Following a great Christmas break visiting with lots of friends and family, we landed in San Jose Del Cabo at the Aeropuer o International de Los Cabos late on January 9th. The Baja has lots of areas with open range so most of the locals won’t try to negotiate the roads after dark. Bearing that in mind we stayed at the hotel near the airport and caught the shuttle to town the next morning.
One of my past customers has a condo in Los Barriles. We had met up with Bob and Robin while back home and they invited us to stay for a couple of days on our way back to La Paz. We caught the shuttle about 12:30 and 2 hours later we were dropped off in front of Mar y Sol condos. The condos are right on the beach overlooking the Sea of Cortez to the East. As we got settled in the condo a gentle breeze was cooling the afternoon heat and waves were lapping softly against the shore. I could do this for a while!
The first evening we had dinner in town and got caught up. The next morning we took a tour of the town. We saw the new pickle ball resort, Tres Palapas. What an amazing facility. Los Barriles is definitely on the move.
Next Bob took us on an adventerous ride to San Bartolo. Yes you can get there on the highway but what fun would that be? We jumped off the road and went up through the arroyo. These are basically dry river beds (except when the big rains come) that can be navigated.
Even with Bob’s Jeep there were some challenging portions of the trail but so worth it! We ate lunch at a little tienda the. Visited an artisan well, the town’s sole source of water.
We came back on the highway which provided us with yet another perspective although not quite as eventful. Once back at the condo we noticed the sea was flat calm. We rigged a few poles and launched Bob’s 14’ aluminum boat aptly named “Tinny”. We spent the rest of the afternoon seeking something with fins to put on the grill for dinner. We were not successful but Bob’s neighbor, Trafford, had fish from a previous outing that he prepared and hosted us all for delightful evening meal. The next morning it was off to breakfast and then to the bus station to complete our ride to La Paz. We were able to catch an earlier bus that put us into La Paz around 2:30pm. By 3:00pm we were back on the boat with wonderful memories of our trip home.
We spent the next week prepping the boat and ourselves for our journey deeper into the Sea of Cortez. We layed the anchor chain out on the dock and color coded it for depth. I took alot of flak on the color scheme over the week. Gave them something to talk about!
We got the hull polished and stainless done as well as had the bottom cleaned and zincs changed. We planned to work our way North up the West side of the sea then cross over to Guyemas around the first of March. Bob and Robin helped break up the week with a quick visit from Los Barriles before they headed back to Monroe. We met for breakfast at a little restaurant famous for their pancakes. They were interesting but not sure I’m a fan.
We walked a couple blocks to a fishing store I wanted to visit. Bob in his former life owned a very successful Import repair shop that began life as a VW shop. On the way to the fishing store we passed by Geraldos. We spent a few minutes walking down memory lane.
Once we finished at the fishing store we took the boat out for a couple hours. The weather could not have been more perfect. We rolled out the sails and put a couple of lines in the water as we zig zagged in front of La Paz. No fish but we had a really fun day.
We made a lot of friends during the first part of our journey. When we leave La Paz, some of these friends we may never see again unless our wakes cross so there were some happy (sad) hours we did not want to miss.
We finally pulled out of the dock on Saturday, January 18th, after a few days of delay due to high wind and waves. When the northern winds begin to blow in the Sea of Cortez it creates about 700 miles of fetch. It’s not uncommon to have 8’ to 12’ seas at 5 seconds in and around the La Paz area. In fact the port captain will close the port quite often for multiple days. We’ve seen it done at least 4 times since we’ve been here. As we contacted the port captain and cleared out of La Paz, he mentioned the winds would be in excess of 20 knots. We set Pellucidar up with the main and staysail. She bit into the 5 to 8 foot seas like a champ and we sailed for about an hour. As we sailed into the shadow of Isla Espiritu Santo the wind died but the seas remained about the same. Sailing into heavy seas and motoring into those same seas are totally different rides. We motored the remaining 12 miles to Caleta Partida.