Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wonderful Places to Stop Enroute to La Paz

So after two heavenly days at Bahia los Frailes, we must continue our journey towards La Paz.  We had highly anticipated guests arriving on Thanksgiving, so we wanted to make sure we would have a couple of days to clean up and get the lay of the land prior to their arrival.

Ensenada de los Muertos
At dawn we reluctantly depart and make our way to our next stop, Ensenada de los Muertos (which translates to something like Bay of the Dead).  As soon as we are out of the anchorage at los Frailes we are in about 12-17 knots, right on the nose with short choppy waves – very similar to being in the Straights of Juan de Fuca on a bad day.  After two months of downwind sailing, going to weather is a bit of a shock!  We had forgotten how much harder it is to bash into the waves and had come to completely take downwind sailing for granted.  No more of that for now!  We proceeded to bash along for the next 10 hours until we gratefully reached los Muertos just before dark.   It was a sweet little bay, even if it has a fairly creepy name.  Thankfully we did not personally witness any of the dead ourselves!

They have HUGE moths down here!
With weather report in hand (thank god for SSB radios!), we decided we couldn’t afford to stay the next day as the wind was supposed to  be perfect to continue on, so we wanted to take advantage while we could.  The wind never did materialize, so we basically we motored the entire 45 miles to Bahia Ballandra – our next and final stop before La Paz.  I have to admit, after the bashing into the wind the entire day prior, I did not mind just motoring along on completely flat waters one little bit!!!

We arrived at our next stop around 3pm.  Bahia Ballandra is a wonderful little bay with three (!!!) separate beaches and amazing rock formations to look at.  It is also the location of “mushroom rock”, a proud local rock formation – that unfortunately ended up falling over due natural corrosion plus a few too many tourists.  But no worries – the local community put it back together with some handy rebar and cement and you can hardly tell the difference – well done! 

Ballandra at sunset - beautiful!
We enjoyed two wonderful, relaxing days here and I’m happy to report I have finally inflated my kayak so that I could go explore all the wonderful rock formations.  I love using the kayak as it allows me to drift slowly and quietly – which means “nature” doesn’t find you as threatening, so tends to move around more.  It’s amazing how if you just slow down and really look – you see whole new micro worlds.  The rocks where full of crabs of all sizes – from about ½ an inch to almost 6 inches wide.  My favorite ones were brown with incredibly bright red legs – they were highly skittish, so I had to be very quiet to watch them dine on the crustaceans around them.

Mushroom rock at Bahia Ballandra
Brett took this time to bone up on the generator manuals to figure out an issue we were having when charging.  After a long morning of wading through all the information, he successfully fixed the issues and we were up and running again – super important for a cruising boat.  It never ceases to amaze me how gifted Brett is mechanically.  I feel extremely lucky to have him as my mate in this journey as I know he can fix almost anything, which gives me great peace of mind.

Now that we are slowing down, I’m beginning to see why so many people love it here in Mexico.  The sun, the sandy beaches, the clear warm blue water….I think I can definitely stay here for a while!
Next stop……La Paz!  

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