Haul, Boy, Haul!

The islands on the outside of the Bay of La Paz are, in a word, stunning. The volcanic rocks display subtle pinks, rich reds, and deep browns; throughout the day, the play of sunlight and shadow over the hillsides dramatizes the desert landscape. Add to that the emerald green waters of the sandy bays, and the result is a haunting, magical beauty.

Of course, as I always tell Todd, beauty like this comes at a price. At Isla Partida, the cost is freak, unpredictable winds that tend to blow just when you’re ready to go to bed. Windy nights are the bane of Capn Insomnia, who frets about our anchor holding and our proximity to other boats. (The fact that he got to monitor our GPS position from the comfort of our berth, because of new hardware he picked up in La Paz, was little consolation.)

So, while Koiya enjoyed playing with Josh from Theophilus, and I had fun snorkeling in the clear waters, the under-slept Toro spent our first day at the islands alternately moping and napping.

At first I wasn’t sure how to deal with Testy Toro. I regretted not having attended the women’s sailing clinic in La Paz, where they covered Man Overboard Techniques. I figured it didn’t take a rocket scientist to arrange an “accident” at sea; it never occurred to me that I might need to create one while at anchor! Such a plot was challenging even for a woman of my considerable talents, and I could have used some pointers from my sailing sisters!

Luckily, with a little charm and promises of cold Pacifico, Toro was persuaded to join me in a kayak excursion that lifted his spirits. Afterwards he even braved the chilly waters and went snorkeling with Captain Ron. I’m glad he got to enjoy himself, because later that night we had to re-anchor twice: once because a boat close to us dragged even closer, and again when a wind shift brought us too close to another sailboat.

The following day we sailed to San Evaristo, where Toro’s anchoring woes continued. The little bay was already crowded, and we dropped anchor four times before we found our spot for the night. On our first try we were too close to another boat; on our second try, we were in 10 feet of water, and when consultation of the tide tables said that the tide was going to drop another 3 feet, we worried about hitting bottom; on the third try, we were again too close to a different boat. Finally, we drove as far away from the other boats as we could, and Eureka! We’d done it!

When we left the next morning, we figured Toro had brought up the anchor 7 times in 24 hours! The good news was that he felt like he was getting stronger, so pulling up the anchor was easier. He even boasted a bit about the manliness of his newly-calloused hands, which had lost the downy softness that comes with typing on a keyboard. The even better news was that the rest of us had no end of fun teasing Toro about his temporary misfortunes of placing the boat at anchor!

If you like pictures of pelicans, you can see all of our Ensenada Grande photos here:


One Response to “Haul, Boy, Haul!”

  1. Sharon Flynn says:

    What a beautiful place! It took my breath when I saw the first photo, and reminds me of the glacial rivers that feed Lake Chelan from the Stehekin, Washington end of the lake. Those are so cold swimming is out of the question! Hopefully, hauling out will go well, though I have wondered what it will be like to sleep without the motion of the boat, after six months aboard. It is exciting to see how Sequoia has grown and to hear about her adventures and new skills. You must be proud of her! Have a safe journey home!