If you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen. Which is exactly why we are now doing most of our cooking on the BBQ grill. This girl is HOT, HOT, HOT! I have always been a heat seeker. Having been raised in southern Florida and coming from a whole family of warm weather loving folks. I have been known to often whine and carry on about never getting warm enough. Well now I am crying Uncle!
This past month has had daily temperatures hovering around the 100 mark with humidity in the 60-90 percent range. This far south the sun, now referred to as the death ray, is brutal and the only breeze to be found is near the water. Therefore being at anchor as opposed to being in a marina is the only way we survive. Not only are we cooking outside, but I have been sleeping outside as the inside of the boat is too stuffy and the night breezes keep me cool. All of my pareos have become sun shades, so we have dubbed the cockpit the tiki room due to the variety of tropical patterns. Frankly, Pablo looks like a gypsy wagon with all of her sun covers in place and the assortment of colorful pareos fluttering in the wind.
Up side to all this – Cooking on the grill creates less dishes and I have learned to get really creative with foil pouches of meat and veggies. The nights spent sleeping under a open sky are magical. I have fallen asleep counting stars, later to be wakened by the breathing of whales or dolphins passing by during the night. We spend several hours each day snorkeling in crystal clear waters with an aquarium of fish; Purple Surgeon, trigger fish, moorish idols, rainbow wrasse, coronet fish, the list goes on and on. I have tried to take underwater pictures but I don’t have the right equipment to do it justice. On several occasions we have been visited by whales and dolphins and the Mobula Rays are still jumping. One whale, possibly a minke or fin whale, passed so close and the conditions where so calm that we could hear a low baritone vibration with each intake of breath. I found that I was holding my own breath as he gently glided past.
We have been anchored in a couple of anchorages off Isla Carmen and are often the only boat in an anchorage which has an otherworldly quality to it. The island is uninhabited and you can feel quite isolated. At least until evening comes and you see the lights of Loreto across the channel. Our days are spent exploring the beaches, swimming and enjoying lazy afternoons in the shade taking naps, playing cards or reading to each other from the book we are sharing. Our current selection is Kon Tiki, go figure.
It appears the hot weather might also be affecting P/T, the outboard motor. We have had multiple friends try to help us with this. For several weeks it would sometimes start and run like a new motor, which is what it is. And then there were other days when it wouldn’t start at all no matter what we did. We tested compression, spark, and kill switch. Steve and I even took the carburetor apart. Nothing helped. Then our friends Kirk and Heidi from s/v Due West talked to a guy named Sea Otter Jimmy in La Paz and he gave us some advice. His take was that the hot weather caused engine flooding and that we should open the throttle half way and give it no additional gas on start up. So far so good. We have been zooming about with grins on our faces. Although the oars are never far from reach.
In an effort to escape the heat last week we took a break from the boat and got a room at a small hotel near Puerto Escondido called Hotel Tripui. This place is like a small oasis in the desert. The lush gardens and swimming pool are lovely, the food is fabulous, the people a great and the rooms are air conditioned. It was 24 hours of cool bliss. In addition to our mini vacation at the hotel we rented a car and went on an excursion up into the mountains.
The first of the California Missions was built in Loreto, which we visited while touring the town a few weeks ago. The second Mission is a beautiful 1.5 hour drive through the Sierra de la Giganta range to San Javier. This is a tiny village of 140 residents who take care of the mission and make some of the most delicious dulces we have ever tasted. The mission itself was built in the early 1600’s and the visit was a bit like stepping into Europe for an hour or so. We wondered the small cobble stone streets, toured the garden which has an olive tree planted 300+ years ago, and breathed in the lovely scenery. It was great to do some inland exploration.
At the moment we are back in Puerto Escondido attached to a mooring ball. Soon we will begin our travel southward back to La Paz, as we have plane reservations in late August to return to the states. While It might be hot, hot, hot and occasional I will even whine about it, there is not an hour in the day that I don’t look around me and give thanks for how incredible this all really is. There are several times each day that Steve or I will say to the other “Look where we are!” and truth is, we are still amazed by it all and feel blessed to be having this experience.