Punta Pulpito – June

After a couple of days spent in Loreto topping up on fresh fruit and vegetables, we headed north to Punta Pulpito, with Love and Luck. 

After a relaxing night, we headed to shore for an early morning hike.  Unlike last time we visited, it was low tide which added to the difficulty of finding a landing spot while not puncturing the dinghy.  Love and luck towed their kayak and transported everyone to shore before anchoring their dinghy and rowing in. 

After a gentle climb up the sand dune, we reached the trail.  The initial part of the trail and surrounding sand is scattered with obsidian shards, Tristan enthusiastically collected a pocketful with the intention of later creating jewelry.  Willie eagerly took the lead, towing Mark behind as we began the steeper more slippery section. 

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The early part of the trail

After a few stops for drinks, admiring the view and chats we reached the point that Andrew and I stopped at last time, where he convinced me the next summit was only a goat track.  Julie confirmed that it was of course a hiking track and we decided to explore it.  The summit Punta Pulpito offers views over the towering rocky cliffs, crashing waves, pods of dolphins (if you’re lucky), and endless sea.

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Nope, not a goat track, looks like we are going up….

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Sally, Lucy, and Tristan in front of one of the cairns on Punta Pulpito

We retraced our steps and went to the adjoining bluff that we had visited last time, which overlooks the crescent-shaped bay with our anchored boats, and is backdropped by the tawny desert mountains.

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View overlooking the bay

We returned to the boats, hot and sweaty, and all eager for a swim to cool off, although Willie couldn’t wait and had a swim before getting back to the boat.

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Hot and sweaty on the hike back down.

Punta Pulpito is a great family hike for older kids and teens, as there are steep drop-offs and no barriers, I probably wouldn’t take younger kids on it.  The trail is marked below.

So, what is it like quarantining on a Boat?

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Quarantining is somewhat like preparing for and then doing a passage.  Did I mention I hate passages? At least with quarantining there is no rough weather, night watches or seasickness and if you’re lucky you might find an isolated beach for a walk and if it’s warm enough you could swim, unfortunately at the moment you need a wetsuit to do so.  With all the Pacific Islands closed and now not being able to leave Mexico, we are spending the foreseeable future in the Sea of Cortez.  We very briefly considered sailing back to Australia, but 60 days at sea is beyond my mental capabilities.

While our boat is 50 feet or 15 meters the actual space to walk and move around is somewhat less, due to beds, cabinetry, and seating, we estimate about 6 continuous meters at a stretch.  You can walk around the exterior of the boat you just have to not trip over the jack lines or stub your toe on other sailing hardware.  The lack of space is a distinct disadvantage to living on a boat.

There is also no internet, except for emails, if you remember to forward it via the satellite phone.  The satellite phone does allow you access to three newspaper headlines and if you are very lucky you may be able to load a page if you are prepared to really wait.   There have been lots of radio calls and the kids have played a lot of hangman over the radio to entertain themselves, I think Utopia’s best word was quoll (Australian animal) and Love and Luck’s was sequoia (a type of tree). Andrew, Tristan, Ava, and I have been reading, the kids have had some schoolwork to do and each is involved with writing their own novels.  Tristan has been doing lots of fishing and sleeping.  We have also been re-watching Attenborough’s Africa, and new for us; Broadchurch and Once Upon a Time.  So, while we are bored, we are finding enough to do.

We are pretty well-provisioned food-wise and about a week ago we had to start making bread again.  The kids are enjoying baking and I had downloaded a whole pile of new recipes to try, so far, the favorite has been sugar cookie bars.  There are often food exchanges where the kids will bake brownies and take over a plate to Love and Luck or they have brought over cinnamon buns.  Three and half weeks in and we are down to about 6 onions and carrots and ½ a cabbage so meals will start getting a bit more inventive in the future as we venture back into tinned vegetables.  Our freezer can usually hold 6 – 8 weeks of meat but to make it last, we are now having two meals of fish and then a meal of chicken, beef, or pork, lucky Tristan and Andrew have been catching so many fish. 

The plan is to last two more weeks and then we will have to use the newly established Loreto shopping service to get some more fruit and veg.  As we are no longer allowed into town an enterprising Mexican has set up a shopping service where you send your shopping list via WhatsApp and they will meet you at the marina dock in Loreto with your shopping.  There is a charge of 25% of the value of shopping.  Totally worth it to avoid upsetting the locals and avoiding the coronavirus.

I was talking with Andrew one day when he expressed one of the hardest things, he is finding is what many cruisers hold dear, the ability to talk to all your neighbors.  We have lived in London, twice and in various places in Australia and have never known who our neighbors were.  However, on a boat you are friendly to all your neighbors whether it be the local population of the country you are in, fellow boaters in your anchorage, or a dinghy or kayaker passing buy.  The unfortunate thing about quarantine is the growing fear that your neighbors may not be quarantining or may have or carry the virus and if you behave in your normal way and go talk to them that you may risk your own or your families lives by doing so.  As our nearest town, Loreto has only two ventilators and we can’t go to shore, we are doing our best to remain healthy. 

Sadly, we now live where we try to go to a beach where there are no other people to avoid human contact, we chose anchorages where there are no boats or villages.  The whole relaxed attitude of cruising is gone, drinks on the beach or each other’s boats are few and far between and only between your close circle of trusted friends who have also quarantined.  While we wonder if this is to become our new normal life, we are now fortunate to be isolated from the devastating effects the COVID-19 has had on Italy, Spain, America, and other countries.

Ava’s 14th Birthday – 2/11/2019

Written by Ava

My birthday is on the 2nd of November, and this year I spent my 14th birthday in Puerta Penasco in the boatyard with my friends Totem and Love and Luck.

I started the day with breakfast underneath the boat with the kids. Max made French toast with jam and cream cheese stuffed inside, Love and Luck made pancakes and Totem made bacon.

I made a rule that everyone had to wear at least one thing that was red. Many people in the hardstand had asked us why we were wearing red which made us laugh.

We all then went and found the kittens of the hardstand, Dulce and Pedro, or their English names, Candy and Pete. We spent some time with them before everyone retreated back to their boats to prepare for a BBQ lunch.

Everyone from Love and Luck, Totem and Utopia gathered for a BBQ with sausages!

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I was lucky enough to be gifted with presents and cards from my friends. A lovely red headband, knitted by Sally, bracelets from Fenton and Lucy and a beautiful collage of photos from all of Love and Luck as well as a plastic turtle necklace and a guitar strap from Mairen and Siobhan. I have to admit I cried while I was reading my cards and my birthday mix was playing.

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After lunch and cake, I played the guitar with Siobhan and Heidi, who practised their ukuleles instead. After a while we had to go back to our boats to get ready for the Day of the Dead.

Some people from the hard were kind enough to let us ride in the cattle truck where we were transported to the area where the event was being celebrated. There were food stands everywhere and ofrendas as well. A few hours in I got my face painted like the Catrinas, along with Sally, Heidi, Max and Siobhan. It was all super cool! Although, one of the best parts was seeing the Catrina competition where locals were dressed up like the dead and judges would rate their costume. We even got to take pictures with the woman in costume, they were all really realistic.

The end of a wonderful day was concluded with a slice of cake and a few episodes of Once Upon a Time with my mother.