19 May 2019
Isla Danzante is a small narrow island with anchorages only on the northwest portion.
Honeymoon Cove is the most popular because of weather protection; however it's a pretty small anchorage. After poking Pinocchio's nose into Honeymoon Cove only to see that it was full of large motor yachts and catamarans, we decided to try another cove just 1 mile south, known to some as "Divorce Beach"! We decided to take our chances.
Divorce Beach is just a perfect little spot: cozy, private, pretty, and fairly protected from weather. It's really a one-boat anchorage and could handle only one divorce at a time.
Dolphin came every morning to and evening like clockwork to feast on the little reef fish and act as mediators if needed. Pelicans would do fly-overs daily and judicially stare down their long beaks at us. Turtles would swim by with their watchful eye, making sure all was well.
We kayaked and paddle boarded along the rocky shores for hours, exploring all the nooks and crannies. Snorkeling in the clear turquoise water, provided us quite a show of fish, colorful coral and bright red star fish.
Just a few days shy of our 8th wedding anniversary, we stayed two wonderful days at Divorce Beach without a glitch. It's peacefulness and beauty re-affirms what's important in life. Maybe this Beach should be called "Second Chance Cove".
12 May 2019
Anchored off the east side of Isla San Francisco, I tried my best to ward off the "lemming effect".
This phenomenon happens when you are the only boat anchored in a fairly good size anchorage with lots of room, and then comes another boat and anchors right next to you.
It's a subject brought up many times between sailors. Each having their own definition on just how close is too close. One fellow sailor we met along the way, referred to the proper distance between boats being "Piss-Off" distance. Meaning that he is far enough away from another boat to be able piss off the side of his boat, without offending the other.
Other cruisers we met in the Pacific Northwest shared their strategy. When they sense another boat getting ready to anchor to close, they take off all of their clothes and go about their chores.
We've experienced the lemming affect and close proximity of boats, especially larger boats several times on our 7 month cruise,(compared to little Pinocchio, all boats are large!)
Recently, with our sailor friend Carlo on board, we anchored off Isla Partida in Partida Cove, pretty close in and near a rocky wall, thinking no one would consider anchoring any closer in. Later in the day, a Lagoon 42 catamaran, anchored between us and shore, just 100 feet from us. We tried to not let it's close proximity wreck our day and evening, but we really felt encroached upon. We thought of moving, but we were really happy with our spot and anchor's holding.
It happened again on May 5. David and I went up to Isla San Francisco. The west side is the more popular side and as we neared, we could see that there were already 3 boats anchored there. We decided to round the south end of the island and anchored on the east side where there was no one. It's only a 1/4 mile hike between the two coves. We found a good place to stay for a few nights and all was great. No sooner, we see the same Lagoon 42 that overcrowded us a week earlier coming our way!
To David's amusement, I took off all my clothes and stood on deck. David was in the dinghy checking out the bottom, Pinocchio's bottom, not mine! hahaha. As the Lagoon neared, David let out a big laugh! "He's naked too Susan!" Here is this morbidly obese man, 300+ pounds, butt-naked at the helm. He "out-naked-ed" me! No surprise, they anchored right next to us. Here's a screen shot of our GPS, showing their proximity to us. We are the boat Icon, the Lagoon 42 with the big naked guy onboard is the red triangle. The triangle goes from green to red when boats are too close to each other!
Lucky for us, we now know the boat's name and they have AIS transmitting. If they are nearby our GPS will pick them up. Wherever they are, we are going in the opposite direction.
Suggestions and strategies to avoid lemming effect are welcome!
12 May 2019
May 4, Isla Partida
Back to Isla Partida again, but this time the east side of the island. As we explored all of these beautiful islands in the Sea of Cortez, we noticed that each area has its own unique land formation.
On the back side of Partida there are beautiful, conglomerate, rocky sea caves. Large rocks defying gravity hang precariously from the cliffs, connected only by some sediment, looking like they would come splashing down at any moment into the sea.
We took a chance with fate and dinghied into a few of the dark caves and marveled at the mother nature's rock formations and colors.
The rocks awash just outside the caves appeared to be alive. As we neared, giant mangrove crabs scurried into crevices and holes for protection from the smaller, aggressive black crabs. Isn't it the truth, that it's the smaller of species that are the feistiest and most feared!
While snorkeling just outside the caves, the clear waters provided us a wonderful display of colorful fish. We notice as we head further north in the Sea, the water is getting cooler. The ambient temperature has been pretty warm, so taking a plunge into the refreshing sea is welcoming, at least for now.
I've been working on improving my swimming strength and stamina by swimming back to the boat after snorkeling. David follows along nearby in the dinghy if I get tired out and need a rest. On this snorkel day, Pinocchio was a few miles away. As I approached David in the Dinghy and readied myself to grab ahold, he would quickly row just a hand's reach away, just like any "personal trainer" would do! For his entertainment, he repeated this several times. I swam a bit farther and was proud of that. But I think my "personal trainer" needs some talking too....
04 May 2019
April 23 - May 1, 2019
The Sea of Cortez has me so absorbed in its beauty, I am speechless, wordless and thoughtless. It's been a time to just be silent... so peaceful.
Our friend and fellow sailor, Carlo, joined us for a five-day trip out to Isla Espiritu Santo and Isla Partida. One of the first things that caught our eyes were the amazing layers of rock formation on the island, defining time over millions of years. The weathered, rock walls creates little caves which make for great nests for gulls, boobies and other sea birds. Cactus thrives in these craggy rocks, slurping up any bit of water Mother Nature sends its way. The vibrant, desert colors of rocky cliffs juxtaposed with gin-clear turquoise water creates a palate of eye candy!
Isla Espiritu Santo is a protected island and National Park now. Thanks to organizations like SeaWatch, www.seawatch.org, ("Espiritu Santo is Party de ti"), it has been recognized as one of the best managed protected areas in the world by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature ICUN. As you SUP or kayak along the shore, fish of all varieties can be seen. Snorkeling in these clear waters provided us a beautiful scene of all the underwater rocky caves, rock formations, healthy coral, and colorful fish. Further offshore from the Islands, there are recorded sightings of large schools of mobula (rays)spanning 5 miles long and 40 ft deep feeding off plankton; Just last week Orcas were seen feeding off the mobula. There were also sightings of whale sharks and fin whales. On this trip, we spotted small schools of mobula jumping out of the water and doing aerobatics.
Life aboard Pinocchio with Carlo on board was a treat. Carlo loves to cook. Need I say more...We stocked our refrigerator with meats, chicken, fresh fruit and veggies, and pantry with flavorful sauces, herbs and spices. The rest was up to Carlo to create fabulous meals, which he did. Three on a 33 foot sailboat requires the "sailboat shuffle" choreography, especially early in the morning and late at night.
One day, Carlo and I decided to take the kayaks out to the other side of Isla Partida through a shallow cut through. Going there was fast and easy as the wind was behind us; After reaching the other side, we both dreaded the long return to Pinocchio. Soon enough, we spotted a dinghy motoring a full speed towards us...it was David to "save the day". We tied both kayaks to each side of the stern and off we went. Our kayaks are yellow. I'm sure it looked like David was towing two little ducks back to the "mothership".
Stand Up Paddle boarding is still challenging for me. Especially because our SUP is an inflatable. It blows easily off the wind and it's high off the water, making for a higher center of gravity. Needless to say, I took a few dunks, but I am getting better at it. David took to it like a pro. I guess his surfing days in his younger life has payed off.
On the return back to La Paz, we had our fishing line out. No bites, except for one big, I mean really BIG catch! As we headed south toward La Paz, we came upon another sailboat that we knew. SV Tenacity, sailed singlehanded by Marshall Peabody. As we neared Tenacity which was under power, we realized we still had our fishing line out. In the attempt to reel our line in fast, we snagged Tenacity's rudder and prop. Not a good thing. David has a talent of somehow getting lines into a knotted and tangled mess. I call him Charlie Brown. I think we should rename Pinocchio "Sir Knots A lot"! David dove into the deep, blue water with snorkel gear hoping to the clear the snag off the rudder. Earlier, David had mentioned he felt like going for a swim; he got his wish. After several minutes strategically manuevering Pinocchio and David's perseverance untangling the knotted mess at the prop, it was cleared. Tenacity headed north and Pinocchio headed south. Note to self: when we come close to another sailboat under power, reel in fishing line beforehand.
Once back to La Paz, we cleaned up and went for a delicious dinner at NIM, named for the fragrant Nim tree (Indian lilac) which all along we thought were pepper trees. It felt odd to be back to asphalt and sidewalks at lively and busy La Paz, after our magical time at the islands.
Tres Viejo y el Mar
24 April 2019
Or "Three guys in a boat"
I couldn't resist taking this photo of David and Carlo along side the sculpture of "The Old Man and the Sea".
Carlo arrived to La Paz yesterday to join us for a sail out to Espíritu Santo and Partida Islands. Carlo is a long time friend and sailor who joined us five years ago on Pinocchio's maiden sail to The Channel Islands.
We are delighted to have him aboard again. I will have another Italian on my side! David will have male comraderie and most important "protection" from me when I go "Italian" (when I go crazy from being on the boat too long).
Pinocchio is loaded with kayaks, a SUP, fishing gear and lots of food, beer, wine, and tequila. Stay tuned for more on our time at the islands.
Lazy in La Paz
19 April 2019
Tuesday, April 16
Our 55 nm north to La Paz provided a great day for sailing on a close reach most of the way. It was David's birthday and he was in his element at the helm, making way nicely. We seemed to have current in our favor so we just blasted along. We caught a fish on the line early morning. This time I had our handy, but little used fish identifier guide nearby to avoid Instagram humiliation again. A few weeks back, I had boasted on IG about a fish we caught and mistook for a yellow tail, turned out it was a carvelle Jack (trash fish). Arghh! This time we caught a skipjack, which appeared very happy to be returned to the Sea.
To make up for our disappointing catch, I went below to whip up an apple crisp for David's birthday. Those who know me, know I'm not a baker; but I do make a mean apple crisp even without an oven on the boat! What I have is a Omnia Stove Top Oven, made in Sweden. It's like a bundt pan, but with a stainless steel heating plate on the bottom and a lid to cover. Somehow the heat from our propane stove is diffused up the funnel and all around which makes for a great little oven. I've roasted chicken, potatoes, in the stainless bundt, and add the silicone liner for baking. Turns out I had just the needed ingredients to make the apple crisp.
We arrived in Marina La Paz early evening. Later, we enjoyed a nice, quiet birthday dinner of rib-eye steak, grilled veggies, rice, and, of course, Apple Crisp. Yum...Life affirming!
When we first arrived, our slip neighbor was asleep in the cockpit of his Erickson, covered head to toe by a sleeping bag and a towel over his face, he appeared to be a lump on the boat. Was he even breathing? Alive? We didn't know what to make of him. The next day we met him and his boat mate. Two Russian guys working in America. To quote them "We do what Russians do best...work on code and disrupt elections!" From that moment on we took a liking to these two characters. They sleep during the day and code at night. One Russian calls California his home and the other Canada. We meet such interesting people along the way.
It was great to have a visit Wednesday afternoon from our dear California friends, Lisa and Mike, who were on their way to Los Barilles in their new and tricked out camper-van. We enjoyed a tasty dinner with margaritas at nearby Rancho Viejo.
Marina La Paz is centrally located to shops, restaurants, the cathedral, and town Centro, The Malecón here is dotted with beautiful bronze sculptures of abstract,mystical, and whimsical art. There was even a sculpture honoring David on his 70th birthday..."el Viejo y el mar", pictured here in this post.
As we strolled along Wednesday evening, groups of families and friends on holiday celebrating Semana Santa (Easter Week) added to the lively Malecón scene of music, laughter, skateboarders, rollerbladers and low-riding tricycle goers.
On board Pinocchio in quiet Marina La Paz, we "assume" our requisite daily positions of rest and relaxation coupled with a good book...perfect! Thursday: repeat. Friday: repeat. Lazy days pretty much sum up our time so far in La Paz.
Tomorrow we adventure by bus to visit Lisa and Mike at their home in Los Barilles. Next week, we head over to the islands of Espiritu Santo and Partida with our good friend Carlo on board. Anticipating full days of swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and SUPing at the islands, I'm taking a nap now just thinking about it! Hasta Luego!