Posted by: Sailing Camelot | July 25, 2011

July 25th – Last Day in Santa Rosalia

We spent the past two weeks in Santa Rosalia and by now we are feeling a bit restless. We sorely miss being at anchor, close to the refreshing waters.

Our provisioning and refueling has been completed, not without a few hiccups. Today, our last day of final preparations, has been particularly frustrating.  This morning, after unsuccessfully trying for the past few days, we finally managed to contact the fuel dock –always a good idea to check availability of fuel beforehand. The conversation went like this:

Lori (chirpy): “Hi, we need to get diesel, are you guys open today?”

Carlos: “We don’t have any diesel”

Lori (disappointed): “Oh. When do you expect to get more?”

Carlos: “Well, how much do you need?”

Lori (hopeful): “We need about 300 liters”

Carlos: “Oh, yeah, I have 300 liters”

Lori (puzzled but pleased): “Oh, great! Is it ok if we come there in, say, an hour?”

Carlos: “No, you can’t. There are three Navy Vessels tied to our fuel dock”

Lori (perplexed): “Uh, when do you think they’ll leave, maybe we can come later?”

Carlos: “I don’t know when they’re leaving; a few days, two weeks, three weeks. Call me”

Lori (confused and a little bewildered): “Oh. Well, ok, thanks!”

And so poor Tom borrowed a dock cart, loaded our four 5-Gallon jerry jugs and walked to the nearby Pemex gas station to get them filled. He fills the first load, goes to pay with the credit card we use all the time and the card gets declined! Ok, he pays in cash and returns to the boat where he proceeds to fill the tanks. Upon hearing his story, I –the Chief Financial Officer of this fine vessel- freak out, thinking credit card fraud and a number of other negative thoughts. So I grab the phone, call the credit card company in the US and after another funny  runaround am finally told that our card has not been used for the past 2 weeks and certainly not been declined. Matter of fact, there’s no record of it being even used today.

Ok, that puts me in a better mood. Tom returns to the gas station for load number two, asks the clerk to try the card again, telling him that we called the bank and the card is fine… The answer: “American credit cards don’t work so well here”.  Aaaaarrrgggghhhh! And you couldn’t have told me that the first time??? But we both shrug, this is Mexico and sometimes the only thing that makes sense here is that nothing makes sense… We are getting used to it. It can be fun and maddening at the same time.

After four trips schlepping diesel jugs the boat is refueled, Tom is thoroughly soaked in sweat but satisfied. I am busy putting the last (manual) stitches to the mainsail, fixing a small chafing problem that hopefully I can keep at bay until we find a professional to repair it properly.  Man, I have been sewing like a mad woman these past couple of weeks! Mainly making more shade covers, with some repairs thrown in here and there. Very satisfying! I like being self reliant when I can.

Santa Rosalia has been a great stop for us; we thoroughly enjoyed the town and its friendly people, and appreciated the opportunity to provision extensively and sample the tasty local cuisine.

Stuffing our face, sampling the best Hot Dogs in town

And we really got a kick out of the Beer Drive Thru. Yes, just like a McDonalds! You drive in, get your order loaded in your car and
leave. We needed beer among other things, so at the end of yet another shopping trip we hailed a cab and asked to be driven to the Tecate Depot where we experienced this convenient service. Tom couldn’t stop laughing! It seemed a little absurd and surreal, but I still think it’s a very clever idea.

Tecate Depot - The Beer Drive-Thru

The next portion of the Sea Of Cortez we’re going to explore will offer much less opportunities for shopping, Internet connection and generic “civilized” amenities.

We’ll be island-hopping, visiting islands populated only by animals for the next 8 to 10 weeks.

We’re both excited to be leaving. Tomorrow, no later than 4 in the morning, we’ll leave for Bahia San Francisquito. Try saying that name fast! I keep biting my tongue when I try… Anyway, this place is the first major anchorage on the 77 mile trip northeast from Santa Rosalia. I anticipate it’ll take us 12 hours at the most if everything goes smoothly. The weather and wind conditions are predicted favorable.

Bahia San Francisquito is also a convenient launching pad to visit to the Midriff Islands, a group of nine islands of various sizes
scattered between the opposite coasts of the northern part of the Sea of Cortez.
I am salivating at the thought of picture-taking opportunities…

So, it’s good-bye for now! We’ll be out of Internet range for a while, so don’t get worried about us if there are no postings for a few
weeks.

We’re only giving you a chance to miss us…

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