Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Clay's Time Aboard Starship

I have been in Baja for slightly over a month with Anne-Marie and Chris staying aboard Starship. The cruising lifestyle is almost exactly the way I imagined it would be. The one major difference is that I though there would be much more free time. Going grocery shopping in Loreto took almost the entire day and was one of the best workouts I have had in years, and going for a hike and snorkeling can make an entire day disappear.

This trip began exactly how I wanted it to. My sister gave me a haircut that my mother would strongly disapprove of.

As we traveled north along the coast of Baja we went from anchorage to anchorage staying at each for roughly 5 days at a time. Our biggest pastime so far has been snorkeling. I was amazed by the amount of fish that would be swimming around you.

As I snorkeled Annie and Chris would go spearfishing. Chris is the spearfishing expert of Starship and would often bring back fish for dinner.

Chris was kind enough to share some of his spearfishing wisdom with me. He showed me certain fish which were good to eat that you could shoot. One day while attempting spearfishing I was very determined to come back with a kill. While surveying the area from above I spotted a hogfish (known to be rather challenging prey). It looked like one of the biggest fish I had ever seen while snorkeling. My primal hunting instincts immediately kicked in and without hesitation I dove down and shot the fish in the spine instantly paralyzing it.

At least that's how I saw it. But here's what really happened...

Chris told me that he believed a type of fish called sweet lips would be hanging around this one rock. After swimming around there for 10 minutes I saw a bunch of fish I believed were sweet lips. I am not very good at identifying fish, so I reported my findings to Chris. He told me to go for it. After 10 more minutes of hesitation I dove down, tried to shoot at the head of one of the fish, and missed by a mile. A few minutes later I saw another one and dove down. This time I aimed for the body instead of the head, and somehow shot its spine and paralyzed it.

Once I had my kill back at the dingy I could tell that it was rather small fish and clearly not a sweet lips. It was quite purple at spots and only has a small amount of yellow on the tail. Chris confirmed these suspicions. Back at the boat Annie identified it as a hogfish. Surprisingly the fish guide book said they were easy to kill while spearfishing (I think the book must have its facts wrong). But luckily the book said these fish were good to eat so it wasn't a waste. Chris also killed a previously unknown type (we still aren't sure of its name). They were both quite delicious!

My fish
Chris' fish
We also have done quite a lot of hiking. One hike in particular was quite memorable. We left early in the morning in an attempt to avoid the hottest part of the day. This seemed to have little to no effect on me. I sweated more than what I thought was humanly possible. At times I considered giving up, but by the time we got to the top I was very glad I didn't. The view was incredible!

At the top of the mountain there were very interesting rocks. If you hit the boulders with smaller rocks they rang loudly and sounded like bells. On the way down the mountain we also saw hieroglyphs.

Besides that we have been kitesurfing, making delicious food, cooling off in the water, eating ice cream every chance we get, and having the occasional siesta.

Despite the bug infestation, bee swarms, and dingy explosion, I have thoroughly enjoyed my month aboard Starship. My lovely sister (Anne-Marie) and her super cool husband (Chris) have been extremely welcoming throughout the entire trip. They have made it a truly enjoyable and unique experience for me. I can't wait for the last 3 weeks and I will be sad when it all comes to an end.

For MANY more pictures, be sure to check out our web album!
Loreto to Santa Rosalia

Santa Rosalia

1 comment:

  1. Clay, enjoyed very much reading about your good times. I thought I did hide my disapproval of your haircut so well :) So glad that you can recharge your batteries before....der Ernst des Lebens anfaengt. We miss you at home very much and can very much imagine the good times you help to create on starship. Let the good times roll during the next three week.
    xox Mom


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