

This seems to be true all over the world, Greece is full of bright colours, and England is not. The hotter the country, the brighter the colours. Hmm, the same can be said for the food, but that’s another story.


You’ve seen the colours I painted the interior of Grummy, well these simply reflect what I find myself surrounded by here every day. The homes in all the villages are a riot of every colour imaginable, the native clothing, (though that is slowly being replaced with “made in China” cheap crap, just like everywhere else) is the same with intricate, primary colours embroidered on creamy white cotton. Even the plant life, especially the Bougainvillea that grows everywhere, explodes with bright, vivid, zest.

Nature herself sets the example, with sunrises and sunsets. Sure I know these occur everywhere on earth, but down here they are so spectacular that we often have “Alerts”. This is when someone is so moved by what they see they call on the VHF radio to let everyone know that Nature is painting a new spectacular.


I’m pretty sure if I checked, I’d find that just about everyone who lives here or visits regularly, probably have hundreds of sunrise and sunset photos. I know of a couple of people who have albums that contain nothing but. Plus Nature never repeats herself, so each picture is a masterpiece of creation.


I have to admit, that the view we have is one many would pay a great deal of money for, but when I add in the palette of colour that nature uses to paint the mornings and evenings with, it takes my breath away. It makes me feel as if I have been given a glimpse into the awesome complexity of the infinite universe, yet at the same time makes me feel very, very insignificant. This is an almost impossible concept to explain, and photos really don’t show what the eye actually sees, but it’s all we have.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I’ll simply let these photos speak for me. Perhaps it will give you a tiny glimpse into the desolate beauty of the Baja.

If you enjoy them let me know, I’ve got lots to share. Not only that but there’s lots of room down here on Rattlesnake Beach and all are welcome!


Got a few spare hours?

8 Jan

Hi folks, hope everyone had a very good Christmas and an excellent start to the New Year. We certainly did, but I still find it a little difficult to get used to not being with my kids and their growing families, not to mention the warm, sunny weather as opposed to the cold, wet and occasionally snowy crap we always got at home. There may not be a lot of Christmas decorations, lights or fir trees, but we sure do eat well. There seems to be a party just about every other day from the middle of December until February 2nd when the Mexicans officially call Christmas over. Made staying on my diet a really hard proposition, but I persevered!


Just another gorgeous Sunrise over the holidays

I’ve talked a lot about the view here, the festivals, the hikes, the fishing, the social activities, even the political landscape, but I don’t think I’ve explained what it’s actually like to physically function here.


How long does it take you to do the laundry, or go grocery shopping for example?


For the laundry, when I’m at home it takes a little over an hour to wash and dry a load or 30 minutes to wash and then however long it takes to hang it on a line, plus I can program the washing machine to add an extra rinse if I want.  Here, if you’re very lucky, it can take the same amount of time but more likely, it will take all day, sometimes 2. Here’s how. There are 4 places I can do my laundry, five, if I include washing it by hand, which means using up a lot of water in the tanks, wringing it out, then hanging it on the line. I can take my laundry to Puerto Escondido and, using their washing machines, I can do my own wash, for 33 pesos a load. Now I can’t dry my laundry there, (most of the time I prefer to dry it on a line anyways, but not always) as they have no propane, which heats the dryers. That means that there’s no hot water either, none for the wash and none for the showers that are available for 10 pesos.


Think about that for a minute, if you will. You can pay 10 pesos and have a cold shower. When they have propane, you can pay 20 pesos and have a hot shower, it all depends on if they have enough money to pay the fuel bills.  Lately, the Pemex hasn’t had any gasoline because the management running the Marina hasn’t been able to pay it’s bills, but that’s another story, back to the laundry.


One of many beach parties held over the holidays

The problem with the Puerto Escondido’s 3 machines is that they are small, used by a very large group of individuals and probably haven’t been cleaned since the day they were installed. They don’t clean very well if you try to wash a large load and they don’t rinse worth shit, nor can you personalize the program. This means that you wash more, smaller loads and some clothes need to be rinsed again when you get back to the camper. So you spend more money, you waste more water and if it takes too long, remembering that the staff doesn’t unlock the laundry room doors until sometime between 9 and 9:30 AM, and that you might have to wait in line for a machine, by the time the wash goes on the line, there may not be enough time for it to dry before the evening sets in.


The next option is to take it to Tripui Hotel, just down the road, where for 50 pesos a load, they will wash and, most of the time, dry your clothes, but the service is haphazard at best and you don’t get your clothes back until the next day.  Nothing like getting a bag of damp clothes back 24 hours after they’ve been washed!


Next, is the Juncolito option, a village about 3 kilometers north of us. If you can get your wash over to the village, then into the hands of Mr. Torres’ daughter, (Mr. Torres runs one of the original guided fishing outfits in the area and is very well known) she will wash it, dry it, fold and bag it for 50 pesos a load but again it won’t be ready until tomorrow. Since the village is too far to walk carrying a large load of laundry, this entails 2 car trips, 1 to drop it off, another to pick up as there is little traffic between the village and our beach.


The New Years Eve Soup party. An interesting concept, everyone brings their best soup!

Or you can send it into town to Elizabeth; she runs a Lavaderia or laundry in Loreto, about 25 kilometers away. On average, someone from the beach is driving into town for various reasons, every day, so everyone just checks in with Elizabeth as a matter of course. If Liz knows they’re from Rattlesnake Beach, she will hand over any and all bags due to go out to the campers. The charge is 50 pesos a load and the wash is ready the next day. The service includes wash, dry, fold and bag. However, if no one is going into town when your laundry is ready, you have to make a special trip in just to pick it up. This can entail blowing 2 entire days.


Now I have to say that the ladies who do the laundry service do an excellent job and there is something special about getting your clothes washed, dried and beautifully folded. They can even fold fitted sheets so well you could put them back into the package they came out of, but they all seem to use only the hottest setting on the dryers and consequently your wardrobe takes quite a beating.


Not a big deal, I’m sure you’re thinking, and it’s not, taken in isolation, but combined with everything else, it gives you a better idea of what it’s like to live here in Baja.


If you shop like my eldest daughter, then Baja won’t hold any challenges, but if you’re used to going to one grocery store for all your shopping needs than it’s going to come as a shock to you when you go looking to complete your list.


Imagine a shopping list:


Skim milk

Feta cheese

Romaine lettuce


Paper Towel

Vitamin D


Now that seems simple enough doesn’t it? Nah, not down here. First forget the Vitamin D, right off the bat. None of the food stores carry anything like that. They might have a Pharmacy in them but it only carries pharmaceuticals that are suitable for common aliments, no vitamins. So then you head off to one of the larger Pharmacias, and if they do have Vitamin D it’s in a cosmetic form suitable only for rubbing on your skin or combined with other things. Now Loreto does have a new Health Food store and I do intend to try there, but every time I go in, it’s closed and it’s hours and mine never seem to correspond.


The bacon down here is in a word, awesome! The bulk stuff is thick cut, well smoked and very lean, but you can only find it in 2 stores and they don’t always have it. Sure you can get packaged stuff, just like the crap we get at home, but the bulk stuff it so very much better and a whole kilo of it will cost you 70 pesos. The commercial stuff is

sold under the name of FUD, costs twice the amount of the bulk bacon and is thin, fatty and virtually tasteless! Which would you prefer? So, if you’re looking for good bacon you may end up having to go to both of the stores that have it to find some and these stores may not necessarily have anything else on your list.


One of the stores that might carry almost everything is called El Pescador, though it’s the most expensive place for groceries as it’s geared mostly to the Gringo tourist trade. When we’re looking for Cocoa and our favourite breakfast cereal, this is the only place we can find them, plus they sell bulk bacon. It automatically becomes one of our stops when we go shopping and they do carry the paper towels we use, though not always, so we buy it when we see it.


The Feta comes from only 2 places; one is the Modelorama, a store just where our dirt road to the beach meets the pavement. Fernando and his wife Lorraina, a lovely, friendly couple run it and they go out of their way to supply all the strange stuff that the Gringos seem to need, not to mention beer. Fernando makes a trip to La Paz twice a month to search out the exotic stuff for us. It does however cost a fair bit more as this is a convenience store. The only other place to get it is in Loreto at a store called Dali’s, a high-end store that caters to the Gringo crowd and the restaurant trade. (I should mention that there are no wholesalers as such in Baja, there is a Sam’s Clubs and Costco, but that’s as close to a true wholesaler as one can get here)


Are you starting to get my drift? Grocery shopping even for a small list can include 6 or 7 stops and if you’re really lucky you might actually get everything, but it’s doubtful. We consider it a great accomplishment when we’ve actually managed to procure everything we set out to get. Some friends on the beach told us that on a recent trip into Loreto they ended up making 27 different stops. Sure they were trying to deal with a couple of government agents and the bank, but still, they considered that fairly normal, since it also included grocery shopping.


There are a couple of other stores that we always stop at; it’s pretty obvious, since we’ve run into restaurant owners at one of them that this is a good place for produce, sushi supplies and other esoteric products. Their prices are pretty good and they carry meat and have an interesting liquor supply, but again sometime their produce looks like it’s been there for weeks and they don’t seem to ever have butter. So the fruit and vegetables may have to wait until Sundays when the Farmers Market is open.


As to the eggs, well, this is something special actually, because you can get eggs in every store and you can buy 1 if that’s all you really need, or 200, your choice.

Milk is also available just about everywhere and in infinitely more variety than we see at home, not to mention that it’s cheap! My favorite part is that all of it is available in 1 Litre Tetra packs, as well as ready to use plastic jugs and in powdered form. The Tetra packs are great for travelling, and I make sure I’ve got at least 3 or 4 on hand just in case we run out of milk while on the road. These babies last for just about forever and since I take milk in my coffee, I never have to worry about not being able to enjoy a cup while we’re in the middle of nowhere and miles from the nearest store.


So there you have it, a list with 7 items on it and I only had to make 6 or 7 stops, not including the Sunday market to get 6 of them. I’m still working on the Vitamin D.


Ah well, it’s not like we’ve got anything better to do with our time and it means that when you’re  in Baja, you just have to slow down a bit and enjoy the scenery, cause you’re going to be seeing a lot of it!




…And what did you do today?

8 Nov

One of the things we get asked a lot when we get home is, “What do you do all day?” We usually get cute and respond with, “Well, we’re not really sure but it takes all day to do it!” Actually we find our days are full of things to do.


Our day generally starts at 6:30 AM. That’s when the sky starts to lighten in the morning and since it’s been so warm we’ve not bothered to cover any of the windows to allow as much breeze as possible to flow through the van, so we get up as morning twilight breaks. It’s my favourite time of day ever since I worked as a fishing guide. I loved getting to work early enough to enjoy my morning coffee while watching the sun come up. So we sit with our coffee and our Kindles and watch the sun rise over Danzante Island. Every day it comes up just a tiny bit further south.


One of the views from the top of Hart's Trail

Once coffee is over, I put on running shoes and head up Hart’s Trail, just a little to the north of us on the beach. It’s a ½ mile trail that meanders up the side of the hill up to 800 feet from sea level. Sounds pretty easy, doesn’t it? Trust me this is a cardiac killer and I do it as fast as my feet can carry me. Nothing like sweating so hard it feels like I just stepped out of the shower. Then it’s back down without slipping on the rocks and into the van for breakfast, a quick wash and then we sit and listen to the daily VHF net. A program that fills everyone in on the weather, comings and goings of friends, local announcements, jokes and various other information that helps all of us with the daily grind here. I’m still Sandy Beach on the radio and rather famous for my jokes, so I’m told. There are some friends on the beach who won’t go out fishing until they’ve heard my latest offering. So I’m finally famous! Who knew?

Richard's Dorado

On other days we head out kayaking or fishing as early as possible. The kayaking because we travel long distances and the fishing because most of the fish we’re after don’t bite once the sun is up. I’m proud to tell you, both Richard and I caught a Dorado this past week. Him in our our kayak, by himself, and me with one of the campers on the beach, while piloting a little 15 foot tin boat that she and her husband have put at our disposal. This really is quite the friendly, loving community and we all look after one another. A day doesn’t go by that someone isn’t offering us a piece of fish, fresh or smoked, or inviting us to a beach dinner or restaurant special. Yesterday, for example, we went for lunch with some friends from Victoria. They’re here helping her brother with the grand opening of a new restaurant. Best damn burger I’ve had down here! Then for dinner we headed to the south end of the beach where another couple we’ve become very close to, fed us Elk steaks and smoked Dorado.  Our life is just one great big social whirl!

My Dorado. I should mention that both these fish were caught on very light tackle. What a great fight!


As the day advances, and the temperature rises, we find ourselves relaxing for a while in the shade, with me in my hammock, Kindle in hand. By 2 or 3 it’s time for a swim or maybe a bit of snorkeling, to cool off, then back on shore for a warm shower and an ice cold Dos Equis.


Oh, and I should mention the birds. We’ve become as our British friends call us, Twitters. It’s hard not to watch the birds when the variety’s are so many and so varied. They are everywhere and you just can’t help yourself, eventually you have to know what they are. All of us have at least 1, if not 2 or 3 bird identification books and we talk about rare sightings as if we were all Ornithologists. It even gets announced on the net, once in a while.


Male and female Hooded Orioles. A very common bird here.

Depending on the night we might find ourselves, like last night, at a beach dinner with a few of the other campers, or a full beach party, or simply at home having a quiet dinner together. The sun sets at about 6:30 PM and many nights we take our coffees and sit out on the beach to watch the stars or the full moon. The sky here is so dark when the moon is not up, that shooting stars are seen every night, and the Milky Way is always visible Then it’s a couple of hours of reading or maybe a movie, then bed around 10


Yeah I know, you hate me, but hey, you too could be doing this. All it takes is giving up everything you’ve got. Quit your job, sell everything you own and move into a 26 ft, motorhome. You could be living right here beside me on the beach. All it takes is being a little crazy and not afraid to take big risks.


 A week doesn’t go by that’s not filled with something exciting, the whales are starting to arrive, pods of hundreds of dolphins are moving around, the waters are full of more green turtles than anyone has seen in 30 years and the Dorado are running.


Life is hard, but hey, someone has to do it!



20 Oct



Just before dawn and only 22c


I mentioned previously that the average daytime temperature down here was sitting at around 35c but that doesn’t actually tell the real story. You have to factor in the humidity levels, which are between 35 and 40 percent. Now I know that doesn’t sound like very much but oh, man does it make a huge difference. With the humidity, the actual temperature is between 40 and 45c. In other words, it’s freaking hot here!

Our home, where ever we are


It’s so hot and humid that you sweat heavily just sitting still and there is no part of you that isn’t wringing wet all day long. Just before sunrise it’s only 22c but as soon as the sun comes up the temperature skyrockets and within 20 minutes it has reached the maximum it’s going to be for the day and it doesn’t cool down until about 3 AM.


So what’s a person with lots of time on their hands to do? Why go swimming of course, or snorkeling or simply standing in the water, right? Uh, wrong. Not unless they have a full-length wet suit. Why? Well, there’s this little creature in the water here that folks call an Auga Male (that’s pronounced malay) Which translates to Bad Water in English. Now that’s probably not its real name nor have I been able to find anyone who can tell me what it really is, but it’s a suitable description.


An Auga Male. Sorry, but it's the best shot I could get!

These things are polyps, less than ½ an inch long, and so clear that they are virtually invisible in the water. They feed themselves by deploying a very long clear thread and when it touches bare skin, it burns, a lot! It also leaves a line of raised red welts that sting and then eventually itches like mad.


Our problem is where our campsite is. We are the last site right beside the launch ramp, so whenever any of the folks down here are trying to launch or retrieve their boats, they usually need help since all the launch ramp really is, is a gradual decline of sand into the water. Not to mention that except for ourselves, the average age on Rattlesnake Beach is 70 and up, so every day we accumulate large numbers of stings and man, are we going through limes since the best cure is warmed lime juice. Vinegar works but not anywhere near as well and I’m sorry but I’m just NOT going to try the old having someone pee on me experiment!

(Appreciation for help is paid in fish. Not that we’ve ever asked but hey, when someone offers you a Dorado, you don’t say no!)


An angelfish swimming by

These little nasty’s will eventually disappear when the water cools down some, but will then be replaced by a jellyfish called String of Pearls which look exactly like their name, except they are an iridescent blue colour. These too make life miserable for swimmers.


All in all, though it may seem as if we’ve moved into Paradise, there is always a price to be paid for it.


I got smart this year and purchased a full-length wetsuit, but have you ever tried to get into a wetsuit? Try doing it when every square inch of your skin is already wet. I know, I know, use cornstarch, but you know what? When your skin is already wet, cornstarch just clumps. So it’s a struggle and by the time I get the damn thing on, I really do need to get in the water as the sweat is pouring off me. Not to mention that even a wetsuit with mask, snorkel and flippers doesn’t cover every portion of skin. The hands and parts of the ankles and face are still bare and you know, getting stung on the face bloody hurts. Considering how long it takes to get the damn thing on, when the folks need help with their boats, I go as I am and in most cases it’s just my bathing suit and me. Oh well, nobody ever said life was going to be easy.


This is a Balloonfish, though they are mistakenly called Pufferfish. These little guys are anywhere there's a rock to protect.

I’m sure your sitting there thinking, Jeez, what a whiner, but you know, writing a travel blog requires truth so here it is, these things are the price we pay for our little slice of Shangri-La… this year. Next year it could be a plague of flies or biting insects, a Grande Norte that blows hard all winter long or a continuation of drought that makes fresh water difficult to come by. We never know what to expect until we get here but we always know there won’t be any free lunch!



Baja, as seen from my camera.

26 Jan

I’m not going to give you a story this time around, I’m just going to show you pictures. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words and hopefully these shots will tell you something about the Baja that I see every winter.
I talk a great deal about Rattlesnake beach, where we camp. It faces directly east so we see the sun rise every morning and you know, it’s different every day.

The insect and bird life that comes to visit us is colourful, varied and always fascinating.

Preying Mantis

A very large moth that visits at night

This bird spent about 30 minutes investigating our campsite and checking us out. There are lots around here and they really do move swiftly.

Road Runner

We never know what we’ll find when we visit the islands across from us. The tide brings things in and then takes them away again and depending on how the sun strike the land, things not seen before suddenly become apparent.

Sea lion skull, Pencil Urchin, dried Box Fish

A hole in the wall

The Desert makes most people think of a vast endless area of sand, where life is impossible, but nothing could be further from the truth. These are just a few varieties of cactus that thrive here and occasionally show us their more colourful side.

A Beavertail cactus just coming into bloom.


Pretty, isn't it?

Another beautiful colour in the desert.

We don’t always spend our time just at Rattlesnake Beach. There is a spot we like to visit, just south of La Paz, called Punta Arena. It’s an isolated beach close to the big city yet it feels like you are completely alone. The beach is accessed through an old salt pan, that is still being worked by hand.

Salt evaporation pans

Once there, as we walk along the coast we never know what we’ll see. Every cove offers a changing view and the fishing can be more than entertaining to say the least.

On the oceans edge, there are always dunes.

A common sight!

Catching Humbolt Squid

The local fisherman cleaner their catch of Tiberon, (shark)

Another place that I love to visit is directly across the Baja peninsula from us on the west coast called San Juanico. We don’t visit often as the road is excruciating to drive the Grummy down, and it’s a long ways to go. Ah but the sunsets, the sandy beaches and the treasures that the beaches offer make it worthwhile. Besides, every year we go they tell us the new road will be finished in just a couple more months. One of these years it just might be!

My favourite beach!

Just a few of the treasure to be found on San Juanico beach

And we’ll end the way the day always ends on San Juanico beach, with a glorious sunset!

The end to another day on Baja!

Yoga on the beach

11 Jan

A couple we’ve come to know well, here on Rattlesnake Beach, is Klaus and Parvin, who’ve been coming to Baja for more than 20 years. Parvin ran her own Yoga studio at one time and down here on the beach she has been persuaded to head a group for those of us who are interested. Both are in their late 60’s but you sure couldn’t tell by looking, as the two of them are more active than a great many 30 year olds we know. Not only do they do yoga 3 times a week, they also guide groups on the 3 nearby canyon hikes. We’re not talking flat, easy walks here either; all of them involve a great deal of clambering up and over gigantic boulders, crossing almost sheer rock faces and squirming up rabbit holes, taking on average of 6 hours to complete. They’ve been known to walk 20 year olds into the ground.


Our Rattlesnake Beach Yoga group, Parvin is on the far right.

They also kayak and are well known by all the professional kayak guides who  often see them in the coves and on the beaches of Islas Danzante and Carmen. They leave our beach in the early hours of morning so they can be on the eastern side of Danzante to watch the sun come up. These 2 were also the reason we ended up buying a double kayak, after some very convincing arguments as to why it would be a good idea.


The other day, Klaus asked us if we would be interested in going in a group with 3 other single kayakers to Isla Carman, where we would do our yoga on the white sandy beaches of Playa Blanca. The weather was supposed to be good, with little wind and since we hadn’t ventured that far on our own yet, this was a great opportunity to go with experienced paddlers. We of course said, “YES!”


Up before the sun!

We were supposed to be ready to go at 8:30 the next morning and so of course were up at 6 and standing around waiting for everyone at 8. Watching the sky brighten and looking towards the islands we noticed splashing headed our way from Punta Coyote just north of us. We at first thought we were looking at pelicans tearing into a school of fish, but as it got closer we realized we were looking at a pod of about 60 Common Dolphins. “Let’s go!” Richard yelled and we piled into the kayak and started stroking out from the beach. 50 feet was all we needed to be right in the middle of them as they raced by us, leaping and splashing as they pursued their breakfast. The old time sailors believed that seeing dolphins before a trip was good luck and we certainly felt that way.


A very good start to the day!



As we sat and watched the dolphins disappear, the other paddlers slowly made their way out to us and once we were all together, we set off for the north end of Danzante and the very tight pass between it and Still Point Island. Still Point isn’t really a separate island as it’s joined to Danzante by a finger of sand and rock, but at high tide there is a narrow pass only big enough for a kayak. Without Klaus leading the way, we never would have found it and would have had to paddle quite a bit further to go around the top end, but some years ago, Klaus and Parvin had dug out the small passage that exists. Lucky for all of us!


Is everybody here? Then let's go!

After making sure we had all managed to get through the opening, we aimed for Punta Arena on Carmen. There is a lighthouse on it and it’s easy to see from a distance so we paddled leisurely towards it, enjoying the water, and weather, yakking with one another as the boats jockeyed back and forth.
Stopping at Punta Arena, for a quick pee break, we noticed that the sand on the beach was totally covered in Hermit crab tracks, and one of the paddlers, Lance, said they had counted more than 60 of them in about 5 minutes when they had camped here a couple of years ago.


Tracks everywhere!

These islands are part of a huge Marine park and are protected, so everyone who visits them must have a Park pass and obey the rules, one of which states that nothing is allowed to be removed. Consequently, those who visit here have a tendency to create these treasure piles. Places where interesting and unusual things are left for those who will come after, to see and admire. The Trigger fish in the photo is the biggest one any of us had ever seen, and you’ll notice that it was rock hard. Things don’t rot here as it’s too dry. Dead things may be predated on by Turkey Vultures but anything they can’t or won’t eat, simply mummifies and Trigger fish skin is way too tough for them.


A common sight on the islands

Heading off again, we paddled only for a few minutes more and made it to this beautiful beach called Playa Blanca, or White Beach. It’s easy to see how it got it’s name. Here in the warm sun and sand we did our yoga, led of course by Parvin, with Klaus taking pictures. The Sun Salutation pose was of course the first one we did.


Yoga on the beach!



Afterwards, we pulled our lunches out of our dry sacks and settled down for a lovely picnic, enjoying the warmth, and beauty that surrounded us, not to mention the great conversation. At one point, we all stopped to watch this yacht go by and speculated on who was having the better time, us or them. We decided it must be us of course!


Who's the lucky ones?

Eventually, when everything had been eaten and drunk and all were becoming drowsy in the heat, it was decided we had better move on, or we wouldn’t be able to. Everything was picked up, stuffed back into the kayaks, and we hit the water to paddle a little further down to the very south end of Carmen. There are 2 palm trees here that have, against all odds, managed to grow and survive and this is one of Parvin’s favourite spots, so we had to at least see it before we headed for home.


How's that for a glimpse of paradise?

After a short stop to look around and talk with another kayaker we had met up with, a decision was made as to which direction we would take to go home and off we went. Like horses headed for the barn, we started moving faster, with the double kayaks leaping into the lead and pulling further away from the singles with each stroke.



Hey! That's us!

Half way across, Richard and I noticed whale blow in front of us, along the shore of Danzante, moving slowly north. It’s path and ours looked like they might intersect so we paddled a little harder hoping to see what it was. There had been few whale sightings this year, so we were excited to see one. Almost across, we lost sight of it.  We gave up looking and applied ourselves to paddling as the wind had come up and the waves were starting to reach 3 feet, with the occasional one breaking near us with a startling crash. Suddenly the crashing sound changed in pitch and there, close behind us was our whale. It was the blow that we were hearing, so that gives you some idea of how close it was. It turned out to be a she, a large Sei Whale and her calf. We sat with them for about 10 minutes as they surfaced and blew, ignoring us completely as they headed up into the northern reaches of the Sea of Cortez.


Momma Sei Whale.

The waves continued to rise, reaching 4 foot and becoming chaotic. It was a good experience as we realized that our kayak was built for this, so we stopped worrying and just paddled a little harder. As we all finally approached our beach, a tired goodbye was exchanged with all.
So ended another day spent with good friends and filled with the wonderful surprises that we’ve come to expect here on the Baja. I wonder what tomorrow will bring?