Snorkeling with Sea Lions

We’re back in La Paz, having spent a week out at Espiritu Santo with our buddies on Theophilus. For sharing meals, drinks, hikes and just bumming around, they are great company!

After a night in Caleta Lobos, we anchored in Ensenada Grande and Toro gave Captain Ron a haircut in exchange for two bottles of Pacifico. Say what you will about Captain Ron; he was wise enough to get the haircut before he let Toro drink the beer!

The next day was cool and overcast, so instead of swimming we went for a “hike”. I say “hike” because “scramble” would be a more apt description. There isn’t really a trail; you just hop from rock to rock.

Having heard tales of pirate treasure, we climbed up to a promising cave. We found no gold or dubloons, but the view was fantastic and Koiya found all sorts of little animal skeleton parts.

Unfortunately, a West wind blew that night, causing big waves to roll into the anchorage. We pitched up and down through the night, and poor Toro didn’t sleep very much. He was quite relieved when we moved to Caleta Partida the next morning, where it was much calmer.

In anticipation of Easter, Koiya and Josh dyed eggs aboard Theophilus on Saturday. And, happily, the Easter Bunny left some candy-filled eggs on Sugata on Easter morning. We had a couple of eggs hunts on the boat, and ashore too, recycling the eggs.

As Monday morning was pretty calm, we all piled aboard Sugata for a trip up to Los Islotes. These small rocky islets host a sea lion colony about a mile North of Isla Partida. Although there are mooring balls there for dive boats, the area for cruising boats to anchor in has a depth of about 65 ft, so we decided to just let Sugata drift with one person aboard while everyone else went snorkeling.

Capn Generous puffed himself up and ordered, “You go ahead, I’ll stay with the boat.”
“Ok,” I replied, “I’ll come back soon to switch with you.”
“I only want to go if it’s good,” he clarified.
“So, if it’s good, I should come back right away, but if it sucks, I should take my time?” I asked.
“Exactly,” he confirmed.

So the rest of us dinghied in closer to the colony. A number of sea lions were draped over the rocks, soaking up the sun, while others came and went in the water around us. We jumped in to join them, and what a sight! They circled and looped gracefully around us. Occasionally, the more curious ones whooshed right in front of us. Koiya was in heaven! We all agreed that the experience was well worth the short trip up; our only regret was not having an underwater camera.

Back in Caleta Partida, we took a dinghy trip over to the East side of the island to explore the sea caves there. Unfortunately, there was a bit of swell- not good conditions for exploring sea caves. But we did get to see a bunch of small manta rays leaping out of the water and splashing back down.

After another fun hike/scramble, it was time to head back to La Paz. See the most recent pics here:

From 20090416EspirituSanto

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