Friday, November 26, 2010

Isla Espiritu Santo, Isla Partida, and Isla San Francisco

We leave La Paz for a week excursion to the Islands of Espiritu Santo (Holy Spirit) and Partida, which is located about 20 miles north of La Paz.

These islands are a natural marine park. The guide says "the Sea of Cortez is the second most diverse marine body in the world. It is home to 31 species of whales and dolphins- one third of the worlds total. The region also serves as a breeding ground for sea lions and marine turteles, and is a migratory corridor for 210 bird species. "

There are many bays to anchor in. Our first stop is Bahia San Gabriel. A beautiful bay lined with a pristine white sand beach that onced housed a pearl factory. We anchor in about 20ft. of water. We have the bay almost to ourselves with only one other boat in this large bay. We snorkle and have a lazy afternoon. The next morning we dingy to the shore with a lunch, there is a trail that cuts accross the island to the other side. We hike through the arroyo looking for the elusive black hare, but all we see is its scat. Later in the day we also find a good snorkel spot, it is like swimming in a fish bowl.

Our next stop is Caleta Partida. This cove is where the two islands divided (at low tide) . Again a great bay, the moon is on its way to being full and rises right in the middle of the saddle that separates the islands, a beautiful site. We follow the guide to the best snorkle site yet! On the way back to the boat we stop at a fishing camp and buy a fresh dorado from the fishermen. A great dinner was had.
Our last anchorage here is Ensenada Grande. We stop here as it is very close to Los Islotes, which is famous for its sea lion rookery, snorkerlers have been frequenting this rock outcropping for years to experience the beauty of swimming with the sea lions.

We have a very rolling night as the wind comes up from the SW where there is no protection. Not much sleep. It settles down the next day so we dingy to Los Islotes to swim with the sea lions.

I have to admit that swimming with the sea lions is a bit scary. They are very fast and get very close to you. Some other boats told me later that the mothers were being very aggressive. I did not experience that. Even though it was scary I am really glad I did it. The pictures of the seal was taken there. I also posted a picture of the rocky Los Islotes where they live.
Today also we go to the cove next to us to see the Blue Footed Booby rookery. They are beautiful birds with robins egg blue feet. If you click to enlarge the pictures here you may be able to see it. I could not get very close for pictures as they are on the cliffs.

After 2 nights in Ensenada Grande we leave for Isla San Francisco. About 20 miles north.

Here again is a large bay with plenty of protection for the predicted north winds that are comming. We hike accross the narrow section of the island through the salt flat to the rocky beach on the other side. Here we look for shells and agates. We spend two nights here and enjoy the beautiful moon rises.

We head back to La Paz on the 24th. Along the way I catch my largest fish yet, a 28" 10-15 lbs Stripped Bonita. We are have Thanksgiving diner here in La Paz at the marina. The cruising club, Club Cruceros, sponsors this potluck each year. There were about 270 people.It is only 20 pesos per person. They do the turkeys and gravy the boats bring side dishes. It was a lot of fun and very good.
Again, please excuse my spelling mistakes, the spell check is only looking for spanish words that are misspelled while we are in mexico.
also you can click a picture to enlarge it... Please send along your comments, they are fun for us to read.


Marne said...

Hi Elaine,

Oops! I goofed when I left a comment before this one. It is at the end of the San Diego writing.


SharonMV said...

Dear Elaine,
I enjoyed hearing about your excursions. You are so fortunate to be able to visit these beautiful islands and to experience all the wild life. I don't know when I'll ever be able to enjoy nature again. But I'm hoping that day will come, even if on a less magnificent scale. All your photos are lovely. Too bad you didn't get a look at that elusive hare.

I hope you found a shell or bit of stone for me. I really like the sea glass you collected for me.

Love, Sharon

SharonMV said...

PS: Congrats on the huge fish. And kudos for your swim with the sea lions. I would find that a bit scary too!