Friday, July 13, 2012

La Ramada Rocks

It was June 25.  When the sun came up in San Juanico we were happy to have a long night of rolling behind us.  We pulled up the anchor and motored a mile or so to the northern end of the bay in search of better protection from the heavy southeastern swell.  Hotel California arrived first and found a sweet spot in shallow water tucked in behind some big rocks.  We were unable to locate a similarly protected patch of water that was deep enough to accommodate Interabang’s nine foot draft.  Then we remembered seeing our friends on Eyoni pass by San Juanico the day before presumably headed for La Ramada, an anchorage just two miles further north.  Trisha was able to call Eyoni on the VHF radio and learned that the water in La Ramada was flat calm and there was plenty of room for more boats.  We were soon on our way with Hotel California close behind.

Interabang and Hotel California joined three other boats already at anchor in La Ramada including Eyoni.  We enjoyed a peaceful night’s sleep.  The next morning we took the dinghy to the beach and hiked over the hills back to San Juanico to visit the cruiser’s shrine.  We soon found the tree where cruisers have been leaving mementos for many years.  There were several pieces of sandstone carved with dates from the early 1980’s and countless other trinkets and pieces of artwork in various states of decay.  Interabang’s contribution was a rubber duck we picked at a Baja-HaHa party.  We used a sharpie to add our boat name and the year 2012 then attached the toy to an inner branch with stainless seizing wire.  On the hike back to La Ramada we found several pieces of obsidian that have come in very handy for holding down playing cards during windy Baja Rummy games.

The tree that is the "Cruiser's Shrine" in San Juanico
Interabang's contribution to the shrine
Obsidian rocks
The following day, I stopped by Eyoni and asked Ethan if he could teach me how to make the replacement bands for my spear gun.  When it comes to spear fishing, Ethan is the best of the best.  He came aboard and I handed him the obviously well-used gun.  He was immediately impressed with its design and quality.  He looked it over carefully giving me several repair and fine tuning tips.  Using his own material, he made me a couple of new spear tethers.  Then he showed me how to make the bands.  Ethan was a great help!!!  All he asked for in return was a cold beer now and again down the road.

That afternoon, we took our snorkel gear to the beach to try our luck at a little clamming.  On our way north, we had been coached by several cruisers on how to spot a chocolate clam hiding under the sand.  It took about an hour of studying the sandy bottom and several trial and error dives to finally come up with the first clam.  As the name implies, chocolates are brown in color.  They are about the size of a pack of cigarettes and buried under an inch or two of sand in four to eight feet of water.  After a couple hours we had collected thirty clams.  That night Trisha made her famous linguini and clams dish.  It was fabulous.  We did a little more clamming the next day.  After two days of practice, Trisha had become a clamming champ regularly adding to the haul.  Just as we were going to call it a day, I found a huge yellow clam.  It was great fun showing off the big guy to the other snorkelers, but Trisha let it be known that she found the monster quite intimidating.  After a brief photo session we tossed him back in the water.

Bucket of chocolate clams
That is one BIG clam!
The highlight of our five days in La Ramada began one morning when a northbound ketch sailed into view from behind the point.  She was a little over a mile offshore and flying a spinnaker.  We watched the boat for quite a while and when it was about three or four miles away we noticed that she had lost control of her kite.  The sail was now flying horizontally from the top of the mainmast.  The boat turned around and slowly starting making its way to the shelter of La Ramada.  Eventually the spinnaker was back under control but obviously badly damaged.  The crew was unable to get the sail down.  When Karmasea finally arrived at the anchorage we saw that the boat was singlehanded.  The spinnaker was still hoisted with tack and clew tied together.  When the ketch passed close by I ask if he needed a hand.  He said he really could have used me an hour ago but now would be great.  As soon as the boat was anchored I jumped in the dinghy and went aboard Karmasea to meet Pitt.  Pitt was an unusual guy with short hair and a beard made up of three braids.  Pitt got his gear together for going aloft and began climbing the mast.  Ethan from Eyoni and John from Seychelles quickly arrived and we went to work getting things squared away.  It wasn’t long before the damaged spinnaker was back in the back in the bag and Ethan, John and I were on our way.

The excitement for the morning in La Ramada
Later that day John on Seychelles organized a BYOB happy hour on the beach for all of the boats in the anchorage.  The new arrival, Pitt on Karmasea, had volunteered to provide the entertainment as a thank you for the help he had received.  Come to find out Pitt is a balloon- twisting fire-eater.

All of the dinghies showed up on the beach for happy hour.  As the drinks were drunk and the snacks disappeared, Pitt was busy making balloon art for the kids and the ladies.  He does impressive things with balloons including a very entertaining sword swallowing act using a sword fashioned from a balloon.  Finally it began to get dark and twenty or so people sat together on the sand waiting for the main event.  When Pitt started lighting his torches everyone was captivated. There is something fascinating about seeing fire in the dark.  Pitt put on a very impressive show while telling great stories about how he had learned his art.  When Pitt finished his last act and the last flame was dowsed a vigorous round of applause ensued.  Suddenly, as if choreographed, the space station could be seen sweeping by in the sky.  It was a magical night.

Pitt makes balloons for the kids from Eyoni and Pura Vida
Trisha is happy with her Pink Panther balloon
Trisha, Jeanne (Eagle), Kyra (Nyon) and Nicki (Seychelles)
The show begins at dark

he is winding up...
and he eats the fire!

1 comment:

  1. cool pictures. like the pink panther too!