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Sea of Cortez – San Evaristo – Agua Verde

San Evaristo

It was calm the morning we left Isla San Francisco. There was wind enough to have a nice sail but my finger was not feeling up to pulling lines so this is one of the few times we elected to use the iron genny. San Evaristo is a little fishing village a short run up the Baja side on the Sea of Cortez. Shortly after departing Isla San Francisco we passed by Coyote Island.

This was a small fishing villiage that according to the guide books had been desterted so we did not plan to stop. We did not pass close but through the binoculars there seemed to be plenty of activity. We noted it for the trip South next near and will plan to investigate closer.

The anchorage at San Evaristo was surprisingly full but we were able to find a spot and drop the hook.

San Evaristo anchorage

Scoping our the bay with our binoculars did not reveal much in the way of facilities although the bay was busy with lots of pangas and fisherman coming and going. Deeper scrutiny however revealed a restaurant on the south side of the community. This must be explored! We needed a taco fix! We call our friends, Dave and Karon on Ragtime, and embarked across the bay on “Dorothy” the dingy. Following an almost perfect beach landing which means we only get marginally wet, we were greeted warmly by the proprietor and who we assume to be his daughter.

Looking across the bay to the restaurant on the beach

If you look closely just to the back of the transom on the white boat you will spot the restaurant on the beach!

The restaurant is not much to look at by our standards but the aroma wafting from the kitchen was amazing! We are learning the more we travel to not judge quite so quickly! Visiting with some of the other patrons from neighboring boats in the harbor we learned the food was excellent and there was even a tienda at the other end of the bay where we could find a few provisions. As it was still early afternoon, we decided to wander that direction before indulging in the ritual “happy hour”. We had not wandered far before Dave engaged one of the fisherman on the beach and negotiated 4 good size grouper for 150 pesos. (That is about $8.00 US)

Dave engaged in tough negotiations over a few fish

We enjoy engaging with the warm and friendly people of these fishing villages. It’s not business as usual but more of a blend of cultures. Dave and Karon are from Canada and brought with them a bunch of Canadian Flag lapel pins. It’s fun to watch them hand these out to the people we engage with. Their eyes light up, a big smile spreads across their face and most stop whatever they are doing to attach their pin.

International relations were spared with a Canadian lapel pin!

Dave decided to wait for us with his fish at the restaurant (I think to begin happy hour early) while the girls and I walked to the tienda. We often find the Mexican people do not like to tell us no. This would normally be a good thing but does not work well when asking directions. “So the tienda is down this way?” “Si si senior” Well, not exactly. You would not believe one could get lost walking along the beach in a tiny Mexican village but we did!

At the other end of the cresent beach there was a building the caught our attention. As it got closer we realized it was a power plant and satillite system for internet. We noticed a sign in the tienda advertising internet access by the minute. Somedays we are amazed at the ingenuity and resources the villagers create for themselves.

It wasn’t long before we found a kind sole who pointed us in the general direction saying verde!, verde! We finally spotted the lime green building about a block off the beach.

Walking inside we found a very well stocked tienda and a friendly proprietor. We got pineapple, eggs, carrots, onions, tomatoes, oranges, and peppers. We restocked both boats for under 200 pesos. You don’t always find what your looking for but we adjust our meals according to stock on hand and what needs to be used before it spoils. It kinda takes out the hard task of deciding what to fix for dinner every evening!

We walked back along the beach and caught up with Dave and a group of other cruisers in the anchorage where we enjoyed happy hour. Even though dinner was right around the corner Dave and I had to try a local taco. Best taco ever! That is until we reach our next destination of course. We took “Dorothy” back to the boats, then gathered later aboard Ragtime to discuss our next destination over a wonderful meal of roasted chicken, camarones (shrimp), rice and steamed vegetables. We will be back to enjoy this bay more next season. Tomorrow we hoist anchor and head to Agua Verde.

Agua Verde

Trying to get North before the next wind cycle we head out of San Evaristo early and motor up San Jose Channel. 

Rigging the lines for an unsuspecting fish!

Prior to hoisting anchor we rig the fishing poles just in case a wayward fish happens our way. The mountains are staggering and the scenery is spectacular.

It’s hard to describe and show the majesty the Sierra de la Giganta mountains put on for display as I tend to travel quite a ways out from shore. Unfamiliar waters and I really like the keel where it is. Cerritos de la Giganta is the highest peak rising 3800’ + from the sea.

We pass Nopolo, a quaint little fishing village with brightly colored homes and lots of fishing activity. G2 decides to try his hoof at fishing but nearly falls overboard in doing so.

G2 fishing off the port side

It’s tough to get a giraffe to wear his harness. We realize by heading north at this pace we have passed many great anchorages but have them ear marked for next year. The water is a bit too chilly to enjoy spending much longer than a quick dip so we will come back and visit in the fall after the water warms up. 

As we approach Agua Verde it seems we are entering a much more rugged part of the coast along the Sea of Cortes. We are very vigilant during our passages as there are many rocks and reefs that can really ruin a good day not to mention what it would do to the boat.

The anchorage already has a few boats but we are able to thread our way behind a nook in the Northern most part of the bay and drop the anchor in about 20’ of water. As the anchor chain rolled over the bow we could hear the bells from the goats on the hills behind us.

It reminded us of a trip to Switzerland when we rode the train up to Jungfrau. On the Southside of the bay is a farm where they make and sell goat cheese. We did not make the trip to the farm this time but plan to return at some point next season. The forecast is for light winds until midday tomorrow and with the anchorage having a number of boats already we kept the scope shorter than normal to limit our swing. Whenever we come into an anchorage that is a bit crowded we make an effort to contact the other boats around us. We compare scope length and make sure everyone is comfortable with our location. It makes life much easier if we are all on the same page. The boats should swing in harmony as if the motion was choreographed. If one boat has a longer or shorter scope and the anchorage is tight, things could go bump in the night. Not the best way to introduce yourself to the neighborhood! Ragtime arrived a little later and once they got settled we took the dingy down the bay to the local “restaurant”.

Brisa del Mar
Restaurant in Aqua Verede

These little fishing villages are a treat and we try to visit the local establishments whenever we can. We were suprised to find this village really pushing the Social media scene! Check them out at #BrisadelMarAV or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BrisaDelMarRestaurante. And new as of this year is “WhatsApp” 6121554852. Karon from Ragtime is really into gardening and we interested to see how and what they grow locally. Anna took her around back to show her where they grow their vegitables for personal use as well as in the restaurant. I managed a picture of the Christmas Catus but can’t find the one of the garden.

We all had fish tacos. (I think that was the only choice on the menu) Mamma Maria made fresh tortillas and they were filled with very generous portions of fish. These are probably some of the best tasting fish tacos we’ve had to date. And we’ve eaten our fair number of tacos! The restaurant backdrop was painted in vibrant colors and the table center pieces were obviously hand made and one of a kind.

Murel at the restaurant

As we were finishing up dinner, the family spread out an array of hand sewn needle point items for us to view.

Handmade crafts displayed following dinner

After dinner and purchases of handcrafts were completed, everyone got hugs and we were on our way back to the dinghy.

Linda diplaying her treasure from Aqua Verede

Late that night we heard the deep throb of a diesel engine, and the rattle of a very large anchor being released. The Uni Cruise ship had anchored out in front of the reef. This is a smaller cruise ship holding only about 500 passengers but they still make alot of racket and kept the generator running all night. Times they are a changing.

UNI Cruise Ship in the morning light

We woke early preparing to hoist anchor and head for Escondido before the winds hit that afternoon. As we got the boat ready we noticed the crew from the cruise ship towing a number of kayaks across our bow headed for the beach. When we looked to the beach area in the north there were herdsmen bringing down saddled horses to the beach area as well. We assume this was going to be a playday in Agua Verde for the passengers. That solidified our decision to pull out and head north!

Kayaks and horses assymbling on the beach
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