The Sweet Spot

Back in the Sea of Cortez, we are finally finding our groove. Yeah, it’s been awhile since we felt this way. We are in a nice routine of relaxing over breakfast in the morning, then getting our snorkeling gear on and spending a few hours exploring reefs. Hot afternoons are spent below in the relative cool of the cabin, eating late lunch and examining the photos we took that day. We play our version of Exotic Fish Bingo. I just love sitting down with our field guides and a batch of photos fresh from the camera! We are such nerds. I always feel a little light headed and giddy when I discover I’ve seen a new fish.

“Look, Honey! I think this is a Glossy Blenny! I’m calling it! I’m marking it down!”.

“Oh yeah? Well I’ll see your Glossy Blenny and raise you one Zebra Moray Eel! Who’s winning now?”

I absolutely love this part of cruising. Even on a bad day, a day of snorkeling is better than just about anything except maybe French Toast.

My work station. It feels a little like being in school and having homework that you love.

One of our favorite snorkeling sites is the bay of San Juanico. Huge pinnacle rocks standing in the north part of the bay offer refuge to myriads of fish and other salty beings, offering hours of snorkel play. Most boats tend to anchor up near those rocks, protected from most wind and swell. This year we decided to explore the southern half of Bahia San Juanico. Imposing rocky sandstone and volcanic guardians stand over the entrance to the southern most anchorage in the bay. Under the sea these rocks are completely encrusted with hard and soft corals, sea fans, anemones, and tiny fish. The colors are true to the spirit of Mexico: bright pinks, purples, greens, reds, oranges and yellows pop out from the more muted tones of the rocks and sand. It’s a psychedelic visual feast and I have trouble tearing myself away from the rocks; there is so much to see.

Rocky guardians  where the great snorkeling is found.

Yes, the month of June is definitely the sweet spot here. The weather is heating up, but that means the water is heating up, getting clearer, and the sargasso weed is dying off, exposing the bottom and its creatures beneath it. The nights are cool enough to sleep. Alas, that will not last forever as summer approaches. Temperatures of 98-100F are predicted next week. So for now we are enjoying our time.

This deluge photos show the true, unaltered colors under the Sea of Cortez. Can you blame us for wanting to hang out by the rocks?

Orange cup coral

Those sea fans!

What are these white feathery things? They are everywhere.

More sea fans.

Let’s take a break and talk about our cunning plans for the coming months. We’ve had so much flexibility it’s almost like we didn’t have a plan, cunning or otherwise. But we do have goals. They involve a trip to see Mike’s mom in Tennessee, a trip north to Washington to see our family there sometime in the near future, and a visit from Andrew and Jill in October. In the short term we are crossing over to San Carlos to visit the Brownlows from S/V Slow Motion before they leave for the summer. We’ll retrieve our car over there and hopefully it will still run after sitting in the lot since December. We are still making decisions about the timing for a haulout in Puerto Peñasco and how to get both our car and our boat there at the same time. We plan to leave the boat in Marina Real, San Carlos, for the few weeks we are gone to Tennessee. We think it will be safe from tropical storms there. Right now we have so many balls in the air we are kind of waiting for some to fall into place naturally.

Back to the soothing world underwater now because part of the stress of cruising is having a ton of goals but no solid plans. It’s a blessing and a curse. That can be said of many things.

Oh, and there’s a good possibility of a Pacific Crossing next year. Lots of things need to fall into place and there needs to be no interference from the Universe for that to happen. We are practicing non-attachment to outcome on that because at this point it’s a goal, not a plan. We throw ourselves on the mercy of the Universe and its ways and work our end of the agreement to make it happen.

I need a guide book to invertebrates. See the nudibranch?

He’s called a Mexican Barnacle Blenny, but I call him cute! So many of these little guys!

Redside Blenny

Not a great quality, but here’s a Carmine Triplefin (I think) for you. Along with his friend the barnacle blenny.

Currently at Bahia Santo Domingo, we travel today back into Bahia Concepcion to our favorite spot at Playa el Burro. Here’s what we saw there last year. Will we see another one? 

FYI, I’m using a fairly inexpensive Olympus Tough underwater camera. I’ve been pretty happy with it, considering it’s pricepoint and how easy it is to use. I actually like it for carrying around daily. If we make this Pacific Crossing thing happen, we’ll buy another one for Michael. He’s been using his old Nikon Coolpix underwater camera and the quality of the photos with this Olympus is much, much better.

S/V Galapagos, standing by on channel 22a.


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