San Diego Natural History Museum--Your Nature ConnectionSDNHM Biodiversity Research Center of the Californias
Agua Verde–Punta Mechudo Binational Expedition
Log

Binational Expedition to Agua Verde and Punta MechudoDAY ELEVEN
Saturday, November 15, 2003

Los Dolores, Baja California (Map location 3)
Transmitted from camp by an Apple computer hooked to a Qualcomm/GlobalstarUSA satellite phone.

Strong Wind Delays Departure

Our well-laid plans of breaking camp and leaving Los Dolores has been foiled by strong winds. We appear to be stranded for another day, possibly more, if the weather continues to blow. Our departure is further complicated by the delay of the bigger boat that was due to arrive here, but is reported to be down with engine trouble in Loreto. The back-up plan was to transport people by our three smaller pangas; however, our luck seems to have run out with a strong north wind settling in.

While we have plenty of food and water, our base-camp is packed and ready for transport. Juan Carlos Telechea, our panga captain, is hoping that the afternoon will bring calmer conditions, but this is uncertain. For now, the researchers and logistics crew are settling in on the beach, reading, catching up on notes, and taking short hikes up and down the coast. If the wind clears, or if the bigger boat shows up with a working engine, we’ll need to ready to go in a moments notice.

We’ve been using our satellite phone to post messages at our information center in Cuidad Constitución at ABC Grupo Baja Sur, Inc. with Fernando Gutierrez. The second set of research teams (Team Mammals and Team Birds), who left yesterday from San Diego and Ensenada, will hopefully check in at the information center before moving on to the San Evaristo base-camp, which will surely be delayed. I’ll do my best to keep everyone posted of our status. It seems to be a waiting game now. I can assure everyone that we our safe, happy, and have plenty of provisions.

Bradford Hollingsworth
Expedition Coordinator
From camp at 11:50am

Saturday, November 15, 2003 UPDATE

Window In Weather Gets Some On Their Way

The afternoon winds died down somewhat to allow 13 of the researchers to head to Ensenada Blanca and then onto Loreto. Dr. José Delgadillo, Dr. Oscar Flores, David Faulkner, Maggie Reinbold, Jorge Villaviencio, Maura Maher, Cynthia Jauregui Patricia Beller, Carlos Flores, Chris Pyle, Eric Niiler, and Milan Kovacevic put on their life jackets and headed north in three pangas.

The remaining researchers and base-camp logistics crew remained behind and expect to return to Ensenada Blanca in the morning, should the weather stabilize and the seas remain calm. The bigger boat from Loreto is still down with engine trouble, so the remaining sea transportation will be completed using the smaller pangas. Team Mammals and Team Birds emailed from the information center in Ciudad Constitución after receiving the news of our delay.

We have been enjoying the solitude and beauty of the Los Dolores area. Now that we are stranded, we have the unplanned time to relax in the area’s tranquility.

Bradford Hollingsworth
Expedition Coordinator
From camp at 5:00pm

Research Team at Los Dolores.
Research Team at Los Dolores.

Panga captain, Juan Carlos Telechea, waits for wind to subside.
Panga captain, Juan Carlos Telechea, waits for wind to subside.

Panga and gear delayed.
Panga and gear delayed.

Researchers looking for the bigger boat to come.
Researchers looking for the bigger boat to come.

Launching the panga during a window in the weather.
Launching the panga during a window in the weather.

Maggie Reinbold muscles the boat towards the water.
Maggie Reinbold muscles the boat towards the water.

First panga heads out.
First panga heads out.

DAY TWELVE
Sunday, November 16, 2003

Los Dolores/San Evaristo/Ensenada Blanca/Ciudad Constitución (Map locations 3,4,1,5)
Transmitted from camp by an Apple computer hooked to a Qualcomm/GlobalstarUSA satellite phone.

Daybreak Brings Smooth Seas
Researchers waiting to launch panga
Researchers waiting to launch panga.

Dr. Jon Rebman
Dr. Jon Rebman.

Supply pangas motoring past Agua Verde
Supply pangas motoring past Agua Verde.

We awoke to smooth seas today and no wind. It was a relief, yet, all of our pangas had headed north yesterday afternoon during a break in the weather. We turned on the satellite phone and called our contacts in La Paz to hear of any news. The report was that our group from yesterday was well, although they had to pull into Agua Verde because of rough seas and an outboard motor problem. They apparently had a bruising ride and were finally taken back to Ensenada Blanca at daybreak to retrieve their vehicles. Our boat drivers would return to Los Dolores in three to four hours.

In the meantime, we had logistical problems deciding how to move our base-camp to San Evaristo and return the remaining researchers to Ensenada Blanca to get their vehicles. We decided to send for two pangas from the next fish camp down at Los Burros. Within an half hour, two pangas were on our beach ready to transport the base-camp supplies south. We sent Carolina Espinoza, Mike White, Jan Emming, Robert Hill, and Tom Myers straight to San Evaristo to meet any of the researchers from Team Mammals and Team Birds. In an hour they would be unloading the pangas and setting up the new base-camp.

By noon, our pangas had returned from Ensenada Blanca; only two in number now with the parts of an engine to be fixed in one. We loaded up the remaining gear and people and headed north, finally departing Los Dolores and bringing a close to the first phase of the expedition.

We retrieved our vehicles and got on the road, making it as far as the expedition information center at Grupo ABC Baja Sur in Cuidad Constitución. In the morning, we’ll head to La Paz, pick up food, and rejoin our comrades at the San Evaristo base-camp.

Bradford Hollingsworth
Expedition Coordinator
From Ciudad Constitución at 8:00pm

Photos by Bradford Hollingsworth

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