Moto Adventures

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Team Blew

Our first anchorage at Agua Verde, our boat is the blue, directly above the cactus.

Nopolo, one of the villages obtainable only by boat.

Ken and I in Los Gatos.

Happy hour on the rocks at Los Gatos. In the background you can see the National Geographic cruise ship and the dinner setup on the beach.

The rocks where a lot like Zions, all sandstone and easy to climb on.

Sailing, sailing!

Sailing, sailing! Big smiles! Lots of fun!

White sandy beaches edge the crystal blue water.

Caleta Partida, a sand spit that is open to both sides during low tide divides the island, a fishing village is located on the spit.

Sailing into La Paz is beautiful. It is one of the most beautiful malecons in Mexico.

A night heron enjoyed Big Red in the marina in La Paz.

Blew and Abby Normal, moored at the Marina de La Paz amongst the big guys.

Amazing landscapes along the way.

Really amazing every direction you look!

And now for something completely different. After many years of travelling the Baja via our truck and camper complete with motorcycle(which we are still doing)we have broadened our horizons and jumped a ship named Blew to helped crew on a sailing trip from Puerto Escondido to La Paz, a distance of 125 nautical miles. There are three boats in our fleet: Bob and Mary on Windmill, a 22 ft Catalina, Al and Wolf on Abby Normal, a 25 ft Catalina and Carl, Ken and I on Blew a 28 ft Lancer. Bright and early Wednesday February the first we set sail, three vessels ready and provisioned to be out on the water for a week.

The first two days out, can you believe it, we had absolutely no wind for the first time in at least month and had to motor. The first night was spent at Agua Verde, 23nm south of PE, this bay was the only spot that I thought looked prettier approaching it via land than by water. The view of the bay from the top of the hill(and not to mention the very cool twisty road down the mountains to the water)is still one of our favourite sights on the Baja. The moorage was nice and it hosted us a pleasant happy hour at the end of a warm first day sailing...motoring. Day two of motoring took us to Puerto Los Gatos an amazing anchorage 18nm south of Agua Verde, Ken and I both agree that the place reminded us of Zion National Park in Utah only on the beach, of course. Smooth, red rock worn down from the wind and water made for good hiking and a beautiful back drop. Ken had his fishing line out during the day and caught several fish including a nice size Sierra which I made into ceviche for happy hour. A few hours after arriving at Los Gatos a 152 ft National Geographic cruiseship came into the bay carrying about 62 guests, kayaks, zodiacs and a world of good intentions and shortly after unloading guests etc the cruise director from the NG cruise ship came to each of our boats and invited us to a dinner and campfire on the beach that night, a unexpected and much appreciated treat for us. The guests and ourselves enjoyed a great dinner and entertainment around the campfire before the NG ship set sail shortly after midnight. Many of the guests came to talk to us about our trip and our thoughts of the Baja. What a fun night.

We asked for wind and we got it on day three. Gusty winds from the north sent us wing on wing(running down wind with one sail on each side of the boat)down the San Jose Channel to San Evaristo(population 100, mas or minus)another fishing village that also hosts a sea salt business for supplementary income. Ken and I had been to this village before on the motorbike but never took the time to wander around town. This time we took the time to stop in at the local store and pick up a few groceries and bought extra gas just in case the wind blew itself out and we ended up motoring again. Walking around town we met an woman who lives on a sailboat full time with her husband and travels the Baja year around spending a great deal of her time in San Evaristo helping to teach English in the local school.

Day four came blowing in from the north with great gusts and as we set sail our fleet was down to two boats as Bob and Mary on Windmill decided to hang out for another day in San Evaristo and maybe just take a little more time enjoying a slower pace than we were, with our sights set of La Paz in less than a week. We made the 9nm crossing to Isla San Francisco in record time and the the rest of the day was spent enjoying the view of the the picturesque wrap around bay, what an eye full.

21nm of beautiful relaxing sailing made up most of day five to Caleta Partido another magnificent anchorage, one of the largest in the National Marine Park at Islas Espiritu Santo and Partida. We got off the boat to do a walk on the beach and to look for a hiking trail up the the mountain for a better view, but unfortunately we never found it. As it turned out it was probably a good thing because the tide was coming up quick and Sweet Pea(our dingy) was almost afloat when we returned to her.

We are up early and back on the water, today is the we get into La Paz, day six. Time to restock: groceries, gas, propane and not to mention showers all the way around! Ken had to get in a quick trip to the China City buffet and we were all geared up for an early start to our turn around trip. And what do you think happened at 5:00am as we were getting up to start out early in the morning??? flash of light and loud noise? Thunder and lightning....and rain, lots of it! As it turned out we ended up staying in La Paz for 4 nights, eating out and taking in a movie(The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo, intense). It turned out to be a little bit of a vacation in La Paz as we waited for the weather to turn, the marine where we were moored had electricity, water, Internet, showers...5 star. We were moored in the section for 70ft boats, our 28er and Al's 25er, both of us in one slip amongst all the big guys!

The weather did turn. We couldn't believe it...winds from the south(this rarely happens in the winter)so we were ready to head north...home. We left at 6am on morning of the 10th day out...bright and early and we made it 27nm to Ensenada Grande where there were lots of other boats moored(I guess everyone was heading north on the sheets of favourable winds). We rowed ashore and walked around the bay a bit, with beautiful white sandy beaches we just could resist.

Day 11 took us back up 24nm to San Evaristo, we couldn't believe it the winds were still in our favour and we sailed the majority of the day with only a little motor sailing to fill in the dead air times. We found a little restaurant were we had dinner with people from two other boats that were in bay, fresh fish caught just that afternoon. Unfortunately after we were all tucked in that night the winds changed and blew us into shallow water. We ended up pulling up anchor and moving twice during the night trying to find a spot that was out of the wind, no such luck as we had to endure rolling swells for the rest of the night...none of us slept and the next day was supposed to be a long one.

On the next morning we set out before it was even light out, know one was sleeping anyway! Day 12 took us all the way back up to Agua Verde, 45nm, a distance we took two days to travel on the way down. The winds were still at our back so we made good time and only spent 11 or so hours under sail with little help from the motor.

Back to Jucalito on day 13, 23nm, the last leg and Ken and I were just getting into the groove of the sailing thing...we wanted to keep going. That night night, however, we were back at the camper sleeping in our own bed and slept like babies, even if we were still rocking and rolling like we were out on the water. Ken is thinking maybe we can broaden our horizons as far as mode of transportation goes...maybe a 50fter and hit the wet for a year??? We have a lot of other plans first but who knows, in a couple of years. We might just add it to our bucket list.