Sunday, October 24, 2010

I am happy to announce that my website is back. Unfortunately the domain name is slightly different and now does not match my brand new business cards. The difference is minor but of course determines whether you can access it. So here is the new one (note the dash between 2010 data is not up yet but again I am hoping it will be before the year is out.

A number of whales have been seen in the area recently. I have not been fortunate enough to see any of them myself but it is very early in the season and these are either resident whales or perhaps whales that did not go the full distance to Alaska and instead did their feeding in California and have returned early. They are not all Humpbacks but some Fins and some Bryde’s from what I can gather.

It has of course enticed me to go out to The WZ and see what’s up. Yesterday (Mon. 18th) I came across two groups of Pacific Common Dolphins, jumped in with both groups, one veered off and the other I got to see underwater for a few seconds. Short as it was it was well worth the kayak out just to be with them for even a bit. An added treat to yesterday was that when I went in with them I was at about 900’ depth so the Sea is just this vast blue field that gets darker real quick. There happened to me thousands of little fluorescent blue jellyfish out there and to me, looking straight down, they appeared like brilliant stars in a cobalt sky…very cool!

Well, I couldn’t resist going out again this morning and had my second most fun Dolphin dive ever. Numero uno goes to my dive with my son Zack in March where we went in with about 40 Bottlenose Dolphins and 3 Humpbacks for a little “close encounter” swim but today was special also.

I went out a little after sunrise and paddled leisurely out to The WZ, meditated for about ½ hour and then scanned the horizon for activity. Seeing nor hearing anything, and with the wind coming up, I decided to head back in. Before doing so I put a thought out to The Cetacean Nation to come by for a visit. I also wanted to swim for a bit and see if I could attract any curious critter; I usually don’t swim in from 2 miles out but the water was just too inviting not to so I started in. Before going in I thought I heard a fairly good sized splash nearby but couldn’t see anything jump. There was also a Magnificent Frigate Bird stealing a fish from something that I assumed was the splash (seal, Tuna, Bonito???).

So I dropped in and began to swim….it was delightful and I felt very, very relaxed and strong. At about 4 laps the Sea was beginning to get choppy and my snorkel filled so I decided to get out.

Sitting in my kayak and readying for the paddle in, I suddenly saw two dolphin nearby and I got the feeling they had been curious as to what this swimming thing was. I went right back in and though I knew they were very near I couldn’t see them when I dove down.

I got back up into my kayak, saw they had moved a bit, followed them and then went in again. I looked below me and there ahead of me and about 15’ down was a single dolphin maybe 20’ in front of me. I started swimming toward it and as I closed on it, it turned and came towards me.

Not my picture but certainly captures the moment

As it approached to about 10’ I waved, dove down towards it and it swam a bit away. Then it went up for a breath, I followed and we went down together. It came closer and I again went towards it and we did this for about 5 minutes. What I realized while all this was happening was that this was not a Common Pacific Dolphin, Spinner or Bottlenose….this was something different.

I tried to focus on it’s appearance but I was so into the moment that I really didn’t get all the info I should have (as a “scientist”). Now having checked my field manual I am 90% certain it was a Rough Toothed Dolphin; first that I have experienced but not at all rare in the area.

It finally dove deep and it was time to end the encounter (wind still coming up). By the time I got over the reef it had died again so I swam another 20 laps in and was treated yet again by seeing a Zebra Moray Eel, what a life, eh?

On the 21st we had a bit of a quake in The Sea of Cortez a little ways above La Paz. I was in my trailer taking my morning rest after a sunrise exercise session, reading, and I felt the trailer start to shake and saw the palapa outside moving. Being from California you get used to this kind of thing so I enjoyed the second and third tremors and realized once again how secure I feel in my Air Stream. Apparently it was a fairly good sized quake (6.3 I think) and not surprising since The Sea of Cortez IS THE CRACK BETWEEN THE NORTH AMERICAN AND THE PACIFIC PLATES. My son zack e-mailed soon after to check up on me…sweet.

The hurricane season though not officially over does not seem to have anything more in store for us (famous last words?). I see nothing on the computer for at least the next week and by then the waters will have cooled enough to discourage formation. The season was very short with the last “event” being Georgette, which left a fair amount of rain but hardly a “Chubasco”. Last year we got as far as Hurricane Rick (alphabetically) that could have been bad but veered before reaching The Cape Region.

Although my Spiny Tailed Iguanas are still around (the eldest having been recently named “Zeus” by my adopted grandson Quentin), the lizards have been more scarce this year. No where near the number of Desert Iguanas I used to see. Same with Orange Throated Whiptails or Zebra Tailed Lizards. Nothing implied, just different. I did however get treated to a fairly rare (in this region) Western Skink. Very handsome little fella, eh?

Western Skink

The last few times out in my kayak I have also been visited by Least Storm-Petrels. One stayed with me for about an hour the other day while I was out at The WZ; just me and the bird staying within 100’ of each other. They fly very low to the water and remind me of bats though a slight bit bigger; same wing beat.

Least Storm Petrel: not my pic

Speaking of kayaking I went out on the last full moon and enjoyed the special peacefulness of The Sea at night. There were some Mobulas out there but not much of anything else. To be directly in line with the moon and it’s beam on the water, with everything still around you and the kayak rolling with the swell is extraordinaire!! Next time I will wear my kayaking suit; got a little chilled out there (did have the smarts to take a light windbreaker though).

I am having incredibly insightful dreams almost every night. It is as though a window has opened in my mind and all my experiences/emotions are being reviewed and analyzed. So far not too many dark spots; but some for certain.

Monday, October 18, 2010

I thought this was a rather interesting sunrise. The conditions made the sun look HUGE!

Last week I registered my car in South Dakota because unlike California, SD does not require proof of insurance, smog check and only charges $38 for yearly registration. This saves me over $1000 a year here and that is significant in my life style. I should receive my new plates in the next two weeks; yet another major commitment to my new residence.

Went out to sit under the palapa and do some bird watching, picked up my field manual and a good sized scorpion popped up. Scittered off before I could send him to Arachnid heaven but reminded me to check under stuff. Still no scorpions in the trailer, and that’s very cool!

It was a short stay for the millipedes this year, just a few days and they were gone. I am certain it is a weather (amount/distribution) thing and has been duly recorded in my nature journal.

Water and air temperature has shifted downward significantly. No need for a fan at night and I often even throw a light blanket over me in the early morning.

I was delighted to find that though I am getting older my balance is still pretty darn good. The other day while going down the trail from the bluff I started to slip into the adjacent gully (would not have been at all pleasant) but was able to right myself twice as my feet skidded out underneath me. I was also carrying my snorkeling gear, paddle, back rest and other kayaking paraphernalia but still kept my feet without falling.

A group of some of my very favorite people, and some new ones, were here last week. To :Juanita, Emily, Lynn, Shauna, Deborah, Becky, Becky “the younger”, Linda….so nice to have seen you!

Warning! Be sure to keep up your Website hosting and registration fees for your domain name. The minute you don’t the Chinese buy them and then put them up for sale again at 10 times the price. I have found out the hard way. My website will no longer be but This should go into effect soon. It has been a REAL HASSLE !!!

Water has been very clear the past few days, really beautiful but there are some Agua Malas (Portuguese Man O' War) around. I was stung yesterday while getting into my kayak, fortunately a small one.

Went out this morning, Oct.18th, and came across two groups of Common Pacific Dolphin.

I took this picture some years ago but they are Common Pacific Dolphins.

Went in with both groups and was able to see one of them underwater but the other group veered away when I went in. Very cool though because I haven’t had a dolphin swim in quite a while. I was out a bit over 2 miles so water depth was around 900’ and I was treated to a really beautiful site. When I went in to encounter the dolphins I looked straight down and the sea was filled with tiny fluorescent blue jellies so it looked like stars against the dark blue depth of the water….mesmerizing! That alone was worth the kayak out.

Vicente came by to let me know he had seen two Humpbacks down around Punta Pescadero (5 miles south) last week, also a couple of Fin Whales and a Bryde’s Whale or two. Keeps me going out to The WZ, never know when the timing will be just right and I’ll have an encounter.

Please note that my website is back online with a new domain name: (note the dash)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

For any of you that are wondering what happened to my website I am working on it and hope it to be functional again soon. In the meantime it can be accessed with the following URL:

I expect that the most exciting thing to happen recently is my discovery of a GOOD SIZED Desert Tarantula under my towel the other day.

I have an outdoor shower I use most of the year except during winter, and leave two towels hanging on the fence nearby. The other day I grabbed one of the towels, shook it out (always do that now because of the occasional scorpion that might be hanging out there), and then saw this guy (males are out looking for mates right now) right there where my towel had been. I have wanted to see one of these critters for a long time and so there he was. I have to say they are about as mellow a critter as I have ever seen, I mean mellow. No sign of any aggression as I took a really close look and then I couldn’t help myself, I had to touch him. He remained totally laid back so I talked with him for a while then got the camera and took the above shot. He was still there in the late afternoon so we visited a number of times as I worked in the yard. The last time I saw him I wished him good luck in his search for a mate.

Another rather exciting thing is that I found my lost kayak anchor yesterday. About three weeks ago the line attaching it to my kayak leash separated from the leash and disappeared into the depths of the reef (not very deep, maybe 25-30’). I hadn’t noticed it until I saw that my kayak was not where it should have been. I tried right then to find it but to no avail. So yesterday I am doing my usual swim in from a half mile out but decide to do some crisscrossing over the reef just for fun. Believe me I am not even thinking about the anchor. I decide to do 100 strokes in, 50 to the north, then 100 to the south, etc. On that 100 stroke leg to the south I see to my left a thin white line. Yeah, it was the rope on my anchor and of course there it was. Chance in a million…at best! The anchor itself is only about 6” by 4” and was wedged under some rocks.

The other morning I came out of my trailer door, looked to my left and there was this sunrise.

We are treated to these regularly down here and at times they are truly breath taking. Seeing as I am active before the sun rises I get to see these every morning. Cool way to start the day!

Every now and again I like to take on a construction project (a constant during “The Old Hippy Days”) and this time it was a carport for my trusty Subaru. I finished it in record time and I am pretty sure it will hold up in a hurricane but we’ll see one day I’m sure.
There are 200 10’ pieces of Carrizo (a local bamboo like plant) each secured by 2” wood screws. Each piece had to be cut to length, shaved, drilled to take the screws and then secured to the two beams. All the while The Bobos (small incredibly irritating flies) were swarming around my mouth, eyes and nose and the temperature was in the high 90’s. It was a real labor of love for a car that has been faithful to me for 8 years now.

This is a picture I took, again off my front porch, a few days ago as a small squall was passing through. I was fascinated by the way the wind blew the rain and made it dance….really sweet.

Speaking of sweet, the other day my first wife, Macy, sent me this picture she saw on the net.

Not my pic
She knows I’m a sucker for pictures of little girls after the fun I had in raising our own little girl, Kersti. Interestingly I opened the picture shortly after once again being absolutely dismayed by the antics of the American People and their leadership. I was really pretty depressed and then I saw the above picture and began to cry. Not from depression but from HOPE, they are, as always, the dream of a Just and Peaceful World.