4. La Paz to Loreto
6 Jan 01 to 21 Jan 01
Hi Yous Guys,
Saturday, January 20, 2001 - Escondido is where I am. Again. Actually I am in the Waiting
Room, a lovely well protected cove just outside of the entrance to Puerto Escondido. A room
with a view - a spectacular view of the rugged 2000-foot high Sierra de la Giganta Mountains
forming the backdrop to the defunct ferry dock, terminal building and inner harbor. It is
beautiful! And peaceful. Quite a contrast to the past few days of 35+ knots of wind, seas up
to 8 feet high and seemingly a boat length apart. But I get ahead of myself.
Ed Kelly came down on Sat 6 Jan. We had to wait around till Mon to get a fishing license so
we took in the local scene with the help of John and Lois Watson who rented a condo at the
Vista Coral for a month. They also rented a car, which they kindly shared with us to go
shopping and dining. We went to the Cat House, really the famous Marlin Club, to meet Pam,
the owner and hostess, and to partake of her marvelous cuisine (some day I am going to
learn how to make cuisine). We also went to the Palapa Azul at Tecalote on the north end of
the La Paz peninsula to sit in beach chairs under a blue palapa overlooking the Canal de San
Lorenzo and munch Mexican seafood stuff. Wonderful ride. Good scenery. Good chow.
Pacifico beer. We also went to Leonard Lee’s favorite street vendor for Chocolate (cho-co-
LA-tay) clams. Outstanding. A little squeeze of lime on top and a Pacifico on the side and
Shaazam, epicurean ecstasy. Did I mention the hamburgers? The Mexicans have
hamburgers down pat. There is a little street stand a block up from Marina de La Paz that
comes out at night and sells hamburquesas (aam-bur-KAY-sas), and many other places do
too. They have a semisweet bun that is just devine, made fresh daily. They add hamburger,
Mexican cheese, tomato, avocado, lettuce, onion, maybe mayo, and a Mexican secret sauce.
Wow! And then there is the Gonzales taco stand outside of the La Pearla department store.
They have good fish tacos, Dorado, just like numerous others, but their forte is the trimmings
that go on the side – a wide variety of salads and salsas and Mexican things with unknown
but delicious ingredients (a lot of foreign stuff).
Amply fed, we took off Tue AM for Espiritu Santo, in the company of Mike Ford on his Krogen
39 “Number One”. Parked in El Cardanal. It blew some that night – west of course since we
were in the east end of the inlet. Went to Isla San Francisco the next day. Wonderful place.
Wide sandy beach. Went hiking. Climbed the hill above the “scorpions tail”. Great views.
Went back to La Paz via the west side of the Sea in order to check out the view of the
mountains and beaches there. Suffice it to say that Baja is not lacking of scenic beauty. We
went back early so that Ed could charter a scuba boat for Fri but alas poor Ed was denied the
pleasure due to the lack of fellow enthusiasts.
Marv and Mary Ann Fleming arrived late Sat night so stayed at the Los Arcos. I met them
Sun for breakfast at the Los Arcos cafeteria, one of the better breakfasts extant – 55p for all
you can eat of the finest chow around. (There seems to be a pattern here, but you have to
understand that not only am I retired but I am also on vacation.) Again we had to wait for Mon
before we could get them fishing licenses so we walked all over town to take in the sights, do
the shopping, and sample the local flavor. Watched the Raiders loose. Château Bryon at the
Los Arcos. 110p per couple! Excellent – even the instant coffee afterwards.
Finally got the fishing license Mon at 1410. Departed post haste for Partita. The now reliable
west wind materialized once again to press us against the east end of our anchorage. We
scoffed and persevered, snubber in place. But the chain continually rubbed against the
snubber making a rasping sound that kept me awake wondering when the thing would part.
On to Everisto. Wonderful. We were dazzled by a flight, nay a whole wing, of kamikaze
pelicanos pursuing a herd of fish trying to hide under our boat. The bonsai banditos were
crashing all around us, as close as 3 feet from the boat. We took pictures and ducked fast to
avoid the splash. Well kind of…Maybe a slight exaggeration… But any way it was an
The next day we buzzed the Punta Nopolo area. It was eminently beautiful but too early in
the day to stop. I will return there again some day or my name is not Nicholas.
On to Timbabichi as in Ensenada thereof. It looked great in the guide book but it got shallow
too soon so that we had to anchor off a bit and ended up in the refracted waves of the point.
And of course the wind had to come up that night. It howled. Rolly polly. Refracted waves
again. I will have to work on a full boat bridal or else use the stern anchor. Bah humbug.
We had signed up with Adolpho of The Piercing Eyes (I have never seen anyone with such
an intense, persistent, unblinking and penetrating gaze) for 3 langosta, for 10p!, for 0900 the
next morn but it was still blowing a bunch then and Adolpho never materialized. So off we
went (the Flemings had to meet a plane at Loreto on Sat) into 37 knots of wind and big, short
wavelength seas. The boat with its stabilizers did just fine, tho it wasn’t as much fun as when
I had my sailboat and had to sit out in the cockpit and take wind blown spray in the face all
day long. Powerboats are for sissies. On the other hand, the only sailboats we saw the next
couple of days were all at anchor hiding in a cove or behind a headland.
We wanted to go to Agua Verde but the point south of it offered a sheltered anchorage that
was almost straight up-wind of us, so rather than have to go out and around a reef and then a
long beam reach into Agua Verde, we anchored in Bahia San Marcial. Marcial was OK,
except for the refracted waves. There were a number of dolphins, maybe Pilot Whales,
herding fish in the bahia and the pellies were going nuts trying to get at them. More fun than
watching TV. Later that night Marv was up on the fly bridge trying to quiet a rattling antenna
(the wind was still howling) and he saw the wonderful sight of phosphorescent waves
demarking the reefs. I wish I had seen that.
The next morning we took off early in relatively light wind but by the time we got to the south
end of the reef and started a beam reach to get around it, the wind started to climb rapidly
and eventually got to 33 knots. This lasted until more than half way to Los Candeleros before
it moderated to about 25 knots. And then on to Escondido. Anchored in the Waiting Room
where the NNE wind bent around the hill and came at us at up to 30 knots from the west! It
finally died that evening and we had a completely noiseless and completely un-rolly-polly
night for the first time in an age. The quiet stillness felt kind of eerie. The next morning,
today, Marv and Mary Ann left for SF and here I sit awaiting Bruce and Kitty who are coming
on board Mon.
OK guys, I will write more later.
Ed Kelly, and John & Lois Watson
Volcano on Espiritu Sancto
Bahia San Francisco
Ed and Mike Ford
Other side of the island.
Mike and Ed
Sea Horse at San Francisco
Mike Fords boat on the west side of the Sea of Cortez
4 B. La Paz to Escondido
Marv and Maryann