Headed North

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We have spent 23 days isolated in the national parks north of La Paz. We originally stayed close to La Paz because our tourist vistas expire on the 7th of May 2020. We planned on flying to Tijuana and walking across the border. We then planned to stay the night on the U.S. side of the border and return the same way, thereby resetting our vistas for another 6 months. That was the plan before the covid crisis. Now that the Mexican government wants people to stay in one place they are allowing visitors to renew their vistas without leaving the country. So instead of waiting until May 14 for our flights home we are headed back to La Paz to renew the vistas in the immigration office here in Mexico. Too bad we did not know about this before we purchased our flights. Oh well, it is still better than all four of us flying to the states. Once we get our vistas renewed we plan to head much farther north into the Sea of Cortez. There is still much we have not seen in the amazing place and we have until mid June before we have to start thinking about hurricane season.

Good to Go for another 6 Months

Well, it took 5 trips to the immigration office and 4 attempts to get the documents correct but we are now legally in Mexico for another 6 months. The process for extending vistas is new to everyone in the country so I completely understood each time the officials asked me to correct the documents. Even with my elementary Spanish, I could tell that the documents needed and the process required was learn as you go for both me and the very helpful, friendly officials. We were told by many longtime Mexico cruisers that staying in the country on expired vistas was not a big deal and that we only need to pay a small fee when we do leave. However, with the political climate such that it is in the U.S. in regards to immigration, we thought it best to have all of our ducks in a row and abide by the laws as they are written. So we did. Now it is done and we are good to go for another 6 months. North we go.

We left La Paz early in the morning bound for our favorite place Isla San Francisco. As soon as we cleared the channel out of La Paz we turned off the engine, raised the sailed (including the spinnaker) and pointed our bow north. After helping with the sails Victoria and Alexander went below and began their school day. Ashley and I took turns keeping watch on the sails while the other supervised the lessons. We sailed the entire 50ish miles to Isla San Francisco. We had a nice calm evening and next morning so it was difficult for us all to say goodbye to what we all have began calling home. But we know that there was more to see so we raised the anchor and said “see ya later” to Isla San Francisco. After we left the bay we again raised the sails and headed north. Our destination was a place called Los Gatos. The winds were from the south again with a gentle following sea. We sailed slowly to our destination only dropping the sails at the entrance to the bay. We spent two days at Los Gatos climbing on the red rocks and exploring the amazing formations carved by wind and tides. We had two fantastic days at Los Gatos but the anchorage was not particularly protected so we knew that we were not going to stay long. So on the third day we again set sail heading north. Our next destination was a small village called Agua Verde. We again had perfect conditions for sailing so we took full advantage. The winds were 8-12knots from the southeast and we were heading due north. After setting the sailing (and again the spinnaker) we turned on the autopilot and did not touch the wheel or a rope or adjust a sail until just outside of Agua Verde. Agua Verde is a small fishing village with a population of about 200 people and an equal number of goats. There is a goat dairy near the town. The people of Agua Verde are known throughout the Sea of Cortez as extremely kind and welcoming to visitors. We have had Agua Verde on our list of places to visit since long before me left Seattle. However, the covid situation kept us from being able to go into town and interact with the locals. It was not because we were afraid of contracting the virus from the village it was that we had not been isolated for 14 days yet and did not want to accidently bring the virus to the naturally isolated village. So despite the numerous invitations from the fishermen passing by to come into town we raised anchor and yet again headed north. The southerly wind patterns continued pushing us north. Daily life continued as Samadhi sailed along on the gentle breeze and smooth seas. Alexander and Victoria have both started the next grade level. Victoria is now a 4th grader and Alexander is now a 2nd grader (we don’t have summer breaks in the Murphy Academy). Ashley baked a cake. And Ranger and I listened to an audio book while keeping watch as we made the 30 mile passage to Honeymoon Cove near Puerto Escondido. On our way we passed through a mega pod of dolphins. There were hundreds, and I mean HUNDREDS of dolphins in all directions surrounding the boat. They were jumping, doing flips and putting on quite a show for us. They would swim right at the boat and then dive under and off again. There seem to be a variety of species of dolphins including the rarely seen Dusky Dolphins which are very small dolphins. We also saw a few baby bottlenose dolphins. We arrived at our destination early in the evening with enough time to get settled, take Ranger to shore and see a little of the beach we anchored in front of. The next day we explored the beach and hills above as well as spent time snorkeling in the warm, turquoise waters. Tomorrow we will be sailing past the town of Lareto and we are told we will have cell service as we pass, hopefully enough for me to post this. We will continue heading north to a place called San Juanico where we will be able to spend a week or so in one place. We plan to meet up with other kid boats so after everyone has had 14 days of isolation we can all be isolated together as we play, explore, learn and live in the Sea of Cortez.     

Hiking above Los Gatos
In an arroyo at dusk looking for snakes and scorpians
Victoria and Alexander exploring the red rocks of Los Gatos
Alexander freerunning around the rocks
Victoria looking for specimans to examine
We found a dead Vampire squid on the beach
Alexander on his bike before leaving Isla San Francisco
Our last ride before leaving the salt flats
Alexander taking Ranger to shore

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