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Isla Espiritu Santo and Isla Partida - Part 1


We thoroughly enjoyed our time in La Paz.  Weeks after the rally ended, there were many Ha-Ha boats still in town, some planning on leaving their boats here, where there are top-notch marinas and easy airport access while they fly home for the holidays (as we are doing) and others getting ready to cross to the main land and warmer ports of call farther South as the weather in La Paz has cooled down considerably.   With hurricane season officially over, post Ha-Ha newcomers arrive daily, having either come down the outside from California or from the northern part of the Sea of Cortez.  Often, a recognized cap or t-shirt on the street or in and around the marina would lead to spontaneous conversations with cervasas to follow.  The morning VHF radio net (Channel 22A at 8:00am) is the cruiser's check-in, advice-seeking, gossip hot line where every morning one could tune in for the weather report or ask where the best place in town is to get new anchor chain.  Boats with kids onboard in particular seem to find one-another quickly.  We became fast friends with Nancy and Mike and their kids Fletcher (age 8) and Dana (age 7) on S/V Desidarada, who were living life "on the hard" in the Abaroa boat yard for a week or two, having new fuel tanks custom built after their old one bit the dust.  

But all good things must come to an end.  RJ and Kelsey were particularly sad about saying goodbye to Dana and Fletcher, but after spending over a week in Marina Palmira and Marina de La Paz, we departed this wonderful city on Thanksgiving Day for Bahia San Gabriel on Isla Espiritu Santo, a beautiful island with many fine anchorages just 10 miles to the north.  Our plan was to spend a leisurely two weeks "anchored out" in the relative isolation of the islands before returning to La Paz and flying home for the holidays and this is exactly what we did.

The anchorages on both Isla Espiritu Santo, where we spent our first week, and Isla Partida (where we spent the second week) are very picturesque, with great diving and snorkeling and white sand and shell beaches surrounded by rugged, cactus-studded, red volcanic hills and cliffs.  Frigate birds and pelicans frequent these coves, flying along and then suddenly dive bombing into the water when they spot a fish.   Here's a video. 

Generally well protected from the prevailing North and Northwest winds, almost all the anchorages are exposed to the West and Southwest where as we found out one night in Bahia Ensenada Grande on Isla Partida, an unpredicted SW wind can makes things very uncomfortable and even dangerous as the fetch across Bahia La Paz is considerable and even a 20kt breeze can generate 4-5 foot breaking waves in the anchorage!  Still, we rode it out without incident and all in all had a wonderful two weeks cruising this lovely part of the Sea of Cortez, or rather just "The Sea" as cruisers down here call it.  We visited 5 different anchorages in all, getting as far north as Los Islotes where the kids snorkeled with sea lions while Melissa and Eric, along with Steve from S/V Trinity and Nick and Nicole from S/V Stargazer went scuba diving with these playful mammals.  Los Islotes is famous for it's "tame" sea lions, which will swim alongside you, doing flips and dives and "kissing" your mask.  The kids in particular had a grand time playing tug-o-war with these guys as they pulled on the dingy anchor line or with grabbed their fins in their teeth and it was obvious the sea lions were having just as much fun!  Check out these photos (courtesy of Nick and Nicole on S/V Stargazer) from diving in Los Islotes!

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The kids also spent a lot of time after school being pulled behind the dingy on all manner of water toys borrowed from S/V Stargazer.  RJ was a wake boarding fool, jumping the wake and generally showing off while Kelsey actually stood up on her bogie board!  But the real fun was getting towed on the surf boards!   The kids had a blast and even the adults got into the act.  I guess we know what Santa is going to bring this year.

We arrived back in La Paz on December 8th and spent the next few days enjoying the town and getting the boat ready to leave until our return on January 7th.  Eric even arranged to have "Zeke the Boat Guy", one of the many local and extremely knowledgeable and experienced entrepreneurs, take care of some waxing and varnish jobs while we are away at very reasonable prices, so hopefully when we return, everything will be ready to go.

Here are some photos of our two weeks in the islands.  Don't miss the link to the second page of photos at the bottom of this page.  As always, click on the images to see a larger view.


RJ studying physics using simple machines - both a fixed and movable pulley. "Let's see, at 4:1 ratio, I need to apply 50lbs to lift mom, right dad?"

RJ has a girl in every port. In La Paz, it was Dana from S/V Desiderada. "She's cute dad!"

Look close. That is a mast sticking out of the water in front of Marina de La Paz. One of the casulities from huricane Marty in 2003.

The Green Peace vessel 'Artic Sunrise' anchorred in La Paz.

Map of Ilsa Espiritu Santo and Isla Partida.

Tenders from Sula and Trinity, ashore at Bahia San Gabriel, Isla Espiritu Santo.

Ashore at Bahia San Gabrial, Isla Espiritu Santo.

Kelsey about to do a cartwheel.

Moonrise over Trinity.

Kelsey solos in the Kayak.

Kelsey with Isla Ballena in the background on teh way to Ensenada de La Partida.

RJ looses a tooth. Yes, the tooth fairy can even find us out here in the islands.

RJ and Kelsey getting towed behind the dingy on their boggy boards.

Seasonal fishing shack, Ensenada de La Partida.

Trinity and Sula at anchor, Ensenada de La Partida.

Cactus-studded hills surrounding the anchorages in these islands.

The beer man cometh! Steve from S/V Trinity deliverring much needed refreshments.

Deck the Halls! Trimming the tree in the islands!

RJ wake boarding in Ensenada El Cardonel. We "borrowed" a wake board, two surf boards and a ski rope from S/V Stargazer.

Jumping the wake!

Kelsey, standing on the boggy board!

Hang ten, Surfer Girl!

RJ on the wake board.

RJ with his new beswt buddy Nick from S/V Stargazer

It's hard to maintain good personal hygene habits when crusing.... "See kids, this is what happens when you don't brush."

Hallberg-Rassy owners unite! The crews of Sula, Trinity and the HR46 Ayu, with Mike and "Bad Aunt Janice" on board.


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