Baja 2016

Feb. 18, 2016

It was a leisurely morning as we made breakfast after daylight. Our intent was to have a short paddle day and explore the numerous sea caves on the North side of the island. The weather forecast was turning out to be accurate and the sea state could not have been calmer.  We had been wakened by waves hitting the shore around 3 in the morning, not sure what had caused them, but now it was flat calm. This was our first time visiting San Marcos and we were impressed. On the North side there are numerous sea caves and a quite rugged shoreline. We took our time and explored each one that we saw. We felt blessed that the seas remained calm. We, however, were not the only ones on the island. As we rounded the island and headed south down the west side of the island we had several sites in mind to stop for the night, but they were occupied by fishermen.  After having had lots of wind the last few days they also were taking advantage of this nice weather.  Not wanting to join them we decided that since we had such a good weather window, we would continued on.  We rounded the southern part of the island and stopped for lunch. We could stop here or continue on to visit the town on the island. We had been advised to be aware of the dust potential from the gypsum mine. Today was perfect with no breeze therefore no dust. Perhaps we should go visit the town and if conditions persisted go back to the mainland. With that in mind we packed up after lunch and headed to town. We had been given a description of the town from our friends and the spot that we landed did not match. It was a very nice housing development and what looked like a nice hotel and cafeteria. We walked around for awhile and then a man in a truck drove up and asked if he could help us. His name was Carlos and he was an engineer who had worked at the mine for 27 years. We had landed in the managers location. The workers and supervisors lived on the other side of the dock. He told us about the mine and that it would probably only have a life span of 20 more years. He said that we should go visit the town site where there is a school, store and hospital. Thanking him for this information we headed back to the townsite. Landing our kayaks near the front of the town, we saw how we had missed it. It was set back from the shore. We also saw the coating of light gypsum on most objects. We were glad that the wind was calm. One could easily imagine what it was like when a strong wind would blow. We do not imagine that it would be good for your lungs. As we walked through the town, we were impressed by the neatness. A church and school were located near the square. Treats from the store included a package of chocolate cookies which we quickly devoured before heading back to our kayaks. Our paddling day is now stretching out much longer than we had planned. With it becoming later in the day and the sea still being calm we decided to do the 4 mile crossing back to the mainland. Don fishes on the way and catches a nice sized trigger fish for tonights dinner. Finally as the sun is setting we pull into a beach for the night. It was not the day we had planned, but it was one of fulfilling  activities.