Initially I wanted to name this blog post “Everything is fine”. “Everything is fine” as a title for a blog post? Booooooring! Who cares! “Crazy sailors going wild!” just generates more interest. Unfortunately, I have to disappoint you, dear internet. There are no bikini chicks to be found anywhere in this blog post. We’re young and need the clicks. On Milagros everything is fine at the moment, we are living a sailor’s dream come true and hope that this will remain the case for as long as possible. Cheers!
Filled with anticipation of what adventures may lay ahead, we weighed anchor in La Paz (this time without an incident) and set course towards the southeast coast of the island of Espiritu Santo. The longest beach on the island was waiting for us. “Playa Bonanza” stretches the entire length of the anchorage. And friends were also moving our direction! SV Alegria, SV Cavu and SV Boomerang had just made the crossing to mainland Mexico. While at it, we also took SV Susimi with us from La Paz. Bonanza would be inhabited by a fun bunch of residents and ex-residents of the Cabrales Boatyard. We had been waiting for this to happen for a long time.
A big reunion
Once everybody was safely anchored, we all met on the beach. As far as the eye could see, it stretched snow-white from one end to the other of the bay, contrasted by clear, turquoise water. If that wasn’t a worthy place for a reunion. So, everybody chatted, laughed, drank and enjoyed seeing each other again. There were a lot of stories to tell after all that time. When then we treated ourselves to a nightcap or two at SV Alegria in the evening, where SV Beleza offered their 23-hour-old rum. Bought 23 hours ago? Think again! It was distilled 23 hours ago! On their boat! Pati and I are not at all fans of schnapps, whiskey, rum, tequila and the like, but we couldn’t really say no here. During the tasting we also arranged to meet up with Jo and Barry from SV Boomerang for an early morning walk across the island.
On the move across the island
We headed out for our hike early the next morning. Crossing the island in a zigzag course, our path was lined with all kinds of prickly desert plants, framed by the typical hills of barren volcanic rock in all sorts of browns and reds. The Sea of Cortez scenery is so, so beautiful. The water meets the desert where millions of years of tectonics have formed a lunar landscape, making the scenery of one anchorage more dramatic than the other. We’ve met people who have been sailing the Sea of Cortez for over 10 years and wouldn’t want to go anywhere else. We can’t blame them.
Good times on the beach
Arriving on the other, the west side of the island, we dedicated ourselves to exploring, throwing Frisbees (Jo and Barry from Boomerang are professionals) and just enjoying the moment. A group of vultures was just about to pick up the last edible remains of what used to be a trumpet fish. Which brings us back to the topic. Where else do you share dreamy beaches with a bunch of vultures instead of hundreds of sunburnt all-inclusive tourists? Exactly – there are probably not many places in the world. Although it does have tourists, hotel complexes and cruise ships, the Sea of Cortez is a destination overlooked by the world. And that’s a good thing.
Sailing back to La Paz
Back at the boat we spent the next couple of days hanging out and snorkeling. And then it was back to La Paz. Back to La Paz? Again? For real? Why? Will we become settlers? Will we become members of Club Cruceros and apply to be moderators for the cruisers net (anyone who has been to La Paz with their ship knows what we’re talking about)? Worry not, dear internet! Since La Paz has everything a boaters heart desires, all the other boats of course wanted to make a detour for errands, repairs and the like, so we joined them. We got a bunch of good sailing in and we were even able to sail down the Canal de La Paz due to favourable winds. In the evening we sat at anchor again in front of the city, where we took care of the work on Milagros, online and on new blog posts. But it quickly became clear that we wouldn’t be staying for long.
Ants in the pants
After the ants in the pants (bumblebees in the a** in german) reported for active duty again, we said goodbye to our friends and La Paz and made our way towards Puerto Escondido, where we used to be stuck with a broken diesel injection pump a couple of weeks ago. Since we will be flying to Mexico City for a concert by the great band “Greta van Fleet”, we had reserved a buoy there in the sheltered and calm lagoon, where we can leave Milagros alone without a guilty conscience to visit the big city. Off we went: First stop – Playa Bonanza again. After our borderline experience with the local Corumuel wind, we just wanted a bay sheltered from the wind and waves from the west. Playa Bonanza is one of the few anchorages on the island that ticks these boxes.
All alone at anchor
Our decision was a good one. We spent two quiet nights at anchor completely alone. Where a few days earlier there were almost 10 boats, we now had the entire anchorage to ourselves. Only a few charter catamarans with day trippers dropped by for a few hours. Otherwise – complete peace. We enjoyed every second, went on dinghy trips (a catch for dinner included), went for walks on the beach and can really only let the pictures do the talking.
Moving further north
A few days later we moved on. We motored north along the very spectacular east coast of Isla Espiritu Santo and were even able to observe a humpback whale breaching on the horizon. Unfortunately, he/she was very far away. Seeing the spectacle from afar was impressive nevertheless. We were headed for Isla San Francisco. The wind increased steadily while we approached the island until it leveled off at almost 15 knots. Milagros activated racing mode and we plowed through the waves towards the island at 6 knots. Since the wind was favourable in the following days, after one night in the west bay we changed anchorage around the island to the east bay. We had previously checked the situation during a walk over the island’s ridge.
Exploring a new place
We now could check off yet another anchorage in the Sea of Cortez. The bay on the east side of the island is rockier than the sandy bottoms of the other side. We took it easy with our approach until we realized that there was way more space than we had thought. At the beginning we were the only boat at anchor and so we set out to explore with diving goggles, snorkels and fins. The Sea of Cortez is a snorkeling paradise with its sandy and rocky bottom and its many sea creatures. Considering that only a fraction of what was swimming around a few decades ago is on the move these days, it’s hard to imagine what must have been going on when Jacques Cousteau was doing his rounds here in the late 80s.
Let’s get this party started
Little by little our friends, who came from La Paz, moved into the anchorage, too. Soon the calm in the bay would be over. Cavu Dave’s 40th birthday was coming up and that had to be celebrated big time. A boat crawl with a final demolition party on Cavu was organized without further ado. Every boat taking part in the event had to invent a drink, give it a name, and provide snacks. The tasting of the respective cocktail then took place on one boat after the other. We started on Milagros in the morning. We served pancakes with maple syrup, honey, Nutella, yoghurt, fruit and everything the pancake heart desires and the “Milaprost”, a cocktail made of tequila, beer, pineapple juice and grenadine syrup.
Turn down for what!
The whole gang, consisting of the crews of 6 boats, hopped from boat to boat and of course the party got more and more exuberant. For the grand finale, everyone gathered on Cavu, where the party continued into the wee hours of the morning. Luckily, we knew (almost) the whole bay because TURN DOWN FOR WHAT!!! At midnight, it was time: Happy 166th Birthday Cavu Dave! Here’s to many more gatherings in beautiful anchorages somewhere in the vastness of the oceans! The next morning, of course, it all took a little longer for everyone get going. The fact that we ate solid food as well as liquid food all day saved everyone’s life. The general tenor was: “I expected a worse morning.”
The sea awaits
And so, the days and hours passed. We pushed the party up a day because we had to get Milagros ready again. We only had limited time to explore before we had to get back on the internet. When the headaches wore off two days after the party, we packed our things, got Milagros ready and headed further north with Cavu…
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