Saturday, May 28, 2011

Back in La Paz

We have come full circle after spending the past few months in the Sea of Cortez. In our first season we have covered some serious ground. We made our way to the very end of Mexico mainland (Hualtulco) then turned the good ship Santosha around, and now we have explored the Sea of Cortez, as far as Santa Rosalia, and all the islands in-between. Hands down, all aboard agree that the Sea of Cortez is our favorite place. We can certainly see why people whom have sailed the world rank this place at the top of their favorite places to cruise. Thanks to everyone who advised us not to miss this beautiful place! It has held up to its reputation, and has had everything we were searching for on this journey. I also realized last night, that there are no mosquitos here. This is a plus for me, after being made a meal of a few times this past year on the tropical side of Mexico.

We have made many new friends, and are sad that the season is almost over. Hurricane season officially started on May 15th, so at this point in the game folks either head way North into the Sea to ride out the summer heat and avoid any potential hurricane or they find a Marina and leave their boat to fly to cooler parts of the planet. We are all looking forward to taking a trip back home to see the faces we love, and then there is the trip to Bali for a two month emersion into a culture I have dreamed about breathing in for some time now.

We still have until the end of June to play in the sea, so why are we back in La Paz so soon you ask? Well, our Visas have run out, so now we get to take a lovely (not!) road trip for two days, each way, so a total of four days in a car, just to drive across the boarder, pay a fee, then drive back. It just seems so silly to me since we are flying out at the end of June......but the law is the law. We are going to go to immigration in La Paz on Monday to ask ( and to beg) for a 30 day extension. We hear it all will depend on the mood of the person we come in contact with. If we can avoid a four day car ride on a two lane road, with free range cattle blocking the road at times.....we will head away from the Marina and back out to our play ground for a few more weeks.

On a VERY VERY VERY HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY note....did you guess already? YES, we are finished with the Calvert 4th Grade. To celebrate, we dug out a wake board from the bottom of our sail locker, that we purchased for Alex and Blake years ago...and let Jack have a go at it. He got up on his first try! And he now has a new passion to add to his other water activities.

Photos posted include a few snaps of the sights we have witnessed these past few weeks. I must have over 20,000 photos from our first season at sea.......stay tuned for the next batch which could be more of the same, or shot taken from a dusty long, very long, long, long, road trip to the USA boarder for 5 minutes, and then back to La Paz with Visas in hand.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A tribute to the Sea Star...and a new divers first impressions

In my humble opinion, the Sea Star is the most beautiful of all the sea critters I have encountered. I took these shots while I was snorkeling one day. Now that I am a "Diver" I have the opportunity to hold these beautiful creatures in my hands. Mother Nature really let her creative juices flow down under. The fish and fauna host spectacular rays of color and shapes. Diving really is like being on another planet. Snorkeling just gives you a little hint and a sneak peak at things. Once you enter the depths of the sea, the vivid colors and life forms hiding in the smallest of places come out to meet you.....eye to eye. I can clearly see why Jack is so animated after each dive he has returned from. I get the big picture now, and I am loving this new world under the waves. Jacks goal is to be a Dive Master by the end of our trip, which sums up to 50 dives, and a few more courses. I think he is well on his way, with MaMa diver right behind him now!

Monday, May 16, 2011

More from the Sea of Cortez...and Never say Never

We have had an amazing run of good weather since the last 4 day Gail that kept us smashed against a dock in Santa Rosalia. The conditions have been picture perfect, which means we have been able to pick and choose which anchorages to frolic in as we slowly make our way back to LaPaz. Our days are filled with the usual cast of characters....hiking, kayaking, paddle boarding, shelling, snorkeling......and a new addition.....all three of us are diving. Patrick and Jack have logged 20 dives so far....the deepest being 85 feet, and me.....never say never......I now have one under my belt.

Our friend Terry on s/v Manta is the diving Guru in these parts. He has played in this area for the past 30 years and he knows where all the best dive spots are. He is a former Navy Seal diver, and is a dive guide for the rich and famous who come to this area (Russell Crow being one name) He has also filmed underwater footage for the Discovery Channel. This kind, No ego.....just loves to dive guy, and apparently enjoys a good challenge of getting someone like me into the water for the first time (I will never dive, and have no interest in breathing underwater, or getting up close and personal with the life forms down under...especially former mantra) So when he offered, or more or less insisted I give it a try.....I knew I would be in very capable hands. This was a free offering ( I wonder what Russell had to pay him?) and that little voice in my head said I would be stupid to pass this opportunity up.......and then he tossed in the promise of a lobster dinner AND a pearl.....he really knew my weak spots......I of course had no other choice but to say YES, even while my knees were knocking together and my hands were trembling.

So before I knew it, I was breathing under water like a fish, with the fish. It was amazing. Life under water is a whole new world and just adds another exciting dimension to this life at sea. Not to is way cool picking out dinner at sea level.....After I survived my first dive, we all headed back to Santosha and enjoyed a lobster the size of Texas for dinner.

So now, we are known as the Santosha dive team in these parts. Terry........Thank You, Thank You, Thank You...for insisting that I give it a go.