Saturday, July 6, 2013

La Paz to Puerto Escondido

There are contradictions and conflicts when cruising. It feels like living inside a dream sometimes. Long, lazy, peaceful days seem to pass in a blur. With no schedule or time table, we are able to luxuriate in the moment and fully savor every experience. But, looking back over the past 2 weeks it seems to have flashed past us.  It is easy to lose track of days or even weeks out here.
 We left La Paz for the second time on June 24th. Our first night was spent in Balandra. We hadn’t explored on our previous stop and didn’t intend to do so this time. Deploying the dinghy is time consuming so we don’t always go ashore when we drop anchor for the night.  On this stop we were tired and just looking forward to a relaxing evening before moving on early the next morning. Then we saw a small sailboat rounding the point with its strobe light flashing. Knowing this to be a distress signal, we tried to hail them on the radio but got no response. There was another sailboat near them so we thought they were getting help and briefly assumed that all was well. We left our VHF radio on, just in case, and, as the sun was beginning to set we heard a call for assistance from the boat which had lost engine power. In fear of being blown onto the rocks they had thrown out an anchor and wanted a tow into safe harbor. It took some time to get our dinghy into the water and Mike set up with proper safety gear, tow ropes, and flashlights, but eventually everyone was safe in the harbor and settled for the night.  With our dinghy already in the water, we took some time to explore Balandra Cove the next morning and I’m glad that we did. It is a lovely stop although often busy with small charters, party boats, and jet skis.
Next was an overnight stop in Ensenada Grande, before we moved into new territory and spent a few nights at Isla San Francisco. It was another somewhat crowded anchorage with charters and jet skis, but we thoroughly enjoyed hiking across the salt water evaporation ponds to hunt for agates on the eastern beach.
Our next stop was San Evaristo, a small and isolated fishing village on the mainland. We shared the anchorage with one other boat and left early the next morning without going ashore. We were able to sail a little but we have had to motor a lot more than expected. The winds, always from the south, kick up in the morning for a couple of hours and again briefly in the late afternoon. We are not sailing as much as we had hoped. And diesel fuel is not always easy to come by.

The trip from San Evaristo to Bahia Agua Verde was magical with dolphins riding our bow wake and cavorting in the water around the boat for several miles. Agua Verde is another treasure where we went ashore to buy fish from a panguero on the beach and then took a walk through the small village. We bought a few staples from the tienda and delicious freshly made goat cheese from Ramona. One of the farmers invited us in pet his 2 week old goat kids. He was a very gracious gentleman and we visited for a bit, as much as my limited Spanish would allow. We spent a couple of nights in Agua Verde. It was the perfect cruising experience, a quiet and peaceful anchorage with ample opportunities to explore onshore. We were able to interact with the villagers and connect with other cruisers who were anchored there. In the evening we sat on deck under a starlit sky and played in the water with a stick, writing our names and stirring up bursts of sparkling phosphorescence. It is one spot where I am sure we will return; even if only to restock on Ramona’s goat cheese.
We are currently in Bahia Excondido, just south of Loreto. There is no cell phone service. Internet access requires taking my laptop for a dinghy ride and then sitting on the ground outside the marina office, but the people are wonderful and we love it here. I don't know where we go next or when I will be able to blog again, but be assured we are having an amazing time wherever we are.

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