Sunday, May 09, 2010

(no subject)

May 9, 2010 1:30PM CST
Day 1714
Position: 24°38'N 112°08'W
Anchored at Man o War Cove Magdalena Bay, Baja Mexico.

We dropped anchor in Man o War cove yesterday afternoon to sit out bad weather that is forecast for the next 5 days or so. Fishing is reported to be excellent in Magdalena Bay so we expect some good dinghy adventures up into the mangroves and around the estuary. Nearing the entrances to the bay we encountered a huge pod of dolphins numbering well over 200 along with tons of seals apparently feasting on a school of fish below. Entering the bay two greeting parties of differing dolphins escorted us while sea birds of all descriptions filled the air and rested in groups on the water.

Bahia Magdalena is famous for Gray Whales as over 20,000 Gray whales migrate to the warm water lagoons of the Baja annually to mate and calf. The shallow warm waters are thought to be ideal for newborn calfs that measure about 13' at birth. Fortunately, we are on the tail end of the migration. Although it would have been wonderful to see the bay and coast teaming with Gray whales up to 52' long and 40 tons, they clearly represent a hazard to navigation. Whales average about 75 miles a day while migrating so we are happy they have a significant head start having largely departed in March-April toward the feeding grounds ranging from Oregon to Alaska.

Shortly after our arrival a panga approached and the man aboard represented that he was the Port Captain, but more importantly that he had fuel to sell. I asked if he wanted to see our 'papers', he asked if we had 'papers' I said yes and he said he did NOT want to see them. More importantly did we want to buy fuel? Onboard his panga were four 50 liter containers. I asked how much the fuel cost and he said prices had just gone WAY up yesterday and the price was 10.50 pesos per liter. Red Flag #1

Ok, It's possible prices jumped on fuel, but highly unlikely they jumped from the 8.20 per liter we just paid in Cabo San Lucas a few days ago! However, this was the delivered price as the fuel dock is quite a way across the bay so all in all not so bad and I was ready to make a deal.

Inquiring further I asked how much fuel each jug contained and then I got a very curious answer of 60 liters. Thinking my Spanish was not up to par I asked again and he responded in English and Spanish that the jugs were 60 liters. Since I own two identical jugs and have recently filled them I know the 50 liter marking on the jug is accurate. The last time I filled up my jugs they took only 50 liters. SO, I asked the man to come aboard for a visual of my 50 liter jugs. 'My jugs are older and stretched out' he says. Humm. Perhaps there is some validity to this, but there is no way there could be an extra 10 liters in each jug. Plus one of my jugs is very old and 'stretched out' as well and still holds only 50 liters. Red Flag #2

Although, I want the fuel I have two big red flags waving in my face. So I thank the man for the offer and defer to a noncommittal answer of 'posible manana'. The Port Captain was visibly pissed and dismissive that I wasn't jumping on his offer and as he is departing tells me to bring my 'papers' to his office for inspection. 'No Probelma" I respond with a smile not wanting to get crossed up with a bureaucrat.

Since we are here for 5 days we will just go to the fuel dock at Puerto San Carlos ourselves as we want to explore that end of the bay anyway. I predict $820 pesos will fill our jugs in lieu of the $1260 the Port Captain wants to get paid. A savings of over $440 Pesos or the equivalent of two cases of good Mexican beer. Even IF and a BIG IF fuel prices did go up then I'm still saving $210 pesos or just one case of good Mexican beer.

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