Sunny Days Keeping the Clouds Away

May 26 – June 8, 2021

Agua Verde – May 26-30th

Sunset skies looking North

Continuing with our low-key theme, this stay at Aqua Verde is just that. We all had our own piece of tranquility, with just a few boats in the north and south lobes, and us anchored in the middle.   The beach and town are very quiet for the most part. We heard the restaurant(s) (we heard there are two) are open. If you have been following our travels, you are familiar with how we spend our days.  

We spent one morning paddling the entire perimeter of the bay.  We stopped to snorkel on the south shore. After we crossed the bay, we went ashore and to snorkel in the north mini-cove. There wasn’t too much there so went back to take a nap after our big adventure.

We are reading many books and catching up with our blog.  Carrie is sewing a couple of projects and sanding the companionway hatch boards.  Chris went on a hike one morning while Carrie explored the beach.  She planned to snorkel but winds quickly picked up to 12 kts.  Nature had her workout planned while paddling to the boat on the SUP.  

Sunrise welcoming pelicans flying low across the water.

Chico Candeleros – 30May-2June

This sweet and tranquil cove has become another of our favorites. We felt safe from the weather with the high rugged rocky cliffside and mountains in the backdrop.  The beach is covered in large rounded rocks.  You can see how the different high tides created a look of steps, much like an amphitheater for the cove.  We have discovered that staying in a small enclosed cove like this brings nature closer to us. Or us closer to nature?  As we shared the cove with the birds, their proximity to one another is delightful.  A private paradise.

A Little too Cozy

Phew! That was successful

All good things must come to an end at some point.  The cove was ours for 28 hours before we noticed a sailboat out in the distance.  We watch with anticipation for the next half hour to see if the boat is heading to the cove.  There’s a slight possibility it is heading to Bahia Candeleros, just 2 miles NW of Chico Candeleros. But now it is obvious they are heading to the cove. Oh well.  

What also makes this cove special is there is room for one boat our length, or two smaller boats that know one another. The boat heading in our direction is longer.  They don’t show up on AIS, so we have no boat name to easily hail them on the VHF.  So now we have to communicate by description — and not all boaters pay attention to the radio unless they hear their boat name.  Carrie picks up the mic.  It went something like this, and I’ll tell you the sense of a possible confrontation weighed heavily on me.

“Sailboat sailing south into Chico Candeleros, this is Dharma Girl on 22, over.” Pause

“Sailboat sailing south into Chico Candeleros, this is Dharma Girl on 22, over.” Pause

“Sailboat sailing south into Chico Candeleros, this is Dharma Girl on 22, over.” Pause

Nothing heard. So looking through the binoculars again, they are now close enough to read the boat name.

“[boat name] this is DharmaGirl on 22, over.” pause

“[boat name] this is Dharma Girl on 22, over.” pause “Yes?  How can I help you?”

“Yes, [boat name], we want to let you know there is room for one large boat in this cove.  What are your intentions? over.”

“Oh, we know this cove. We will anchor on your port-side, it’s okay, no?”

“No, we are not comfortable with you anchoring in that location!  There will be inadequate swing room for the two boats. over”

“It will be okay.  I can do it.”

“No thank you!!  Please!  I am not comfortable with that.  I invite you to look at your charts to see if you can anchor in 34 feet. over”O“oh, we have a 10-foot draft so we anchor out here.”

“Did you say you draft 10 feet!?” over

“Yes, so anchor out here is okay.”

After we watch them drop anchor and monitor their distance on the radar, they are 130 feet from our boat.  Back to the VHF,

“[boat name], thank you for working with us. over”

From the starboard side of their boat: “You are welcome.”

And there you have it, we presented to you that sometimes there are bumps in paradise.  Those situations have possible outcomes.  Most have been positive provided you are polite and act early.  No cruiser really wants to reset their anchor.  So another option of communication is standing on your deck and watching the boat come in and choose its spot to anchor.  Often when they see you on deck watching they will move a bit farther to provide adequate swing room.  

It’s not what it looks like

This reminds me of a funny story of the definition of a common body language used by many cruisers. It is so common it now has a rather hilarious name in the cruising world: “Bitch Wings”.  What are they? Well, imagine the above scenery again but in a larger anchorage to the second boat can come closer to your boat.  Now image as you stand on your deck watching the boat come in, you are placing your hands on your hips.  Not to look aggressive but just to place your hands somewhere.  We all do it.  But from another boat, that body language may be saying ‘you really are not going to drop your anchor THERE, are you ?!?’  So after learning this term from our friends John and Donna on SV Carmana, we are mindful of our body language when fellow cruisers are anchoring nearby.

From our Hiking Chico Candeleros

Divorcados Cove – 2-4June

Floating in a chair!

As we entered Divorce Cove, we initially thought this dark area was rocks. As we slowly motored closer, we recognized it was a school of minnows. It’s beautiful to watch them flow together around the boat just inches under the surface of the water. When we jumped in the water, the school would encompass us. Carrie felt like she was part of the family. 🐠

Why the name Divorce Cove? Perhaps because north of this cove is Honeymoon Cove. And comically, the second cove, just a little farther away is named, Mother-in-Law. If only someone can tell us why the names.

Quiet, high mountains wall the cove, not a sound, how can that be? The water here is a little warmer now and Carrie is excited she can finally try out a floating chair her friend Gina gave her. Floating in that water on that hot day was a delight and a mood changer. Thank you, Gina.

One last video from the morning before we leave the cove. Pelicans of Mexico dive for their food. Early morning and just before sunset, these prehistoric-looking birds, who have charmed our hearts, dive bomb …

Anticipating our USA Visit

In just two weeks we hit the road for good ol’ US of A.  This last month we will focus on prepping the boat for its stay in San Carlos.  That includes going through each cabinet and cubby hole to purge items and clean space, varnish or oil exposed teak while the morning air is cool enough, and a few sewing projects.  We also need to eat all the remaining provisions because they will not keep in the summer heat of San Carlos.

We are looking forward to the visits with dear family and friends.  This road trip is the one we could not do last year due to Covid-19.  Our plan is to take a bus from San Carlos, Mexico to Phoenix, Arizona. Then we’ll travel clockwise from Southern California to the Bay Area, California, up to Oregon, down to Northern California, over to Arizona, and back down to San Carlos. Because the trip is truly around the corner, we often daydream of ending this season sooner and starting the trip early.  We will all know soon enough how it turns out.

The Game Mexican Train

Two runs waiting for the opportunity to play them.

We play mucho juegos del Mexican Train, Train, Dominos. It is a game that all cruisers eventually learn how to play. Comes with various rules depending on who you are playing with, mainly the strongest personalities state them.  Why is it called Mexican Train?  A question asked over and over.  And do we have to continue calling it Mexican Train? Can we call it Train, Domino Trail, or alike?

But here is a small bit of history that we were able to find that is consistent with other extremely small bits on other sites.  The domino’s game’s most popular name comes from a special optional train that belongs to all players. The game originated from railroad workers who played it in Mexico. And the World Champion of Mexican Train is currently Hector Garcia.  Who would have thought there was a World Championship of Mexican Train?  

But … there is this from Wikipedia 2015 “Research shows the game is believed to have been inspired by several Chinese domino games. … They copyrighted the rules for the game in 1994. The object is for a player to be the first to play all the dominoes from his or her hand onto one or more chains, or trains emanating from a central hub known as the train station.”

So you decide, or not, which sounds more accurate or compelling.

The provisions are running low so we leave Divorce Cove. Puerto Escondido (PE) is a sweet 4 nm sail west across the channel.  Though it’s only 4 nm and we could get to PE in 20 minutes, this is another opportunity to enjoy a peaceful sail. We sailed for an hour at an average of 3 kts and motored for the last 15 minutes to the mooring ball.  Perfect. We stay for 5 nights.

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