Isla Partida to Muertos     

Isla Partida (or El Cardonal) was beautiful.  As I think I mentioned in our last update, there was a Norther predicted to blow through and we were originally planning to head back to La Paz for the blow.

   Pacifica at anchor in El Cardonal.  Baloo is in the background left side of the picture.  So even though there was another boat there, they are our friends and still very far away.

  The beach - this cove had a beach side and a mangrove side which lead to a freshwater lagoon.

  Matey swimming (fishing)

   Greg on beach


So, our first couple of days were great - peaceful.  The second day we were there, our friends on Baloo came in - they were a couple of coves down and heard where we were when we checked into the Amigo Net.  Since the coromel winds were a little rough in their cove they decided to check out El Cardonal.  We did have Coromels every night (except when the Norther started), but they weren't too bad - we could still sleep through them.  Another boat (Adios) who we would meet later said that on one night his bow came within inches of being buried in the wave of the coromel chop.

  Looking out from the beach.  

   Beautiful rocks  

   I have been wanting to see these birds since I first heard about them.  They are blue footed boobies and we had heard from another cruiser that they were nesting in this cove.  Since the cove they were in was close to our anchorage, we took an extended dinghy ride over to see them. 

  More blue footed boobies nesting.   

Anyway, it was fun having Baloo there - we would check in on all the great fishing, hiking, and snorkling spots.  I got motivated one day and made Enchiladas from scratch (including tortillas and sauce) with some leftover shredded chicken, so we had Baloo over for dinner that night.  They brought cold beer and introduced us to Ballena bottles (which are supposed to be much cheaper than the grocery cans we get).  We also had civiche appetizers from our stash of trigger fish that Greg caught the other night.

  The mangrove side of the cove...

   Movie of Matey fishing...  (Miriam, I think you might have another swimming dog on your hands when we get back)

  There was a kinda trail along the mangrove to the other side of the Island.  It was beautiful and led to a freshwater lagoon.  

  Matey and I on the way to the other side.

  The other side of the Island.

   View looking back from the far side of the Island.

The day before the Norther was similar to the kind of energy that happened back home before a hurricane.  Boats who decided to stay at the islands (which we had by this point) are sniffing around to find what they think is the best protection from the Storm.  Now this storm is just wind, but it's lots of it.  The worst part for a boat are the waves - which in our opinion is what we try most to get away from, of course it would also be nice to get away from the wind.

Three more boats decided El Cardonal was where they also wanted to ride out the Norther.  That day was spent battening everything down outside and riding around to meet our neighbors in the dinghy.  We were all going to monitor the same channel on the radio throughout the night and next few days.  We also made a little time to go fishing after all the preparations were done, but it seems the fish were all out doing their own preparations.  At least all except for the large needle fish which have a huge mouth of teeth and are very hard to get off the hook.

The winds started to blow in the evening and continued building throughout the night and early morning.  Then the continued through the day and the next evening (building through the night) and finally subsiding the following day (a little).  We did know this was going to be a big blow and we also knew that the cliffs around us would increase the strength.  What an amazing sight to see gusts that peak into the upper 50's come screaming across the water toward you.  We could also see the mist of water blowing off of the surface that was disturbed by the gusts.  The gusts were such that as that came down on us the hull would create lift and 'sail' toward the gust so that we were sitting beam to them heeling way over.  It was very reassuring to be able to talk to the other boats in the anchorage.  Especially in the morning when we were sharing stories of the night.  Greg thought it interesting that as he went up to check the anchor lines for chafe (which he was doing about every hour and a half), he could see the flashlights of the other boats at their bows checking their lines too.  I would get up every hour (at least) and check radar, depth and just give a look around.  This routine of sort only really happened on the second night - the first we were basically up all night.

But as predicted on the third day, the winds did start to subside.  This is when Greg and I started thinking of moving on.  Or really Greg did, I went to take a nap.  After a little meeting, we decided to head to Muertos on the tail end of the wind with the plan to head to Mazatlan at the early edge of the next one (which is supposed to be much lighter).  That was yesterday and I have to say we had yet another fabulous sailing day.  It was warm and a little lumpy at times, but fabulous wind and a nice ride.  we got into Muertos just after dark (our signature passage trait).  We might be leaving in the middle of the night tonight to head for Mazatlan.  I hear that's when the GPS charts start to look 'off' so we'd really like to be in  with the anchor down in daylight.

  Sunset on the way to Los Muertos.