Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bahia Magdelena, aka Mag Bay

Date: 3/24/2009
Location: Bahia Magdelena, aka Mag Bay
Lat/Lon: 24 38.064 N 112 08.171 W
Weather: windy, mostly sunny, low 70's

We've been hanging out in Mag Bay waiting for a weather front to pass through on Sunday and Monday, which it did. The winds died down Monday evening and we're going to give it another day for the sea to lie down a little more before we head out so it looks like we'll be out of here Wednesday at first light.
We arrived at Mag Bay on 3/19 after a 28 hour, 160 NM cruise. The weather and seas were fair so it was a pleasant trip. Along the way we passed through a group of fisherman in pangas (large rowing boats with outboard motors) and one of them pulled up parallel to our boat about 30' off the beam and yelled 'Sodas, sodas!', gesturing with their arms drinking a can of Coke. I pointed to the aft of the boat and with out changing our speed or heading they pulled in behind us and I tossed them two cans of Coke. They waved and smiled and went back to their fishing. Within 10 minutes another panga pulled up next to us and we repeated the same process.

After arriving in Mag Bay at 9 AM and setting the anchor we went and laid down for a short siesta. A half hour later there was a knock on the side of the boat and someone saying 'buenes dias'. It was the Port Captain. We welcomed him aboard, offered him a cold Coke which he happily accepted, showed him our papers and filled out his simple documents. Now this is a village of maybe 30 people who live in simple shacks next to the shore, yet they have a Port Captain. He was very nice and although he spoke no English and we no Spanish we managed to carry on a simple conversation for 15 minutes. We understood that this is a peaceful village with no crime yet if we went up the bay to San Carlos they had mucho crime and banditos. We'll stay here, thank you.

There have been 2 sail boats here with us and Saturday the three of us hired a panga to take us into San Carlos at the head of the bay to get some groceries. The panga let us off on the beach near the center of town and a friend of the panga driver took us in his Jeep the next 6 blocks to the grocery store. There are some 5000 people in San Carlos and I'm not sure if we were in the center of town or on the edge but the grocery store was not that large. We did find a few things but they didn't have much. There was a lady selling fresh strawberries across the street out of the back of her truck, a newer Chevrolet 4 door, 3 pints for 20 pesos, just over a US dollar. We bought 3 pints. We tried to find an ATM to get some cash but couldn't find one and the driver didn't know of one or didn't want to spend the time to look for one. The streets all looked like sand but most of them were paved roads just covered with sand. It reminded me of a place that just had been blanketed with snow. Even the noise of the cars was muffled by the sand. The area around the town is all sand and dirt so I guess that the winds just keep blowing the sand onto the streets and they don't try to remove it.

We put the dinghy in the water and the motor started right up and ran for about 10 minutes before it stopped, for good. It seems to be a fuel problem so I'm going to take the dink to shore and remove the carburetor there so if I drop anything I can easily retrieve it. The last time I removed the carb in Nanaimo I dropped a part in 50' of water and it took over a month to get a replacement, and that was after we came back to the states! I don't want to take any chance repeating that here.

As we travel south we are also going east. We learned that south of Turtle Bay you move ahead one time zone so we are in the equivalent of the Mountain time but we aren't on day light savings time yet. They do go on DST sometime, we just don't know exactly when.

The photo above is of 'Punta Entrada', Entrance Point, at the entry to Mag Bay taken at 6 AM.

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