On my 4th day here as I was taking a break from one of my many projects I hear a knock on the boat and on the dock were Jay and Carolee Tyson. Come to find out they had left Portland a month or so prior to me. Our paths are very similar in retiring early, selling everything moving onto a sailboat and heading south for the “good life”. We really hit off and I’m so happy they came over and looked me up. Carolee asked if I was interested in going snorkeling the next day which I obviously was. After breakfast I walked over and saw their boat. It’s a 1988 Norseman that they have done a remarkable extensive job of making ship shape and it’s a beautiful boat. They’re both witty, light hearted, they’re an awesome team and I’m really looking forward to getting to know them better. I headed back to the boat and got my stuff packed and ready and shortly afterwards they stopped by and off we went on our snorkeling expedition. It was about a mile walk and there is a place we have to pass that they have dolphins that are raised in captivity that they charge people to swim with. I’m still torn on the ethical implications of this situation. We headed out to the beach which has rock breakwaters on both sides of the entrance to the harbor. The beach is really shallow for a long ways out so we started making our way out along the rocks and I’m uploading some pictures of the fish we saw and the other sites of the day in a gallery as I type. There were small schools of moorish idol’s, surgeonfish, tangs, angels, wrasses and numerous others that I didn’t recognize. The water was a little murky due to swell, wind and incoming tide conditions but still clear enough once you got close enough to the fish. The further out we got towards the point of the breakwater we went the more fish we saw and did we ever see fish. I haven’t done any snorkeling since Hawaii in 1998 and I don’t think I saw as many fish in Hawaii as I did here. It was truly amazing how many fish there were. The water temperature is 72 degrees right now and I was pretty chilly after our hour long snorkeling trip. I know from everything I’ve read that it only gets better up north where you’ll see manta rays, whales, can swim with seals and numerous other varieties of fish.
After snorkeling we were all starving and we headed back to our respective boats, got reorganized and walked down to a restaurant that Carolee said had some of the best shrimp tacos she had ever had. Unfortunately they were closed but we found another restaurant/hotel that had a 2 for the price of one cerveza or margarita special going. It looked clean and had a nice outdoor atmosphere so we gave it a shot. The menu said shrimp tacos were 100 pesos which is $7.50 us. Come to find out though that included 3 shrimp tacos and a salad. Carolee and I ordered the shrimp tacos and Jay went with the catch of the day which was sea bass caught that day grilled with garlic. Total cost of the meal for all 3 of us with tips, 2 beers and a coke light was $28 us. Not dirt cheap but still a good price and the food was delicious and we all left happily satiated. We were on the opposite side of the harbor which has a breakwater and swimming area as well which appeared to be where the locals went. There is also a large covered fish cleaning area where the local fisherman in their pangas come to clean their catch of the day. We passed a group of four gringos that had just come in from a charter trip and they had caught and landed a 248 lb yellowfin tuna. There was so much meat that they were giving it away and Carolee actually scored a nice slab and we are going to have some fresh sashimi in near future. Looking forward to that!
After the walk we headed back to each of our boats to enjoy the sunset. There was an osprey perched on my mast just singing away. My first thought was bird poop all over the boat, but then I felt it was a good omen that this noble and majestic flight/fishing specialist had chosen to grace my boat with his presence. He eventually flew off and landed on Carolee and Jay’s Shameless. Jay was thinking poop and damage to electronics mounted on the mast. The wildlife here is absolutely incredible and so diverse. There is a seal that cruises into the harbor on a regular basis and I’ve actually seen him chomping on a fish or two. You’ll see schools of tangs and angels swimming between the docks feeding on the algae on the docks and boat, puffer fish and once again schools of fish I haven’t identified yet. There are numerous ospreys and pelicans in the harbor, heron that you can almost walk right up to walking the docks and numerous other gulls and seabirds that I’ve yet to identify as well.
I have seasons 1 & 2 of Game of Throne on DVD and Carolee and Jay have never seen it so I went over to drop them off so they can watch. While there a couple including 72 yr old Janeese and her younger boy toy John stopped by in their dinghy also from Portland! All of us are relatively new to cruising so we exchanged war stories and what our future tentative plans are. Both wonderful people with such great attitudes and intellect. The sun set and it started getting cool and late so we all headed back to our boats for the night. There is another couple on a boat one slip over from me that I’ve briefly met with Mark and Laurie that I would have really liked to have gotten to know better and hope to run into somewhere down the line. I thought they were asleep since they were leaving so early but Mark was double checking the boat for order and having a cold one and we got a chance to say our goodbyes. They are headed out for mainland Mexico at 5 am but should be heading back up this way in a month or so and hopefully our paths will cross again. Janeese and John are heading that way as well in a couple of weeks but Carolee and Jay and myself are kind of torn. We are all kind of late as far as the typical schedule of being down towards Puerto Vallarta and mainland Mexico at this time of year. Boats will start heading back north in April so that’s why I’m pretty sure I’m going to skip sailing 2 1/2 days south then heading back up a month later. The weather has been steadily improving here and in La Paz and it’s actually almost perfect. Still slightly cooler than I’d like at night but I’m not complaining. Carolee and John are kind of leaning the same way I think. I’ve been kind of looking for someone to buddy up with and I’ve really grown fond of Carolee and Jay and although I think I’ll be heading out around the middle of February for La Paz I don’t think they’ll be far behind. In any event I’m sure we’ll be spending more time together over the next couple of weeks and I’m really looking forward to it. Carolee is fearless and they’re both just crack ups. It’s been a great pleasure making their acquaintance. I’ve really enjoyed their company. This has been the best day since I started the trip back in October and finally some of what I’ve been looking for since the get go. Though I’m not anchoring out in some remote beautiful anchorage yet, I got to snorkel, eat shrimp tacos which I love with a passion and more importantly to do it with more of the kind of people I was expecting to meet along the way. Long winded I know but I really want to share all the unique original experiences I’m having on my psychological, emotional and geographical journey. Uploaded a bunch of pics from the day and I can’t help but still think the best is yet to come though I think the further away I get from La Paz the less frequent my updates will be. One day at a time though! Lot’s of love to all my friends in the Pacific Northwest and family in South Carolina. Want ya’ll all to know in spite of all the hardships and setbacks I still wouldn’t change a thing. I love this stuff!! I’ve had 2 cloudy days and just under .5″ of rain since I left Portland in October.