Happy Birthday (officially belated now) to our dear friend Glynis Webster, officially the best gift-giver we know!

Stu has this bell. It is a small bell that is meant to be attached to our hand-fishing reel when it is being trawled off the back of the boat. In the event of a fish taking a bite, the bell is supposed to ring as the line is jerked around by the fish’s movements. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really work that way, and instead tends to jingle with every wave or vibration of the lure through the water. I’ve spent hours at the helm with a low level of anxiety that I now realize is caused by this tiny bell. I’m not sure if it is anxiety that we’ve actually caught something (which, we haven’t, by the way, but I’m still working through my feelings on, being primarily still vegan/plant-based), or if it is just the ringing sound. Well, recently, Ellie found the bell. And, is obsessed with it. And, seems to be able to find it wherever we locate (and re-locate) it.

This morning, I heard the first tinklings of the bell at 5:55am.  See, when we crossed from Baja California Sur to Baja California, we also crossed a time zone, so while the sun rises at the same time, our clocks are such that the sun rises right around 5:45am instead of 6:45am. As per an earlier post, Ellie rises when ‘the sky is awake’, and so now gets up before 6am most days. We’ve made a few attempts at a Mexican version of a ‘Grow Clock’, with a small alarm clock purchased from the Sears (?! yes, it exists still in Mexico) in La Paz. Problem is, the alarm clock’s alarm doesn’t really work. So I, in a stroke of brilliance (not), painted nail polish marks at the 7 and 12, and explained what 7:00am looks like, and that she’s not allowed to exit their room until then. Let’s just say she’s fully outwitted me, and figured out how to set the time on said alarm clock, changing it to whatever time she feels. These days I’m settling for her not-so-quietly playing Lego in the salon while we try to doze, which is interrupted every morning by some odd request. This morning she wanted her bike glove that was sitting on the table in the cockpit, and asked us to unlock and open the door for her to retrieve it.

If the bell isn’t the bane of my existence, Ellie’s bike gloves are. Don’t ask me how they made it to the boat, I have no idea how they weren’t culled in our multiple re-packs before leaving Canada. I find one of these bike gloves in the most random places throughout the boat, and I swear no matter how many times I put them away in a cupboard, or in one of the girls’ toy boxes, or back on their book shelf, I find a bike glove staring me in the face. I have picked up one bike glove more times than I can count, and yet they still find themselves somewhere random on the boat. How they’ve not ended up overboard I’ll never understand. I think I’ve resigned myself to the bike gloves.

Lots of time spent playing ‘I spy’ at all the things in the water below the boat.

The last week has been a quiet one, since our breathtaking whale shark experience. From the Village of Bay of LA, we putted up to a northern beach in the bay called La Gringa, and spent a few days there enjoying its amazing sunsets. There were large camping parties on the rock crescent-shaped beach, and from the sounds of it, all were having the best time ever. We did a fair amount of swimming from the boat, lots of relaxing and reading, and I even managed a paddle board around the perimeter of the cove. At the full moon, particularly in the summer, cruisers are known to frequent this part of the Bay for a ‘full moon party’. Now, I don’t think this is quite the Full Moon Party that is known in places such as Thailand, but there is a lagoon in behind the beach, and at high tide at full moon it flows in a direction that affords people to float through it. So, people find whatever they can float on, sometimes don costumes, and party their way around the lagoon. I’m sure it is quite the sight, and very fun, but suspect we won’t likely see it this month. 

From La Gringa we headed out to a cove on one of the nearby islands called La Ventana. Incredibly picturesque, and a little bit stinky. It appears that the cove on La Ventana is similar to our experience at Candeleros Chico, closer to Loreto, where fisherman (tourist and commercial) pull their pangas ashore in the little cove to clean their fish, tossing the carcasses on the beach to be fought over by seagulls, pelicans and cormorants alike. This meant that not only was the briny, slightly rotten smell present the whole time we were there, it was quite common as the tide came in and out, to see large fish cadavers floating by. Not exactly my favorite swimming environment. Again, we intended to go ashore, but a few more lazy days and we still hadn’t done so – it is funny how time works here; often days pass before we realize we haven’t been to the beach or moved beyond the boat. A new normal for sure.

Lots of bare bum swimming happening here.

From La Ventana we headed back to the village of Bay of LA for a quick internet pit stop, to catch up on some needed things and have some incredibly over-priced, largely mediocre food at the local beach hangout, Guillermos.

Note to self, pull the dinghy further in when a bit of surf is happening, or you ended up with a swamped dinghy, rendering it very difficult to move. Many thanks to a couple visitors at the restaurant for helping Stu to haul her back up the beach to bail out!

Following our pit stop, we headed south in the Bay to the southern shore at La Mona. Skirting the beach at La Mona are higher-end homes, some of pretty interesting construction. Perched on some rocks at the end of the beach is a peaked-roofed house that looks surprisingly like our old Whistler home – so much so that Ellie claimed we were ‘back in Whistler’ when she saw it. One can dream, kid.

Immediately prior to sting ray incident #2

We finally had some beach time after dropping anchor at La Mona. About 15 minutes total before, in an effort to shuffle away the sting rays in the sand close to the water’s edge, Stu met his match with one and ended up stabbed in the toe. We packed up quickly, and headed back to the boat for a couple hours of very hot water on his foot. All is well now, but we’re perplexed as the beach we were at is frequented at all hours by tourist pangas, and their patrons float next to the pangas in the very same sandy-bottomed waters where Stu was stung, and we haven’t seen another incident while we’ve been here. We’re wondering if, when the pangas rev their outboards as they approach the beach, it’s enough to scare away any would-be ray culprits.

Not a bad place to catch a little Wifi and some tasty cocktails.

I have devoured about 5 books in the last week, and am now making my way through the second Harry Potter book. Yes, I’ve never read them before, and yes I’m perturbed by J.K. Rowling’s transphobic tendencies, but they’re now a classic series and I want to know what the fuss is about. Also, we have a limited number of hard copy books aboard, and I wanted to read one. While I’m so thankful for my digital reader and the fact I can have thousands of books at my fingertips, sometimes one just wants to feel the actual turn of pages between their fingers. Oh, and I found the Harry Potters at a cruiser’s book exchange at a marina, so didn’t pay for them, so maybe that makes it more acceptable? I have mixed feelings on that whole idea of whether we can separate the artist from their art, and whether we can still appreciate the work that is made even if we want to ‘cancel’ the creator for actions we don’t agree with. Just one of the many things I spend time thinking about these days…these days with time; luxurious, gorgeous, time.