Sunday, April 26, 2015

April 26, Caleta Partida, Isla Espiritu Santo

Last night we enjoyed a delicious meal at Lupe's "restaurant" on the beach in San Evaristo then took a short dinghy ride home to the boat in the darkness on a perfectly calm bay.  Around midnight or so my guests got to experience a Baja "Elephante", strong westerly winds blowing down from the Montanas Gigantas. The winds were blowing 20-25 knots all night until around 4am.  At about 1am I decided to let out a little more scope on the anchor chain just for good measure. As the wind howled all night I probably got up and went up top to check things out at least 8 times.  Not a great night sleep.  When we woke up around 7:30am the bay had returned to perfect calm like nothing had happened.

As we were leaving San Evaristo this morning I had the boat on autopilot while I arranged some things and went about putting out some fishing lines.  First the handlines.  As I let the first handline out that had my favorite purple Rapala on it I got to the end and let it go not realizing that it had come untied from the stern cleat and out the back it went and slowly started to sink.  The options ran quickly through my mind and within a couple of seconds I had taken off my glasses and jumped overboard to try to retrieve the handline and my favorite lure.  As I jumped overboard, doing about 6 knots, I yelled to Clint "come get me"!  I swam toward the handline that was sinking and by the time I got in the general area I could barely see the line disappearing out of site.  I was tired from swimming fast to get to it but took a deep breath and headed downward.  Somewhere around 15' or so below the surface I grabbed the handline and headed back up for air.  By then Clint had figured out that he needed to turn off the autopilot first before he could turn the boat around to get me but within no time he was there and I climbed up the stern ladder. If we would have had sail up I would not have jumped in but I'm happy to have the line back aboard.

Our first stop today was Isla Coyote.  A small volcanic rock of an island that maybe is about 1/2 acre in size and about 40' tall at it's pinnacle.  There are about 6 or 7 small homes on the island and used to be home to 5 or 6 families.  Now there is only one family of six that live on the island full time.  The older gentleman that I spoke to said he has been on the island for 65 years now.  It was a super cool place and evidently one of very few inhabited islands in the Sea of Cortez.  We did some snorkeling on the reefs surrounding the island and then picked up the anchor and headed south toward Isla Espiritu Santo. 

 Isla Coyote

 Around noon we picked up some nice winds from the east that allowed us to sail with the main and the reacher for about 3 hours at 5-7 knots.  Just about the time the wind picked up nicely to around 14 knots or so we got a hookup on the rod and reel that spooled us pretty good.  It was a scramble to get the reacher down and turn the boat into the wind to slow it down so we could reel in the fish.  Pretty exciting as this fish was not happy and took out a lot of line.  It wound up be another Bonita and since we aren't into eating cat food quality fish we tossed him back and watched him swim away.

Here at Partida we are anchored among 10 or 12 other sailboats in the turquoise waters between Isla Partida and Isla Espiritu Santo.  It is a popular anchorage due to it's protective cove, high red rock cliff walls and the beautiful clear waters that shoal up onto the white sand where you can walk in waist deep water for a couple hundred yards.  It's been another bueno day here in the Sea of Cortez and we are looking for more of the same tomorrow as we head back into La Paz so that my boat guests can catch a bus on Tuesday to Cabo where they will board their flight back home.  Ciao for now.

Bret, Clint and friends,
SV Liahona

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