2010-12-20

Isla Espirito Santos and Isla Partida

From La Paz, we headed up into what are locally referred to be cruisers as "The Islands" - a grouping of roughly a dozen islands in the Sea of Cortez spread out over 100 miles North of La Paz. The islands are incredible - amazing geology of shapes and rocks, great plants, and lots of wildlife both ashore and in the sea.

Our first island stop was at Islas Espiritu Santo and Partida - two islands attached by a shallow sand spit, which the sea meanders through at high tide. We explored three different coves here, each unique in their own way, and each just fantastic. We buddy boated from here with fellow Haha entrants, and new friends, Loose Pointer and Neener Neener Neener. The Loose Pointer crew are veterans of the Sea of Cortez and we've learned a ton from them, including some anchorages that few people know about, are generally ignored - if mentioned at all - in the cruising guides, and which we'd otherwise have missed.

First stop was at Caleta Partida – one of the most popular coves. There were about 10 Haha boats in total anchored here, resulting in sundowners on the beach one evening, which was a lot of fun - as the dozen or so kids and teenages played on the beach and in the water. The crew of Jane'O generally lazed about here, with some exploration of the bay, shoals, and beaches by kayak and dingy.

We went with Loose Pointer up to Los Islotes to swim with the sea lions, which was really neat, though the crew of Jane'O didn't get too close to them.

Next, we anchored in Caleta Cardoncita. This is a cove generally ignored and skipped. It's narrow and not a very deep cove, but absolutely one of our favorite anchorages. The canyon walls are very steep, with lots of Sally Lightfoot crabs on the rocks along the walls, and decent snorkeling. At the end of the cove is a nice beach, with the canyon continuing up into the mountain of the island. This is not a place to anchor if you aren't comfortable being within 150' of the canyon walls, but holding is good if you can find a good sand patch for the anchor. We really enjoying waking up each morning to the high canyon walls, and were never disturbed by pangas - or anyone else for that matter.

Our last anchorage on this trip through this pair of islands was Ensenada Grande. This is a large set of three coves, and another popular anchorage - though we had our lobe to ourselves and our two buddy boats most of the time. This anchorage had some of the best opportunities for some off-the-boat recreation so far! Lots of neat coves, rocks, and caves to explore by kayak. Four neat beaches to explore and swim. Plenty of great hiking, up the bluffs and arroyos.

We will certainly return to this pair of islands when we head back to La Paz, as well as on future trips further North into the Sea of Cortez.

Here's some various pictures from the three anchorages from this visit. It just doesn't get much better than this!









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