Intro video for our talk at the Anacortes Boat show this spring: https://youtu.be/QF2BRIXvGgM
Not too long ago, we visited a Frigate Bird mating colony. They were putting a considerable amount of time and energy into selecting their mates and establishing their personal identity.
For the last few days, small fish have been spawning en masse and dying, spent, in huge piles on the beach.
The Frigate Birds have lost their mating fluffery and are feeding on the dead fish before they wash ashore. The birds hover over the water and reach down, plucking the floating nutrition from the sea without getting anything wet but the ends of their beaks.
So, to recap, those that chose their mates carefully are leading lives of leisure and beauty, while those that spawned anonymously and recklessly are washing up on the beach dead.
Happy Valentine’s Day.
These pictures are all lifted from the GoPro (Hero Silver) video I’ve been taking while snorkeling. Hopefully I’ll have enough bandwidth to post the moving pics soon.
You should be able to click on the different pictures to look at bigger versions. We’ll see how this works out.
The water in Baja this year is warm (82) and clear – very tropical. The fish are mostly tropical, but since the water is seasonally cold (down to 65 or so), there is very little coral or tropical colonies like gorgonians. The fish are still pretty, though. It’s like a great big aquarium.
We are again sitting at Isla Coronados outside Loreto waiting for another bout of extremely serious NW wind. Again, we have 5,000,000 sardines hiding out under the boat.
But now, we have their number.
We put two large very sharp single hooks on the swivel of a wire leader. Then we drop the hooks through the sardine shoal to the bottom. When we pull it back up, a sardine gets caught on one of the hooks. Too bad for it.
We cast the hooked sardine twenty or thirty feet from the boat. Usually, it swims as fast as it can to get back under the boat.
Sometimes it doesn’t make it.
Sometimes a larger fish trades places with the sardine on the hook.
That’s a Pacific Jack Crevalle on the left and a Green Jack on the right.
The Pacific Jack Crevalle doesn’t have a dorsal fin, or, at least, this one didn’t. He was pretty hard to fillet.
He had a big bony thing where his dorsal fin goes. It didn’t look like a tumor. Weird.
Nancy caught a Cero and a Spanish mackerel.
The Spanish mackerel is the kindest of all food fishes. If you wave a properly sharpened knife at it the fillets jump into the soaking bowl. There is no easier fish to clean in the entire world, and the meat is wonderful and white and flakey.
We caught so many we stopped taking pictures. We even stopped fishing. We also stopped fishing because a great big bull Sea Lion showed up and swam around under the boat for a while. Do Sea Lions like sardines? It’s a mystery.
It’s going to get windy tonight. Tomorrow it’s going to stay windy. Gale warnings, stuff like that. Whoop te do. For a while.
So we moved into our favorite wacky weather anchorage south of Isla Coronados. We set the anchor, added scope, cleared the decks, blah blah blah.
Then the depth sounder stopped working. We use the depth sounder to tell us if the boat is moving into shallower or deeper water. If the boat is anchored and not supposed to be moving, this is a big deal.
But the depth sounder didn’t work. Huh. So we looked over the side.
Every sardine in Mexico was under our boat. In every direction. We could easily see Dorado and Mackerel circling the sardines.
They weren’t very afraid of me, either.
There was a cool stingray hanging out by the anchor chain.
It may be spelled catsup. My English is getting…sporty.
I won’t try to organize these. We are way behind.
A HUGE problem in Mexico is establishing property rights. Many of the property deeds were issued by European monarchs to a man and his descendants. Once a property is developed, and the money starts flowing, descendants appear. Apparently Mexico doesn’t have an easy “quit-claim” or “quiet title” process. So the old “possession is 9/10ths” process applies, although the golden rule will trump in the end, seeing as Mexico has “justice” and not “rule of law.”
Punta Pulpito is a volcano, or an igneous intrusion, depending on if there’s a difference between the two. In the center of this picture is a huge vein of pure obsidian (volcanic glass) with white inclusions. Pepper with salt. The obsidian is inadequately annealed and tends to powder on contact. Edit: It’s possibly cooler than that, even. The white dots may be post-cooling cristobalite crystal growth from overheating after formation, and the overheating would also cause vitrification, which would cause the surface to be weak. We can do the same thing to glass in our kiln at home.
I was going to do a whole post on this whale. Count your blessings.