Sunday, December 26, 2010

Feliz Navidad (poquito tarde)

One of the things we love most about Baja California is that there always seems to be something to be explored. Even though we have anchored off the small town of Abreojos, we hadn't previously been ashore. In the past, just getting to Abreojos was a big enough accomplishment that finding the energy to continue exploring was usually more that we could do. The name of the town is unique in that it's almost an admonishment to navigators: Abre in Spanish means open and ojos means eyes; essentially meaning to keep your eyes wide open as you're approaching as the point is surrounded by reefs. Of course, they're all well charted but it's still one of the most challenging anchorages to approach on the entire Baja California peninsula. Add to that the hundreds of floats for fishing traps and you've got a veritable maze to maneuver through. The geography of the location is also something of a natural hardship. It's one of the prominent points on the west coast of Baja California (frequently it's the windiest spot) and the land is low and flat, giving up any elevation to the wind and sea ages ago.

It was Christmas Eve as we approached in the mid-afternoon and dropped our anchor just off the beach. We lowered the dinghy and found a nice spot where the surf was non-existent to beach it. From the water, the town appears to be fairly substantial with a long row of modern-looking street lamps, a large church and a fair amount of car traffic. As we walked through the town though, we saw almost no signs of commerce, not even one of the state-owned Pemex gas stations (it may have been further out of town). There are a couple of small grocery stores but they looked poor. The housing wasn't the shacks one finds in the fish camps but only moderately better. Only the main boulevard was paved, everything else was dirt. The street lamps that we could see from the water were badly rusted. We did see people but no one smiled even though I'd raise my had high, grin broadly and say, "Hola!". There were many dogs roaming about and they'd often bark at us.

However, there were hundreds of osprey nests. Mostly they were built on top of power poles but we did see one built on top of a microwave dish. The birds seemed to be shy of people and would fly from their nest as we'd approached but I did manage to get a photo of one just before it flew. I'll post it here next time I get internet access.

After walking the length and breadth of the town, we headed back to Rutea. We took showers and pulled up the anchor just at sunset and charted a course for Cabo Lazaro, about 135 miles southeast. The wind filled in, we hoisted the sails, shut down the engine and marvelled at the magnificent number of stars in the sky. We had a pretty good beam sea so it was kind of a bouncy ride but we were heading to one of our favorite destinations, Bahia Santa Maria so our spirits were high.

We send, belatedly, our warmest Christmas wishes to all. I'll post more soon.
At 12/26/2010 11:01 PM (utc) Rutea's position was 24°46.08'N 112°14.87'W

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1 comment:

  1. Sounds a bit like the old wild west to me! I can almost hear a Sergio Leone soundtrack in the background as you describe the town!