Race Day – What I do all day – Lobo Rock to the La Paz Malecon Sailboat Race

Story below:


S/V Scarlet Fever

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This past Saturday Western Flyer served as the committee boat for the Club Cruseros sponsored sailboat race.  Start point Roca Lobos, aka Sea Lion Rock.  This start point is one mile S-SW of Punta Diablo, aka Devil’s Point and just northwest of Playa Pichilingue.  As a result of this sailboat race there was absolutely no wind and flat seas for the start of the race.

The race committee postpones the race for another 45 minutes and we remain in our start position, an imaginary line between us and Point Lobo; sailboats maneuver for position and continuously reposition their sails and lines.  With an uneventful start and middle part of the race uneventful; you can count on some excitement the rest of the race.

With the winds suddenly gusting to about 25 knots it caught more than one surprised sailboat.  This new wind, a cause for celebration for some and just plain ugly for others. The sailboat above (I won’t name which one) managed to wrap its spinnaker down and around the boat and saildrive.

Inexperienced recent arrival crews we are sure.  Sailboat now without power, a wrapped spinnaker below could make things quite interesting.  Visit http://www.clubcruceros.net for more pictures taken by Jim (S/V Mille J) and (M/V Western Flyer).

Still some people wonder what we (boat cruisers) do all day long; and rather than also begin to wonder myself, here is what also occurred in the not too distant past.  I saw whales, not one or two but lots of them, almost as close to the boat that I could reach out and touch; I tired of them before they tired of me.  And of course they were just busy scooping up and eating plankton.

I also saw flying manta rays on this same boat day trip, not just some but hundreds, some leaping repeatedly into the air; others giving it a jump or two then moving on; I saw whales feeding, breaching, diving, feeding on plankton repeatedly, then exhaling in a loud whale sort of way.

I went snorkeling, and I watched a guy five years older than me dive down to 130 feet.  This is the guy that rescued my dropped anchor and chain.  For those that not yet in on it; I dropped my main anchor (operator error – that be me) and as it was being dropped, I watched it just sort of keep going and going and ………… down to the abyss!  Why no, I didn’t try to stop it, it sort of just mesmerized me.  Why did it drop?  I failed to tie the other end; that’s why it just poured right out and kept going.

Anyway, smart people don’t normally anchor in 125 feet of water – I only did to attempt to keep contact with the bottom – on a windless sea, waiting for the start of a sailboat race.

Thanks to immediate action by my friend Jim’s (S/V Millie J) he instantly marks the gps waypoint spot on the chartplotter.  By doing this it allows me time (two days later) to come back to the exact spot with the old diver; to recover my anchor and almost 300 feet of chain.

The old diver in his youth tells me he used to free dive to almost 100 feet.  While on the way to the anchor recovery site he starts to recount some amazing deep water diving stories.  Toto says that when he was a kid he made a spear gun by using a cow bone!  Wow I said, did you chase the fish down and clobber it with the bone?  No he says, first I hollowed out the bone; then I inserted a metal shaft into the cow bone and by adding a rubber piece from a truck inner tube he would pull it back, propelling the sharpened shaft into the unsuspecting fish.  As Toto matured he kept favoring deep water diving vs the recreational type diving that most everyone else did.

Deep water Toto, as he is called kept doing deep water diving jobs.  Some paid well and some not so well like for example, the recovery of bodies.  Some time ago a military helicopter crashed into the bay.  Toto was sent in on the recovery mission.  Toto also participated in the sinking of two Chinese freighter boats that arrived on these shores loaded with Chinese.  Both ships are now natural diving reefs and the Chinese were rounded up and shipped back to China.

I quickly found out that Toto is so good he doesn’t need gps.  One one occasion on the way back from my anchor recovery Toto tells me that he could find a large tug underwater by just looking at the adjoining land.  I then switch my chartplotter from map to sonar made.  As I did so, Toto says, right around here is a large tug.  In no time at all a large bulge shows up on the chartplotters sonar screen – signifying a large underwater object.

Toto uses landmarks to triangulate dive locations. Some are easy and some take a bit of finding he says.  We spoke about spearfishing – his passion.  He says he probably has the unofficial record of the most large fish ever caught, everything, including sea bass, marlin and tuna.

The funniest story he tells me is about a sport fishing boat owned by a gringo.  This gringo owed the marina quite a large sum of back fees on his boat slip.  Toto tells me that one day this gringo decides to make a get away back to San Diego.  So, he unties the lines and attempts to motor out of the marina but, before he attempts his get away he flips the Mexicans with his middle finger and then curses all of Mexico for all his ills.

Unbeknownst to the gringo, Toto was previously paid to remove the gringos propellers.  The guy kept gunning his engines and wondering why in the hell his boat continues to just draft.  The still friendly Mexican marina guys eventually threw him a line and safely pulled him back to the dock.

And now back to what we do all day.  Saturday as I said Jim and I served as the start line for a local Club Cruceros sailboat race.  Here is the blog and link to a very worthy cruisers group started in 1988; for the purposes of helping cruisers and the local community.    www.clubcruceros.net

The day after the sailboat race Jim and I ride our bikes from our marina (Costa Baja) down to Marina de la Paz (at the end of the malecon); to visit a boat swap meet, a distance of about ten miles.  When we reach the malecon we catch what you would call a baby Carnival.  This carnival with about eight floats are loaded with kids.  Mostly little girls all dolled up and waving as they ride on floats pulled by pickup trucks blasting hardcore music.  As we walk our bicycles on the crowded malecon I comment to Jim; mommy, mommy I can’t hear the teacher. Don’t worry dear, your hearing will come back in a few days!

And on this same day we also visit the Mercado Bravo.  This is a place where you can shop for fresh produce, buy freshly caught fish or any hacked up cow, pig, goat or chicken parts.  My new favorite lunch counter sits to the rear of the place, left side.  For sixty pesos (about three bucks) you can also enjoy the best chili relleno this side of the malecon, all served with beans, rice, salad and handmade tortillas.

Exercise, shop, shop some more, walk, take the shuttle, visit the beach club, jump in the infinity pool, boat projects, some light Netflix movie watching, get together with other cruisers for breakfast, lunch or dinner, potlucks, walk the town, look for this or that boat part.  Wow, that about sums up what I think we do all day?

A man comes home from work one day and finds his three children outside, still in pajamas, playing in the mud, empty food wrappers all around; the door of his wife’s car open, as was the front door to the house and there was no sign of the dog.

Proceeding into the entry, he finds an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, and the throw rug was wadded against one wall.

In the front room the TV loudly blares a cartoon channel, and the family room is strewn with toys and various items of clothing.

In the kitchen, dishes fill the sink, breakfast food is all over the counter, the fridge door wide open, dog food spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table.

He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she might be ill, or that something serious had happened.

He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the bathroom door.

As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap, and more toys strewn over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and walls.

As he rushed to the bedroom, he found his wife still curled up in the bed in her pajamas, reading a novel.

She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went. He looked at her bewildered and asked:

“What happened here today?’”

She again smiled and answered, “You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me what in the world I do all day?”

“Yes,” was his incredulous reply.

She answered, ‘”Well, today I didn’t do it.”

Similar to a Cruisers Life!