Edging closer to sunset, the wind has never really let up here in Partida – there are several sailboats who have been here all day with us, and a few more have come in. (some of them sporting Bahahaha flags… the fleet is in!)
Our trip down from San Everisto was a bit rough so a calm anchorage is lovely!
Notice the water. It’s below me. I am on the up side. LOL.. fun ride!
It’s been a quiet day – we started with a BIG breakfast ( well, sort of… bacon and eggs and hash browns and pineapple)…. and then of course clean up. After that just a day of relaxing and puttering. Some swimming… I threw the kayak in the water and explored around the shallow bay on the North side. We went out in the Grady, and stuck our nose out the other side of the channel between the two islands. As predicted, it was rough out there – no exploring the caves! pity!
But we managed to get to the beach where one of the old fishing camps is located and got a bit of a walk in, which was great. Lots of boat time and not a lot of beach time lately!
All of Espiruto Santu is a protected park – for good reason. However it is also the hereditary fishing grounds for the local fishermen, and they had their camps dotted along the coastline of the islands. In Partida, there are several little collections of very small basic huts and an assortment of outbuildings and paraphernalia belonging to the fishermen. (including a shrine complete with a solar light so it glows at night!)
A new addition is a couple of porta potties, and a couple of large signs regaling the casual visitor with rules and regulations about spending time in the area. You don’t bring anything to the island and leave it, and you don’t pick up things and take them either. No shell collecting! the area is also a very popular spot for kayakers.
The kayaks come into the beach, where the panga guide has landed ahead of time and set up a little camp – they have their own storage shed, which must contain the things they need to spend a day or two on the beach. Seeing that, I had a feeling that it was in everyone’s mutual interest to keep the fishing camp quite clean and tidy, as it is representing a bit of the Baja Peninsula’s history past and present and it wouldn’t do to have it littered with stuff. The fishermen still use it – but I wonder if it is mostly there as a bit of a living museum.
Maybe – maybe not. Just a thought!
Phyllis was lucky and clever when she got to shore – one of the ubiquitous but capricious crabs that eluded me as soon as I started stalking them, sat still long enough for her to take some great pictures!
In the evening, before dinner, we dinghy’d over to our neighbouring sailboat for a drink, after they had stopped during the day to say hi and to ask if we had any antibiotics on board. One of their guests had a nasty infection which required more than polysporin and a saltwater soak! Luckily I had exactly what she was asking for in my first aid kit ( travelling down the coast, away from land, we were advised to take a few things that we may have needed but couldn’t get in a hurry). They thanked us and asked us over for sundowners. This happened to be the night we had decided Lawrence would make his famous margueritas (you only do that once on a trip!) so we had one of those first – yummy and cold and very diluted with ice so it went down well. Then we headed over to the sailboat for a visit.
Lots of stories later! the boat owners have the sailboat in Mexico and the powerboat in San Francisco – best of all worlds – and live aboard in both! They are also avid fishermen, so I listened intently to their stories of how and when and what. It was a great couple of hours, and then we headed back to our boat for dinner and bed.
Thursday morning we made the decision to stay in the anchorage another day, as the winds and waves were still looking messy out in the straight. Another relaxing day, it was also American Thanksgiving, so we took the whole chicken out of the freezer and planned a meal around it. Mexican Chicken is special – it is yellow ( from eating marigolds) and fat and wonderful. I was pleased to see it had survived the quirky ups and downs of our fancy new freezer!
During the day, between meals, I managed to get a few kayak sessions in, made more energetic by having to fight the wind. I’m not so sure I got it right when I pumped that kayak up, but I wasn’t about to deflate it and start again, and I managed to keep it afloat while I was out exploring. In the morning, I was treated to hungry predators chasing the lightening fast bait fish right out of the water… saw flying fish followed by long silver leaping fish, and I am pretty sure I saw some Mahi jumping out of the water in hot pursuit of lunch as well.
Obviously a lot of boaters had the same thought as we did, because eventually we had seven sailboats as neighbours!
On my afternoon trip, I headed to the opposite side of the bay to see if it was different from the shallow side. I noticed a commotion in front of me and thinking it was another baitfish being chased by a Mahi episode, headed towards it. Even more exciting than that! it was a flock of small rays gliding under the water, all in a line, heading out. I turned and followed them, then turned back… and they turned back and headed in as well. Their wings were breaking the water, and it was beautiful to see them “flying” along right beneath me!
While we have been at anchor we have been on constant turtle watch. First myself, and then Tom, would yell out “turtle” and we would all come out to see. It became very apparent that the turtles here are very shy… you have to kind of sneak up on them to see them, and when they do come up, you only get two chances as they pop their head up and float around a bit… then they are gone! … not enough time to grab the camera and come back for a picture. I tried really hard to have camera and binoculars at hand just in case, but we never had an opportunity to take a picture of one. We did see ( probably the same one) quite a number of times though! Cheeky thing – pretty sure he enjoyed seeing us scramble as we ran around the boat to catch sight of him. Or her…
And then it was dinner time. Phyllis made the lightening cake again, ( one of the many recipes we used from A Cruising Cook’s Guide to Mexico by Heather Stockard)… only this time she put leftover fresh pineapple and rum and sugar on the bottom. Then we popped the chicken in the oven, and prepared potatoes in foil and carrots fried in cumin and butter.
Phyllis brought a stack of her favourite recipes with her for meal ideas, and when I look back at how well we have been fed, we have gone through a number of her recipes as well – no wonder we have eaten like royalty! Who needs a 100 foot yacht and a chef when you have us! ( well, maybe once in a while a chef and/or dishwasher would be nice)
When we sat down to our Thanksgiving meal, I am pretty sure we had the best dinner in the bay! By now there were about seven sailboats anchored around us- busy evening.
We devoured the chicken ( heavenly!) and all the fixings and then settled in to eat the cake.
HUGE confession here… we ate the whole darn thing! BURP!
and then we went to bed. It wasn’t going to be an O-dark 30 departure, but we had everything organized to get up at 6 and head back to Costa Baja, so there was to be no hanging around finishing off the bottle of wine and chatting all night!
Lawrence did the dishes, ( used up all the water doing it! but he’s the captain, he’s allowed)… and it was lights out.
And now we are on our way. Up at 6 , coffee at 6:10, last night before bed Phyllis had made a french toast bake with pineapple marmalade to pop in the oven so that was ready at 7 – cushions stuffed in every cupboard, the trail mix snack box stuffed with fresh trail mix..we were ready for anything..
and – at this point – it is calm. YAY! We can’t even check out if Tom’s re-stringing of the scuppers ( the old elastics were toast, he has made them all nice and snug and snappy again!) works ‘cause we are not taking on water.
Clearly we deserve this after our trip down from San Everisto. Let’s hope it keeps up!
Especially as it would seem the few in the pilothouse are discussing the possibility of taking the Grady out tomorrow for some fishing action! Now THAT makes me happy too!
Later…. 1:42 to be precise. We are safely and securely docked and a lot of work has been happening – oil has been changed – lunch has been made – laundry has been organized and taken to Erika… lovely Erika! and Phyllis is hunting for ice cream. Life is good!