notes from the boat
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Los Gatos San Evaristo and Beyond - 11th October 04
From Agua Verde and the delights of Manta Bay, we headed south to Los Gatos. A reef-fringed bay surrounded by red rocks reminiscent of Arizona or Central Australia provided a dramatic backdrop for one of our last remote anchorages in the Sea of Cortez.

We met up again with Mike and Lindsey aboard La Otra whom we'd met briefly in Puerto Escondido and again in Agua Verde. We had spent time getting to know them over gin and tonics, with ice! A rare and welcome treat in the Sea of Cortez.

Practising his underwater photography, Carl spotted a large spiny lobster and managed (by mistake) to film it retreating into a hole. Proof though, that they really are just out and about walking on the sand as we'd been told but not believed.

Cast net throwing is another of Carl's developing skills. Gemma patiently drove him around in the dinghy for what seemed like hours while he stood in the bows looking for bigger and bigger bait fish. Once caught the poor bait fish were sent to their death, hooked in the endless pursuit of the elusive grouper, never to be caught by Carl but apparently excellent eating. We can but hope.

John and Barbara actually used the radio for once, having travelled in stealth-mode for most of the summer and, finding out where we were, arrived to spend a final evening with us. In a very short space of time they gathered rock scallops from the nearby reef and shared them with us for dinner. As we prepared to head back to La Paz and leave the boat for a month, Songline planned to stay up in the sea for a few more weeks, a brief stop in La Paz for a birthday celebration and then they're heading to the mainland with Christmas planned near Puerto Vallarta.

After two previous bread-making attempts (known kindly as the ship's scone) Gemma finally produced a loaf of bread that looked less like a giant lump and more like a loaf. Quite heavy though, it seemed fair to refer to it as the ship's brick; the right shape and not far off the weight it appears as though more practise is required to master the art of bread-making aboard.

On the domestic side of things, Gemma has also added the unique skill of lettuce preservation to an ever-expanding resume. The heat and lack of refrigeration have been a huge challenge in keeping vegetables fresh but finally, by wrapping a lettuce in a damp paper towel and placing it in a plastic bag in the fridge, it survived for almost two weeks. Simply peeling off leaves as we needed them we were able to have lettuce as required. This may seem trivial to some but in fact, is quite an accomplishment and there'll be no scurvy around here!

Our time in the Sea of Cortez is coming to a close as we feel the seasons start to change. Boats are heading south and haircuts are becoming essential as we laughingly refer to Carl's style as "Aging Rocker," while Gemma sports the extremely stylish "Planet of the Apes Helmet." Ah yes, the truth does come out in jest and there'll no be photographs!

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