Thursday, November 15, 2007

Bahia Abreojos

We arrived here in the late afternoon after a day and a night of smooth sailing. Our engine is holding out fine, we’re both feeling really good, and we have a full propane bottle. It was a very quiet and peaceful anchorage and we had a great night’s sleep.

In the morning as we were preparing to go ashore a panga drove up with two Mexican guys in it. They indicated that they had lobster. I thought they wanted to sell the lobster to us but they kept saying the word, “soda,” and later the word, “candy.” Finally we realized they were looking for a trade. Eventually, between our limited Spanish and their limited English, we negotiated a trade of four nice-sized spiny lobsters for a half a bag of mini candy bars and a 2-litre bottle of Coke.
As before, with the yellow-fin tuna, we had to cook these babies right away. Mike got a pot of water boiling and got the first one in. Our pot was barely big enough for one at a time. All went well until it was the third lobster’s turn in the pot. As Mike was lowering it into the pot it gave a twist, slipped out of Mike’s grip, and splashed into the pot, throwing boiling water over the stove, the floor, and Mike. Mike slammed the lid down, then checked for damages. He’d received a pretty good burn on the inside of his left arm. Out with the first aid kit and on with some burn ointment. The fourth lobster was cooked and we set about cleaning up the mess.

Once we got the lobsters cooked, cracked, and on a plate we decided that a meal like that deserved butter so we went ashore and set off on what would turn out to be about a five-mile round-trip to the village to find butter. At one point we realized we were walking along a landing strip; another part of our hike took us across some tide pools where we watched hermit crabs, fish, snails, and other sea life scuttling around. The little village itself was a mix of old abandoned buildings, like an old arena, and newer and bright-looking schools, homes, and a beach-boardwalk. The people didn’t seem quite as friendly as other little towns we’d visited so far; but they weren’t unfriendly either, and we decided they probably just didn’t see Americans very often. An interesting sight were the huge nests built on top of tall poles, or on the streetlight poles, for the ospreys. I’d never seen these birds in the wild before; they are huge! And numerous here, it seems. We couldn’t tell whether or not there were young in this nest but this adult bird does seem to be guarding something.

We found our butter, and a lot of other food items that we thought we couldn’t do without, and which proved to be a heavy load for Mike to carry all the way back to the boat, and which meant I had to carry my own backpack, dang it.
But when we finished preparing our meal, it was a feast! Nothing tastes better than fresh-caught and cooked lobster with melted butter and a big heap of rice, eaten on a sailboat in a quiet little bay in Mexico.

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