notes from the boat
With a reluctance to say goodbye to La Paz we finally raised the anchor just
after midday on Sunday, July 10th. The weather was hot (there's a surprise),
winds variable (we had everything from 20 knots to absolutely nothing) and
we headed out to our first stop, Isla La Partida.
La Paz to Isla La Partida and Isla Espiritu Santo was a short day sail, we
set off with good wind and managed to hook a small Dorado (Mahi Mahi) on the
way, not as impressive as the first rod-breaking Dorado but that was dinner
taken care of. Things were looking good. About half way there the wind
dropped and the temperature rose and just before sunset we anchored in a
small bay at Isla La Partida. It was a picturesque setting but as the sun
set we became acquainted with the invisible flesh munching insects known as
We had thought La Paz was hot but until you're trapped in a cabin in 95
degrees, humidity off the scale, invisible insects outside and festering
bags of rubbish inside, things don't seem so bad. We sat pathetically around
the fan for a while staring at it fixatedly and finally managed to eat
dinner in the dark. Surprisingly it was not the most pleasant of evenings
and a hot, somewhat sleepless night followed.
In order to address some of the sighs of envy with regards to this recent
lifestyle change, the concept of sailing off into the sunset drinking dry
martinis is far from reality. We read recently that anyone considering going
cruising (the favoured term for this sailing malarkey) should try living in
their bathroom. It's roughly the same size, there are dubious smells, take
someone else in there with you and throw buckets of cold water over each
other. Add a couple of bags of rubbish that you can't throw away because
you're in a remote anchorage, insects, jellyfish, extreme temperatures, heat
rash and lack of sleep and you've just about got it!
From Isla La Partida we headed to Isla San Francisco another day sail away.
Since leaving La Paz we noticed that our electronic charts were no longer
entirely accurate and had shown us sailing across land at certain points,
not a good thing. The confusion was cleared up when we discovered the
electronic charts for the Sea of Cortez were based on the only charts of the
area made in 1895. So there'll be no more night sailing for a while,
probably not a bad thing though considering the insects.
Isla San Francisco was another overnight anchorage. There we encountered the
invisible stinging jelly fish we'd been warned of and more of the little
flesh munching no-see-ums. We started swimming in sexy long lycra underwear
to avoid the stings and added another line to our diminishing
vocabulary..."Where's the fun?" Then after hearing our first tropical storm
warning (even more fun) we decided to head north, flying the spinnaker most
of the way and it was off to Bahia Agua Verde.
The storm turned out to be nothing to worry about (much to the
disappointment of amateur weather forecaster, Don) and Agua Verde turned out
to be a beautiful bay with promised green water and rugged mountains in the
background. One of the most talked about anchorages in the Sea of Cortez we
could see why as we pulled in and anchored among the eight boats already
there. It was protected from possible storms, plenty of fish visible in the
emerald green water and an easily accessible beach with crabs to chase for
Winston. No insects around, just the occasional invisible jellyfish and so
we decided to stay for a couple of days or a week. One thing we've noticed
is that a week means a month and a couple of days means a week, it's a
manana thing and there's always tomorrow.
We were invited to attend a local "Goat Feed" with the other cruisers in the
nearby village. Having heard tinkling bells in the hills we imagined feeding
the goats as they trotted down from the mountains and Carl asked facetiously
if he could just pet them. We thought it was hilarious as we were informed
very seriously by the other cruisers that we in fact, ate the goat. The
actual event wasn't nearly as exciting as the goat turned out to be rather a
tough old thing and certainly not worth the hundred pesos each (roughly $10)
we were charged. Still, the village did very well out of it and we felt we
helped support the community if not the goat.
Fishing has continued in Agua Verde very successfully. We've barely tasted
the hundred tins of chicken we left LA with as we've been eating almost
exclusively from the sea. We were taught how to dig for local clams and
managed to eat three each (not loving shellfish) as we shared the catch with
two other boats. We also discovered that Roosterfish are one of the most
sought after game fish in the world. People pay thousands of dollars to come
here and try and catch the wily Rooster, few succeeding. Well, yesterday
Gemma landed her first fish and it was a Roosterfish, great excitement. Carl
caught another couple and perhaps being slightly biased this might be the
most delicious fish we've caught yet!
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