Saturday, May 21, 2011

Salinas – Painted Cliffs – May 7-9, 2011

Firefly and Hotel California pulled up anchor about 10 to head to the east side of Isla Carmen. Full Shell headed north, we will catch up with them later. As we were leaving the bay, 2 whales cruised by. We have phone service in the channel and probably won’t have any on the other side of the island, so we called our Moms to wish them Happy Mother’s Day.
We pulled into Salinas and dropped the anchor. It is so sandy and shallow here the water looks aqua blue-green. There is an old abandoned town and salt mining operation which would be fun to explore, but the south wind came up and there is no protection here. We stay about a couple of hours then pulled up anchor to head around the corner. On the way out of the bay we went past a sunken 120’ tuna boat in 35 feet of water with one side above the surface. It would be a great snorkeling or dive site, but for now it is covered with birds. We will have to come back to this spot when the winds are better.

Sunken Tuna Boat

On the way around the corner to Painted Cliffs we saw so many rays jumping out of the water. They are about 2 feet across and jump up about 5 feet, then slam onto the top of the water and make a big slap. I’m not sure why they do this, I guess they’re just playing. Next, a pod of dolphin joined us for a few miles. There is so much sea life out here, I’m constantly grabbing my camera.

Rays jumping


We anchored in Painted Cliffs which is named for the colorful rocky hillsides surrounding the anchorage. I dove in and checked our anchor then swam over to Firefly to see the huge rocks they had anchored near. They were too close, so they moved to the other side of us.
Pam Checking the Anchor

The next day we went for a dinghy ride to the other side of the bay. A fog bank came rolling in and the boats were lost in the fog. The temperature dropped about 10 degrees. We headed back to the boats and as we got close the fog had cleared and it was bright sunshine again. A few minutes later another bank came in and hung there for about an hour. It felt like we were back in San Francisco Bay.
Boats disappearing in the fog

Fog coming in

We are having a problem with our small outboard dinghy engine. It needs a new impeller, so we are heading over to Loreto in the morning to see if we can buy one.

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