Back to the Whales!

Maldo Fisher, co-owner, Campo Cortez

Maldo Fisher, co-owner, Campo Cortez

The great luck of returning to San Ignacio Lagoon twice in one season is first and foremost, a reconnection with old friends – in this case, Maldo Fischer, his sons Cuko and Paco, and guides Adrian and Christina.

Their surprise – and then broad smiles and hugs – upon our arrival made the end of the dusty road a magical place, indeed. Steve and I were assigned “Balena” cabin – which seemed quite appropriate.

During my February early February visit, there were approximately 80 whales in the lagoon. Primarily mothers and their newborn. We were treated to baby antics, nursing moments, and the gift of the mothers as they brought their babies to the boats to be touched and kissed.

Christina, Guide - Campo Cortez

Christina, Guide - Campo Cortez

This trip, 180+ whales had been counted. The behavior had changed with the arrival of males looking for mates and the maturation of the babies. Breaching and spyhopping seemed to be everywhere simultaneously. And we were treated with feeding behaviors – mother and baby – scooping up tasties from the lagoon floor and filtering them through their baleen. The dorsal fins pictured to the right are prominent displayed when the whales are feeding. They scoop with one side of their face, fin raised in the air.

The second evening, Adrian and Christina gave an informative and beautifully presented slide show and narrative. They filled in many gaps on whale behavior, and the show included many new photos from Adrian’s current stay.

After, Maldo gave a wonderful talk and demonstration on the ‘green’ nature of Campo Cortez. He described in detail the solar systems, battery packs and the wind generating turbines. He also covered the water system and the marine toilet operations, also solar powered.

Grey Whale

Grey Whale

In the morning, I was very sad to leave, but pledged to return next year for a longer stay.

Thanks to Maldo for his vision, and for Johnny Friday in joining with him and making the dreams a reality.

Wild Trip to San Juanico and Beyond ..

ROAD TRIP~  with stove, parties, friends & whales.

And I mean – road trip!  Left Laguna mid-morning with overnight in Guerro Negro. Great dinner – as always – at the  Malarrimo Restaurant.  Got up before the sunrise and headed east.  Watched the sun slip over the lip of the Sierra as we dropped down the grade toward Santa Rosalia.

With great luck and no traffic, we pulled into Loreto around 11 AM.  Got the truck unloaded, and on call – Carol’s connection – Richon – arrived to look at the stove and what I need for installation.  No one believed I could get a stove installed in one day.  This IS Mexico. But I was driven and committed.

Val Wilekrson

Val Wilkerson

Barry and Val came by to chat – and stayed 🙂  That’s how it works in Loreto.  Richon brought Juan.  Alexander came over.   Jeanne stopped by and brought her girlfriend, who was fresh from fishing with Chris & the boys.

Steve was deep into rum & cokes until he realized that all the orifices on the stove needed to be converted from natural gas to propane.  Sobered him up (grumpily) fast .. and the job was done.

In the meantime, Jeanne kept saying she wanted to go to sleep and have tomato soup .. but now Steve was grousing about dinner.

Carol & Lee Boyd at Meditarraneo

Carol & Lee Boyd at Meditarraneo

We were supposed to eat at Mediterraneo, Carol & Lee’s excellent restaurant on the Malecón, but now it’s after 8…. and cranky is a good word to throw out. .. So.. with grand and gracious spirit, Jeanne opened her freezer, found ground turkey and a meat loaf was created.

There were potatoes at the house from Boots & his wife Arianna who had been staying while they searched for a place to live.  We mixed russet and sweet for mashed, crafted a salad of cucumbers and tomatoes.. and celebrated a feast.  Alexander had gifted Jeanne a bottle of tequila for her birthday, and this was the time to enjoy.

Wild night and tired, Steve and I crashed down.  Woke early for sunrise and a morning of client work – while we had DSL internet connections.

Catharine Cooper, Dennis Choate, Steve Kawaratani, Bill Clute

Catharine, Dennis, Steve, & Bill

We made an overnight stop in San Juanico where we partied – is there a theme song here? – with old friends and new. We were the guests of Dennis Choate and Donn Stein in their hacienda complex. Donn lent his palapa for the night .. sheets were hastily changed and the party began.

Dennis had good friends, Bill and his daughter, Cathy, staying in his guest house.   Once upon a time, Dennis and Bill had been arch sailing rivals, but now, spinnakers aside, they are best friends.  Dennis builds boats – Transpac and more – at his shop in Long Beach – Dencho Marine.

It might have been the case of wine we brought down for the boys, or maybe it was the fabulous food of the local chefs, but the evening was one of great revelry and memories were created out of deep laughter.

Sailboat racers, surfers, bikers ….. and thank god for the morning after – coffee drinkers.  Bill – you are forever my hero for the espresso!

We all drank too much, ate too much, and laughed harder than we imagined possible.  Dueling iPods provided music and Bill, CC & Steve traded iPhone tricks and info.  I woke up next to my vitamins .. Cathy in her clothes.  Too much fun …………..

Quick check of the surf, not much happeing, and Steve and I jumped back in the Hummer for the drive north along the salt flats to San Ignacio Lagoon.