Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ensenada Grande (Isla Partida)

[GPS: N 24° 33' 37" W 110° 23' 57"]
After a breakfast of scones and fresh fruit, we decided to move north to the southern lobe of the 3-lobed anchorage at Ensenada Grande on Isla Partida. It took us longer to secure the kayak and pull up the anchor than the journey to that anchorage. The winds were 15-18kts on the nose for the short motor north. They quickly dropped as we got further into the anchorage into shallow aqua water behind the high red sandstone cliffs. We anchored close to some carved sandstone cliffs on the northern side:

The winds broke our string for the burgees – between the Mexican flag (which ended up stuck by the spreader) and our BYC and HaHa burgees, which we saved just before they went into the water. Once we got anchored, Cathy stood up on the boom to try to get the flag down – and succeeded, but managed to strain her left shoulder in the effort. Get out the Motrin and ice! … and rum!

Tuesday afternoon, we dinghied over to the white sandy beach at the eastern end of the cove and set up our beach tent. We spent the afternoon just hanging out and reading. Our cruising guide indicated there was a trail up the arroyo from this beach, so Doug set off on a hike. After a hundred yards, there was no discernable trail – and was just scrambling over the rocks. When he came down over a ledge and saw a couple dried up snake skins, he decided this maybe wasn’t the greatest thing to do alone and headed back down to the beach. Here is our boat taken from under our beach tent, and a picture of the anchorage from Doug’s hike:

Wednesday morning Michael & Laurie came on up from Caleta Partida and anchored nearby. We went to the more pebbly beach on the southern side of the cove. Michael, Laurie, and Doug took a hike up this arroyo – this time with companions Doug made it farther. We went up to the top of a ridge between the two beaches. The only fauna we saw were lizards and small chipmunks – though we did see some fairly fresh scat from what must have been a larger mammal. The flora is fairly abundant this year – they had more rain than usual this summer with the tropical storms that came over this area.

While on this beach, we met two families – one from Journey (a HaHa boat) with Craig & Melanie and their 2 young sons; and another from Reel Summertime (powerboat) with Kip & Kit, their son, 4 daughters, and exchange student from Italy. Kip and Kit invited us over for drinks later, and Cathy suggested we all meet back on the beach for a bonfire and marshmallows that evening. We stopped by Reel Summertime for a glass of Merlot – it’s a beautiful 80’ powerboat – large living room, kitchen (not a galley) with side-by-side refrig/freezer, etc. Very nice family from Utah down for Thanksgiving week on vacation – they keep the boat in La Paz.

Once it was dark, we headed over to the beach to start a fire. Michael did the boy scout job, including propping his dinghy up with a paddle as a windbreak. We cooked sausages in the fire, and Cathy pulled out marshmallows and Hershey bars for everyone (we didn’t have any graham crackers to complete the smores). After the marshmallows, Cathy introduced the kids to a game of flashlight tag on the beach. This was one of our most enjoyable evenings so far in our journey.

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