The Official Magazine of the Bluewater Cruising Association

Back in the Land of the Cactii

Barb Peck & Bjarne Hansen

Hoku Pa'a
Niagara 35
February 21st, 2019

We have successfully splashed Hoku Pa’a and are pleased to report that there were no significant surprises upon our return to Guaymas in the Mexican state of Sonora. As of December 2018, we’ve been on the water for two weeks.

As is our want, we headed off in the opposite direction from most folks. It’s not our intention to be anti-social, but we didn’t know when the next opportunity would arise to explore the area north of Guaymas. Most people head south at this time of year, seeking warmth. It is admittedly cooler in our area. Actually, it feels quite a bit like cruising in the Gulf Islands in the summer: low 20s°C during the day, with somewhat warmer water, around 17-18 °C, and more current/tides than farther south. We haven’t been away from Victoria for so long that we can’t adjust.  Occasionally, I wonder what news we are missing, but then notice that I am not missing it at all. In the meanwhile, we are enjoying the remoteness of this area, and have plenty of swing room in the anchorages!

Although it has been a bit tricky to find anchorages with good protection, especially from the north winds that are prevalent in winter, we have had no lack of beauty and things to admire or catch our interest. First, there is the wonderful fragrance we refer to as “desert smell”, that becomes particularly noticeable in the evenings. Colourful sunsets are followed by spectacular star gazing. Wildlife watching is always a favourite pastime – so far we’ve encountered dolphins, sea lions, turtles and coyotes. There was also a large lizard, but some raptor feasted on it. We found it especially entertaining to listen to the barks, snorts, growls and other assorted noises coming from the sea lion colony at Isla San Estebán.

Hiking in the arroyos has shown us an impressive variety of plant life, which surprises us, because we expected a place that grows cactii to be less verdant. I suppose the rainy season has just passed. It looks like spring to us, as butterflies flit over flowers and low buzzing emanates from bees in bushes. Lots of life, although we could do without the small biting black flies. While it may be fairly lush now, many of the plants are prickly and the spines often have small barbs that make them tough to pull out. Despite a little-too-close encounter with a cholla, we are enjoying seeing the many types of cactii and continue to be amazed at just how huge some of them get.

So far, all is well and we are happy to be back in the land of the cactii!

In January 2019, we’ve covered many miles and visited several beautiful places. We made a To-Do list a few weeks ago, but it was written in the sand at low tide.

Although going to the Midriff Islands and surrounding area during the winter meant the winds kept us moving, the cooler air has kept our provisions fresher and we have enjoyed the peacefulness of sharing anchorages with only the wildlife. Hiking is more comfortable when you aren’t drenched in sweat. Despite the chilly waters, we’ve even added a few new critters to the Fish ID section of our website. Nonetheless, we were happy to reach Santa Rosalía on Christmas Eve and reconnect to the World Wide Web, hot showers and places to spend money. If you want to see more of what we’ve been up to, you are invited to check out our blog.


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *