Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mexico bound (Betsy)

Mystic running down the coast
We've been planning to take Mystic from Canada to Mexico for most of this last year. After a short summer in Canadian waters, we left the beautiful Pacific Northwest, ran down the coast, and settled a short while in San Diego. After some final preparations and some serious provisioning -- half of Trader Joe's and a lot of Costco, we cast off our lines and crossed the border to Mañana Land. Other than a few lumps on our first day out, the seas have been kind to us. Our first Baja anchorages were a bit rolly but Mystic took them well and kept us comfortable -- as well she should since she weighs 100,000 pounds.

Dolphin escort
The sea has changed from the cold steely gray of the pacific northwest to a friendly deep blue, and the sun that we see every day looks like a million diamonds bouncing off the sea. We're seeing lots of dolphins -- they love to ride our bow wave, sometimes staying with us for 30 minutes or more. There's something about dolphins that makes them seem like big kids out for fun. We also had a run on whales one day as several of them blew and flipped their tails and fins. Trivia: the Gray whale makes a 12,000 mile round trip from the arctic to its calving grounds in Mexico, one of the longest known migrations.

Inquisitive seals of Benitos
We anchored Mystic at Islas Benitos one afternoon and couldn't believe how many elephant seals littered the beach -- it is calving and mating season. There were a few fights going on between males who were after mating rights, fights that sometimes end in death for the weaker male, or at the very least, a bloody snout. The seals around Benitos are incredibly curious especially compared to their Pacific Northwest relatives. Fifteen or 20 of these guys will come racing toward the dinghy and bob around close by for a bit, then suddenly they'll race back to the rocks before starting their little adventure again. These small seals tend to stay away from the beaches where their ungainly cousins have hauled themselves out.

We're starting to meet other sailors who are also seeking warmer waters. Yhey're coming mostly from California, Washington and British Columbia, though we did meet one couple that came in from Australia via Japan. Also, one very young couple bought a boat in San Francisco in July, quit their jobs in September and jumped off in October. They're final destination is a nice one: the Caribbean.

Eager to turn the corner at Cabo...nice beaches, warm water, colorful fish. Soon. Very soon.