Thursday, June 20, 2013

Six Days in the Islands

Remaining true to our blog name, “Cruising at a Snail’s Pace,” we have taken 6 days to get back to start.  Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. And there is no “Get Out of Jail Free” card.

Twenty-seven miles north of La Paz our alternator quit alternating (or whatever) necessitating a return to civilization with its mechanics and parts stores. I can’t say that I am disappointed… Well, yes I could say that but every cloud does have its silver lining and there is certainly an upside to being here again. For one thing, I have internet access and can blog and post photos from the past week. For another, I can re- re- provision. Provisioning is an art form that I have not yet mastered. I managed to bring enough wine and cheeses, but ran out of tomatoes, bread, onions and milk by the third day. We will know this afternoon if our alternator is repaired and we can return to swimming and snorkeling in the spectacular turquoise waters of the islands or if we will be hanging around here for a while waiting for parts. 

Leaving La Paz we enjoyed perfect downwind sailing with a southerly wind of 13 – 15 knots. It was one of our best sailing days so far.

We spent a few days on anchor in Caleta Partida, the crater of a large extinct volcano between the islands of Espiritu Santo and Partida. There is a winding passage that separates the two islands and is navigable by dinghy at high tide. It is a beautiful and fun excursion motoring through the shallow waters with white sand bottom. The water is crystal clear and we could see dozens of varieties of colorful fish. Once on the other side we turned south for about a mile and explored the sea caves of eastern Isla Espiritu Santo.

From Caleta Partida we then motored four miles north to Ensenada Grande which is, as far as I am concerned, a little slice of heaven on earth. Ensenada Grande in English means large cove and that is exactly what it is, a very large cove with three lobes and room for many boats. It is very popular with locals and charters, especially on the weekends, and it was packed full on our first night there. One of the joys of cruising is the fascinating people we meet and Ensenada Grande was no exception. We spent several pleasant evening hours socializing with cruisers from all over the world and spent our days swimming, snorkeling, hiking. and relaxing in the glories of nature. I can’t wait to get back!

The rock formations throughout these volcanic islands are fascinating. They almost look artificial.

These cliffs overlooking Ensenada Grande have layers of rock that look like lace curtains hanging over them.
I would love to talk to a geologist to find out what created these stone draperies. We're thinking lava flow. Any ideas?

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