Every parent knows that the time changes with kids are simply not fun. Either their bed time comes an hour later or earlier than it should, or they wake up at some strange hour. Well, just north of Santa Rosalia, we crossed from Baja California Sur to Baja California, which means going from Central Standard Time to Pacific Standard Time…resulting in our kids waking between 5:30am and 6:00am in the morning.

This morning Stu heard Ellie before I did, so he got up to make the coffee and I had an extra 15 minutes of sleep, which was lovely. By the time I got out of bed and up into the salon, I noticed the sliding door had been closed back up, and the air conditioning was back on. Turns out the bees had found us nice and early this morning, and Stu had already shoed five or six back outside. What an incredible treat it is for us to be able to use the air conditioning as much as we’re able to at anchor. One of the major parts of the electrical upgrade that we did in La Paz (which Stu WILL write a more detailed post on at a later date), was increasing our solar from 525 watts to 2285 watts, replacing a 606 amp-hour AGM battery bank with and 1120 amp-hour LiFePo4 lithium battery bank, and installing a new Victron inverter. With AGMs you can only discharge the batteries to 50%, but with lithium you can discharge to 80%. In addition, when recharging lithium it is more like a waterfall into a bucket, instead of filling a bottle through a straw. What this all means is we now have the power, and the ability to charge our batteries in a way that allows us to run the AC even when we’re not connected to shore power, among other things.

We’re clearly getting lots (too much) sun!

Calla Puertocito de Enmedio, the anchorage we are in, is really lovely, and feels quintessential Baja save for the fact the water isn’t quite as turquoise as we’ve become accustomed to further south. On either side of the mouth of the little bay are craggy rocks jutting sharply out of the water. Stained white with bird guano, we’ve seen seagulls, pelicans, cormorants, ospreys, brown boobies, anhingas and vultures all hanging around this same anchorage. We are surrounded by rocky, triangle-shaped hills, and on one side of the anchorage they form a sort of canyon, which begs for exploring.

Skookum V surrounded by the hills of the anchorage

Blanketing part of the beach is green sea grass, the likes of which we haven’t seen much of since much earlier this year. The water temperature is just over 30 degrees Celsius, so a touch cooler, if you’ll believe it, then closer toward the Loreto area. We explored the beach shoreline by dinghy, to see if there was a good spot to hang out, and discovered we are in another stingray haven. Itty, bitty tiny Cortez rays cover the sandy bottom. These rays are more black with spots than the lighter brown ones we’ve seen elsewhere, and generally seem to be smaller; more the size of side plates than dinner plates. As we motored over top of the sand, it would virtually explode as they would dart out of their hiding spots and take off. Definitely not a beach we were going to be having the girls play at.

If you’ve never seen a stingray settle into, or pop out of, the sand, it’s quite something to see. When situating themselves on the bottom, they appear to float right above the sand, and then their sides ripple as they fling the sand from underneath them up and over their bodies as they wriggle down into the sand, becoming virtually invisible (and thus so dangerous), save for the faint circle-like impressions they leave behind. They really can get so far under the sand that you really don’t see them, which is how so many people end up ‘stung’ (remember, more of a stab wound than a sting) by accidentally stepping on them. When they emerge from the sand, it’s as if there is an explosion of sand as they wriggle themselves back out, sending sand in all directions. The last time we were in the anchorage at San Evaristo, Stu snorkeled over to the little reef at the side of the anchorage and was surprised by a barrage of sand in his face…and then quickly retreated as he had several very curious rays checking him out right up close.

The beach may not have been the right one for swimming, but the rays are nowhere near us when we swim off the boat. Lily having a blast on the ‘nunicorn’, as she calls it.
Our biggest kid and littlest kid just can’t get enough of the water. They spend hours each day playing off the boat, while Ellie and I dabble for shorter stints.

We’ve decided to make it a quiet day here, just hanging on the boat without many grand plans. We had intended to go to shore to do a hike this morning, but didn’t get around to it before the heat of the day hit, so it may not happen today. Instead, there has been loads of painting, drawing numbers, reading stories, and Stu made us all bagels and pretzels today with our friend Sarah‘s recipe, topped with our much-coveted ‘Everything But The Bagel’ Trader Joe’s spices which were smuggled into Mexico for us by our friends on Red Rover. Stu swapped out our Perko latches for the lazarettes, which were mighty sun bleached and corroded. We’ve planned on some fun pizzas for this evening, and I suspect Stu will try to wrangle us into watching the rest of ‘Taledega Nights’ before the day ends.

Mmmm!
Sun and salt are rough on everything! Old latch in my hand, and new one installed below.
What? Don’t you have your own pair of ‘Octo-Goggles’ made out of old latch pieces? The girls are currently obsessed with the show Octonauts, so everything this days is an ‘Octo’-something.

P.s. Taledega Nights didn’t make its appearance until after we had our nightly catch-up on West Wing, and Stu was generous attending to  the dishes (we usually take turns, so whomever cooks doesn’t have to clean). Our evening was otherwise interrupted by the sound of passing whales blowing their blowholes, and a massive gang of flying fish flipping and flopping in the water off our stern, stirring up unimaginable sparkles in the bioluminescence. My kind of evening.