WANDERLUST, WEATHER, WHALES & RAYS

By Jodi

For anyone with a serious case of wanderlust, I can highly recommend the cruising lifestyle. Each day and bay can change your outlook and each passage can be a surprising new beginning.

I have also never been more obsessed about the weather. Not just weather, but specifically: wind, its direction, waves, their size and direction, tides and swells. I’m

Docking at an abandoned pier

thinking our friend, Matt Elvin would love this part of cruising 🙂

We arrived in Ensenada de los Muertos (or Suenos) yesterday and will likely leave tomorrow. Although a lovely little bay with a primitive restaurant (serving very cold drinks and wifi!), the wind and waves are not coming from a favorable direction. While I imagine cruisers before having calm waters and glassy surfaces, we are facing a lot of bobbing and wave punching. I don’t mind the movement, but the dingy bangs around and makes considerable noise that becomes annoying to sleep in, and with rougher waters, we sleep with one eye open ensuring our anchor holds. For those traveling here, the restaurant is called 1535, and the old crumbling pier to its west offers an easier on/off of your dingy vs. landing on a surf/surging beach (and the risks of flipping over if not timed correctly). It has wifi, an extensive menu of decent food, ice, bathrooms, showers, but no laundry. We also think they change their wifi password daily, so for those of you using a repeater/extender, it won’t work for long.

Lodos from 1535 Restaurant in Muertos Bay

We had a pleasant sail up here and encountered so many whales and their babies. A Humpback pair surfaced right at the boat. The baby rolled over to get a good look at us while the mom seemed to push him/her away and put her body directly between us and her little one. We know they can hear us coming, so the only explanation we can fathom for their reason to come so close is curiosity. Another pair came close but then dove down when we got closer – I got a good look at their color, dorsal fin and tail and determined they were Byrd’s whales! We could have seen more if we stopped the boat or circled around, but we don’t want to pursue them or bother them in any way. There are so many whales here that it seems my fear of hitting them is increasingly rational. We think we may have already hit one (likely a Gray) in the Pacific which made a terrible thudding noise and long scrape along the hull that we have yet to buff out (this is also when it knocked our rudder and steering). Some new friends of ours reported colliding with a Gray whale a few days ago – it literally ran into them and lifted the hull of their boat. Neither boat nor whale seems to have sustained any damage, thankfully.

The most amazing part of being here, though, is the jumping Rays. They are literally everywhere. They jump in about 20-30 feet of water; we have yet to understand why – some say it’s to evade predators, mating, hunting/eating – we’re not sure which but eating and mating seems probable. Some of them can sail an impressive distance and can do flips and spins. They jump up to 4 feet in the air, and their wings make a belly-flop sound on the water. For an animal that is about 3-4 feet across, it creates quite the noise. Last night, at 3am, Kirby and I woke at the same time because we heard them just outside of the boat.  We got up and went outside in the still and quiet moonlit night to watch them jump all around us….What a show, what a gift. These moments are the ones that make this life so irresistible. We recently discovered that these lovely rays are called Mobula Rays (Devil Rays).  Thanks Tadzio Bervoets for the knowledge!

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