Sunday, 5/18 – Day 1: Eve and I arrived on Friday and met up with everyone, spent the day in La Paz on Saturday and sailed out with Bill on Sunday morning, a little later than we anticipated but around 1130am. Bill gave us a quick low down on the sailing for dummies which most wasn’t retained. We motor out with Eve steering North towards Isla la Partida. We put up the main and screacher with winds at 10 knots on a BROAD reach, cruising speed 7 knots on flat seas. Eve grew tired from steering so she needed a little down time and took a nappy. Heading into the anchorage, Caleta Partida, we dropped sails with the wind at 22 knots. Lindsay and Eve proved to be first rate sailors handling the stiff winds and rough seas (this is all according to Bill, even though Lindsay is typ ing this).
We arrived, anchored and swam, enjoying our first day. Since we didn’t have any fishing luck, we ate salad, chicken, cooked on the barbie, and a few ears of not so sweet white corn. According to Eve, the chicken “tastes just like Outback”. After dinner, we had a small informal singing (it sounded like singing, sort of) show for all to hear including the other boat anchors provided to us by our very own Eve.
Monday, 5/19 – Day 2: GOOD MORNING! Bill rose early, swam, exercised all while the exhausted crew continued to rest and try and get a little more of their beauty sleep. We finally had a quick breakfast and headed out. We sailed on to Isla Islotes to snorkel and hopefully swim with the sea lions, unfortunately, there were TEN too many jelly fish in the water for our liking – BUT we were able to capture the lions playing and talking.
Next on the agenda was to sail on to our next anchorage, Isla San Francisco, but waters were rough or maybe it was Bill’s steering, but Eve and I were feeling a little woozy (note to self, do not go down to the galley while in rough waters). After arriving at Isla SF, we motored to shore and spent time swimming and exploring the beach, not much there, so we went back to the boat and snorkeled around the rocks not far from the boat. After a lot of play and a little work, we went back to relaxing. Bill decided it was time to give us tequila lessons. Oops, I mean backgammon lessons or maybe it was both…anyway, backgammon doesn’t make any sense when your entire body is full of tequila. Night ended with way too much…Thanks Rick!
Tuesday, 5/20 – Day 3: We decided to make this a short leg of our trip with only about 9 miles. So we all woke up late (must have been the tequila), had breakfast and then a short yoga lesson and stretching, Bill is very flexible and may be the next great YOGI. We can see the winds starting to pick up and learn that we need to expect winds up to 30 knots through Friday. W e don’t put the sails up and motor along, trying to be somewhat still as the boat rocks. After awhile, the winds die down, we turn off the motor and open up the Jib and then the Screacher to sail into San Evaristo, our next anchorage.
Still zero fish but we are in luck, San Evaristo has local fisherman to buy from. We motor over and purchase 2 Red Snappers for tonight’s cajun dinner. We spent the early afternoon relaxing, napping and swimming around by the boat. Actually Lindsay is in one permanent nap mode today, it must have been the tequila or all the hard work that Bill keeps his crew busy doing, you know, the usual things, like swabbing the decks, cooking, etc (just kidding, we have definitely done our share of napping). In the late afternoon, we hike over the hill to see if there is better snorkeling and we are in luck, its much better so we spend some time exploring the area and see starfish, a stingray and many colorful fish. Coming out of the water onto the rocky coast, Lindsay goes down and comes out a little bloody on the shin area but alive (okay so there’s a little exaggeration there, I think I will live). We did make friends and brought them back to our boat which hopefully they will stay with us the rest of the trip. I have included a photo, here’s Juan and Two, our dear and dead crab friends. Bill learned a new word today, DUDE, courtesy of Eve (this word is now used several times a day). And Eve and I learned a new phrase from the Captain, “everything is just ducky!”. We arrive back to the boat and the winds have really picked up, we headed into the evening with winds at 25 knots, testing at 30 throughout the night.
Wednesday, 5/21 – Day 4: Left around 915 with 12 knot winds on our stern. We attempt to up the Spinicker but winds shifted quickly from SE to SW gusting at 25 knots. For Eve and I, the very erratic winds = motion-sickness patch needed. Arrived at Puerto Gato around 215 with plenty of time to play. At anchorage, there was only 1 other boat so we had the cove almost to ourselves. We went to shore, hiked over a hill to a better snorkeling area. The snorkeling was even better than at San Evaristo. Bill found the ultimate spot, an all natural spa that we have named Hot Rock Beach. Its a million rocks that are smooth and easy to lay on to sun and warm up from the water. Unfortunately we didnt meet up with Manuel the fish/lobster guy so we had Pasta (again)! Hit the cabins early and had 30 to 40 knot winds throughout the night.
Thursday, 5/22 – Day 5: The winds continued as we set sail towards Aqua Verde with winds constantly shifting 200 degrees. We tried to sail using the main sail, however found out the Main Halyrd is damaged and needs to be replaced, so we ended up motoring the rest of the way. We arrive at Aqua Verde in search of fish, tortillas and what else, more tequila. We landed a Pargo fish for fish tacos (YUMMY!). The rest of the day was relaxing, we swam, tried our hardest to teach Eve to dive off the boat and played tons of Rummy, Backgammon and Hearts, all while making interesting alcoholic concoctions – We never knew that orange Fanta and Vodka would be good together. We end the evening with gusts of winds and then calm waters throughout the night.
Friday, 5/23 – Day 6: Left Aqua Verde around 1030 for Candeleros South (approx. 15 miles). As we motored along, we caught sight of a pod of dolphins. They followed and played in front and the sides of the boat for a good half hour. We had a debate about how many there were, Bill says 300 to 400 and Eve and I were thinking maybe 100 but they stretched out what seemed like forever. We took a few great photos and a little video of these magnificent creatures.
We arrived at Candeleros South which also is an Eco-Green Camp (small houses run entirely from solar) but with the anchorage area being so small and another boat already occupying the space, we headed north a little further to Bahia Candeleros, a beautiful spot and we had the entire anchorage to ourselves. The water seemed much colder here so we hopped into the dingy and went ashore looking for another natural hot rock spa, which may be the most fantastic idea ever! After sunning ourselves we heading back to the boat, played more rounds of backgammon, hearts and rummy. Had a late dinner and went to bed, all of us sad that tomorrow we will anchor at our last stop.
Saturday, 5/24 – Day 7: We decided that before we sail into Puerto Escondido, we decided to get up early and go to Honeymoon Cove first to try and get a little more swimming, diving and hopefully snorkeling in before we have to clean, pack and anchor. Bill made us his “famous” pancakes as the last official meal on Gato Loco. We spent the day at Honeymoon Cove, hiking, snorkeling and enjoying our last day together trying to beat each other at our now favorite games. Eve and I are sad for the trip to end and Bill is sad that we are leaving. We definitely want to do this again next year. Now its back to reality, work, etc and we are NOT happy about it. Lastly we want to leave you with a few of our overall key learnings from life on a boat:
1. Bill is not only a card shark, backgammon champ but on his way to being a yogi. Plus he makes fabulous drinks. 2. Eve and I finally figured out the act of complete relaxation, its been a very long time since we have slept so much and so well. 3. Sipping tequila is good and leaves you with zero hangover. 4. Oh yea, Bill taught us how to steer the boat, work the gadgets and put up and take down the sails.
We had a blast, thank you!
Team Ducky (Bill, Lindsay & Eve)
Leg 1 April 11-19, Crew: Lowell, Bill, Dave – Puerto Penasco to San Carlos
As usual we should be sending updates from Gato Loco and Pee Wee as we see Baja by land and by Sea.
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Lowell for the Gato Loco Crew.
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