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Walt Drechsler

Caleta Partida to Isla San Francisco

January 18 – 25 2020

Pellucidar softly swinging in Caleta Partida

We left you last as we were motoring the last 12 miles to Caleta Partida. Did I mention I had put out our hand line as we left La Paz? We just wanted to see if we could entice a fish for dinner? I think I forgo to mention that small fact. The same thing I did when we dropped the anchor in Caleta Partida and backed up to set it. Linda lowered the anchor and as I backed down there was a loud thump, then more thumping and a lot of vibration…… Yup, I forgot about the handline.

1) Yes it wrapped around the prop.

2) No, we did not catch a fish.

3) Any more questions?

Linda was able to get the anchor down and set although it took a little more finesse than normal. Pellucidar was being blow sideways in a gust that always shows up during docking or anchoring. It was pretty windy and kicking up quite a chop in the bay. “We” decided to wait until morning before diving down to check it out. The anchor was set and we weren’t going anywhere.

I’m not a big “diving under things” kinda guy. I had lost my “man card” snorkeling in Florida once before so Linda brushed me aside mumbling something about let a woman handle this and jumped in the next morning to confirm I had made a mess.

It took a couple of days with help from Karon on Ragtime to get the mess cleared up. They made a lot of progress the first day but were not able to clear the line entirely. The water is pretty warm but not warm enough to stay in for hours without a suit. We (they) took a break and we would attack it in the morning when the winds and waves were typically calmer. It was a huge relief when Linda finally came back up the next day with the all clear sign. In between our little “boat project” we did walk on the beach, saw a lot of turtles, and watched the pelicans fish under our deck light off the boat.

We are also exposed to some of the most amazing sunsets. We already have an entire file full of sunset pictures but we can’t stop saving more!

Caleta Partida is one of our favorite anchorages near La Paz. (Ok, it’s the only one we’ve been at so far)

Ensenada Grande

On Tuesday we hoisted anchor and made our way north 5 miles to Ensenada Grande. This is a large bay devided up into 3 coves on the Northwestern side of Isla Partida. We anchored in the Southern most cove. When we first dropped the hook there were a number of boats in the anchorage so we chose to anchor out a little further than I originally intended. It was not long before a couple of those boats pulled up their anchor opening up a hole deeper into the bay. North winds were predicted to come up over the next few days and I wanted to get a little deeper into the bay. We picked up and reset the hook where the other boats had just vacated. I sleep much easier when I am happy with my location in the bay. Today was calm and warm so we enjoyed some snorkeling, paddle boarding and swimming around the boat. It was interesting to see the difference in wildlife between Caleta Partida and Ensenada Grande. We did not see one turtle and very few pelicans in our new location even though it’s on the same island. There were some colorful fish for snorkeling amongst the rocks that we did not find in Caleta Partida. What we did find facinating was the geological aspects of the bay. The sculptures winds and waves have created over the years are amazing. We spent quite a bit of time drifting around just looking at the formations. The next day dawned cooler and windy, just as predicted. They do get it right once in a while! Perfect day for a hike up the arroyo. Linda, Karon and I headed for the beach while Dave finished up a few boat projects on Ragtime. The trail began as a well groomed trail with very detailed informational boards along the path. Just long enough to suck you in to thinking you’re on a nice walk rather than a hike. We met the crew from Quixote, a Halberg-Rassy 37, on the beach. They were walking the same trail. We were on the Dr. Dolittle tour and they had signed up for the express tour. It was not long before we lost site of them. The flora and fawna along our path was beautiful and intriguing so we took our time trying not to miss anything. Soon the trail turned to something that would challenge the most limber mountain goat. We made it quite aways before crying uncle and turning back. We had an enjoyable hike thus far and there was no reason to ruin it by pushing ourselves too hard. The other aspect we would learn soon enough is you don’t want to get seriously hurt out here. You are hours if not days away from help. Twist an ankle or worse on a hike and something minor could become a serious issue out here.

Editors note: I can’t find my pictures on Ensanda Grande 😦 I will have to update this later.

Isla San Francisco

Isla San Francisco

This is the bay you see in all the cruising guides. The large white crescent beach surrounding turquoise blue waters with no one else around for miles. I’ve learned over the years to keep my expectations in check as we travel. You can read all the guides and watch the videos but until you actually arrive yourself, you don’t really know what your experiance will be. I’m happy to report this bay lived up to its expectation. There were more boats than I expected but plenty of room for everyone. Even with this dingy in the bay.

We were not allowed to slide…..

We anchored in about 15’ of turquoise water. Wind and swell were kept at bay as we dropped the paddle boards over the side and went for a paddle to shore. The beach was a warm, soft sand with lots of different shells. The water was a bit colder than we would have liked but the scenery was spectacular. That evening we were cutting vegetables for salad. We usually make things ahead of time so we are prepared if something else comes up. I was happily chopping up the last of a large hickama when the knife got a little more than hickama. Remember when I said minor issues could become a larger concern. I got a pretty good chuck of protein in with the hickama. ( I have chosen not to share the picture) The challenge was we could not get the bleeding to stop. We are about 40 miles out of La Paz and 75 out of Loreto and it’s dark. Long story short we managed to get it stopped after about 2 hours but it got us thinking. We have a pretty substantial medical kit on board but there are some things like blood coagulation powder we will be adding. In the end it turned out fine. We had a doctor check it in Loreto and my private nurse did everything right but it does give one pause.

The next day we hiked up to the top of the hill overlooking the bay and then back down the ridge.

The views are just like the magazine! We really enjoyed the flora as well.

And no post we would complete without watching the sun set over the beginning of the Sierra de la Giganta Range!

We will be back as the water warms and spend a lot more time here. For now we have other bays to check out!

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