North bound, Candelero & San Francisco
I guess waves sending water over the cabin is not the best way to start our leg north. After having breakfast on the La Paz malecon we headed north 11ish. As we sailed north clearing the north shore of the La Paz area, winds piped up considerably. By the time we reached the Partida winds are gusting to 25 and waves are growing. Our plan today is to reach Ensenada Grande on the north end of Isla Partida, 25 miles north of La Paz. That should be an easy day but wind, waves and a fresh crew make that goal too much of a challenge. Lucky for us there’s probably 20 anchorages up the coast of Isla Espiritu Santo and Partida. Sailing closer to the islands helps to moderate the waves and we spot a nice anchorage right on our current heading… Caleta El Candelero it will be for the night. We’ve never been in the anchorage before. It’s the next to last bay heading north on Espiritu Sonto with mountains to protect us from the NE gusting wind.
The anchorage has two beautiful white sand beaches with two small islands separating the bay. We anchor in the north bay in 12’ of water. Winds are not letting up but with only 100 yards between us and shore we’re riding smooth.
Time to head to shore and check things out… I guess not, the dinghy outboard won’t start.. After a couple of hours working to get it started we find the problem is the fuel pump not working. Now what? … We might as well pull it apart and see if something can be done… Yep, the fuel diaphragm is cracked down the middle (you can see it in the picture above). Dinghy Patch…!! We have some fresh fabric enforce PVC patches and it’s worth a try.. Victor cuts out a new diaphragm from the dinghy patch material that Carol brought to us on leg 2. All back together and we have our fingers crossed as she fires up and purrs like a kitten. Another McGuiver moment. Time to head to shore.
Going to shore turned in to a fashion shoot with 4 woman and three of them in skins on to brave the wet ride to shore with the wind still blowing. The shoreline is sandstone and windblown much like Lake Powell in Az.. Elyse found a chair rock setting in the low laying sand flat behind the beach just made for a photo.. The guide book indicated their was a trail up the same canyon so we ventured up and found a fresh water well with bucket bail full of fresh water, maybe for local game to drink. As you can tell we had a great time.
Tuesday.. started with a heart warming story.. Listening to the ham radio net to get weather one of the boats checking in related a story of a whale hanging in their anchorage as they went to bed. Waking the next morning she had a young baby whale with her, giving birth sometime during the night. There was still a bit of wind so she must have wanted to introduce her young to calm anchorage before heading out to sea.
Isla Los Islotes
Our first destination today is the small island north of Partida which is a marine park with a large colony of sea lions. It’s time to swim with the sea lions!!.. Lots of fish including a large school of grouper that got Victor’s heart pumping… It was a protected area, so Victor was a bit disappointed!
Isla San Francisco is our anchorage for the night.
This anchorage is famous for it’s mile long white sand beach and turquoise waters. We anchor at the south end with a little protection from the always possible night time west winds that can make the anchorage very bumpy.
Motoring the dinghy along the rocky north shore, Victor works hard to catch dinner but not even a strike. Looks like it will be chicken tonight. Elyse & Mia were busy rescuing beached jelly fish during their walk.
I failed to mention earlier the sail from Isla Los Islotes to San Fran (20 miles) was perfect, with a reach, 15kt breeze and small seas. 7kts and no motors for the last 2 hours.. Much better than yesterday’s water splashing over the cabin.
Beautiful sunset with Baja in the distance and 4 other boats in the anchorage with us. Just at dusk a fish ball swam by with pelicans diving all around us enjoying a late evening snack.
All is well on Gato Loco
Until the next update.