Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Out on the ocean

Did a bit of kayaking again today. We have two boats, both Folbots. One is a double and the other a single. Folbots are an interesting option for those of us who do not live near enough to water to warrant a boat that’s available 100% of the time. They’re also great for people who lack storage, because they fold up into one or two duffel bags, depending on their size.

They’re designed on the basic concept of an Inuit boat. Instead of whale bone stays and a walrus skin, these boats use aluminum ribs and canvas for the covering. They’re very easy to put together, study and not terribly heavy. Well, the two person boat can be a killer to drag to the sea, but the one person boat can be carried by a tough guy like me.

We decided to go out on the bay in front of the condos this morning to take some pictures of the monstrosity condo development that is being built contiguous to our place. Pilar has been here unmolested since the 1970s, but now a bigger version is being constructed hard on the northern boundary. We thought some panoramas of the whole shebang would suffice to depress everyone back home. I’ll spare all my kind readers, not out of the kindness of my heart but rather because for some reason the wireless connection I’m using here in town times out while loading photos. So no pictures for you.

While loading up we saw the local dive shop tourist boat chasing the porpoises out on the water. Sheesh. We mounted our trusty bark and shoved off into the briny. Making a few passes and getting some reasonable shots we were headed back in when a pod of six porpoises passed between us and the shore. We did a quick u-turn and took a few photos and tried to keep up but they had the advantage of being in their element and they quickly disappeared.

The rest of the morning was spent in a quandary when we discovered that the battery in our car was dead. Now I hate car problems, and I really hate car problems here so once we got it jumped going we headed out to town with the notion that we would upload yesterday’s blog from the car idling in the Marina Cantina parking lot.

Arriving, I threw caution to the wind and turned the thing off, figuring we’d find someone in the restaurant to jump us if need be. Turns out, no problem. It started right up.

Spent the early afternoon lying around catching up on 2005 New York Times Sunday crossword puzzles and eating Valhrona orange milk chocolate.

Around 4, I decided to take the one man boat out into the estuary for an easy paddle. We carried it around the back and launched it. It was really wonderful. A couple of Great Blue Herons tolerated my approach until I entered their exclusion zone and then left their mangrove perch and flew off squawking. A Reddish Egret was not so touchy and continued its drunken man dance trying to scare up lunch from the bottom. Around the bend I came upon a mixed dozen of Great and Snowy Egrets feeding in the back bay. Like the Sirens, they beckoned me on to my doom because the water was about 4 inches deep and I quickly ran aground. Ever resourceful, I simply got out and walked, boat and all.

Off in the distance, pair of SUVs were parked on the shore blasting Mexican rap music, leading me to wonder how Mr. Stanley felt listening to the drums of the natives as he paddled up the Congo in search of his Mr. Livingstone and ultimately into his own Heart of Darkness. It wasn’t an ideal soundtrack to a magical moment, but at least it was real.

Heading back I found a little mangrove cove and slowly eased the boat in. That was a bit of a challenge because turning an 18’ boat around in a 20’ circle isn’t all that easy. I parked for a moment and did the old birdwatching “pish” and immediately was greeted by a couple of Mangrove Warblers angrily scolding me for ruining their afternoon. Two sleeping Black-crowned Night Herons blew out of the trees, their daytime slumber having been ended by the chattering warblers.

Pulling out and fighting my way across a strongly outgoing tide, I parked and pulled the boat out of the water.

Just before dusk we headed out to the sea wall to see if we’d get a beautiful sunset tonight. The cloud bank was making big promises. Joined by 100 or so of our closest friends, we waited and waited but alas, it was not to be. The clouds were too thick and all we got was some decent pinks just before dark.

Dinner was leftover chicken served up in those wonderful lardy tortillas that are unique to Sonora. We decided to go check the car, it worked and now we’re sitting in the Marina Cantina parking lot borrowing their wifi signal for your benefit.

The perfect end to the perfect day. Dead batteries not withstand
ing.

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