La Paz to Agua Verde

Makani Guarding the Booty...

Makani Guarding the Booty…

I’m comfortably tucked into the cove in San Evaristo, about 55 nm out of La Paz.  It’s Friday afternoon (May 24), and I just sailed the longest 9 nm I think I ever have.  I left the cove at Isla San Francisco at about 0930 this morning, and arrived here at around 1430.  That’s less than 2 nm an hour, and boy, do I know it.  The prevailing breeze is now out of the south for the rest of the spring and summer, and I tested that today.  I ghosted out of San Francisco with the self-made pact that I wouldn’t turn on the engine unless I was traveling under 1 knot for more than 5 minutes.  Don’t you know, I was averaging 1.1 knots for hours.  Finally, the very light breeze filled in, and I was able to sail DDW (dead downwind) for the remaining 6 nm.  That means keeping an eye on the wind indicator at the top of the mast and your sail trim, adjusting the sail trim or your course, as the very light breeze would shift through a 30 degree arc.  Can you say chiropractor??  Finally, I was able to gybe around and beam reach to the little cove that is San Evaristo.  I’m anchored in 7′ of water, Willow’s tidied up for the night, and I’m enjoying an adult beverage.

I left La Paz Tuesday morning (May 21) and traveled a whopping 4 nm to Playa Pichilingue, where I anchored in front of a small marina and hotel.  There, I tucked into shallow water to protect myself from the nightly coromuels that blow out of the southwest, sometimes gusting to 30 knots.  These winds originate from the Pacific side of the Baja, and move to the lower pressure side, La Paz Bay.  If the Pacific is feeling her oats, she shares them with us over here on the other side of the Baja.  I left Pichilingue Wednesday morning (May 22), headed to my favorite spot of Ensenada Grande about 22 nm away.  There was a robust southeasterly blowing, and after reefing main and the jib, I was flying toward my destination.  I arrived about 1530 and tucked Willow in for the evening.  The coromuel reached us there that night, but it was a good thing for Willow, as the wind generator topped off her (new) batteries.  Yippee!

Thursday morning (May 23), I left for  Isla San Francisco and enjoyed a nice sail for half the journey.  After 10 nm, the breeze shut down, and the engine did the trick for the rest of the way.  When I pulled in, there was one other boat, and I was stoked!  Short-lived, 3 maxi-yachts pulled in towing their jetskis, other PWCs, and generators.  I was glad I wasn’t spending more time there.  The highlight of San Francisco was when I watched the full moon rise just above the mountain.  I’m thinking I got a nice shot.

           San Francisco Sunset

Isla San Francisco Sunsets

Tonight, I’ll paddle the SUP over to Swan, Dave and Rhonda’s boat, for dinner and a surprise birthday present for Rhonda.  It should be a fun time…

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San Evaristo Sunrise (Casa, cow, truck and outhouse…)

It’s a few days later, and I’m a few miles further up the coast.  I’m anchored in a place called Tembabiche, and it’s absolutely inspiring.  The geography around here is so different.  I’m reminded of the Grand Canyon, Utah and Wyoming.  It’s very apparent this place used to be underwater as the different water level lines are so obvious.  Right where I’m at, the hills look yellow to me when compared to the pinks, browns, and beiges of the hills and mountains surrounding the area.  I’m in a small bay that’s open to the south and southeast, but the wind’s blowing from the southwest, or shore, so there’s no fetch.  The breeze is most welcome.  My thermometer topped 100 degrees today, and that’s in the shade and breeze!  It’s warming up!

I arrived here yesterday afternoon after a windless run.  There’s been a bunch of kelp in the channel, so I was continuously reeling in my jigs and clearing them of the weed.  About 5 nm from my destination, I was reeling my Rapala minnow in when I watched as a young dorado followed the jig and took a chomp.  He had alot of spunk for a youngster, but after 15 minutes of letting him tire, I was able to land him.  After bleeding him, I put him back in the water, tied to Willow by his tail, to stay cool until I could get to cleaning.  I was close to Tembabiche, and just wanted to get the hook down.  My cleaning technique has improved immensely, and soon I had some lovely fillets cooling in the icebox.  I was able to clean the cockpit of fish stuff, put my sail covers on, and relax with a beverage.  As I was doing so, a panga came up alongside, and I met Jaime and his young son, Angel, who had some of my least favorite food crawling around their boat.  Yup, I had lobster last night for dinner, and again for breakfast this morning.  YUM!  I felt very decadent.

Today, I’m waiting for Dave and Rhonda of Swan to catch the breeze and make their way up here.  I need to clean my prop, but the bottom’s been doing well.  Batteries are charged, water tanks are full, and life is good.  This is a spectacular spot…

It’s the last day of May, and what a month.  Right now, I’m anchored in the south lobe of Agua Verde, and it’s utterly calm.  Just after 10 PM, the gazillions of stars are out, no moon, and no air movement.  The past few evenings have found me as the lil’ social butterfly of the fleet.  I’m just not used to this!  Dave just rowed Rhonda and I back to our respective boats after Friday Night Pizza and a Movie.  You know Friday nights, right?  Well, it seems there’s a tradition aboard a few of the boats for a movie night.  And Chicgaila and Roy Wood of Sea Note added a bonus pizza to Friday night movie night.  Plus, plus, plus!  Chicgaila made us a pizza to die for, with some lobster and macaroni salad, and some beautiful wine.  Rhonda made a chocolate pudding dessert, and it was time for a movie.  No Captain Ron for us, rather, Roy Disney’s “Morning Light.”  It was a really good movie about some kids who were given the keys to a TP52 to race the TransPac on.  Pretty amazing.

As we were being rowed back, we all were humbled by the stars, the still air, still water, with phytoplankton showing us pools of green light as a response to some unknown stimuli.  It was beautiful.  This afternoon, I was reading in the cockpit after all my chores were done when I heard a bell tinkling.  What the?  Yup, a herd of goats was wandering by on the bluff just above Willow.  I don’t have a good close up lens, but I tried to catch some photos.  All in all, a beautiful day.  I’ll talk about the sailing to here tomorrow.  Night, all…

 

 

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