About Us

Welcome to our blog, describing our voyage aboard Bravo, a Kelly Peterson 46 sailboat with homeport in Seattle, Washington. We headed south in 2010, destined for Mexico and beyond. Cheers, Adam and Cindi

"As for me, I am tormented by an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts." -Herman Melville, 1844

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Santa Rosalia rambles, or......."16 Tons, waddaya get?????"

(Apologies to Tennessee Ernie Ford!!!)

'Bravo' anchored in the panga harbor
We're now in the copper mining town of Santa Rosalia, roughly midway up the Sea of Cortez.  The French operated a copper mine here from the late 1800's until the mid 1900's.  When the ore was running dry, they turned it back over to the Mexicans....(a typical scenario).  Although the mine has been inactive for many years, evidence is all around, including French style residential buildings, mine structures, and even a metal church designed by Gustave Eiffel (of Eiffel Tower and Statue of Liberty fame).  Interesting town, if a bit down at the corners without a major source of revenue since the mine shut down.  An effort is underway to get it reopened by 2013, using newer technologies to extract additional copper from the ore.  Fishing by the local panga fleet is active, but tourism has not taken hold.
Wedding in the Eiffel church

The happy (???) couple

There are two small marinas here.  We're staying at one for a few days, after anchoring out waiting for a slip to finally open.  The marina has an AIR CONDITIONED room to hang out in, as well as a tiny pool.  Since we haven't been in a marina since April, we're enjoying using the facilities to clean the boat with fresh water, use unlimited electricity, and take care of lots of misc projects in the AIR CONDITIONED room!!!  Cool!!!

Mystery photo.....what is it???  (answer:  2 rain drops that we saw on a rock yesterday...I think 4 or 5 more fell after.  This was the first rain we've seen since last December, in San Diego!!!

Took a hike with other Seattle cruisers Paul and Judy from s/v Grace up to the large cemetery above the town.  Picking a dark, overcast day made for a cool hiking day, and gave a bit of gothic overtone to our "day of the dead".  It sounds like safety may have been a bit lax in the mine, as the story is that over 24,000 died working there in the 100 years of operation.  It was an interesting hike, and the views of the town below were great.  The graves varied from small piles of stones to fairly elaborate.  One in particular really showed a sense of creativity and "can do" attitude which we've become so fond of in Mexico.  The cemetery is completely dry, on top of the mesa overlooking town.  Seems someone wanted a garden oasis palapa (thatched hut) design motif, hard to accomplish without water.  So they cut the tank off of the back of a water truck, and partially buried it on the hill above the grave.  A hose led to the garden below, and BINGO!, it's an irrigated garden gravesite!!! 
Graveyard gardening, desert style!!!

Reminds me of another "can do" sight we saw a few weeks ago in Agua Verde.  While hiking in the hills, we came across a cow hanging from a big tree branch, under the only tree in the area.  The cow was suspended by a sling under her belly, and her rear legs were slightly lifted off the ground with a chain engine hoist.  She was free to munch hay at the head end, and her udders were hanging down, ready for milking.  As we scratched our heads, trying to figure out what was going on, we realized that one of her rear legs was splinted.  Seems like she'd broken a leg, and they kept her hanging under the tree until it healed!!!!!  Wasn't her time to be a carne asada taco!!!  Ah......Mexico, ya gotta love it!!!

But I digress.....Since leaving Geary's beachside party on July 4th, we've worked our way slowly here, stopping at a couple of interesting anchorages en route...Punta Chivato and Isla San Marcos.  Punta Chivato had a great shell beach...miles of amazing shells to comb through.  And good snorkeling, though we saw several venomous stone fish....they're so well camoflaged that it's really the ones, likely many, that we don't see that are the worry!!!

Isla San Marcos was another mining story, of a different sort.  The open pit gypsum mine a mile or two from the anchorage is still operational, and when the wind is wrong, a cloud of airborne gypsum dust wafts over the boat.  But the anchorage was very protective in the strong northerly wind we were having, so we spent a few days snorkeling and hiking into the company town on the island.
San Marcos gypsum mine and town
Kids' playground right next to the loading towers!  I think they got the feng shui all wrong!!!

Since this is the first time we've had internet for a while, we'll get you caught up on some of the photos getting us up to the present.
July 4th at Geary's in El Burro Cove
Beating the heat on the 4th

Ending the dorado dry spell!!!
Views were great from the nice hike above El Burro Cove.
But like all Baja hikes, it was HOT!!!

Finding many of the native petroglyphs on boulders was interesting.  Baja has many such sites.

Another inspirational Baja sunset

And finally, for those of you who have read this far, here is a little bonus wildlife video, shot off the boat a few days ago.....have fun!!

1 comment:

  1. Loved the shot of the church, the happy couple, the singing rocks and the flying mantas.......seems like you'all having lots of fun.....