Our first leg was to be 45 miles to Bahia Los Frailes, a spectacular snorkel and dive area.
However, upon arriving at 5pm (we left at 6am so just imagine going 45 miles and it taking ALL day),
we found the anchorage too crowded to be able to swing comfortably. The water depth went from about 35-40 ft down to 900 ft in a few seconds so the area in which to anchor could only hold so many boats. Plus we saw more coming in behind us that would invariably want to squeeze in. Top that off with a nice big south swell that was pitching the boats bow to stern, and we waived off.
This was the last thing I wanted to do as it required an OVERNIGHT sail, AGAIN. Sigh. Didn't I say in my last post I never wanted to sail overnight again and here I am doing it the very next time we go out. Logically, though, we figured either we get no sleep at anchor worrying about swinging into boats and pitching wildly and THEN have to sail again, tired, all day the next day... OR we (I) suck it up and sail overnight, arriving to the next anchorage in the morning and sleep all day, comfortably. We opted to keep going. (Yes I agreed, with no arm-twisting.)
While I was not thrilled about the prospect, I will admit, after having 6 overnight sails under my belt, it was no longer a mystery. It actually ended up being a very nice night, no moon but the water was smooth and quiet and the hum of the motor allowed us to sleep off watch.
We arrived at Bahia de Los Muertos (Bay of the Dead, sounds ominous, no?) at 4am. Tired and not wanting to go into such a place in the pitch dark, we motored around for an hour and then realized we could just drift for an hour to save fuel. We motored in at first light, dropped the hook & I immediately fell asleep in the cockpit. Hours later when I woke up, it was like being in paradise.
Crystal clear aqua blue water only 30ft deep, white sand beaches, only a small hotel and a restaurant on the beach nearby with a few scattered (and expensive) homes set cliff-side. This is it, this is what we were waiting for. Peace.
We stayed the entire day and the following day there just chilling: reading, swimming, napping. I actually made pancakes! What a nice break. Finally we are doing what we came here to do… nothing!
The next day we sailed onward towards La Paz. Our sail there was interesting, up to 20kts of wind at one point between the Isla Cerralva pass, waves splashing on deck constantly (so much for my salt-free boat I'd just scrubbed in Cabo), sailing up to a whopping (for us) 7 kts at times. Then the wind suddenly died to 1 kt... more motoring. Then back up to 15-20kts but much slower forward movement due to current and wave pattern. As soon as we were used to a tack, heading, wind speed or direction, it changed.
We motored into tiny Caleta Lobos, about 5 miles from La Paz, and anchored in the north finger between the tiny Isla El Merito and the mainland. With just enough room for 2 boats to swing, by the time we were making dinner, one other boat had arrived to take that spot. The wind shifted again at 9pm, 180 degrees and buffeted us for an hour causing much consternation as to whether we were really dragging (we weren't). Other than that, again... peaceful. I'm sensing a theme here.
We decided to try and get into a marina while we got the lay of the land in La Paz, expecting to be there a few days, up to a week. Not having internet or phone yet, we emailed via SSB to Marina Costa Baja, solely due to its proximity at the end of the long bay (it’s faster to get the boat back out on the water) without knowing anything about its amenities. We never expected what we got.
On Sunday, Nov. 16th we entered La Paz harbor. My first words as we get to our boat slip: “I’m never leaving.” Purely by happy accident, we find Marina Costa Baja is attached to a resort/golf course complex and we now are equipped with an INFINITY pool, hot tub, both of which overlook a private beach, a bar/restaurant at said beach/pool, several other restaurants in the complex, free pretty reliable wifi, free shuttles downtown, filtered water, it’s located just outside of town and behind a gated community so we feel a bit safer, they have their own fuel dock and did I mention there’s an INFINITY pool? I think the pictures below will confirm that I am obsessed with the pool.
Our initial plans were to stay here a week, get a feel for the place and see what we wanted to do after that. After being here for less than 4 days we decided to base ourselves out of here for the next few months and do a couple weeks of gunk-holing to various islands and then come back to this marina for a week or so, "as needed". Our next destination is Isla Ispiritu Santo which is renowned for spectacular snorkeling, wildlife watching, hiking and white sand beaches. We will leave after Thanksgiving and stay for one or two weeks. In the meantime we are finally on vacation… poolside!