Bahia San Gabriel, Isla Espiritu Santo, 14 March 2013

Bahia San Gabriel

Bahia San Gabriel

I’ve been sitting here aboard Willow, shaking my head in disbelief, and thanking God for such a place.  It is warm, sunny and bright; the anchorage is well protected from the north wind, but not so much the southwesterlies (Coromuel), or westerlies.  I don’t care.  It’s beautiful.

I sailed up to the last mile on the approach to the cove.  There was a very strange opposing current thing going on, with opposite winds sending windwaves at each other, and their directions and flukiness made it difficult to sail the rest of the way in.  I watched my fathometer slowly dial up to the single digits, and watched the water change color with it.  At 13′, I dropped the hook and steadily backed down.  Snuggly caught, I put up the cockpit shade and made some lunch.  After enjoying a huge salad, I went back out to the cockpit and just looked.  The colors were surreal.  There were patches of water that looked almost neon green, but then patches of grass would darken the tone.  I was looking at my anchor 90′ away in the crystal clear water.  I really wanted to swim, but I’d had a recent ear issue, so thought I would wait another day or two.  Nearby, two friendly boats dropped their hooks: Brian and Elizabeth aboard the Autumn Wind, and Donna and David on the Selonah.  We all just grinned and looked at each other, amazed at the peace and the beauty.

The Southwest Side of the Bay

The Southwest Side of the Bay

I stayed aboard for the rest of the day, doing chores and reading.  Hitting the sack early, there was a light southwesterly keeping me cool and the bugs away.  I woke up around 0130 for a look around.  The breeze was as calm as the water.  There were gazillions of stars, each one right THERE to touch.  I looked in the water, and saw an infinite number of diamonds floating and flashing as they went by.  Actually bioluminescence, these critters were especially bright in the moonless light.

I was up early this morning, had coffee, and checked weather on the computer and SSB radio.  Shortly after, I inflated my SUP, wiped down the decks, cleaned off the solar panels, and washed dishes.  Selonah came on by, saying their “See-ya’s” and heading off to San Evaristo about 40 nm up the peninsula.  I packed my camera in a towel and a dry bag, secured it to the SUP, and headed for shore.  It’s about a mile away, but what a paddle looking at the water change color, seeing puffer fish scurry away and small rays revealing their location as they avoid my paddle.  It was pretty shallow, but I was able to ride the board until I was about 5′ from the beach.   The beach was bright-white, and one could see the evolution from shell to grains of sand, as there were millions of small white clamshells, and smaller shards of the shells as you walked along.  I saw many bleached skeletons of fish: puffers, a round-flat fish, and even two large needlefish.  As I walked on, I came to a short berm topped with small white and yellow daisy/mum type flowers.  Interspersed among these plants were the remains of oysters, shells shining in the sun, flaking away like pastry.

Oysters, Flowers, Desert

Oysters, Flowers, Desert…

Brian and Elizabeth came ashore, and we walked to the other end of the bahia, where there was a frigate rookery.  There were all different ages of chicks, from downy cuties to moulting chicks learning from their folks.  Frigates are kinda lazy, and steal the majority of their food from other birds.  Once the other bird catches a fish, the frigates swoop down and harass them until they tire and drop their catch.  Many times, the frigates catch the discarded dinner in the air, gobbling it up to take home to their chicks.   We found a large shell similar to a conch, took pictures of it and left it.  Elizabeth and Brian opted for a hike to the other side of the island, and since I had no shoes, I opted to paddle some more.  I walked back to the board, and paddled back to where the frigates were.  As a tourist-toting panga approached, I started to over-think his wake, and of course, went swimming.  Good thing they call this a water sport!  The water was a beautiful temp, refreshing but not cold, and I stayed in for a minute or two.  After hopping back up, I paddled back to Willow for some lunch.

Sleeping Fish...

Sleeping Fish…

I’m not sure where my next stop’ll be, but I’ll leave in the morning.  I may head on up to Isla San Francisco, where there is a large, beautiful round bay.  After that, I may head back to the peninsula, as the westerlies are supposed to build, and that would be my shelter until they blow on by.  I know I won’t have internet access after this for a week or more, so please don’t worry.  All is well.  I am so blessed to be here, and giggle and shake my head, and thank God daily.  I hope you all are well, and getting ready for spring!

Shaking Head...  Thank You, God!

Beautiful Water…

West Side of Bahia San Gabriel

West Side of Bahia San Gabriel

4 thoughts on “Bahia San Gabriel, Isla Espiritu Santo, 14 March 2013

  1. Susanne Worthington

    I love your blogs too, Wendy – I have questions. How long will you be gone? I love all your pictures and I love to make photo books. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Shutterfly but I would love to make you a photobook with all these wonderful pictures..let me know if that sounds fun to you??

  2. Mark Kerwin

    Hey Wendy, I also appreciate your sending me your stories and pics of your voyage. Sure looks beautiful and what a trip. Take care and be well, Mark Kerwin


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