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Author: Subject: Punta Final to LA Bay - Again
Graham
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[*] posted on 11-9-2015 at 11:05 PM


It was beautiful out there.... the Baja coast is just awesome. Just checked the memory cards from the defunct cameras. Cards are fine... so I'll post more pictures as I can.

I was carrying the Survivor-35 hand pump desalinator. Dang thing must weigh about a dozen pounds but worked well and gave me gallons of drinking water.

Way better than boiling seawater and condensing the steam. Though I had that set up as backup.

It was the second one I had. The first my wife bought for me on eBay or Amazon and I used as is... lasted for a couple of months while I was out on Guardian Angel Island, then blew apart when I was back home and getting it ready for storage. I made a youtube about that... search for survivor-35 fails.

The model I had on this trip was reconditioned with new filter and seals, etc. It was the one that Bryan and Justin carried on their What is West Baja walk and paddle board adventure.

They never needed it and I bought it off them after they finished their trip.

Towards the end of my journey I was using it every day and every chance I got, and often drank directly from the tube when thirsty.

That was good advice about catching the countercurrents close to shore. And for me, staying close to shore was paramount anyway. Getting hit by a westy too far from the safety of the beach or rocks was the surest way to get myself killed.



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[*] posted on 11-9-2015 at 11:22 PM


Katadyn Survivor 35 reverse osmosis desalinator fail:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnVKWCZdIIo




Don't believe everything you think....
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Graham
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[*] posted on 11-9-2015 at 11:30 PM


And a reminder how the Sea of Cortez can change.

I paddled into this lovely protected colorful cove and set up for the night.

And that night... Wild winds, smashing surf, and soon a thick foamy sludge coating the shore... making it impossible to get seawater to use the desalinator.

At 1 or 2 AM I had to get out and move the tent from what would have been a tolerable patch of gravel to very uncomfortable stones and rocks.

That was one of the places I had to stay several nights... three I think.

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[*] posted on 11-10-2015 at 12:32 AM


Way to go, Graham. Glad to know that you made it through the trip safe and sound. Thanks for the early photos. What an interesting and challenging experience it must have been. You are one tough and gutsy hombre. My hat's off to you.
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[*] posted on 11-10-2015 at 03:13 AM


Hi Graham! I must be working too much, as I just noticed this trip you have just completed. Always fun to read about your Baja adventures, and happy you were able to spend the time doing what you love.

Looking forward to viewing your photos.

Scot
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[*] posted on 11-10-2015 at 08:49 AM


Glad you made it through the winds in good shape Graham. I was thinking of you down there when we got the Sant Annas up here.
I'd love to see more pictures of the reefs around where you were holed up for a few days. I've wanted to check out that stretch of coastline since running across it following along vicariously on Marks bike/pack raft trip.
You've been an inspiration to this Baja explorer for quite some time, thanks for bringing us along on this one with the Spot updates!

-Mark...

PS- Is there anywhere I can find more information on your return to Malarhimo with Peter? I'm guessing you're compiling material for another book?

[Edited on 11-10-2015 by DosMars]
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[*] posted on 11-10-2015 at 09:38 AM


Hey dosmars you need to come with and then people will be vicariously following you! I want to parallel this route on my bike. I found an "easy" way into the canyons from 10 km south of calamajue, then you can ride the canyons south, coming up at botica. Go down to the ocean at each canyon to resupply with fish and water. Gotta figure out how to dry fish on the campfire to supply for the next couple days riding inland. Hard to do all that by yourself, way easier in a group.
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[*] posted on 11-10-2015 at 12:13 PM


Congradulations Graham, you are definetly Nomad's Explorer in Residence.



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[*] posted on 11-10-2015 at 12:14 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Mark_BC  
Hey dosmars you need to come with and then people will be vicariously following you! I want to parallel this route on my bike. I found an "easy" way into the canyons from 10 km south of calamajue, then you can ride the canyons south, coming up at botica. Go down to the ocean at each canyon to resupply with fish and water. Gotta figure out how to dry fish on the campfire to supply for the next couple days riding inland. Hard to do all that by yourself, way easier in a group.


Can you draw us a map?:light:




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[*] posted on 11-11-2015 at 01:30 AM


I'm with David... I'd be intrigued to see the proposed bike route. There are long stretches of high cliffs and as Ed Wills told me back in 1983, why do you think there are no roads along there?

As for smoking fish... may be tons of firewood but I was usually so exhausted at day's end I didn't have the energy to struggle with a fire in the wind and try to cook. A bowl of cereal and dried milk, and a fi-bar inside my tent and I was happy.

Would be even less motivated with shorter days and cold nights.

Thanks Desert Rat, but my trip was a cruise compared to your life and death wanderings attempting Picacho Diablo... now that was tough and memorable. The guts and courage you showed getting out of that was awesome...

So glad my photos were of interest to so many... I'll try to post more as I can.

Looking back, my head is filled with images of predawn launches, mesmerizing bioluminescence, wonderful sunrises and a truly magnificent coastline. Not to mention having my life and comfort governed by winds that were often relentless and unpredictable.

Dawn, kayak deck and hatches locked and loaded, eager to move on, waiting for a gusting offshore wind to ease...







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[*] posted on 11-11-2015 at 01:41 AM


And DosMars not sure if you've seen the 2014 Return to Malarrimo stories on my website?

http://www.grahammackintosh.com/Pages/ReturntoMalarrimoBeach...

http://www.grahammackintosh.com/Pages/SandIslandCoyotesandDo...





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[*] posted on 11-11-2015 at 07:47 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Graham  
And DosMars not sure if you've seen the 2014 Return to Malarrimo stories on my website?

http://www.grahammackintosh.com/Pages/ReturntoMalarrimoBeach...

http://www.grahammackintosh.com/Pages/SandIslandCoyotesandDo...



Thanks for posting the links here again.

Getting to Sand Island was the quest of Murl Emery with Erle Stanley Gardner in his 1960 'Hunting the Desert Whale'... another industry for Baja, like visiting the giant cave paintings of San Francisco de la Sierra seen in Gardner's 1962 'Hidden Heart of Baja'.




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[*] posted on 11-11-2015 at 08:25 AM


Thank you for the links Graham, just finished the Sand Island writeup!
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[*] posted on 11-11-2015 at 08:40 AM


And just finished the Malarhimo writeup :)
Mark (Mark_BC) and I headed down last year to see if we could run across any tsunami debris, but were sidetracked and spent three days on an amazing cove near your departure point on your most recent trip and ran low on time...

That's what I love about Baja, you can plan out a trip but they always seem to evolve into something amazingly different.
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[*] posted on 11-11-2015 at 09:51 AM


Quote: Originally posted by DosMars  


That's what I love about Baja, you can plan out a trip but they always seem to evolve into something amazingly different.




^^^^ So true DosMars
And thanks David and Graham for taking us along, looking forward to the pics and notes :cool:
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[*] posted on 11-11-2015 at 10:06 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Graham  
I'm with David... I'd be intrigued to see the proposed bike route. There are long stretches of high cliffs and as Ed Wills told me back in 1983, why do you think there are no roads along there?


I don't want to be the one who opens the place up to a permanent quad route in though! But I guess if I go in then the cat will be out of the bag if I write it up.

Hopefully I can get some time off in the next 6 months to go again before the summer heat. Just got my full time job back...

Quote: Originally posted by Graham  
As for smoking fish... may be tons of firewood but I was usually so exhausted at day's end I didn't have the energy to struggle with a fire in the wind and try to cook. A bowl of cereal and dried milk, and a fi-bar inside my tent and I was happy.


That's what DosMars (or anyone else who comes) will do! And I'll desalinate. Actually drying fish would be a Plan B to get food in case something happens and you run out, just like distilling seawater over the fire is a Plan B in case the main desalinator breaks down. I'd rely on bringing food in, except when camped on shore and can eat fish right there.

Riding the bike through the canyons is easy compared to paddling in wind! That must have been brutal and frustrating. But then when you get calm winds and currents going your way it is so nice. Looking forward to more photos.

[Edited on 11-11-2015 by Mark_BC]
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[*] posted on 11-12-2015 at 10:51 AM


The paddle down was so fascinating, but being alone there was barely enough hours in the day to get things done.

One of the last chores of the night was exiting my tent and walking up and down the beach with my flashlight chasing away the glowing eyes. Really made Halloween extra special this year.

I was fortunate to have the kayak to secure food and water, and large lidded plastic containers that I could coyote-proof.

Between the crows and mice and coyotes, if you don't secure stuff... it's history.

The mice would be crawling over my shoes and running all over my gear while I'd be sitting out by my campfire or stargazing with my humble ration of grog.

I guess you're never really alone in Baja...

Five of the seven coyotes circling my tent on the saltflats near Calamajue

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[*] posted on 11-12-2015 at 01:46 PM


Nice camp set up! We also use one of those 'Hawaiian' mats at the tent door to keep sand out.

You spent 4 nights at one of the stops. Was that to mostly wait out the wind or did you do a canyon exploration?




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[*] posted on 11-13-2015 at 11:31 AM


Yes, that was my ideal camp set up... didn't always looks so neat, like when I was forced to camp on rocks.

The four nighter was when the sea turned to caramel sludge in the big blow, mentioned higher up the page.

And a couple of those nights became wild scrambles to move my tent and kayak when surging waves kept smashing higher up the beach.

I explored both north and south and inland a bit, and checked coast ahead, but it was so crazy windy I was in danger of being blown off the cliffs.

Anyway, all worked out and I was able to get away early morning into a relatively mild sea.


The view from my campsite!

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[*] posted on 11-13-2015 at 03:31 PM


Wow....that is a lot of wave action Graham!



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