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|Sailing Sans Ninos
|Our first destination was Bahia Ballandra, also known as mushroom rock bay. It was all of 10 miles
north of La Paz, and the wind was on our nose so it was a motoring trip. There were three or four
other boats at anchor, but the bay was huge. The water was spectacular, seeing the bottom while at
anchor was a new and different experience! We decided to wait until morning to take Duke to shore
since he had had his last walk just before departure from La Paz.
As the evening progressed so did the wind. All night it roared thru the rigging at 20-28 knots. Our
anchor alarm was kept busy, at one point we covered a couple of hundred feet in one drag. Jenny,
who was anchored parallel to us and slightly forward as the sun went down, was slightly aft of us
when the sun came up. Luckily the bay was roomy, and luckily David had chosen the south side of the
bay to anchor in. He was guessing the winds were going to continue from the south, and that they did.
Editors Note: The navigator is being modest, she also recommended the south side.
The next morning we waited until the wind decreased to the low teens before we dropped the
outboard onto the dinghy and headed to shore through the crystal clear turquoise waters. The
pristine white sand beach was enjoyed by all, and Duke amazed us by tromping right into the water
from the beach all the way up to his tummy!
Temperatures remained cool, especially at night when the wind continued from the south in the mid to
high 20's. After 3 nights at anchor, our GPS told us we had traveled a total of 6 miles while at
Our second night we were happy to hear radio traffic from Deja Too, as they were coming into San
Lorenzo channel toward sundown (just finally having made the crossing from Mazatlan). They were
opting to anchor out rather than attempt the La Paz channel in the dark. We radioed them and told
them where we were, and arranged to provide the ice for the gin and tonics when they arrived. The
wind did its usual thing, and by the time they set their anchor it was approaching the 20 knot range.
We enjoyed drinks and spaghetti dinner together, and by 10 pm the wind was howling. One of the new
arrivals in the bay, that had been anchored behind us, was attempting to reanchor between Deja Too
and Tenacious. They abandoned that approach and ended up anchoring outside of us, but about then
David and Judy decided it was time to get back to Deja Too and make sure everything was OK. They
had a wet dinghy ride in the dark with David as chauffeur but were delivered safely home.
The following morning they headed on into La Paz for few days, but we figured we'd see them
sooner or later further north. We realized we still had cell phone signals, so a phone call was put into
the insurance agent to continue working on our options for Tenacious other than sailing north up the
Pacific. A plan was vaguely formulated, and we waitned for further info via email which we would have
access to in a few weeks in Loreto.
Finally day 4 we decided we should go somewhere.... By the time we convinced ourselves of this, it
was afternoon- so we opted to just go as far as Caleta Partida. Weighing anchor was going to be our
biggest challenge with only two of us on board, as one person has to be in the V berth stowing the
chain, and the other person has to be on the bow with their foot on the windlass. We opted for leaving
the motor in neutral with the first one to the helm after the anchor was stowed to be declared the
winner. David was the easy victor as Maureen was buried into the bunk in the V berth and at least 2
minutes were required for extrication.
We enjoyed our south wind and sailed all but about 20 minutes of the 3 hour trip to Partida. The bay
was as pretty as we remembered, and Duke enjoyed his walk on the beach. After which Maureen
went for a swim off the boat while David promised to come in, but eventually took a nap without ever
getting his toes wet....
Again we had chosen the south side of the bay, and again we were not disappointed by the south winds
that blasted us all night long. One bit of entertainment during the fierce wind was to watch the motor
vessel Twizzle. Twizzle is a humongous yacht, over 100 feet long that anchored further out than us.
They are covered with lights, and at the waterline they have flashing green lights all about. We
couldn't tell if the lights are designed to play with the waves or actually blink, but they make a great
light show all night. The following morning we had to take Duke to the boulder strewn south side of
the bay (at low tide the north and east sides require a lengthy walk through the shallows). It proved
to be a rough trip with the swells, and the landing was tricky in the barnacle covered boulders. We
made it a quick trip and returned to the safety of Tenacious. Some of the local fishermen dropped by
in need of water, so we filled their jug for them and then we decided to head for new and different
We had the main up as we departed the bay, and as soon as we hit the channel we were off! Fifteen
knots of wind and Tenacious was flying along at 7+ for a couple of hours! Eventually the wind began
tapering off, and at last we decided we would have to turn on the motor.
We headed up Canal de San Jose, admiring the red cliffs along the shore, similar to the Grand Canyon.
We passed Islas San Francisco and San Jose, both of which had anchorages that seemed a little too
unprotected from the evening winds we had been experiencing, and we headed into San Evaristo.
This was a beautiful little round bay with a more developed fish camp on the shore (actual houses,
and a small school as compared to the usual thatched roof huts). The water was spectacular so David
decided to take advantage of the clarity and do some more work on the bottom of Tenacious.
The puffer fish were very intrigued by his efforts to provide barnacles for them, and got a little too
crowdy for his tastes, so eventually he gave up.
We wandered into the beach to try to drum up some fish for dinner, and David was given a Cabrillo by
the fisherman. This was similar to sea bass, or possibly grouper-and was incredibly tasty!
The winds were calm this night, but at 4 am it got so rolly that even Duke was upset! He came to our
bed and put his front paws up and whined at us... At this point Maureen took him up to the cockpit and
grabbed a blanket to see if sleeping up there was any easier... no luck, soon enough they both came
back down and eventually were able to sleep a few more hours.
About 1:30 we decided to hit the road and head north. The next anchorages were only about 7 miles
up the coast, but did not provide much protection - so we opted to keep going to Rancho Timbabichi.
This is a large shallow bay with a hook at the north end to provide protection from any northerly
weather, if things should ever get back to normal!. We wandered the beach finding thousands of
beautiful shells, and sat on the cabin top watching the spectacular sunset eating our fantastic fish
We went to bed with;
1) the wind speed alarm set for 20 knots
2) the shallow water alarm set for 14 ft
3) the anchor alarm set for 60'.
David was certain we would be weighing anchor at 3 am.... Ye of little faith! The wind alarm did wake
us 2 or 3 times as the wind climbed over 20 knots (luckily it was from the land), but the anchor held
and even with the wind the sea was quiet and a decent nights sleep was had by all. -M
Editors Note: Maybe the clever captain encouraged Tenacious to hold her ground by his ultra
vigilance - huh :) did anybody think of that? nope nope nope
|Beautiful Baja Hills
|Duke not enjoying the Beach
|Duke Enjoying the Beach
|Link to Duke in Baja - Special Series !!
|Link to Extra Sea of Cortez Pictures !
|La Paz to Ballandra
||Ballandra To Partida
||Partida To Evaristo
||Evaristo To Timbabichi
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