Last sail of the season

There’s a thing they call hurricane season in the Eastern Pacific from May 15 to November 30. This is a great time to button up the boat and find other places to be just in case any storms head this way. We chose La Paz because of the more mild summer climate compared to other locations. Not too much rain. Not too much heat. A great marina. And well because it’s La Paz.

We had one last week of sailing around the area before our own self-imposed deadline to be back in La Paz by June 1.

We left La Paz on May 26 and headed north to revisit a few old anchorages one last time before closing up the boat. First stop was Calleta Partida. We were treated to lots of rays swimming around the boat. We had a ‘pet’ turtle who was apparently feeding under our boat all day every day during our stay. He’d pop up for air about every 15 minutes then back down for chow. Dave built an uber-cairn so that for all eternity people will be able to find this spot.

Mobula Ray – no stingers!
Turtles are not photogenic

The local cruiser club also had a sail-in so the little bay blossomed from three boats to 25 the next day. Two consecutive nights of bon fires with other club members and random sailors on a very tiny white sand beach was enjoyable. More new friends made!

Next stop – Isla San Francisco. This beautiful bay was still as spectacular as our first visit. Turquoise water and white sandy beaches. Again.

After a couple days we were expecting some unfavorable winds in Isla San Francisco so we cut west a few miles to revisit Mechudo Head looking for protection from predicted westerlies. No westerlies showed but lots of angry swell from the south. Should have stayed in ISF! Our first visit to Mechudo was rock and rolling, too. Cross that anchorage off our list!

Last stop on our tour was to revisit Puerto Balandra so we could have a short run back to La Paz the next morning. Our trip to Puerto Balandra was dotted with whale sightings. One whale we did not see but we heard clearly jumped just 20 yards from the boat. Huge Splash! Huge pool of bubbles where he crashed. We saw the creature a few minutes later doing more mundane whale behaviors. That made our day. Having actually seen the whale jump so close to the boat – eye to eye – probably would have been just too scary! There was a catamaran next to us. Hope they got a great view.

About a million dolphins!

Puerto Balandra was where we had a slippery anchor on our previous visit. This time we were expecting more moderate westerlies (aka coromuels) as are common here in the summer. We tucked up behind a cliff with 6:1 scope and settled in. Three different anchor alarms were set. The westerlies overachieved. 18 kts was predicted but 26 kts were delivered. Our anchor stuck like a rock. And we were well protected from any swell all night long. Seven or eight boats all tucked up together to ride out the windy night.

And now we are safely back in a slip in La Paz. The button-down work list gets full attention. Starting tomorrow.

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