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Being game, we headed back down to Rocky Point to search again for whales. The weather looked a little iffy, wind-wise.

Another concern was that ASU was just going on Spring Break, and that could impact the wait time at the border, not to mention the “quiet” factor. But hey, faint heart and all that.

Thankfully when we arrived at Why, there wasn’t a convoy of college students to make the final leg of the trip an interminable traffic jam, and we crossed without delay.

After arriving in Puerto Penasco we got the boat splashed onto a rising tide, and just as I was loading up the essentials, Mary came strolling around the corner of the dock.

“Well, are you coming or going?” she asked.

“I’m going, Mary. How are you?”

“I’m pissed off!”

Now there’s a sweet little old lady.

“What’s going on, Mary?”

“Wolfe’s been gone for two days, leaving me alone to fend for myself. I’m tired of eating peanut butter!”

Well, she won’t go hungry on my watch. I offered to take her out for dinner, but she’d have none of that.

She and Wolfe had had a bit of a row and he took off, leaving her without his needed support. Something most married men only dream of but rarely put into action, I’d speculate. She uses a walker, and relies on her husband for a number of things nowadays.

“I’m going to drive my RV to California to see my daughter” she proclaimed.

Uh, oh. With Boy Scout-mode kicking in, I accompanied her up the launch ramp to her older Chevy class B RV and began removing the sun shades that were draped over the cab and tires, per her instructions. She handed me the keys and the engine came to life with only a bit of hesitation.

“Drive it over to the ramp so I don’t have to make the long walk across the gravel.”

“Yes, ma-am.”

The yard guys were wondering what was going on, so I told them. They were against the idea of her driving anywhere, and I certainly agreed. Obed and I ended up down on her boat to try to talk her out of it, but she insisted. “I’m 80 years old, and I’ve been driving since I was 14. I’m going to California!”

Asking her if she had Wolfe’s cell phone number, she made a futile search of her Kindle, thinking it might be a phone. It seemed that Wolfe was incommunicado, but Obed somehow produced Wolfe’s number and I called him up.


“Hi, Wolfe? This is Tom at Safe Marina. Where are you?”

“I’m sitting in my truck at the intersection of the roads to Golfo de Santa Clara and Puerto Penasco. The road’s closed due to some parade, and I’m going nowhere at the moment. I’m about 3-4 hours away.”

“Great, he’ll be back this evening” I told Mary, handing her my phone.

“Hello”, she began. Then it quickly degenerated into a hang-up.

Obed and I walked back up to the yard, and I gave him the keys that she’d asked to be left in the vehicle.
I then got the heck out of there.

Upon arrival at Marina Fonatur, I was able to see that the harbormaster had raised the blue and yellow flags, indicating that only vessels of a certain size or larger should be out there. It’s like someone telling you that you shouldn’t do something you might wish to do. Okay then.

Dinner that night was at La Curva, where we ran into Kevin from El Desemboque. He also keeps a sailboat at Safe Marina, but we rarely cross paths. It was nice to see him again.

Day 2-

That halyard slapping against Tempo’s mast tells me there won’t be any sailing today, so after plenty of coffee, breakfast and a good dog-walkin’,

…we took a drive over to the Estero de Morua where I’d heard about an oyster farming operation going on.

A long dirt road led to the North side of the estuary, where an outgoing tide had left a lot of the oyster holds high and dry.

A man who was painting one of the houses there said that there wouldn’t be any oysters for sale until the samples sent to the federales were deemed free of bio-toxins. Recently there had been a red tide here, and filter-feeders are particularly vulnerable.
In three days we’ll know if they’re edible again. Unfortunately, that timeline exceeds our planned stay. Next visit, I hope. We had brought along a light picnic lunch just in case.

Lots of egrets along the estuary road. I wonder what they’re having for lunch?

Back at the docks, I bent on the mainsail and installed the reefing lines in the hope of sailing tomorrow. Weather reports indicate a lessening of the winds. We’ll see.

Tacos Marcos for dinner. Later, after dark, I was lounging in the cockpit enjoying an adult beverage. The winds are still a-honkin’, and suddenly I’m inundated by a downpour of bird poop!
Directly upwind of me is Tempo’s 40 foot mast, so I figure there’s a bird up there. A big one from the feel of the shitstorm.

I boarded Tempo, grabbed a shroud and shook the heck out of it, sending the offending bird off to another roost. Dumped my drink in the harbor and cleaned up the cockpit and myself, then went to bed.

Day 3-

That durned bird had returned last night to make another fine mess, which I was again obliged to clean up. As was my upwind neighbor.

There are some upsides to owning a small boat.

The harbormaster had removed the blue flag, leaving the yellow one flapping in the breeze. This denotes “precaution, stay close to the harbor”. Or in my case, “fuhgetaboutit”. There are some downsides to owning a small boat. 😉

So we visited the beach at Las Conchas. At low tide, the old coral reef is exposed. Tenderfoot tourists beware.

Well, the dogs are certainly getting enough exercise this trip. They run and play hard on the sand, often with Gilligan getting brutally knocked down as a result.

We ate at Senor Amigo’s on the malecon that evening, enjoying a shrimp cocktail and a combination plate.

The winds are starting to die down, too. Shall we stay an extra day?

Day 4-

More bird poop! This time the bird was atop my own mast, dropping his loads more precisely onto the poop deck. Well, at least my puny masthead can only support a small bird. Clean it up.

But it’s acceptable winds today, and we put out right after breakfast. The only little problem was the remaining swell from the days prior, which made for a rolly ride.

I kept the foresail down around 100%, and a full hoist on the mainsail. About halfway through the outgoing leg I came about, causing the iPad to skid across the dinette table below. This yanked out the Bad Elf GPS device from the iPad, causing me to lose a good portion of that day’s track.

We saw no whales this close to shore, so I headed over towards Sandy Beach to find shelter from the swells and had a great downwind run back to the harbor. By the time we neared the mouth, it was looking as if we could sail right up the channel under jib alone, which we did. Taking it even further, we sailed through the harbor over to Safe Marina, where we docked uneventfully.

Nice! Although the GPS has me run aground in the boatyard. 🙂

Now was the dreaded time to apologize to Wolfe about taking the RV out of mothballs, and I gave their boat a holler.

“Come aboard” trills Mary.

She seems happy, smiling and motioning for me to sit down.

“Where’s Wolfe?” I ask.

“He’s down in the bilge replacing a couple of pumps.”

I look down in the galley where I’m subjected to a view of Wolfe’s rear end sticking out of the galley sole, and I start right in:

“Wolfe, I’m sorry for having to make that phone call a few days ago, and also for moving the RV…” and he hauled himself out, cutting me off quickly with a finger to his lips.

Apparently, the whole incident is forgotten, and everything is once again hunky-dory.

I’m relieved that Mary isn’t still ready to hit the road, and we spent the rest of the visit engaged in small-talk. Whew.

After motoring back over to Fonatur, Pam wanted to hit the beaches again. This time we wended our way over to Sandy Beach.
The construction of the cruise ship pier is still on hold, it seems.

Oh, those crazy college kids.

Sushi Sun had our business that evening. We both overate from the buffet while the dogs waited it out in the car.

Day 5-

I’d only budgeted enough coffee for three mornings, but there’s a German restaurant called Kaffee Haus very close by which I’ve never tried.

Wow. The espresso Americano is superb, and their breakfasts are too. According to another patron, shortly the place will be completely full of diners.
A new favorite has been declared, just show up before 0900 to avoid waiting in line for your breakfast. I’m glad we spent the extra day down here!

We got out of Dodge by 1130, and poor Clem was very happy to get some fresh Meaty Pâté by late afternoon.


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