Friday, 14 February 2014

Should we stay or should we go...?

We had planned to have left La Paz and the Sea of Cortez by now, heading south and over to mainland Mexico (e.g., Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, etc.). But it seems we like La Paz too much, and we like the Sea of Cortez.

The Winter air and water temperatures are warmer than we had been led to believe (it is currently 30 degrees C, and forecast to go up to 34 degrees), La Paz is a great little city, Marina Palmira an enjoyable place (with a good group of cruisers -- even you, Kevin -- as well as the marina staff). And the cruising is easy -- similar to day hopping in B.C.'s Gulf Islands.

The only negative are the norther winds; but we are learning to deal with these, and they are due to decrease.

So, we are in a (happy) quandary: Should we stay or should we go? *

* We do, after all, have next cruising season to see other parts of Mexico (and we will be in Mazatlan by the end of April this year).

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

More northers, an attack by bees, and a quiet eve in "wolf cove" (Caleta Lobos)

Although we had a great hike and some nice swims while at Ensenada Grande, the northerly winds were sending in an uncomfortable swell (wrapping around the point, coming into the anchorage). We had one quiet night and two rolly nights with gusty winds.

We elected to move around the corner to El Cardonal. El Cardonal did not have any wrap around swell, so it was not rolly. But the northers sent in amplified gusts so we did not escape the winds.

In both places, we felt secure, and did not worry about our anchor dragging. Still, it is so much nicer when the wind quiets down, as it did on our second night at El Cardonal.

We decided to return to La Paz in a couple days to celebrate David's birthday (micro-brew beers and burgers at Harker Boards). So we headed back to Bahia San Gabriel (Isla Espiritu Santo). It seemed odd that there were only 2 boats anchored. Hmmm.

As we were putting down our anchor, the bees started arriving, eventually reaching 30-40 in number. The bees (not wasps) are looking for fresh water. As we didn't have any fresh water out in the open, we thought they'd quickly leave. Not so. There were all over us, even crawling into David's crocs -- that is when one stung David (inside his crocs). That's it, we're out of here!

We quickly up-anchored and motored across the San Lorenzo Channel, marveling at the flying (manta) rays which seemed to be in schools of hundreds. Pulled into Caleta Lobos (8 nm from Marina Palmira). A beautiful calm anchorage -- perfect for another swim.

Looking south across San Lorenzo Channel to Playa Ballandra  (rays jumping in foreground)

Caleta Lobos (SV Swan anchored in front of Pelagia)

Arrive back in La Paz on February 11th.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Hiking at Ensenada Grande (Isla Partida)

Our hike up to the high cross gave us spectacular views for a reasonable amount of exercise.

Hike goes from right side up to cross on right "peak"

Hike starts from beach (Pelagia anchored off beach)
The hike starts from a beautiful small cove. The first 5-10 minutes is a little confusing. Many make the mistake of following the dry arroyo (creek) only to find difficult steps which are waterfalls after a large rain. The key is to start on the left side (facing up the arroyo) and quickly transfer onto the ridge. Do not follow the creek. Hike route (finding) is simple once out of the creek and up on the ridge.

Up on the left side of the arroyo, looking back at the cove

Looking down at Pelagia (closest boat to right of cross)

The required selfie...

That's us up on top (photo taken by Dave on S/V Swan)

The colours of the water are beautiful...

A technically easy hike (once past the first 5 minutes) which gave us some exercise and worked-up a good sweat. Superb views.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Back in the islands...

Pulled away from the dock at Marina Palmyra again, and currently back at Ensenada Grande on Isla Partida. Good hike today up to the cross way up high on the ridge. Great views.

This anchorage is a wonderful place.
At 2/7/2014 3:37 AM (utc) our position was 24°33.50'N 110°23.90'W

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