On May 11th, we trekked up to Timbabiche, hoping this anchorage will keep us partially protected from the NE swell for the night.
We have been reading Steinbeck’s book ‘The Log from the Sea of Cortez’ - required reading for anyone traveling this way. The trip up to Timbabiche mirrored how Steinbeck describes the Sea of Cortez as a mirage. At one point early morning, the slate grey water merged into light grey sky, intermingling in the middle, difficult to discern one from the other. Later, blue sky way in the distance remained in the same spot all day, we could never reach it. But the tiny portion of robin’s egg blue reflection wiggled and intertwined and melted into the slate grey water, appearing as painted watercolor on canvas. The mild seas rolled like an undulating furry carpet. The Sierra Gigantas mountains are so big, so majestic, so steep and close to the sea that they look like a set from the movie Cars. The mirage is one endless mountain rather than thousands of indentations and coves, spires and cliffs. It is difficult to distinguish one bay from the next until you are actually in it.
We saw several large manta rays doing the wing-tip thing coasting along, bigger than their stingray buddies we had seen in the coves. We saw a few dolphins but they moved on before I could capture them on film.
At Timbabiche we ate lunch and sacked out in the cockpit, too tired from the sleepless “night of the fishes” to move. Later at 4pm it was finally sunny and we kayaked to shore and walked the beach. Take your pick of scenery: sand dunes, salt flats, a grand estuary, mangroves, rocky point with interesting jutting rock formations, all can be seen here. If I had another day I’d kayak up that long, lazy estuary.
We fired up the BBQ for cheddar-filled salchichas (brats) and couscous salad with orange, jicama, cilantro and roasted coconut. Nice night at anchor. Not much wind, no dragging, no anchor alarms, no flipping fishies.
Los Gatos 5/12/2015
We were in no hurry to leave as our next spot, Los Gatos, was only 3 miles away. So I made apple pancakes! Los Gatos has several rocky reefs to avoid so we were tentative motoring around the anchorage for a half hour deciding on where to go; we finally set down in the south lobe. A group of campers were tented on the beach in the north lobe and no boats were in the south, should be better wind protection there, after all the wind was supposed to come from the southeast.
Amazing views all around: rocky point, perfect white sand beach, red rocks all around, another white sand beach, more red rocks and a pink sand beach, another rocky point. Just beautiful. I’m going to go out on a limb here…maybe the best anchorage so far, for a picturesque view.
We got the kayak out and paddled for the north shore towards the massive red rocks. What a sight. Hard-packed pink sand beach, not littered with rocks or shells, just perfect walking sand. And wide swaths of red-marbled sandstone, smoothed by the ages. As we hiked higher up the cliffs, jagged, wind-whipped out-croppings emerged, and shards of broken sandstone littered the cliffs making it difficult to get a good footing. The thin, flat pieces would jut out precariously like stepping stones with no lower support but were too brittle to use as such. We could see crevasses in the rock, so there’s no way we were getting too close to the edge of the cliff face to look over as I could picture a rock wall shear off and calve into the water 500 ft below with me in it. Not happening.
Around the point at sea level the red rock formations stopped and a whole new interesting scene appeared of amalgamated rock and shells, congealed over time. This stuff looked like someone had poured concrete and added toe-to-fist-sized rocks and shells into the mix and dropped it on this point. Nowhere else around had I seen such a mixture. We walked along the tide pools looking at the sea urchins and the crusty barnacles that seemed to hiss and whisper as the water edged over them. We saw tons of crabs… little phone-sized black ones that blended into the dark rocks. But as soon as you’d get near, they’d suddenly skitter away and scare the crap out of me, clicking their feet on the rocks like thousands of high heel shoes. I saw a large one, red and slow, either dying or just didn’t care about me. As I got closer he moved but slowly and cautiously, like he was anticipating my intentions. Maybe he wanted his picture taken just so I could show Jack and Lilah.
Hermit Crab Wars
Later as I was climbing on more sandstone I saw Brian crouched down, staring at something in the sand on the beach. I meandered down to see what was so interesting. He was entranced with watching 3 hermit crabs fighting.
Pepe was the mid-sized hermit crab and he had just got his butt kicked by Tiny, the littlest but meanest hermit crab of them all. Tiny crawled up on Pepe and poked and snapped and forced Pepe out of his shell. Tiny was a big bully and wanted Pepe’s shell for himself. It was bigger and had more room. Heck, he could have a 2-millimater flat-screen TV in his new living room now, it was so spacious.
Meanwhile, watching and cheering Tiny on was Carlos the cheater. Carlos knew what was happening and was one of those guys who sort of fakes getting in on the action but doesn’t really commit. So he was pinching here and there, backing off, coming in again to say “Yeah, take that Pepe”, but he didn’t want to get too close to Tiny. What Carlos really wanted was Tiny’s shell. He figured after Tiny got his new shell from Pepe that he could have it. But Tiny was an even bigger jerk than all of them imagined. Tiny wanted to KEEP his shell too and fought Pepe and Carlos for it, holding it in between his claws and trying to drag it away with him.
Finally, Carlos was so mad that Tiny wouldn’t give up his house, (he didn’t need 2 for gosh sakes) and picked at Tiny just enough to get him away from his previous shell. Carlos quickly switched shells, leaving his discarded and even smaller shell for Poor Pepe.
So in the end, Tiny bullied his way into a huge house with a three car garage because he thought he deserved it. He looked ridiculous carrying around all that baggage; he was top-heavy and stumbling around, but by God he had a bigger house than all of them. What Tiny didn’t stop to think about was a bigger house means a bigger mortgage, and his lost ability to be fast and nimble will probably sink him in the end.
Carlos now has Tiny’s house. He had a perfectly fine house before; in fact it was probably about the same size as his old one. But Carlos was like the vulture, picking up the remnants after they are discarded… just because he could.
Pepe, unprotected and sad, struggled to climb into Carlos’s abandoned house but he was just too big. He looked like a man trying to force his monster size-11 feet into size 8 sandals… his heel sticks out the back, his toes wiggle out the front, altogether highly uncomfortable. Stuck halfway outside Carlos’s smaller shell, Pepe crawled slowly away instead of scurrying as he should. I am no crustacean expert, but I assume he will sadly die from exposure unless he can find a bigger shell.
The moral of the story is: Don’t be like a hermit crab.
- Don’t try to take other people’s stuff. Don’t be a bully.
- Don’t sit on the sidelines and cheer on other people taking other people’s stuff. (Baltimore) Don’t be a coward.
- Don’t abscond with the leftovers when you KNOW the poor homeless guy needs it more. Don’t covet your neighbor’s trash.
- Fight back harder when someone does try and take your home. It’s YOUR home. Don’t be a whimp. Fight back when you are being bullied.