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Feliz Navidad from the Crew of Persephone

December 24, 2012

We have worked our way 115 miles north of La Paz to the “Hidden Harbor” of Puerto Escondido and have had a ball doing it.  We shared anchorages with fellow cruisers who are doing the same thing we are and enjoyed their company without the distractions of the civilized world.  We have definitely switched gears and feel that we are once again in cruising mode.

We left La Paz after spending only five days in the marina.  It is still one of our favorite cities in Mexico offering many services and wonderful restaurants without succumbing to the blight that often accompanies tourism.  But we were eager to get up into the Sea of Cortez.

Our first stops were Colita Partida and Ensenada Grande on the islands of Espiritu Santo and Partida just a half day sail north of La Paz.  We saw schools of small manta rays and sea turtles in the anchorages and caught dorado for dinner.  We arrived just ahead of a cold front that brought our first real rain of the trip, high winds, and morning cabin temperatures of 60 degrees.  We were prepared and hunkered down for 24 hours until the weather cleared.

Ensenada Grande is unique with its shoreline rocks draped in a lace-like covering that resembles a table cloth.  We landed on the white sandy beach and hiked to the top of the arroyo where we could look down from the cliffs to the windward side of the island.  This has been a wet year on the Baja and we were amazed at how much greenery there was in the arroyo.  Blooming ivy covered the cacti and colorful wildflowers found footings in the desert rocks.  The “hike” ended up being a bolder climb and it took us four hours to do the 3 mile round trip.

This is winter in the Sea of Cortez and the strong northerly winds blow frequently.  We took advantage of a lull to motor to Isla San Francisco and anchored in its crescent bay rimmed by white sand.  We were joined by eight other boats which provided us the opportunity to hone our social skills.  We shared a large dorado we caught entering the anchorage, Sandie hosted a cupcake baking session for the kids while the men went diving, and we joined new friends ashore for hikes.  And there was always toasting the setting sun.  We stayed several days as the north winds blew themselves out and then headed to San Evaristo on the Baja Peninsula.

San Evaristo is a small fishing village with a tienda and cantina as well as the pseudo residents Steve and Charlotte aboard the sailboat Willful Simplicity.  We were introduced to Cipriana who runs the cantina and found ourselves eating nearly all of our meals ashore.  Our last dinner included the crew from Willful Simplicity, the wonderful family from Star Passage, and newlyweds that were bare boat chartering for their two week honeymoon.  We were tempted to stay for Christmas but decided to take advantage of light winds and head north.

We left at daybreak and headed for Los Gatos.  The conditions were calm and we opted to continue to Agua Verde, a beautiful and protected anchorage on the Peninsula.  We arrived to find the bay filled with red tide.  We went ashore to visit Tio who lives on the beach and gave him a fish that we had caught.  We were reminded that our Spanish wasn’t very good and we went back to the boat and started listening to our Spanish tapes.

The red tide and our desire to communicate with family at Christmas were incentives to head north the next morning to Puerto Escondido.  We arrived just as the north winds were building as predicted.  We anchored in the inner harbor which is completely surrounded by land and is the only real hurricane hole on the Baja.  The steep walls of the Sierra de la Giganta rise 5,800 feet to provide an impressive backdrop which we enjoy from our cockpit.

We went ashore yesterday and were sad to learn that there is no cell phone coverage and we would have to wait until Loreto to talk to family and friends.  There is, however, the Internet and this post will have to suffice for wishing everyone a Merry Christmas from Brian & Sandie.  Even with all of our new friends and exciting experiences we find ourselves this time of year missing our loved ones back home.

We will spend Christmas here before heading out to explore the local islands.  We will be joined the first week in January by Sandie’s cousin JoAnn and her husband Ed.  We plan to do a lot of fishing before they leave.

Mine! Mine! Mine!

Mine! Mine! Mine!

Small rays in Colita Partida

Small rays in Colita Partida

Sunrise in Puerto Escondido

Sunrise in Puerto Escondido

Kayakers in Agua Verde

Kayakers in Agua Verde

Sunrise as we leave San Evaristo

Sunrise as we leave San Evaristo

Sandie & Charlotte with Cipriana at the cantina

Sandie & Charlotte with Cipriana at the cantina

Lunch at the cantina in San Evaristo

Lunch at the cantina in San Evaristo

Persephone at anchor at Isla San Francisco

Persephone at anchor at Isla San Francisco

Isla San Francisco

Isla San Francisco

Another beautiful sunset at Isla San Francisco

Another beautiful sunset at Isla San Francisco

Plenty of dorado to share with other boats

Plenty of dorado to share with other boats

Top of the arroyo hike

Top of the arroyo hike

The hike was a bolder climb

The hike was a bolder climb

Hiking at Ensenada Grande arroyo

Hiking at Ensenada Grande arroyo

Arroyo hike

Arroyo hike

Arroyo hike

Arroyo hike

Lush vegetation on arroyo hike

Lush vegetation on arroyo hike

Arroyo hike

Arroyo hike

Ensenada Grande shoreline

Ensenada Grande shoreline

Unique lace covered shoreline in Ensenada Grande

Unique lace covered shoreline in Ensenada Grande

From → Travel

2 Comments
  1. Deborah Dutcher permalink

    Great to hear from you both, Brian and Sandie! All is well here and we just sent the grand-kids and son and daughter-in-law home with Dungeness crab leftover from our feast. Have fun and Happy New Year!

    Deb and Tom

  2. Aurea Walker permalink

    Dear Brian & Sandie, you trip is truly wonderful to follow, thank you so much for sharing it with me.

    As we say “Feliz Navidad”

    With love and calm winds Kiki

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