As I have said before, we are not the only ones on the island. Many cruisers are using this island as their place to ride out the closures caused by the virus. Many others are using this island as a temporary stop over on their way to destinations farther north in the sea. We were lucky to have friends from S/V Tulum V stop by for a visit. They are on their way farther north in the sea. While they were provisioning in La Paz they reached out and asked if they could bring us anything. We were running a little low on fresh apples and sour cream so we place our order. On their way north they stopped in for a short visit and dropped off our apples. They had only just left La Paz and we had been isolated for our 14 days so we all thought it best if we did not intermingle. We were able to chat for quite some time with them on their boat and the four of us in our dinghy. It was great catching up and we look forward to meeting up with them in the coming weeks when we will follow in their wakes farther north into the sea. We have other friends on S/V Decision who are on their way to the Mexican mainland to meet up in Bara Navidad with our mutual friends on S/V Prairie Fox. While Ashley was in San Diego she picked up some parts for Prairie Fox and we have had them with us ever since. And since S/V Decision is headed their way we decided to meet up so that we can pass the parts along. S/V Decisions kindly asked us if we needed anything before they left La Paz so we placed another order for apples. Apples again you ask? Yes apples. You see, Victoria and Alexander will eat four apples a day if we let them. That was not clear enough. That is four apples a day for EACH of them. We have been rationing them to one apple a day for two days and then, heaven forbid, one day of no apples. Now that we are resupplied the great apple ration of 2020 is temporarily suspended much to the delight of Victoria and Alexander. We did not tell them that S/V Tulum was bringing apples just that they were bringing us a treat. When they saw that what they brought was apples you would have thought it was Christmas morning. So thanks to the kindness of our amazingly thoughtful friends we are able to maintain fresh food supplies and keep from reaching into the freezers or for any canned fruits and vegetables.
There is another boat that we have just recently gotten to know here in our bay of Isla San Francisco called S/V Shameless. They are a fantastic and thoughtful couple from Oregon. They have been cruising for many years. They are so helpful and quick to give us pointers of where to find great hikes and the best destinations to visit. They have similar plans to ours to wait out the virus here nicely isolated from a town or city but close enough to easily resupply. One of the other great things they are willing to share is their weather and news updates that they get via their SSB radio. For those of you who do not know what an SSB radio is, it is basically a shortwave radio on a boat. They have a subscription called SailMail that sends them an email through their SSB radio that has the local weather for their position and news headlines three times a week. Carolee on S/V Shameless then spends the next hour reading the entire reports over the radio for all of us in the anchorage. It is very useful information and is a real help to us all.
Finally our other neighbors are a little less helpful but nearly as much appreciated. As you all may remember we are actually in a desert environment which means fresh water is very hard to find for animals and insects that live on land. And for the animals or insects that can fly they are smart enough to check the tiny floating islands that come and go from time to time, otherwise known as boats. Many of you may also remember that one of the things Victoria and Alexander miss the most about not living on land is beekeeping. They both loved tending to our honeybees on our property. Honeybees need lots of freshwater to maintain their hives and as I have said above, freshwater is very hard to come by around here. So cruisers are told to keep all freshwater covered so that you do not attract bees because they will rush to the water en masse. Well, that is not what the Murphy’s do. We have cookie sheets of freshwater on our deck as well as buckets full of freshwater stationed all around our boat. The buckets have ropes draped into the water for the bees to climb out if they get stuck. At any given time during the day there are a few hundred bees coming and going to our water offerings. Victoria and Alexander are always watching the buckets for bees struggling to get out of the water. If it looks like one needs help they are quick to reach their bare hands and arms past the 50 or 60 bees surrounding the edges and into the water to pick up, yes pick up, the bee and return her to safety. Honey Bee colonies are collapsing all around the world, we all need to do our part to help when and where we can. Giving them a little extra water and saving any drowning bees is how Victoria and Alexander help the honey bees.