We had a nice long stay in La Paz this time, we even afforded ourselves the luxury of staying in a marina for a month. From our slip we had a view of Bahia La Paz, the malecon and the town. At night the town lights sparkled along the crescent bay. Music wafted over at night from the town and the marina restaurants. One singer with a velvety low voice performed bossanovas and Spanish love song most weekend nights till late, her voice lulling us to sleep.
We explored the town again found fabulous restaurants and cafes and shopped at our favorite organic market. On one of those market days we stopped for Bagels and Coffee when I noticed a man in TShirt with german writing on it. I had to ask and sure enough, Karl was from Kiel about one hundred kilometers from my hometown of Hamburg. Karl had left Kiel for Los Angeles in the late seventies and was an off road enthusiast. He drove the American deserts and the Baja for many years before buying property on the outskirts of La Paz. Along a dirt road among Cardon cactus, Karl built his compound of several houses painted in bright colors connected by lovely desert gardens. He is nearly finished, a pool will go in this summer.
Karl was very generous and lent us one of his cars to explore Southern Baja on land. We took the opportunity and went to Bahia de los Muertos for a sunset dinner, a bay we had visited by boat. Over the next days we went to a mountain town, El Triumfe, where the best bread and pizza is baked, crossed the tropic of cancer again on land, had lunch in Puerto los Cabos, skipped Cabo San Lucas’ rowdy drinking crowds and ended up in Todos Santos.
Cabo San Lucas’ tourism fuels most towns in Southern Baja, only a short day trip away, making even remote villages feel touristy. Todos Santos has escaped so far. A lovely climate created by the cooling Pacific, Todos Santos was Baja’s sugar production town until the towns spring dried out in the 1950s. The spring came back to life in 80’s and so did the town. Discovered by artists, the town now has boutique hotels, stores featuring the arts and artisans and many farms. It’s a kind of Topanga Canyon or Mill Valley on the Baja.
We had sunset drinks at a beach resort watching surfers riding waves just like in Malibu, only that the beaches and shores are mostly wild and for miles on end undeveloped. The city council and the people of Todos Santos want to keep it that way, just like La Paz, keeping big hotel tourism out.
Early May, Radu’s brother came to visit and we took him a fishing excursion to Ísla Espírito Santo. As soon as we had put the fishing pole out, we caught a Skipjack, who looks like a Tuna but has three dots near the head. We fished several blowfish and a trigger fish with mean teeth, but we threw those back in because the Skipjack was for dinner. Caleta Partida is one of our favorite anchorage and the view over the white sand beach connecting Isla Partida and Isla Espirito Santo is just serene. North Western winds were predicted for the night, so we anchored behind a hook to hopefully shield us from the blow. The afternoon and sunset the waters were calm, the surface reflecting the sky and the steep hills of both islands.
Our boat is small with one stateroom, which is the vberth, and the cabin, but can accommodate good friends and family with a full size converted couch bed. Still Radu’s brother preferred to sleep in the cockpit, hearing and smelling the sea.
It took two attempts to leave La Paz. The first time we got out of Bahia La Paz only to be greeted by mounting waves and oncoming winds, an early appearance of a front predicted for the night. We turned around, anchored in front of La Paz, let the weather pass and two days later had a nice sail up to Bahía San Evaristo.
The Bay of San Evaristo is shaped like a clamshell, only open to the East. High off shore winds were predicted, which makes very little swell, it was the perfect spot to weather them out here. We dinghied ashore for drinks and dinner at Lupe’s. As always fresh, delicious food and great company of Lupe and other cruisers anchored in the bay. We stayed a day, came back for lunch and walked the beach to try to find wifi. The communal antenna seemed down, but I wanted to share with Lupe the blog I had written about him (link here) but unfortunately It didn’t come back that day.
Our next stop was Puerto Los Gatos, where we spend the night marveling at the surrounding desert landscapes from the boat. Then we sailed up to Bahía Aqua Verde. We had spent several days here in January, anchored in front of the village, because the protected northern lobe of the bay had been full with boats hiding out from northern winds and swell. We had rocked it out then but this time we were lucky and found a good spot behind the white sand beach peninsula. The shallow waters were a stunning emerald green and large rocks dropped into the sea, forming a wide ring of tide pools. We spent nearly a week in paradisiac conditions, hiked to the town, had a beach bonfire and enjoyed new cruising friends and wonderful weather.
We got to Puerto Escondido after a short, four-hour motoring trip. We unfurled the headsail for an hour, but then the wind was low and finally died. We haven’t been lucky this far since leaving La Paz, the winds are mostly strong oncoming Northern winds and we don’t go out in this, cause bashing is no fun. The southern winds have not started blowing consistently yet, so we are left with some, erratic eastern winds or no wind. We used the time we motor to make water with the watermaker, because it needs more power than we generate with the solar panels. So, apart from the engine noise, we had calm seas, we read, wrote, cooked and lounged around. That was fun too.