Fish Fry, Turtling & An Argentinian

Anders snorkels

Anders snorkels

What a beautiful beach to camp at.  We get sunrise before most of the other local beaches, and sunset comes later, too.  Our day must be at least an hour and a half longer than theirs.  And we are the only beach protected from the highway noise.

Sunday we head over to the Walls and come back with armloads of snorkelling gear.  The children head straight to the water and spend the day spotting sting rays, a puffer fish, torpedoes, angelfish, huge sand dollars, sea urchins, sponges, cucumbers, etc.  There is a whole new world that opens up for them.  They are mesmerized.

fairy house

another fairy house by Toveli

On Monday Mitchell takes Gaelyn & Anders for an early morning hike to investigate Mother Mary praying from lofty rocks above our beach.  They hike over multiple hills before returning to camp where the rest of the beach is finally coming alive.  The kids are in the water by 7:30, snorkelling amongst the rocks and over clusters of seaweed at either end of Escondida.  Everette & Danaka go to town with Al Wall where Everette gets groceries and some additions to the snorkelling gear Al has leant to us.  While they are in town Mitchell sets up Al’s “Laser Fish” (Laser boat with Sun Fish sail) sailing it around the point to our camp while Maret, first time in a kayak, paddles one and tows another.

Maret tows

Maret

MW sails

Mitchell

Al & Meralyn are very generous with their water toys.  The rest of the day is spent juggling between sailing, snorkelling and kayaking.  With a little fishing thrown in.

Ev sails

Everette

Mitchell has taken to the Laser Fish quickly.  He’s had a bit of sailing experience with a Sunfish and Rauchelle’s 22′ Tanzer when we lived on Cape Breton but nothing too extensive.  He has much to learn but is best to learn ‘on the job’.

It is winter here, so lots of days are borderline ‘warm’ but Tuesday is gorgeous.  Even Everette and I dare to brave the waters and go snorkelling.  My very first time ever.  Its chilly but we head over to the sea weed beds by some rocks and discover corals  (dead), sponges, striped black/yellow/white schools of (?) fish, territorial charcoal coloured fish, big purple sea urchins, scallops and our first sting rays.  We definitely need to get a guide to identify these fish as the only charts we have so far notify you which fish are worth money.  According to the charts the value of the creatures we see is solely in their beauty.

Everyday now includes watersports, neighbours coming and going.  Most are from California, but not Miel.

off

He is a 24yo Argentinian who had never left his country until this May when he flew to Alaska and has been southbound ever since.  We didn’t meet him during his month+ stay on Vancouver Island  (he even passed thru Sooke on his way from Botanical Beach to Victoria) but we were blessed to spend 3 nights/days with him on this beach here on the Baja.  We shared our meals, campfires, movies, wine, adventures, fears, blog ideas, hopes and dreams.  He has touched our hearts and lives.

Miel w Laars

 Laars yacking up a storm

Storm winds move in on Wednesday which sends Mitchell and Miel in from their kayak fishing trip.  We hunker down in our tents, break out the computers for videos and books for reading, hiding from the swirling sands.  An unexpected visit from the Walls presents us with an invite to Posada for a Fish Fry.  With little to contribute at short notice we walk over with our corn chips and salsa and hit a jackpot.  Cream cheese with sweet chill on crackers.  Fresh guacamole, warm cheesy dips and hot black bean salsas.  Pickled beans.  The focal point of the dinner are 2 trigger fish steaming over coals.  Fortunately they taste better than they look.

trigger fish

They have almost human-like teeth, and several spikes on the top of its head that can fold down flat out of the way, or protrude out so as to brace themselves against being pulled out of a cave or hole they’ve entered.  There’s also breaded deep-fried fish, tortilla wraps with various stuffings, curry, and more.  Easy to over-eat.

There are more than 30 people at this fish fry, predominantly from USA, most of them have been coming to the Baja for 10+ years.

Engaging stories they have to tell, but they also want to know about this big young family, what we are doing, where we are going, how we will educate our children, what our dreams are.  The children are soon comfortable to chatter up their own storms with any adult who will engage with them, individually telling their own dreams and adventures.  At the end of the meal the fellow who operated the Frying Saucer

comes right up into my face and says seriously “I want you to know that I am SO impressed with your children, they are such a delight to have met, and just so you know your 2 girls plopped themselves down beside me and ate the two fish heads!”  Gaelyn and Toveli, they both surprised me!!!  I never would have thought.  Additionally I discover that Mitchell and Anders ate the eyeballs. Way to go, guys!!!!

Janet & fish heads

The wind lasts another day although a little less intense.

We have managed to get some sleep at night, Everette and I, in spite of the 30mph winds because of the wind hitting the sides of our tents rather than the ends.  The cover flaps much less this way and we get some zzz’s. Hopefully, if the wind must blow, it will co-operate and keep to one direction.

Mitchell turtles the boat.  At first it looks like the dagger board got lost but Mitchell just had to use his foot to reef on it & pull it out so he could climb aboard it.   Less than 2 minutes to figure out how to right it on his own.   Onlookers cheered. Lessons learned.

Jeannie next door offers her acrylic paints and a manual drill and the children camp out for the morning at her place painting sea shells and making necklaces.  Maybe we’ll make wind chimes (and drive away flies, or neighbours)?  Everette spends hours at the Walls discussing the possibility of him building new kitchen cabinets for their house while Miel hangs out at our campsite talking western hemisphere culture/politics/similarities and differences with me.  The children invite him to watch “Prince Caspian” so he crams his 164cm body into the front seat of our van com theatre!!

Everette returns home with an invite for us to have dinner at Walls but we are delayed watching brown pelicans dive-bombing up close at our beach. They are common place creatures like crows or seagulls were back in BC but we are still thrilled to watch.

VIEW FROM OUR KITCHEN

from inside our palapa where we have our ‘dining room’ table
view from palapa

2 thoughts on “Fish Fry, Turtling & An Argentinian

  1. WOW! Can’t believe the girls ate the heads! Or that the boys ate the eyeballs! I’m impressed, guys! As for being so sociable and engaging, well, I already knew you all are great at that! Good job, Mitch, on righting the boat by yourself! Hugs and kisses to everyone. I love you all!

    • Same back at you. Let me know when you get the nerve to try eyeballs. Would love to get a video of that! I still love remembering you kids eating the bugs!

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