Friday, December 02, 2011

Anchor Watch

During our trip, we had a lot of windy nights. A lot. I can't believe it took me nearly three weeks to figure it out, but my Android phone from Telcel is actually a useful tool for these.

There is an anchor watch function on our chartplotter, but even with the brightness turned way down, that thing uses quite a few amps. My phone, OTOH, once it's charged up, (usually done while we're running the genset to make water or run the fridge) uses none. I just load up the Navionics charting app (<$30 from the Android marketplace), turn on tracking, and go to sleep. Every so often I wake up and look at this:

Nope, not moving.

There are also several anchor watch apps in the Android marketplace, which will presumably set off an audio alarm if you start to drag. I'll probably look into those (most require the substantial investment of something like $5, so why not?) but honestly, when it's windy, I'm not going to be sleeping for very long at a time.

BTW, if you don't want to get a Mexico phone with a data plan, if you already have the Navionics app on your US phone, the GPS and plotter functions will work without requiring a data connection.

Bahia Salinas

Bahia Salinas is the site of an old salt harvesting operation. Today, it's mainly a camp for the people who come to Isla Carmen to hunt big horn sheep, and populated largely by rather alarmingly heavily armed men. I rowed ashore right after we arrived and took pictures - a good thing, that, as the wind came up overnight out of the south, and we were hightailing it back to P.E. after a very rolly night by about 9:00 the following morning.

Some of the abandoned salt processing facilities:

The salt ponds:

A random pile of rusty equipment. There's an entire truck in there somewhere:

There was also a chapel, apparently still in use. I've really loved the churches I've seen in Mexico:

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Puerto Ballandra

From Puerto Escondido, we went to Puerto Ballandra. There's really nothing there, but it's a really well protected anchorage, and since the forecast was (once again) for a fair bit of wind, we wanted something that wasn't just a roadstead. It did have a neat little salt water lagoon behind the beach - this wasn't mentioned in any of the guidebooks, so we're assuming that it formed pretty recently:

It really rained a lot. Everything was so green!

On the beach, I saw this weird shell - it looked like a scallop shell that had delaminated somehow: