We left San Jose Del Cabo for Bahia De Los Frailes in what amounted to a pretty easy day. Frailes is beautiful. It is right next to Pulmo Reef, which is supposedly one of the only coral reefs in North America. It is the main jumping off point for yachts headed for both the mainland and the Sea of Cortez because of its location on the southeastern edge of the Baja peninsula and it’s proximity to Los Cabos. Frailes was amazing. There were rays jumping everywhere. They sounded like fireworks at night and would do acrobatics in the air. Ash was impressed (she loves whales, seals, rays, fish, etc.). Solent was there as well and we all caught a ride to Pulmo Reef for some snorkeling. Ash had a chance to check out her new dive mask and seems to have liked it. She can see!! The snorkeling was top notch. Frailes is a place to see if you are ever in the area. Whatch out when landing your dinghy (though it is an easier surf landing at the point between the beach and the rocks of the hill). The hike back from Pulmo was an overland trek through a cactus forest and at times I had to carry Apollo to keep from pulling cactus tines out of his paws. We had planned a campfire on the beach but everyone was tired so we used it as an excuse to stay another day and do it the next night. After our beach party and potluck dinner we headed out to Ensenada De Los Muertos. Ensenada De Los Muertos was another beautiful spot. There is a great restaurant that has a 100% real genuine dinghy dock. No surf landings here. The food was also excellent and though expensive it felt great to have someone else make us all a great dinner and bring us drinks. There really wasn’t much holding us in Muertos and we headed in the direction of La Paz the next morning through Ceralvo Channel. Ceralvo has a poor reputation for being a bit of a rough sail. We were lucky yet again. This trip has been full of charmed weather. We did almost seven knots on some of the most glassy water we have had yet… under power again, but Ill take that over two knots over the ground beating into twenty knots of breeze and short big swell any time. We pulled in another fish (different variety of Bonito I think), and headed on to Play Bonanza on Isla Espiritu. Bonanza has an incredible beach. Truly spectacular. The water was green from the boat and turquoise from the shore. It was full of shells. I usually don’t get caught up with shell searching, but it was pretty amazing. I did my best to help Ash find enough for a necklace and don’t mind something so beautiful taking up some of our very limited space on the boat.
I swam across the beach in the morning and Ash and Apollo kept looking for shells. I practically swam head first into the biggest puffer fish I have ever seen. He was at least a foot and a half long and was a slightly darker color than what Ive seen more often. Bonanza is worth checking out if you ever find yourself boating near La Paz Mexico.
We almost always put Apollo in his life jacket when we go for rides in the dinghy (the handle on his jacket makes him easier to lift from boat to dinghy if nothing else- we call him our “six pack”), but wouldnt you know that the one time we skip it, Apollo would fall out of the dinghy. Elan had just lifted him in, and I think Ap0 was excited to hear his friends voices (on Solent) across the anchorage, that he just slipped in backwards in slow motion. Luckily the outboard was not running, and the water was so warm, he didnt even seem to care (he always hated swimming at home), he went right back to his “dare-doggie” pose on the front pontoon of the dinghy as we motored to shore. It was a good reminder to not skip those little safety precautions, like life jackets.
After our late morning playing on the beach and swimming we did the four hour trip to La Paz, including its very long and shallow channel. We ended up anchoring in the anchorage further from town rather than on the Malecon (the boardwalk here is called “the Malecon”), due to space. La Paz is famous for its “waltz” where boats drag in strong tidal currents and hit one another. We wanted more space and we were able to get it by going further out. La Paz is a neat town. It isn’t somewhere I plan to be forever (people said we would never leave), but it is nice.
The anchorage is as crazy as they say it is (not Cabo crazy, just tide and current crazy, no jetskis or water taxi traffic). Ash called me on the radio when she was on the boat by herself because the anchor had drug (she could hear it). Luckily it was less than it could have been. We powered up to the redline in reverse to make sure we had a good set and the boat stays put. I can’t figure out this place. Boats are at 90 and 180 degree angles to each other. The harbor shoals off drastically in the middle (enough so that I was able to run the dinghy aground). One boat is anchored in shallow water and lists over about 50 degrees on every low tide.
I am ready for a quiet little bay with a shell beach and turquoise water again. Randy and Kathy (Ash’s parents), will be here soon and hopefully we can do some exploring. Looking at what we have ahead in the coming weeks, we are going to want to take full advantage of what we get in the Sea of Cortez. The trip to Panama is going to be a lot more passagemaking. In fact several of the passages are going to be pretty long. Crossing the Tuanipec for example could be about 500 miles unless we stop in Guatemala.