Mateyless Adventure - Sea of Cortez

Hard as it was, we left Matey with Miriam so that we could charter a sailboat out of San Carlos in the Sea of Cortez.  She had a wonderful time playing with her best friend everyday and even developed a wrestling relationship with Gus, Marina's brother.  I think it safe to say we suffered more than she did, as we missed her everyday.
But, we still had a great time!!!!!
Our first interesting happening was at the airport in Phoenix, our flight was delayed due to first a lighting problem with the plane which was quickly fixed, then by a whiney (ahhh, worrying) captain who wanted to be sure he would have time to take off again after landing in Guaymas so he could make it to Palm Springs that same night (Guaymas doesn't have any runway lights).
In addition, for a few minutes, Greg and I were a bit concerned since we noticed a person who had just exited a plane, had just walked away from their bag.  The crew walked around trying to find the owner and no one tried to protect those of us sitting in plain view of it.
   Greg and I found this pillar to hide behind to protect us from the impending explosion  - though when this picture was taken, the bag had already been claimed...
   Well, we finally made it safely into Guaymas (to make the runway, the plan has to do a 270 degree bank around a mountain - very cool) and the pilot was able to make it to Palm Springs.  This is the plane we flew in on.  Oh, Greg and I had to be drafted for 'rail meat' duty in the back of the plane so we could fly.  It ended up being really great because we had the whole back seat to ourselves that stretched the width of the plane and on the return, we quickly volunteered for the same positions.
After a short easy taxi ride, we ended up at the marina.
These were actually taken the next morning, we thought they were great shots of the fabulous view of the San Carlos marina.  The night before, Vince (the guy we chartered from) lent us his truck so we could drive around to the 4 grocery stores in San Carlos to get what we need for the week (none were Safeway quality -- more like 7-11).  This was an adventure since we had no idea about what we planned to eat except we knew we wanted to catch fish.  We just bought enough to make sure we wouldn't starve.  We accidentally bought 40 beers when we had only planned to get 24.  Luckily the weather was hot enough, that we actually drank most of the beer with only 4 left over.
Here is a picture of Vince and Greg during our check out sail. 
And here we are heading out of the marina for the week (notice, bare feet sailing!!!).
Shortly after we set out, a Norther started.  This is a storm that has only heavy winds, but they blow constant day and night (from the North, believe it or not).
We hid out in Martini Cove just outside the marina.  They call it the aquarium because of all the sea life below.  This was a great cove for peacefulness and entertainment in the evenings. Lots of people like to anchor here for the late afternoon before heading back into the marina.  That's a blended pina colada in my hands.  The boat was set up with an inverter to power a blender, so we were not hurting for power (but we did run out of ice on the second to last day).
This is a view into the hatch where we would sleep.  This boat was very "interesting," and I think we can only describe it accurately in person.
We snuck out of Martini cove to make it around the point to Catch 22 Beach in the morning  (the Norther seemed to be lighter then).  We were tucked into this next anchorage by 9am and fortunately the storm blew itself out that day and we had fantastic weather the rest of the trip (wind ranging from 0 - 30kts).  The sea life was amazing here as it was at the other anchorages.  Schools of baitfish were being chased from below and above.  They were continuously jumping out of the water.  I felt like the scene in Steinbeck's log could have been true for us and if we had a net, I could have scooped up some baitfish and threw them on the frying pan for dinner.
I forgot to mention, on the way to Catch 22 beach, after trolling for only about 30 minutes, Greg caught the first Tuna.
And I also learned that Greg is quite the cook while out cruising.  Here's a pic of him working his magic on his creation of the night (guess it runs in the family).  Every evening he would get excited about how he was going to fix the tuna.
The next morning, we headed north again to Bahia San Pedro.  On the way catching 2 more Tuna.
We met some people here and got a chance to give away our first Latitude 38 - they were very appreciative.
After a little sleeping in (this time trying the aft cabin), we headed to Caleta Valencia - we were definitely into our cruising groove now.
So, during this leg, Greg and I had both lines out trolling, a big offshore rod and a light weight casting rod (for fun).  Someone had told us before we left that the Sea is all fished out, especially the San Carlos side.  So after about 30 minutes with no bites, Greg and I looked at each other and jokingly said, "you know, I think this place is fished out" -- not a minute after, both lines went off with the "WHIZZZZ!!!!!".  I chose the offshore rod and let Greg play with the casting rod.
Because Greg was busy, I was forced to pull in and kill my first trolling fish.  And he was a fighter!!!!  Greg's fish ended up throwing the hook right as it got up to the boat - and it's a good thing because about this time we really had too much fish.
At Caleta Valencia, we went to shore for a little walking around - we heard they had a great Cactus forest.  It was really beautiful to see the cactus and it wasn't so beautiful to see the bugs.  We saw some of the biggest crickets ever!!!!  Luckily mosquitoes and flies were never a problem for us.  Oh, we also had a chance to offload our fish to a group of campers that came into that beach later in the afternoon.  So we saved enough for dinner and gave the rest away and we ready to fish another day.
For the last full sailing day, we were hoping for good wind so we could sail out to Isle San Pedro and overnight at Caleta Lalo.  Luckily, the wind was working with us and we had a great downwind sail - and more fishing.
We threw back another tuna because we were holding out for something different - it is possible to get tired of fresh tuna when you have it everyday.
We caught a Wahoo (we think) for dinner and anchored for the night at Caleta Lalo - this was a beautiful place, but eerie as the sun went down (at least for me anyway). 
With reefs almost all around the entrance, we could hear breaking waves all around us all night.  I just slept with the earplugs in....
The next morning, we headed into the marina and started cleaning up the boat.  Afterward we went into town for a look and to get a chocolate milkshake rumored to be the best in the world -- and it was VERY good.
We were very happy to report that we didn't see a TGI Fridays or Carlos and Charlie's the entire trip.  Also we had some great experiences communicating with wonderful Mexican people.
Finally, we had an uneventful flight back and were greeted by a very happy wiggling Matey upon picking her up from Miriam's house.

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