May 18-27, 2021
Isla San Francisco – May 18-20, 2021
We left Pichilinque Tuesday, 18th, and headed to Isla San Francisco. We are the fourth boat. We hiked to the north end of the east ridge, had breakfast of the last pie slices from ‘the pie guy’ gifted to us by David and Candace of Lady Midnight. Then we headed to the southern end of the east ridge.
We were talking about the time we found the GeoCache on the Animas Slot and how this hike would be ideal for another cache. So we decided we will install geocaches on the next hikes on a commonly well-used trail. We are now midway on the trail and it is becoming tricky and footings are important. Along the way, and what does Chris stumbles upon but a geocache. HA. Chris signs our entry.
We continued to complete the entire east ridge trail and descended to the southwest point of the anchorage. The red arrow pointing at Chris.
After coming down the east side of the ridge, we walked out to the point of the bay. Along the way, we noticed bones from what we think are pelican and dolphin. And then out at the tide where the rocks are revealed, we play with some red crabs.
On our way to San Evaristo, we sailed through the Bahia Amortajada anchorage. We thought about stopping for lunch, but the stories about the place being buggy deterred us. A fishing village on Isla Coyote is 3/4 nm from the SE tip of the anchorage but not on our sailing path. It looked like a colorful village through the binoculars. So for fun, Carrie took photos of a fishing village through the binoculars at 1.25 nm. Albeit a bit fuzzy, she was able to get a closer photo than the camera on her phone.
Left for San Evaristo on the 20th. But not without sailing To eliminate a long travel day, we stop here for one night. While here, we hailed down a panguero (fishermen in their small boat) to buy fresh fillets but they had nothing available at the time.
Los Gatos – May 21, 2021
Left for Los Gatos and Chris singled handed the boat the entire day. After our arrival, a panguero stopped by the boat and wanted to sell us lobster. Chris chatted them up with his best Spanish. It went something like this:
P: You want lobster?
C: No, we have a fridge full of lobster.
P: Wow, where did you get it?
C: In La Paz?
P: You dived for Lobster.
C: No, we bought it from a friend.
P: Ah, Bueno.
C: Do you have fillets to buy?
P: No. But I’ll go catch some for you. What do you want?
C: Cabrillo? Can you get Cabrillo and filet?
P: Si, how much do you want?
C: 2 kilos. Cuanto cuesto? [How much?]
P: 200 pesos?
C: si, si, bueno.
And off they went. In the bay of Los Gatos, where we were anchored. Ernesto and Miquel, spinning their lines with the lures at the end, and throw the lures far out in the water with such grace and precision. A little tug, tug. tug, a slow pull, a little more tugging, and boom – they catch a fish, and hand reel it in. This went on for 3-4 hours. They returned with our order of 2 kilos of filleted cabrilla and with smiles. And mind you, they were also catching other fish for their livelihood.
M: Hey, would you have a couple of spare beers?
C: yes, but they are not cold.
M: I’ll take warm ones.
So Carrie fishes out two beers (no pun intended here) from storage, a can of smoked trout, and two large squares of freshly baked brownie.
C: As he hands them the beers and trout, ‘do you like chocolate cake like cookies?’
M: with large eyes and smiles, ‘si si’
C: do you live nearby
M: si, not far from here, four cats (the locals call Los Gatos, Cuatro Gatos.) they asked about our boat.
C: it is our home, we live here full time
M: eyebrows go up – ‘wow’
And so on. The three chatted for a bit longer. Carrie was very impressed with Chris’s Spanish skills. So there you have it, a little visit with the locals, Spanish practice, everyone enjoyed the visit, and we filled their sweet tooth with an American treat. Pretty awesome for living at a slow pace.
Chris’ Birthday Dinner and Two Year Cruiser-versary
With a happy birthday song, a couple of special Happy Hour drinks, fresh frozen lobster tails we purchased in La Paz, a delicious bottle of red wine saved for this day (see below), and a rich chocolate frosted brownie, we enjoy a double special evening. Together we remanence our commitment to the chapters that brought us here. The weeks that took us to Washington, down the west coast, and the mechanical scramble of the dynamic brothers so we didn’t miss the Baja HAHA and catch up with the rally.
Due to the anchorage becoming rolly, we stayed for one night.
Bahia San Marte – The Endless Anchorage
Arrived Saturday, 22 May
We are the only boat. It is tranquillo, weather in the low 80’s, water is 75+, and the winds are out of the North. We set up a stern anchor to keep our bow pointing into the swells.
Sunday, 23rd; we find a faint trace of a sheep trail that climbs up a ravine to the east saddle of the hills in this anchorage. There are a lot of loose rocks and soft dirt, taking us 90 minutes to arrive at the top. We sit. Looking at Isla Carmen, Isla Danzante, and the entrance to Puerto Escondido, all-around 20 nm north of us We also see a reef to the west of us, San Marcial, which is 5nm east of Bahia Agua Verde.
We hike back through the same ravine and stumble upon a large break in the rock, creating an entrance to a small beach and tide pools. We explore and find crabs, small black spiny sea urchins, and very young shrimp the size of your pinky finger.
In this photo is a large group of Mobula rays. They swim slowly just a foot or two below the water surface. For their spectacular show of jumping and flipping, these rays also are known as jumping rays. The following video is a glimpse of the show they put on. There are many theories of why they jump but no one knows for certain.
Monday, 24th; we have the Amigo Net today. Be careful what you share over the radio. It was a slow net, in the sense, the attendance was low so Carrie had 7 minutes to fill before weather at 0815 or 1415 Zulu. We can’t just jump to the weather. Some folks tune in just for the weather and depend on it at 15 minutes past the hour. Carrie fills the time with encouraging listeners [we net controllers call them lurkers] to try being a net controller for a day. Also during the check-ins, folks were sharing how rolly their nights were because those anchorages were facing the winds. So, we shared our anchorage has been calm the last couple of nights, and we are the only ones here.
45 minutes after the net ended, a boat from the anchorage around the corner, came over. Kindly, they anchored in the far end of us.
We row the dinghy to the north end of the anchorage, drop the anchor, and jump in for some of the most amazing snorkeling we have had in Mexico. Though the vegetation looked meek and suffering, the plethora of fish was remarkably surviving in this location. The oohing and aahing were continuous. In the excellent visibility, we hung out and observed parrotfishes, hogsheads, cabrillas, eels, chinchona surgeonfish, butterflyfish, guineafowl, king angelfish, many Cortez rainbow wrasses, damselfish, to name the few we are familiar with and can remember to identify on the fish card at the boat. As we swam out in the direction of the point, the visibility was down to 15-20 feet.
Tuesday, 25th; This day was a fun-filled non-typical day. It began at 6:45 am with Carrie walking up excitedly saying “Dolphins!” The family sound of their breathing and playful splashing. They are rapidly moving across the anchorage from south to north. They settle down upon the north reef and begin their feeding grid pattern [videos]
We packed it in with starting early in the morning. Carrie SUP’g and snorkeling at the middle reef of the anchorage, Chris goes fishing at the north reef. We returned to the boat for breakfast. Then back out with both of us heading to the middle reef, Chris snorkeling, and Carrie fishing from the dinghy. Chris offer to get lunch. Minutes after he left, Carrie caught a large trigger. Then another trigger 10 minutes later. We met up between the boat, anchored in crystal clear water and reef to raft up and have lunch. At the boat, we clean up, read, which leads to the mandatory nap. Later Carrie paints on rocks, and Chris completes a 10-gallon bucket worth of laundry. It’s time for HH and time for one of our favorite games, Scrabble. We think we are pretty good, but we have been playing only each other for the past two years. Dinner and movie end this slow-paced day.
The glorious full moon and everyone is talking about it. The lunar eclipse, blood orange, biggest ever … she was giving all who admire her a sight to fill their senses. We sit on the coachroof and take in her beauty, we remanence where we were recently with a full moon. Was it Banderas Bay? Maybe Tenacatita? Where it was, we agree a full moon above the sea or ocean is a sight we wish all can experience. The purity of the event with the water line on the horizon, the moon rising, and the simple natural additions not expected. A fisherman in the foreground of the moon’s light on the water. A few birds flying between you and the moon. Or dolphins jumping out over the horizon. Sigh the good sigh.
Wednesday 26th; Carrie is awakened this morning by the familiar sounds of Pelican diving for fish. Yes, diving. It’s a joyful sight to see. The birds circling around and diving into the fish bate balI. It is 6:20 am but she pops out of bed to enjoy the show. Yes, we have another video to show you.
We could see ourselves staying in this anchorage for a week or more. Bahia San Marte has been added to our list of favorite anchorages. And we have Pat, Chris’ brother, to thank for the recommendation. With six weeks remaining for our season and much more new and old anchorages we plan to visit, we must move on. And we do, just around the north corner to Aqua Verde.
Well, again, you made it this far. And, again, we thank you for your time and support. As you read our post, we invite you to send us your thoughts, suggestions, or a hello by replying at the bottom of this post. Though this blog also serves as our travel journal, we are interested in hearing what you want to know, see through our eyes, or learn about. Send those ideas our way and help us expand our experience and our enjoyment.
Until next time, be kind to yourself, love yours a little more, and help the world be a better place.
Carrie and Chris
About the Wine
While researching on the bottle of wine gifted us for the small favor of helping a fellow cruiser, we learned about Rioja wine.
For every modern Rioja wine with a fancy geometric logo, there’s a traditional-looking thing with gold embossing, gothic lettering, and often a thin gold wire netting wrapped around the bottle. Originally, this was invented by Marques de Riscal’s Hurtado de Amézaga to deter would-be Kurniawan’s who were hell-bent on trying to get one up on consumers by pasting labels from Rioja’s top wines onto the cheaper bottles.
This practical addition to the bottle became a mark of prestige: gold wire around the bottle implied that the wine was worth counterfeiting. It has become purely decorative these days, and it is easy enough to pull off to get at the wine (provided you are composed/sober enough).
And while in the researching mood, we also learned about a part of the bottle; the punt. There is something quite satisfying about slotting your thumb into that rounded dent in the bottom of a wine bottle – the punt. This is not, as some might have you think, an indication of a wine’s quality. Instead, it is a case of physics: the indent was used traditionally in Burgundy and Bordeaux to make the bottle stronger and robust enough to withstand rough journeys across land and sea.