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La Paz, Whale Sharks, & Mazatlan January 14, 2013

Posted by steveandjudy in Code Blue 2013.
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Whale shark with snorkelers

Whale shark with snorkelers

Code Blue Followers, 1-9-13

From Puerto Los Cabos we headed out to La Paz. Seas were much calmer but still on the nose. We motored the whole way. We did catch an 18 # dorado along the way per the previous post. Winds got somewhat lighter as we passed Los Frailes a sheltered anchorage area if needed from north winds. In La Paz we got into the Marina de La Paz near the central area but the farthest dock on the outside.

Wind and waves would kick up later so we moved to the slip next to us so that we pointed out instead of against our hull sideways. We checked in then headed around town to a church, marine stores, had lunch and such. We found out friends from the northwest Rich and Lyn on s/v Fellowship were in the area so they picked us up in their car and took us to the marina where they were staying, Marina Palmira about 2 miles away. A music instrument jam session was planned for the evening. We stopped in at a boat s/v Eva G that a friend recommended to see but they had guests and were getting read for the jam session too. Seven players mostly guitars, one banjo. One boy was a 9 year old in 3rd grade that was pretty good and kind of stole the show somewhat.

The next day we joined Rich and Lyn for a free Spanish class, then headed to a giant store for groceries with Lyn. Rich wanted to check out a marine store I had already been too so I joined the gals. Later we walked the malecon, a water front walkway, headed to another church, Sears store and other shops. I checked my emails and noticed from another boater, that Mark from s/v Wendaway who we had met in San Diego and was on our dock, was just a few docks from us. I went over there and he was getting ready to be the net coordinator on Single Side Band radio (SSB). He was having trouble due to all the masts in the area, as he was deeper in the marina, and radio interference, so I went over to Code Blue to help out and join in. During our radio conversations with about 12 boats we found out s/v Eagle was in the area with Tom and Jeanne. They were in fact at the same marina as Rich and Lyn. Tom and Jeanne were friends from Seattle that we haven’t seen since they left. After dinner with Rich and Lyn we met up with Tom and Jeanne for drinks, then Rich and Lyn drove us back to the boat as we had to leave in the morning.

Saturday 1-5-13, we left La Paz and turned left to go out in front of the hotels. We heard reports that whale sharks were in the area. One scuba shop said they saw seven of them on Friday. In case you don’t know what whale sharks are, they are a filter feeder fish, usually swim very slowly, mostly 20 to 30 feet long with some in the 40 foot range. I’ve flown all the way to Thailand to swim with them before. They seem to like to swim with scuba divers and snorkelers. They have this gargantuan mouth that looks like it could swallow a refrigerator and it’s usually open for feeding. White spots all over the top sides of the fish. Any way we saw about 10 panga boats in the area. Some were left with whale sharks and some were right. Judy turned right. We saw at least five whale sharks swimming near the surface with a bunch of snorkelers swimming along side them or following. One was smaller about 20 feet and was sticking pretty close to what seemed to be the mom. The rest were about 25 feet long. The whole group was about 75 feet away, all of a sudden the whale sharks turned right and headed right for our boat. We took the boat out of gear and just sat there as didn’t want to injure them. After they came up to our mid section and what seemed like kissing the boat three turned away from our stern. The two others went under the boat and headed out a bit to sea. Later we saw one of these as we were leaving the area. It swam under the boat very close in the middle area of the boat from port to starboard.

From the whale shark event we headed out to sea crossing above the island north and east of La Paz, but below the lighthouse on a rock. Then this was a great angle to Mazatlan for an overnight sail. Winds were high of 28 to low of 12 but mostly 15 to 23 kts. We used just our jib about 70 to 80% most of the way. Winds got lighter as we got closer to Mazatlan. Finally I put up the full jib, then the full main the last few miles. Finally had to motor. More about that in the next post.

whale shark up close with spots on it's back

Whale Shark up close with spots on it’s back

Whale shark very close to Code Blue

Whale shark very close to Code Blue

Another whale shark going close by the boat

Another whale shark going close by the boat

spots near the back and tail.

spots near the back and tail.



Steve and Judy
s/v Code Blue

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