Sunday, 29 January 2012

where pelicans rule and sailors meet couch surfers


I like pelicans, I do.

It turns out that their seemingly clumsy dives for fish, have an element of prowess if you really look. How do I know this? Well, Isla Cocinas is the cool pelican hangout, or so it seems. I had many opportunities to observe them. 

Next door to Isla Cocinas:
Isla Pajarera
La Cruz, January 17, 2012: We weighed anchor on a sunny afternoon and began our overnight passage for Bahia Chamela. The wind at first absent appeared out of nowhere; we practically flew out of Banderas Bay. As night progressed, the wind petered out. Yet again, we had to motor.  This was our first overnight passage since we sailed from Cabo to La Cruz at the end of November… I felt a bit rusty, and thrilled. We were going somewhere new! During my midnight to 04:00 shift, I got my “Q” fix while looking at stars and steering in the dark. (Q is a current affairs radio show on CBC – we’re fond of Gian Ghomeshi, the interviewer. The podcasts are a little taste from home that’s oddly comforting while on overnight passages…)

The clear waters in Bahia Chamela:
We could see the bottom in 30 foot depths
Our 96 nautical mile journey was pleasant, if uneventful. As we neared Chamela Bay, we noticed that the predicted southerlies were already piping up, so we decided to head to Isla Cocinas, as it offered better protection from southerly winds. We found our way among reefs, and anchored off a little beach. By night time, we were the only boat there.  The water was so clear, it was startling. We could see the bottom. I snorkelled over our anchor to see it was well ensconced in the sand. Cool. The water was warmer than in Banderas Bay. Looking up, we were surrounded by frigate birds, pelicans and seagulls. We ended up putting out a stern anchor to ease the rolling motion. It worked pretty well.

The next day we packed our bag with snacks, our large East-Indian cotton sheet, towels, and snorkel gear. After exploring on the south side a bit, we decided to go to the beach near our boat. As we neared the beach, we recognized our friend Jared from SV Resolution, and his crew for this leg – whom we’d met in La Cruz. We ended up hanging out with them for the day, snorkelling, and watching the multitudes of pelicans diving for fish nearby. 

Nyon, as seen from Isla Cocinas

Brad and Rick at the hermit crab races
Jared is a friendly young Vancouverite we originally met in Neah Bay before our first big passage. He takes on various crew as he goes south - We immediately liked the latest crew, Brad and Nabila, a Tennessean and a Moroccan traveler respectively. They are a part of the couchsurfing movement. Check it out, it's another interesting way to travel. We all chilled out on the sunny beach, snorkelling when it got too warm, and gabbing away in French and English. (Nabila and I indulged in speaking French, as French is commonly spoken in Morrocco. It was a nice treat for both of us.) Sun-kissed and hungry, we headed back to Nyon after a good day.

Hanging out on Nyon after a sunny day

The next morning we pointed our bow south. Tenacatita was our next stop.

1 comment:

  1. We live on the Mississippi flyway and the white pelicans stay on our lake 2 times a year in March and then September, each time for a couple weeks. It's our favorite time to sail. They are awesome birds and we never tire of them.

    S/V Kintala



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