It’s Gettin’ Hot in Here

We left La Paz for the last time this season on Saturday, June 6. As the coromuel winds blow pretty reliably from the Southwest at night, we decided to make an overnight passage up to Isla San Francisco with our buddies on Theophilus. At first, it seemed we had picked the one night that the coromuel wouldn’t blow, but it finally filled in around 10pm.

When I came on watch at midnight, Capn Micro Manage told me, “We’re a couple miles off of it, but watch out for that island.” I looked in the direction he indicated; to hit the island, I’d have to turn us 90 degrees and continue for half an hour on that course. Does he think I’m a complete moron? Perhaps I’d get bored and start playing “Spin the Helm” to entertain myself? I’d have to be an idiot to hit that island (no offense, Ron!). Luckily it was dark and Toro couldn’t see me roll my eyes. “I’ll do my bestest, Capn,” I responded with a mock salute. Despite my incompetence, we somehow made it to Isla San Francisco the next morning.

I had wanted to do a long hike over to the North side of the island, but though we got an early start, it was quickly apparent that it was too hot even for gringos to be out walking. I always imagine that Mexicans think we’re crazy to go hiking at all, and once it’s June, I have to agree. So, we decided for a shorter hike and a swim instead. That night, Toro and I began sleeping in the cockpit because it was too warm in our berth.

After a relaxing couple of days, we headed North to a beautiful anchorage called Gato y Toro. The surface water there was so warm that we dove down to enjoy the cooler water below. The anchorage was filled with curious puffer fish, and we wished Koiya were with us to see them; we sure miss her!

Some background info: Around La Paz there is a lot of VHF radio traffic on both channel 16 (the standard hailing and emergency channel) and 22 (the de facto cruisers’ hailing channel). When we’re out with our buddy boats, we usually pick a lesser-used channel and just stay on that when we’re anchored, so we don’t have to listen to all the chatter. So anyway, on the way to Gato y Toro, Theophilus hooked a dorado (mahi mahi). Ron hailed us on channel 16, and, not wanting every boat within 30 miles to listen in, he instructed Toro to switch to “our channel”. Without missing a beat, Toro replied excitedly, “You mean 78?!” So much for our “secret” channel! But at least we had fish tacos for dinner.

Our next stop was Agua Verde, which was one of the highlights of our trip last season. For old times’ sake, we had a fire on the beach with Theophilus and the crew of Stella Maris, who make a living by buying and refitting boats. They’re currently cruising on a Santa Cruz 70, which is huge! They have a 12-year old, Patrick, and a cute Shitzu puppy, so again we found ourselves thinking that Koiya would have loved to be there for some kid and puppy time!

One thing Koiya would not have liked, though, was the heat. Luckily, the water was warm enough that we could be in it for hours, so we went for long snorkels every day. There was good visibility and a great variety of fish around Roca Solitaria: huge parrot fish, snappers, grouper, trigger fish, breeding sergeant majors and more. There were also huge schools of passer angel fish, which we see so often that we don’t usually mention them; but they are gorgeous with their deep blues, white, yellow and orange, and a school of over 50 of them is living, moving art. We also saw rays, octopus and a turtle!

Sadly, Agua Verde was where we parted ways with Theophilus, who were headed back to La Paz. Before they left, Capn Clippers gave Ron a haircut: a mohawk, no less! Maybe now Sherry will give him some respect. Well probably not, but maybe his dog Sissy? Not likely either, maybe his teenager Josh? Yeah, good luck Ron!

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