Monday, June 9, 2014

Mexico's secret. The Sea of Cortez

One thing we discovered about Baja and the Sea or Cortez is evident in all of the pictures we took:  There are no cell towers, no internet, no FaceBook... nada.  

While that is actually the charm of this place, it is also why we haven't been able to post to our blog since leaving La Cruz.

It is amazing to realize we are seeing the exact scenes viewed by the original Spaniard Explorers...

...  and the native indians before them.  

Where else do you get that?

The lovely town of Loreto sits right on the Sea of Cortez, but doesn't have a safe anchorage where we are comfortable leaving Moonshadow so we took a taxi from Puerto Escondido a few miles to the south.  Construction on the mountainous road meant we had to stop for 35 minutes each way.  

Loreto is a charming town with the first of all the missions built in "upper' and "lower" California.  We visited at a time when there was nobody there.  This part of the world gets really hot even in May so the season for gringo tourism had already ended.  Many of the shops and restaurants weren't open.  This was the only local we really hung out with.

Back aboard Moonshadow we continued to hop from one gorgeous place to another.

 One never tires of the amazing beauty of this place, or Moonshadow's lovely crew.

To give you an idea of just how remote and small the populated areas are, here's the elementary school at Aqua Verde.

While the human settlements may be sparse, the bee population is thriving.  Moonshadow was visited by bees most places we went and they were only interested in one thing: water 

In this desert climate, beehives get so hot the wax begins to melt. That is when the bees begin to frantically seek water.  Finding water, they return to the hive, deposit the water on the wax honeycomb and fan with their wings to cool it down.  

When we washed the salt water off Moonshadow's decks with some fresh water while sailing to an anchorage called Puerto Ballandra, we were unknowingly providing a treasure of fresh water for the bees.  Evidently in the bee community, word spreads fast because six bees turned into dozens then a few hundred.

Fortunately, they were only interested in the water, not us. Unfortunately, the water those bees sought was trapped in the center cockpit drain where we hang out all day, so that's where all the bees were.  After being forced below, we looked through the screens covering the open port-windows and wondered if this would be a repeat of the swarm of bees we had aboard Moonshadow in Curacao.  In the end, we had to raise our anchor and move to a different location.

Bees or not, all the locations in the Sea are amazing.

Sometimes you need a break from all the beauty here.  Good thing we have a hammock!

The wind in the sea is often impacted by the local surroundings.  Below is a cruising yacht anchored at an island cove off the peninsula with it's bow pointed into the wind.   In the distance, smoke is blowing in the exact opposite direction on the peninsula where inland heat is drawing air from the Sea.
Many places you see this type of wind pattern, called NO WIND. This condition makes it hard to know if you are viewing photos right side up.

Sometimes, Moonshadow is the only evidence of mankind for miles so we carve up the water with our wake.  Kind of like skiing in fresh virgin powder.  Probably.  We've never done that.

We are often reminded who really owns this place.  Though hard to photograph, these large rays jump all the time, often doing backflips before belly-flopping into the water.

Then there is the acrobatic porpoise.   

This day, the water was oily smooth and the sun directly overhead, so it was tough to get a shot of the porpoises swimming under Moonshadow's bow through the opaque mirror surface of the Sea.

Then this fella decided to pop up and roll over for a look at us.  

One of those rare times when the camera was ready.

When the sun starts to head down over the Baja peninsula's mountains, the incredible beauty of the desert and sea begins to transform into colors you only see at dusk.

And we're reminded how this apparent barren desert is filled with thriving plant life.

Even this turtle has to come up for a look at sunset

Can't blame the turtle, check out the view!

Deb, up early doing yoga caught this stunning sunrise.

 Next day, same shot, totally different sunrise.

The only thing that tops all this is the Moonshadow swim up bar...

... followed by a desert moonrise.


Dewey said...

Great photos!

Michael Robertson said...

Gorgeous photos!

Anonymous said...

This is really informative. Thanks and keep up the good work
Diving Sea of Cortez

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