Well, it was time to leave the mainland and head back over to “the Baja.” The Advance Team (i.e., She’s No Lady) took off from El Cid in Mazatlán about 9 hours ahead of us, as we were still tending to the water pump rebuild and installation (see More Repairs and a Fouled Anchor Rode). Once we were put back together, we fueled up and made a break for it. Based on weather, wind, and sea state forecasts, we decided to make for Ensenada de Los Muertos (or Bahía de Sueños to some), which is a bit south and east of La Paz proper. The crossing was pretty fantastic, if fantastic can be defined as chasing breeze, or reefing because there’s too much wind, and not much in between. Either way – it was fantastic. Something about sailing at night under the stars, then at sunrise/moonset – it was and is pretty darn dreamy. AND having a third crew aboard in Ryan, who LOVES night watches, made it even more fantastic. Imagine, 6 straight hours of sleep while on passage. Nice.
We were about 10 nm out when the wind really started honkin’, and by the time we were approaching the anchorage, it was blowing in the 20s. Of course. Oh, and that’s when Ryan finally yelled, “Fish on!” Of course. Unfortunately, the fish got away after we hove to, but it was exciting nonetheless. We settled into the blowy, yet comfortable anchorage about 24 hours after SNL, and were in awe of the gorgeous water and vast desert landscape. We had returned to our happy place. It was a short stay in Muertos, but we managed to have some fun in the water and enjoy the only palapa restaurant ashore. Ryan even gave Jody some lessons in night photography (note that none included here – she hasn’t yet mastered the art).
We then headed northwest to Isla Espíritu Santo, a highly treasured and protected island just north of La Paz. We anchored for a couple of nights at Playa La Bonanza with S/V Ellie and SNL. Again, the water was simply amazing, with some fine snorkeling. Not warmer than warm, but warm enough, especially after the hike across the island to Bahía San Gabriel. The hike was hot, but we were treated to glimpses of the black jackrabbit – whose only home is on Espíritu Santo, the bleating of invisible goats (invisible to us – they were hiding), super cool desert plants (if only we had a plant book), more gorgeous water, and a huge frigate bird roost. Again, a short stay at the island, but we’ll be back for sure!