We all had a restful night and I felt much better! After a Pancake and egg breakfast, we cleaned the boat a bit and left with our buddy boats towards the next destination. They wanted to stop 4 miles south of Aqua Verde, as it was supposed to be great for diving. We did not mind and just enjoyed having friends around. There was no wind, so we had to motor and again, we did not catch any fish. Nobody did. That seems worrisome! Have they all been caught? Are the schools of dolphins eating them all? Or did they get too smart to get caught?
After we anchored, Nick, Andrea and Pari from Fantasy came for a visit and swam around. We had seen a lot of dolphins on the way and now they were quite close by the shore. Andrea and Pari paddled closer on their SUP and the dolphins swam really close by them. One of them dove up right next to their board for a quick peek, but they only heard a splash and did not get a glimpse of it, but it scared the hell out of them…
It seems that the sea life is improving, the further we head up north. Just not the fishing. But we have been seeing a ton of dolphins, Manta’s, Whales.
Mats was so tired in the afternoon, that I read him a book and told him to close his eyes. 30 seconds later he slept and did not wake up before dark. We had a quick dinner and had the first movie night in ages. Shane had given us some movies to watch and we picked Jumanji. It was a very enjoyable day!
We woke up early to the anchor alarm. The boat had shifted, it wasn’t 7am just yet. We were up a few times at night, as a strong westerly was blowing over the anchorage. We left the anchorage while Mats was still sleeping to use the favorable south wind, which was blowing when we woke up, to head to the little fishing village San Evaristo. S/V Fantasy and soon after also S/V Isabella and The Answer followed. We had about 15 min when suddenly the south wind died off. We started he motor and half an hour later a northerly started quite strong.
We made it into the anchorage, looked for a good protective spot, but re-anchored to one which had more room all around. After a little rest, we went to shore and walked around a bit. We found a small store inside a family house, where we were able to pick up some groceries. The teenage boy in the store spoke English very well and told us about a restaurant by the beach. We decided to check it out and it was a super cute little Palapa, decorated with shells everywhere. Someone had put a lot of love in this little place. They had cold beers and we let our buddy boats know as well. They all arrived soon after, we moved a few tables together so that everyone gets a seat and had again, a nice afternoon/evening.
At the end we even scored some ice for our fridge.
We stayed another day and now I woke up with a sore throat and felt a bit tired. But nothing major. We walked around to find some goats and found a salt farm, cows and donkeys.
We wanted to go to the cute restaurant again, but it is closed on the weekends, the teenage boy from the store told us. We bought some fresh potatoes and other veggies instead and I started making a stew. Our buddy boats had also planned to head back to the restaurant. We invited SV Isabella to return the dinner favor, but ended up with the stew on their large boat instead. Fantasy and also the Answer joined with drinks in their hands a little later and we had again, a lovely evening together. 🙂
We left Ensenada Grande at 9am, Isabella and Fantasy did the same. While we headed out of the calm anchorage, the Captain noticed choppy water right outside the cove and we quickly closed all windows and hatches. That was a good call as it got very rolly soon after.
Behind us was Fantasy and it did not look like fun being on the Catamaran in these conditions either. The 9 mile sail turned out to take up most of the day. I was happy when we finally arrived at Isla San Francisco.
The next day we explored the island. The night had been a bit rough as Mats cried at night and started to have a runny nose. But he wasn’t doing too bad, so we went on a small slow hike. The view was fantastic and the cove of Isla San Francisco just so pretty.
We also enjoyed having some buddy boats around, who had the same anchor spots in mind. We returned to Alsager so Mats could get some rest and asked the others, if they were up for a bonfire in the evening. We did not find much wood, but SV Isabella, Fantasy, The Answer as well as another cruising boat we had met a while back called Sherpa, joined in. It was another nice evening sitting together talking about cruising life, just the bonfire was short lived. As we did not find much wood. Mats had a good time with the teenage girls, who are super nice with him. I don’t think I played with much younger kids, when I was a teenage girl. It’s great to watch, how they all grow closer together.
Around noon, when we were about to head to the next anchorage which was only 4 miles away, we saw a familiar catamaran passing into the same direction. Our friends Fantasy. We called them on the radio and learned that they had the same destination.
Now even more excited, we headed out and informed SV Isabella as well. Even though it was only 4 NM, we had to watch out carefully due to volcanic reefs under water.
Approaching Ensenada Grande, we found a good anchor spot close to Fantasy. There were a few other boats already and we immediately liked the spot. SV Isabella arrived soon after and Nick from Fantasy came over and told us, they had a bottle of rum and wanted to get together by the beach at sunset.
We chilled on the boat for a while, Mats took a nap and around 6:30pm we packed our bottle of Vodka and some juice and headed over to the beach.
One dinghy after the other came to the beach from 4 different sailing vessels (Fantasy, Isabella. The Answer and Alsager) and the glasses were filled a few times. The 3 teenage girls climbed all over the cliffs and I was glad, I did not have to watch Mats do that just yet.
It turned out to be one of the nicest evenings on the whole trip! Noah ran around like crazy eating fish skulls being chased by Mats who tried to make him stop eating all that crap.
The sunset was beautiful and bathed the anchorage in magnificent light and soon after the moon was rising over the horizon. I took lots of pictures and had great conversations with friendly like-minded people. I hoped we can do this soon again, what a memory!
Our first stop north into Sea de cortez was a big and protected anchorage between the Islands of Espiritu Santu and Caleta Partida. We left the Marina around 10am, went out into the La Paz Channel and pulled up the main sail and motor sailed a bit.
The fishing lines were out, but we did not catch anything all the way to the islands. We anchored on the south/east side, even though most boats were on the north side. It seems a bit of a gamble, as the wind switches a lot in the Sea de Cortez.
We were called on the radio from SV Isabella, who wanted to have us over for dinner. We were very excited, packed up some beers and when the wind got a bit more mellow, we got into our rowing dinghy. Isabella was anchored on the other side, but the Captain is a good rower.
We had a wonderful first evening, Isabella is a big boat and lots of love put into it. Julie was so good to Mats, showed him her little treasures she finds on the beaches and I got a bit nervous when Mats held a fragile seahorse skeleton in his hands. She knows a ton about sea life due to her former profession and we learned a lot.
Another moment I remember very well, when we rowed back to Alsager, the phosphorescent was unbelievable. It looked as the boat was creating a green glowpath, while the bow was splitting the water. And lots of green sparkles all over the pedals. It was insane and felt like a different world.
Everyone had a good night in either anchorage.
The next morning while it was nice and calm, we rowed Noah to shore and explored a bit. The beach was full of shells, left by pearl hunters long ago.
Alsager looked nice in the morning sun in the calm waters. We headed back and ones again cleaned the hull of the boat as much as we could reach. Around noon we headed out towards Ensenada Grande, another anchorage on Caleta Partida.
YAY, Mats is 4 years old! Happy, happy Birthday, cutie!
After we had checked into the Costa Baja Marina, where a not so friendly lady gave us the hardest time due to a missing paper and let us sit for 1 1/2, we had a chill day by the pool in Costa Baja. The Sushi place “Odayaka” is AMAZING! Order the Tuna Nigiri, should you ever make it there. It just melts on your tongue. 🙂
It was pretty remote though, no kid boats around and since Mats Birthday was approaching, we decided to go to another Marina and Palmira had a spot for us. Also a pool and a playground close by. So, after we had Mats unwrap his presents, we motored through the La Paz channel to the Marina not far away.
By the pool at Palmira Marina, we hung up Mats Pinata full of candy and he beat onto it, for about an hour, to get all the candies out. He had a blast!
A nice lady told us about a restaurant just past the playground and we had a great birthday dinner with beautiful sunset. Lovely day!
After Mats birthday, his buddy Charlie from SV Lea Scotia arrived in La Paz. We got together at a wine tasting and all had dinner at El Mesquite Grill. It was very good and Michele and myself continued drinking red wine. I suffered the next day with a big hungover.
We enjoyed the Palmira Marina in La Paz. Despite that they did not have a key for us for about 4 days and we had to wait for people with keys letting us on and off the dock and bathrooms. Boat owners had not returned there keys despite a $ 50,- deposit and it seems difficult for the Marina to get new ones. So, we had to wait till someone checks out, which did not happen due to a strong northerly. Everyone, including us, stayed put.
But they had a lounge area with good Wifi, I could complete all the bookings of flights and an Airbnb. We have an adventure ahead. The Captain got us a flight with his miles out of Cabo to San Francisco, which took a while, as it had to be done via phone.
In San Francisco we get to stay with one of my best friends and hang out with more and I need to take care of a few things while we are there. After 3 days we fly from Oakland to Barcelona, just because I found this stellar deal on Norwegian Air. Mats and I will stay in an Airbnb for 2 days and I booked a photo session, where we get to see different parts of the city. Than onto Basel, where my Dad will pick us up, he only lives an hour away.
I wanted to have all of that done before heading to nowhere land. I knew, I would enjoy my time more, knowing all is set for the next step.
I also did a lot of blogging prep and we had food at great restaurants and started running into cruising buddies here and there. Mats enjoyed the playground and pool several times.
On the last day, we went to La Paz and checked out the whale museum and stocked up on provisions.
Someone by the Marina had arranged a movie for kids by the pool called “Coco”. It was a very cute one, but when the holiday “day of the dead” was displayed with lots of skeletons, Mats got scared and wanted to go back to Alsager.
We are now ready for new places!
Below are some pics from the Costa Baja Marina and the impressive former Yacht fr””om Steve Jobs called “Venus”!
When we sailed out of La Ventana, our planned destination was only about 7 miles away. That’s why we had taken it easy in the morning. The wind came up quickly, certainly conditions which called for a reef in the main. But this scenario was short lived. About 20min later we were in a bubble and the boat literally went backwards and did a 180. That was so weird. From super windy, to absolutely none. We had to start the motor and steer further into the channel for better wind. However, it was all over the place and not ideal.
When we reached the anchor spot, we did not feel comfortable staying, it seemed to unprotected. We continued, passed one anchor possibility after the next and kept going towards La Paz.
All of a sudden, we saw a catamaran far in the distance and the Captain said right away, I think that’s “FANTASY”! I did not believe him, as they were still very far away. But at one point we just tried on the Radio and it was them! We were happy to see some cruiser friends.
On this trip we learned the hard way, that you should NOT trust your NAVIONICS. All of a sudden, the water started to have a different color and it went from over 100 feet to “15”! This was a very rare moment, where I saw the Captain in, well, not panic, but definitely having a moment, jumping behind the steering wheel and pulling the boat around. That was a very scary moment, especially since it was supposed to be over 100 feet all around.
We went the same way back we came for a while and turned deeper into the channel. A talk with Fantasy calmed us down a little, they had done the route many times and had not experienced anything lower the 15 feet. Still, super sketchy!
Fantasy went to an anchorage and we wanted to join them, but due to a misunderstanding we had already continued passed it and decided, we just wanted to make it into Costa Baja Marina before dark. And we made it and had a nice neighbor! Venus, used to be Steve Jobs Yacht.
Costa Baja turned out to be quite expensive, but in the resort we were allowed to use a super nice pool and the Marina had a fantastic Sushi place.
It was a very long day, unexpected and we were just happy we had a protected spot, after sailing through big winds in the La Paz channel!
First a little clip, this is what happened when we motored out of the anchorage!
Little Manta’s jumping all over the place. They are so fast, it’s hard to get it on camera, lots of times they jump only 2 times. But I got lucky that day!
Before heading out of the anchorage, we had cleaned the hull of the boat. The water is so clear in Muertos, I usually do the top part and the Captain dives further down. Trying to keep up with it, the growth is insane sometime in the warm waters.
There wasn’t a lot of wind and the sail went by like a chewing gum. It took FOREVER, sometimes we just drifted around in 1.5 knots and I just wanted to scream “TURN THE MOTOR ON”!
But, I kept my mouth shut and was glad when we finally arrived at…. my happy place “LA VENTANA”! 🙂 Again, and again, and again.
We went for a swim and than rowed over to Palapas Ventana, it was nice to see Tim and his wife again and they even have a nice German waitress, who was super accommodating. We got some ice from them and were able to stock up on eggs.
We stayed the next day too and I really enjoyed it. We walked over to Baja Joes, had a big Margarita and made it to the fantastic restaurant “Marlin Azul” for an early dinner.
At the little store from Pablo where we bought some provisioning, we talked to this nice guy and he was so nice to give us a lift back to Palapas.
The next morning before we continued our journey, Tim and his wife Jimena came over on there SUP’s with there dogs to check out Alsager.