More from San Francisco

December 5, 2012
San Francisco Bay

Well, that was quite a blow yesterday, but not nearly as bad as those we sat out in Bahia Santa Elena in Costa Rica or the Golfo de Fonseca in Nicaragua. The northwest wind built steadly from about noon, gusting over 25 knots throughout the afternoon and into the evening. The bottom here in the bay is great holding, and we were snug as a bug all day.

Before the winds kicked up, Ole, Colin and Margy dinghied ashore to climb the southeastern hill, on which a trail is visible zig-zagging all the way up. Once they reached the top, they found the trail along the ridge to be a little narrow for comfort, being nothing more than a shelf with a sheer dropoff on the southern side.

Wildlife spotted included a couple of lizards…and various insects.

All of us opted to stay in last night, not wanting to venture out in the choppy bay with the dinghy. So it was dinner and a movie aboard Emma Jo, with the luxury of devil’s food cupcakes baked in the convection oven. I think I like this!

The Other San Francisco…

December 3, 2012
San Francisco Bay (No, not that one!)

At 10:00 this morning, we took off for a 17-mile run north to tiny Isla San Francisco to sit out a norther. Apparently great minds think alike, because by the end of the day there were 16 boats in the anchorage, both motor and sail, all seeking a calm place for the 20-25 knot winds forecast for Tuesday.

San Francisco is another beautiful, wide bay on the island of the same name. The bay is almost a perfect half-circle, with steep hills on the northwest side, smaller hills on the southeast side, joined by a sandy strip. The bottom is white sand, meaning the water is gradated turquoise all the way in to the beach. And the water is so clear, we can see the anchor itself in 20 feet. There’s a small sea turtle that seems to call this bay home, as we’ve seen him bobbing up for air from time to time between the boats.

The Sea Lions at Los Islotes

December 2, 2012

Snorkeling with Sea Lions

Snorkeling with Sea Lions

From Bahia San Gabriel, it was a smooth run up to the north end of Isla Partida and a tiny anchorage in El Embudo, a v-shaped cove with barely swinging room for the two of us – but protected enough in the wind and swell for us to overnight.

It was a short dinghy ride out to Los Islotes, a dramatic rocky outcropping consisting of two islets connected by an exposed reef, and home to a rookery for California Sea Lions. The Mexican Park Service has mooring balls set just offshore for pangas and dinghies, so we tied up and Colin, Margy, and I jumped in and snorkeled toward the reef. [Read more…]

Exploring Espiritu Santo

December 1, 2012

Yesterday we hooked up with Colin and Margy from Pacific Raven out of Victoria, a great couple we met in Manzanillo and again in Mazatlan. After a dinner out last night, we decided to join forces and go out for a week’s exploration of some of the neighboring islands.

First stop was Isla Espiritu Santo, and anchorage in Bahia San Gabriel, a large, beautiful bay  lined with a picture-book white sand beach and a bottom the turquoise of a swimming pool. It was a beautiful spot and a quiet evening, with cocktails aboard Pacific Raven to watch the sun go down.

Ole and I opted to take a snorkeling trip out in the dinghy to Punta Prieta on the northwestern corner of the bay on Saturday, and discovered so-so snorkeling but a lovely little cave on the point in which someone had erected a shrine hidden among the rocks. The island was a base for a pearl fishery many years ago, and it might have been a tribute to a long-ago pearl fisherman.