Considering we are accustomed to being at anchor, leaving La Paz for the weekend was exciting. Being back ‘on the hook’ was long overdue. Destination: Islas Espiritu Santo and Partida (The Holy Island and the Parted Island).
A mere 27 n.m. north of La Paz, the islands allowed us to explore the surrounding area; disconnect from civilization and evaluate our preparedness to cross the Sea of Cortes to venture to the mainland. These islands offer pristine anchorages, spectacular geological landscapes and remote beaches. It goes without saying that the waters are an ideal translucent turquoise blue… perfect for swimming, diving and snorkeling.
Our first night out we anchored in the Ensenada de la Raza, a cove of Isla Espiritu. The shearing cliffs have been artistically sculpted by the wind and weather framed by the red layers of “tufa” volcanic ash. The beaches are trimmed with mangroves at its east head. We had flat calm seas, a peaceful overnight anchorage.
Friday we ventured northbound to Isla Partida. After exploring a few anchorages, we settled into the El Cardonal cove of Partida Island; taking up residency for 6 days. The winds funneled through the cove nightly. Our anchor settled into the sandy bottom holding 22 gross tons of Flyer securely. The sandy beaches are lined with saguaro cacti, mangroves, brush and unfortunately trash and debris – a reminder to visitors that we aren’t so removed from ‘civilization’ after all. Steve braved the cold waters to inspect the bottom of Flyer, do some bottom cleaning and evaluate our anchor hold.
We were visited by a few sea turtles. One of which floated around the cove for the better part of the day. Steve put the GoPro to work, capturing the sea turtle’s visit while swimming with it. The sea turtle didn’t seem to mind Steve’s presence as long as he stayed off to its side, not obstructing its path, giving the turtle plenty of personal space.
Wowie! We got to experience the corumuel winds while at anchor. Gusts accelerated upwards of 35 knots. The positive is that we were securely anchored. The negative was the lack of sleep while monitoring our holding and evaluating our position. Once we set sail to return to La Paz we had a good sail with the jib furled, the northerly winds pushing us at a steady 15 knots and three bottlenose dolphins greeting us back to the harbor. Unbeknownst to us we arrived back to the marina under ‘closed harbor’ conditions due to high winds. It was nice to be greeted by fellow mariners and friends at the dock.
February 4th – 9th is the annual Carnaval festival. This year’s theme: “Las Muses de Alegria” or “The Muses of Joy”. Following the Easter calendar, this year’s Carnaval falls at the early extreme of the spring season, just six days from the earliest possible date of Fat Tuesday, traditionally ending Carnaval with the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday. It is also 30 days ahead of the latest possible date for the end of Carnaval.
Stay tuned for an update after the festival for a report and photos. Until then… todo lo mejor para un año bisiesto emocionante – wishing you all the best for an exciting leap year.