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Thursday, April 21, 2011

4/20/2011 - Best Beach Ever (so far)

We might possibly set the record for slowest trip up the Sea of Cortez ever, if today is any indication. We left La Paz about 12:45 or so. We were waiting for the ebb tide at 1:30-is but I got impatient after awhile. Although a nice southerly wind was blowing when we got up this morning, by the time we headed out, the breeze had dropped off to nothing. I warmed up the engine while I cleared out with the Capitania del Puerta via radio.

We really didn't have any intention of going very far today. We want to hit as many appealing anchorages as we can on our way north and several of them happen to be on the La Paz peninsula. We stopped at basically the very first possible place: Bahia Falsa. This is a small bay just south of the commercial port of Pichilingue. It's all of 7 miles from La Paz.

There wasn't another boat to be seen when we entered the bay. We motored around a bit getting a lay of the land, so to speak. Finally, we found what looked like a nice spot and dropped the anchor in 30' of water. With the anchor down, I had Lulu start backing up while I let out more chain. All of a sudden, the engine came to a dead stop. I immediately knew the cause: our dinghy painter had wrapped around the prop. I knew this was a possibility but, since I'd seen the painter floating earlier, I mistakenly believed that it was floating line. Not so much. Well, Lulu is always looking for an excuse to get in the water so I asked her if she'd like to dive down and unwrap the line from the prop and shaft. It was very hot and she jumped at the chance to get wet. It took a couple of dives to gt most of it unwrapped and then she had to resort to the dive knife to cut the last couple of wraps off the shaft. But, she got it done and we finished anchoring.

Once we were secure, we sluiced down the hot teak decks with seawater and then relaxed with a celebratory cerveza. Over on the beach there's a palapa bar/restaurant and a bunch of Mexicans celebrating the start of Semana Santa (Holy Week). It actually starts tomorrow but apparently some families got started early. Semana Santa is a time when Mexican families take to the beaches, etc. Most small businesses are closed because they are required by law to pay double-time to employees who work.

Anyway, the beach was full of families having a great time at the beach. We decided to dinghy over and have a couple of cervezas ourselves. The whole atmosphere was so serene that I just couldn't bring myself to intrude by cranking up the outboard. So, we rowed over to the beach. Our PortaBote rows quite easily so it really wasn't much of a chore.

I'm not sure how far we are from the beach but I'd guess that at least half the distance is covered by water that is less than 4' deep. It was very pretty rowing over the sand bottom through crystal clear water. Once at the beach, we ordered a couple of Pacificos and grabbed a couple of chairs under the palapa. It was like a travel magazine or a postcard or, maybe, a Corona commercial. Siempre Sabado was anchored out in the blue deeper water, and between it and the beach was a wide band of the prettiest turquoise water you ever saw. Kids were playing in the water and moms and dads were sitting in the shade watching them.

I think we'll probably spend tomorrow here as well, just for the pure hell of it. There are still 2 more anchorages on the peninsula we might try out: Playa Pichilingue and Playa Balandra. Depends on how crowded they get as Seman Santa really gets rolling. At this rate, it'll probably take us a month to reach Puerto Escondido (Loreto), a mere 120 miles away. And we wouldn't have it any other way.

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Crazy Coyote said...

It has been many years ago that I visited your Northerly destination. In a couple months when you finally make your way up to Bahia de Los Angeles you should fined one little general store with a few things in it, two motels, and one great resturant that serves the freshest sea food dinners, coldest cervezas, and all at great prices since they don't get a lot of gringos in town. Hope progress has not gotten to the town and it is just as it used to be. Everyone is enjoying your blog so keep it up.

Rowan said...

It sounds wonderful!!! Hopefully it is as nice when we head south in a few years.