For those of you that may have been worried, let us allay your fears. We have made it to that beautiful peninsula of land they call Baja California. The crossing of the northern Sea of Cortez was grand, but our journey was not without tribulation. We made long passages through moonless nights above bizarre offshore shoals of less than 19 feet while five miles out to sea. We drug anchor, and nearly lost Bojangles, our rowing dinghy. We siphoned diesel from a fish truck in a tiny village south of Bahia Kino. We slept little, got bounced around by huge waves and saw firsthand the eerie and tremendous tidal currents of the northern sea.

These challenges were made small by the amazing things we saw each day as we traversed the seldom visited Midriff Islands. On Isla San Esteban, we stalked the endemic chuckwalla, a giant lizard found nowhere else on earth. Sea lions swam round and round the boat, playful creatures that they are, kicking up huge plumes of glowing phosphorescence as they went. At one point on the sail over, within the course of two hours, we had a whale, a sea lion and a hammerhead shark all swim up to the boat, roll on their side to get a better look, and then swim away. Dolphins, sea turtles and yellowtail rounded out the charismatic megafauna sightings. And the snorkeling was phenomenal of course.

For those of you that may have been worried about Wylie, let us allay your fears again. He finally peed on the boat, though he did try for the world record in bladder holding. We were in large seas and very rolly conditions, and he did great on the boat, no sea sickness at all. In fact, he just curled up in the cockpit and slept most of the time. Once on land, he led a privileged  life. He got to run amok like he never has in his life. White sand in between his toes, fresh air, and all the swimming he could handle. The Mexicans down here have taken to calling him “The Mariner.”

We write now from Puerto Don Juan, a great anchorage just south of Bahia de los Angeles. Tomorrow we will head out on our southern route towards Santa Rosalia, the next stop where we will have internet, perhaps two weeks away. In the meantime, we’ll trickle out posts of some of the highlights of the last leg of the journey.

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