Baja 2016/2017

March 23-25

Even though we are not in Baja anymore, decided to add these photos of the superbloom in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

First though we have to thank Jeff for making these hats that kept us warm in the cool desert mornings.

Now off to do some hiking and check out the plants and cactus in bloom.

And as our parting shot for this winters adventures is of our son, Ryan kiteboarding over the sun! 

And as our parting shot for this winters adventures is of our son, Ryan kiteboarding over the sun! 

Adios!

Adios!

March 22

Today we leave Baja. Lots of good memories since October have occurred. We have enjoyed the slower pace and are not looking forward to the traffic in Southern CA. Meanwhile we enjoy the sunrise. We have now accomplished one of our goals from seeing the Sea of Cortez Coastline from San Felipe to Cabo San Lucas.

Say good by to the town of..  

Say good by to the town of..

 

We enjoy the toll road taking us to Tecate, but look at the temperatures as they drop as we go North and  higher in elevation.. We will need to dig our warm clothes out tonight. Crossing the border at Tecate could not have gone smoother. No lines and just a few questions asked. With still daylight we decide to go to Campo CA and check out the start of the Pacific Crest Trail. We drive to the monument and actually meet someone who is just starting. Perhaps that will be us next Spring.  

We enjoy the toll road taking us to Tecate, but look at the temperatures as they drop as we go North and  higher in elevation.. We will need to dig our warm clothes out tonight.

Crossing the border at Tecate could not have gone smoother. No lines and just a few questions asked. With still daylight we decide to go to Campo CA and check out the start of the Pacific Crest Trail. We drive to the monument and actually meet someone who is just starting. Perhaps that will be us next Spring.

 

Pretty exciting to see this monument!

Pretty exciting to see this monument!

We are back in the USA!

March 21

This was the day we had planned to go to San Felipe. According to our calculations it was about 13 miles away. We should be able to do it by early afternoon or sooner. As we were just beginning to wake up, I hear a hiss, hiss noise. I couldn't figure why Don was making this noise until I realized that he was asleep and someone else was doing it. There was a cliff above our tent and someone was standing there. As my heart rate increased I woke Don up and said someone is out there. I shouted Hola and Que pasa. The man came running down the cliff. He immediately became apologetic and said oh so sorry I thought you were someone else. With that he took off down the beach. Not the kind of encounter that we like to have. Fortunately it was almost light so we got up and were getting ready to depart. We then noticed that he was returning and meandering down the beach. This time he asked for a lighter and when we did not have one he kept going, Thankfully.

The wind as predicted had picked up and was coming from the North. We were now into shallow sand bars so with the wind and waves it made for slow going. Frequently a large wave would break near us. It definitely felt like paddling in a white water river. We just kept moving, albeit at a slow pace. Eventually we saw the town of San Felipe. The first place that we could see with road access and camping was our destination. We saw a place with potential and landed  on the beach.

Don walked up to a building and was able to get the oK to camp here. He also inquired about the possibility of getting a ride to go pick up our car about 40 miles away.  That also was a go so it seems like we are set.

We take our end of paddle photos with the boats.

Don

Don

Donna

Donna

We load up our gear, make dinner and watch the lights of nearby San Felipe.

Mileage paddled- 12.8 nautical miles

Mileage paddled- 12.8 nautical miles

 

 

 

March 20

If we have a good paddle day today, we can probably reach San Felipe tomorrow. The wind is from the south in the morning as well as the swells. We enjoy being pushed northward. The challenges for houses in this section is the shifting sand. Several houses have been abandoned and the sand has filled the decks. Other houses are being unburied by tractors. The houses are in clusters and in all shapes and sizes.

 After passing a rather large settlement we come upon a large empty sand beach. We gladly take a break. Apparently the tide has formed a barrier and no houses can be built. If it had been later in the day we would have stayed here but the conditions are still good to move on.

In the distance we can see the Mountain Range of the San Pedro Matirs, The highest peak is over 10,000 feet.

In the distance we can see the Mountain Range of the San Pedro Matirs, The highest peak is over 10,000 feet.

Don gives the lets go signal.

And we gingerly avoid the jellies getting back into our boat.    

And we gingerly avoid the jellies getting back into our boat.

 

 

We continue on till we find a somewhat secluded beach, however before we get into our tent, a three wheeler comes roaring down the beach. Stops where we are camped, approaches our tent and then can't get too close because of the deep sand. He does a loop and takes off. A bit of an interesting encounter,

Mileage paddled 25.5 nautical miles

 

 

 

March 19

Great day to celebrate my birthday. We had decided to make it an early start to avoid the bugs that come out at first light. Just as we were finishing breakfast the light from the sun lit up the sky orange. A shrimp boat was just returning after a night of shrimping.

WOW!

WOW!

In a few minutes the sun rose at the horizon, giving us another great scene.

We were heading back to Puertecitos today.

We were heading back to Puertecitos today.

We were relieved that the car was in the same status that we had left it.  Today was the weekend and the palapas were filled with people enjoying the Sea. It was a short stop to refill some water jugs and get some gas for our stove.

We were relieved that the car was in the same status that we had left it.  Today was the weekend and the palapas were filled with people enjoying the Sea. It was a short stop to refill some water jugs and get some gas for our stove.

One marine creature that is quite common as we are paddling is the Jelly.  I have never seen them this thick. It seems that every few strokes one appears,  If it was not for their long dangling stinging cells I might appreciate them more.

They are everywhere!

They are everywhere!

So far we have been able to avoid any encounters.

So far we have been able to avoid any encounters.

This stretch from Puertcitos to San Felipe is known first for rocky shores, numerous little settlements and as one gets closer to San Felipe, shallow sand bars. It has been a long paddle day when we finally pull in to a somewhat sandy beach.

Mileage paddled 25.4 nautical miles

March 18

Before we even barely had left our camp site, we heard the sound of barking sea lions.  On the next island there is a sea lion rookery. We have seen numerous rookeries, but had never heard as much barking as this. Needless to say as we approached the island one could make out a large number of sea lions on the rocks. There were females, pups and several large males that seemed to dominate certain areas.

Along the whole side of the island were clusters of sea lions.

A large male seemed to be watching over his harem.  

A large male seemed to be watching over his harem.

 

It was a great day to be a sea lion watcher as the sea was calm and we could sit quietly and watch.

Sea lions were not the only occupants of the island. probably because of the fish that the sea lions were feeding on, the island was covered with bird feces  

Sea lions were not the only occupants of the island. probably because of the fish that the sea lions were feeding on, the island was covered with bird feces

 

It almost gave the island an appearance of being dusted in snow.

It almost gave the island an appearance of being dusted in snow.

As we were getting ready to depart a lot of the younger sea lions jumped into the water and surfaced quite close to our boats. They were quite curious about us. As we left the area, they followed us till the end of the island, poking their heads up and jumping up and diving back into the water.

One of the sadder things we have seen on this trip is the several dead whale carcasses.

As we left this island, there were lots of adult males at the tip. They must not have been the winners of the breeding rights. They barked at us, but stayed on shore.

As we headed to the last island in the chain of The Enchanted Islands we were treated to two fin back whales that surfaced quite close to our boats. They are so focused on eating I doubt if they even knew we were in the vicinity. Always glad when we have some space between us.

This was the day of wildlife sightings, Flocks of eared grebes were rafting in the thousands. Usually when you get near to the rafts, they quickly dive under. This time of year they were beginning to gather to migrate to the North. Instead of diving they started to use their wings and began flying. Several had some success others looked like still needed lots of practice.

We were surrounded by large groups of the Eared Grebe.

We were surrounded by large groups of the Eared Grebe.

The last island in the chain has a collapsed crater on one side of it. Camping here is highly recommended, but with wind in the forecast we did not want to get stranded on the island. So after a short break we continued the rest of the way around and headed to shore.

So many beautiful places.

Several brown boobies were in the courting stage.

Several brown boobies were in the courting stage.

This side of the island was well protected, however once we rounded the southern tip we were exposed and had to paddle hard to get back to the shore.

This side of the island was well protected, however once we rounded the southern tip we were exposed and had to paddle hard to get back to the shore.

Always glad to be back to the shore. Mileage paddled 26.2 nautical miles  

Always glad to be back to the shore.

Mileage paddled 26.2 nautical miles

 

March 17

After a mostly quiet night we were up at first light. Around midnight last night a large motorhome and a big truck pulling a boat parked next to us. It was a group of men from Mexicali coming to fish for the weekend. They were excited and probably had a bit too much to drink as one of the men said this morning. We overheard them taking about a boat ramp not to far away. That was great news for us as the tide was on its way out and we would have had a major carry to the water from the shore.

First task was finding if we could park our vehicle here while we did a paddle down to Gonzaga bay and back. The manager said no problem and we could park the car by his house. The second task was reorganizing our gear and getting ready for the trip.

We used both palapas to spread out our gear. Glad this was not the weekend.

We used both palapas to spread out our gear. Glad this was not the weekend.

Don checked out the boat ramp and declared that it was an ideal place to start the trip. We finished packing up the bags and drove over to the ramp. Several interesting displays were near the ramp.

The first one was of a

Unfortunately this fish has a highly sought after gall bladder that is worth 1000's of dollars. The fish is endangered, but it is hard to enforce the no catch regulation.

Unfortunately this fish has a highly sought after gall bladder that is worth 1000's of dollars. The fish is endangered, but it is hard to enforce the no catch regulation.

Not sure what the fish looks like, but this was the representation.

I also liked the  heron model.

Time to get in the water. I ferried the gear to the ramp while Don went to park the car. We were quite thankful to be using this ramp.

Getting ready to paddle the last section of the Baja coast.

Getting ready to paddle the last section of the Baja coast.

If all goes as planned we would like to get to Las Islas Encantadas for the night. We have not gotten an early start, but the days are becoming longer and the weather seems to be cooperating. 

The islands are in the distance and for awhile they seem to be staying in the distance,

With persistence we finally get close.

With persistence we finally get close.

Closer!

Closer!

Finally here and if I did no know better I would think that I am on a lake the water is so calm.

Finally here and if I did no know better I would think that I am on a lake the water is so calm.

By the time we get to camp the sun has set and we just set up the tent and make a quick dinner.

Glad to be here.

Glad to be here.

Mileage paddled 18.3 nautical miles

March 16

Made it back to the NOLS Mexico branch yesterday and were able to once again repack the car, and say good by to our friends. We were even able to connect with Joe and Bonnie Sedavik, friends we met over 35 years ago when we were first coming to Baja. Hard to believe that we have been in Baja for 5 months. Every time we return, we find new places to explore. We have spent most of our time on the coast of the Sea of Cortez, but realize that the interior of Baja has a lot to offer as well.  Maybe some year we can explore those areas.

Today was mostly a get in the car and drive. Our destination was Puertecitos, The high plateaus was covered in flowers.  All the rain to the area is causing s Superbloom. It was a first for us to experience looking at the colorful landscape. We were curious how far they have made on high way 5 that connects the two sides of the peninsula. In the fall it was slow going and not very well marked. There was a lot of machinery working on it so we hoped that progress had been made. It was still slow going, but the road was better marked and progress had been made. It was still the same distance on the unpaved parts, but some of it had been graded , Once the road has been paved it will be a cruise. We had originally planned on making this a two day trip, but we had looked at the forecast and a  major wind storm was being predicted in about 5 days. With this in mind we decided to drive to Puertecitos today. In the fall we had checked out a camping site and figured that we could find it in the dark which would be when we got there.

We pulled in just at dark. A man approached us wanting to know if we wanted to camp. We responded in Spanish and he said I do not speak Spanish only English. He was from Africa.

Looking forward to figuring out logistics in the morning.

March 14

We have been in La Paz the last couple of days, getting some dental work completed and getting some supplies for our last section of coastline that we want to paddle before leaving Baja. At the campground where we were staying we noticed an Alaska license plate. The man driving the truck approached us and we began the usual talk of where do you live in Alaska. As the conversation continues we find out that this man had lived in the town where we live. Then he mentions the road which he lived on and then we discover that we had lived in the same house!

Leaving La Paz our next destination is Loreto. Sometime the stars line up and it just so happens that a group of people that we worked with at Minnesota Outward Bound in the 70's are doing a kayaking trip. They are going to be in Loreto when we arrive. We were given a heads up by Alan who had organized the trip. He knew that we were in Baja and if there was anyway that we would be in the vicinity it would be a fun reunion. Needless to say they were all surprised and we had a nice evening and morning with them before they departed on the plane.

Mike, Andre, Alan,Vera, Tush and Mitra

Mike, Andre, Alan,Vera, Tush and Mitra

March 5-11

We met our friends in La Paz yesterday and today we load a shuttle boat to go to Espitu Santo, the island near La Paz, an hour and half boat ride away. First we load our kayaks and gear on the truck to be taken to the water.

This will be the first boat shuttle that Don and I have done in Baja.

This will be the first boat shuttle that Don and I have done in Baja.

The 11 miles go quickly and we even get to see a whale on the way to the island.

David is ready!

David is ready!

Donna is ready for the sun.

Donna is ready for the sun.

Don

Don

Larry

Larry

Soon we have landed and with the forecast and nowcast both agreeing that the day should be a good one to paddle, we load our kayaks and begin our paddle around Isla Partida.

We all all intrigued by the geology and David gives us an explanation of how the rock was formed

We all all intrigued by the geology and David gives us an explanation of how the rock was formed

Soon we find an arch that we can paddle thru.

Soon we find an arch that we can paddle thru.

Not bad for a scenic view.

Not bad for a scenic view.

Next stop is the island where one can swim with the sea lions. We opt out of the activity and checkout the ones that are sleeping on the rocks.

Looks like there is another arch to paddle thru.

Looks like there is another arch to paddle thru.

We continue around the island called Isla Partida and find a campsite on the south shore. The tide has gone out and we lead our kayaks to the first camping spot.

We set up camp and enjoy the views.

We set up camp and enjoy the views.

Can't miss Larry in his bright shirt!

Can't miss Larry in his bright shirt!

A happy camper!

A happy camper!

The next day we planned an early departure and by the time we got to camp and set up the tarp it was time for a siesta.

Mileage paddled 9.9 nautical miles

So nice

So nice

When we had left camp this morning Don was able to paddle over to a fish camp to obtain some fresh fish. It was a great addition to our evening meal.

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I made fresh bread.

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Healthy lentil burgers

Healthy lentil burgers

Dinner tonight was lentil burgers, fish and fresh bread!

Dinner tonight was lentil burgers, fish and fresh bread!

The sun set was a real treat, however the wind is picking up and it looks like we will be staying on the beach tomorrow.

There was no need to hurry this morning so David took the time to do some yoga.

Mileage paddled 8.5 nautical miles

Looks like we are going to plan on doing a hike to get up higher.

Looks like we are going to plan on doing a hike to get up higher.

The hike was well worth the view.

The hike was well worth the view.

Baja has fascinating geology

Baja has fascinating geology

Summit Shot

Summit Shot

Not sure if you will fit Larry

Not sure if you will fit Larry

Doesn't look windy, but as we were coming down the wind had blown our tent toward the mountains. Glad it was not out to sea.

Doesn't look windy, but as we were coming down the wind had blown our tent toward the mountains. Glad it was not out to sea.

Surprised to see a fig tree up here. The porous rock must hold enough water to sustain it.

Surprised to see a fig tree up here. The porous rock must hold enough water to sustain it.

Returning to camp and having secured it much better, we continue to explore more of the coastline on foot.

The beach walk took us under these rocks.

The beach walk took us under these rocks.

The white color is all made of coral.

The white color is all made of coral.

Don does some beach combing.

I borrow it for the next paddling day

I borrow it for the next paddling day

After a day of rest we are ready to do some more exploring and check out a bay surrounded by mangroves. The tide was not our friend as it was leaving us high and dry.

After a day of rest we are ready to do some more exploring and check out a bay surrounded by mangroves. The tide was not our friend as it was leaving us high and dry.

The mangroves were beautiful.

The mangroves were beautiful.

Our goal for today is to made it to Bonanza Beach. Several folks have told us that this beach is their favorite. It is on the other side of the island and does not get much traffic. In fact we only saw one sailboat anchored for one afternoon when we were here. We are planning a layover so even though it was an effort to paddle against the wind we were glad to be here.

The beach is quite long which made for great walking. We also did some night exploring for some glow in the dark scorpions. A bit to our dismay we found quite a few.

Always fun to carry a black light.

Always fun to carry a black light.

Mileage paddled 10.3 nautical miles

The weather was calm this morning so we opted to do a day paddle in order to see more of the island. We were not disappointed. More beautiful rocks and even an arch was well worth the effort. A break half way gave us a good view of the shoreline.

Nice place for a break

Nice place for a break

Larry and I decided to turn back around the 7 mile mark making it a 14 mile paddle for us. Don and David paddled the whole island and even got more fish at the fish camp. Their mileage was 17.

David tried out the Greenland style paddle.

David tried out the Greenland style paddle.

Back at camp, we make our last meal of the trip. Fresh fish and pizza rounded out the menu.

This was one of our favorite kitchens. The tide came in as we were finishing eating which made dish washing quite easy. True to form the sky was magnificent.

Its an easy paddle this morning to our pick up beach. We arrive before lunch organize our gear and wait for the return shuttle with smiles on our faces.

Its an easy paddle this morning to our pick up beach. We arrive before lunch organize our gear and wait for the return shuttle with smiles on our faces.

Mileage paddled 5.8 nautical miles

Mileage paddled 5.8 nautical miles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feb. 23-March 4

Today was Jeff's birthday and so on the way to the airport, we stopped at one of our favorite restaurants to have a meal before he heads back to rainy Portland.

Needless to say it was fresh.

Needless to say it was fresh.

Since we did not have our kayak trailer with us we decided to do some more exploring. First stop was a highly recommended hot springs.  Baja has a lot of hidden gems and this was one of them.

It was a somewhat rough road to get here, but what a place.

It was a somewhat rough road to get here, but what a place.

Don and I often sleep in our car when we are just doing overnights. The caretaker of the springs walked over to our car and when we told him we wanted to spend the night here. He needed to see our tent. We could not sleep in our car. We literally had to take it out and show it to him that we had it. He was a very kind gentleman but very adamant of the rules.  He walked down a path with us to show us where we could put our tent and the area that we could have food. He then took us to the hot springs which were very well maintained.

The caretaker even swept the sand of the rocks.

The caretaker even swept the sand of the rocks.

Next morning we were up early and had the pools all to ourselves.

Great Soak!

Great Soak!

A huge fig tree was next to our tent.

I think that this is the largest fig tree we have seen in Baja.

I think that this is the largest fig tree we have seen in Baja.

We took a leisurely morning eating breakfast and watching birds in the area,

Scrub Jay

Scrub Jay

Northern cardinal

Northern cardinal

We were headed back to Cabo Pulmo and planned on staying there until the wind died. When we got there the wind was up so back to land activities. It was a blue sky day, perfect for hiking.

A good view of the coastline that we had paddled.

A good view of the coastline that we had paddled.

We ended up staying another day and doing an even longer hike, but finally the wind died enough for us to enjoy the undersea world. It reminded us of when we first came to Baja over 35 years ago. Again as we were eating breakfast a bird gave us some great poses.

Pyrrhuloxia

Pyrrhuloxia

A cactus in bloom was also a treat.

After leaving Cabo Pulmo, it was time to head South for the last time to pick up our kayaks and trailer. Our next stop was north to La Paz and "The Carnival." We headed down to the Malecon where the streets were packed with vendors and people.

Food and games were the main activities until the parade started and the music began.

Food and games were the main activities until the parade started and the music began.

Lots of pretty ladies waving to the crowds.

Lots of pretty ladies waving to the crowds.

Lots of happy people tonight

Lots of happy people tonight

 

 

 

 

 

Feb. 18-22

On the 18th we drove to La Paz to pick up Beth, Ryan's girlfriend. Jeff and Ryan had driven down from San Diego and we are going to all meet in La Ventana for 4 days of Kiteboarding. They had rented a house on the beach and will meet us there.

The house is on the beach, kiteboarding is just a very short walk away.

The house is on the beach, kiteboarding is just a very short walk away.

Don and I are getting spoiled staying in another house with all of the amenities

Don and I are getting spoiled staying in another house with all of the amenities

Jeff and Ryan work on coding, at least that is what they said?

The first morning was too calm for kiting so we all tried our paddle boarding technique.

The first morning was too calm for kiting so we all tried our paddle boarding technique.

Balance is the key

Balance is the key

Before too long they were looking like pros.

Ryan and Beth check out the wind speed and determine that it is a go.

Now the decision is which board and kite to use.

Now the decision is which board and kite to use.

There is a kite and board for just about all the conditions they will encounter.

There is a kite and board for just about all the conditions they will encounter.

Soon they are off and we are entertained by them zig and zagging back and forth.

Getting out can be interesting.

The wind was great for the four days at the beach and the kiters were all smiles.

Beth, Jeff and Ryan

Beth, Jeff and Ryan

Feb. 12-17

Collin has a house that he is watching for a friend and he offers it to us for the next several days as we need to go to La Paz to get our car and trailer. He lives in Pescadaro which is surrounded by agriculture areas.

What a treat to be staying at a house with, a bedroom, a bathroom, kitchen and couches. It is also in walking distance to the beach.

The field across the road was planted in Basil, great aroma for morning walks.

Two other fields nearby got our eye as well.

Two other fields nearby got our eye as well.

Buying fresh greens was a treat!

Buying fresh greens was a treat!

We were able to leave our kayak trailer and kayaks here while we headed up to the mountains to check out a waterfall. 

The day wasn't hot so the water was not inviting, but apparently on hot days this place becomes quite busy.

The day wasn't hot so the water was not inviting, but apparently on hot days this place becomes quite busy.

A trail leads up past the falls and up to a pine forest. We followed it for several miles and perhaps one day we will return to hike it.

A trail leads up past the falls and up to a pine forest. We followed it for several miles and perhaps one day we will return to hike it.

Always amazed at water and what it can mean for the desert.

Always amazed at water and what it can mean for the desert.

Seems like regardless of where we go, Ravens always seem to follow us.

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The fig tree is one of our favorites when there is a source of water.

Feb 11

We were able to connect with cell service here and the updated weather forecast is predicting wind by early afternoon. Looks like are window to get to Cabo is going to be in the morning. With that knowledge we make a plan to get up and paddle around 4 using the moonlight. I also have placed a light inside my lifejacket which hopefully will warn any boaters that are heading out to do some early morning fishing. We stay close together as we make our way to the resort towns. Fortunately the first boaters we see are at daybreak. From the amount of boat traffic that passes looks like a lot of fish may be caught today. As the sun rises we begin to pass the numerous hotels along the beaches. We smile at our good fortune of camping where we did last night. It would have been hard to camp anywhere along these beaches. We were also able to email a friends who lives in this area for assistance in getting picked up today in Cabo. He is usually busy on Saturdays, but today he is not and is actually working on a boat in the area. He tells us to call when we get to Cabo and he can pick us up.

Lots of hotels line the shoreline.

Lots of hotels line the shoreline.

According to our maps this is the last point we need to go around before seeing the rocks at Lands end.

Once we round this point, the traffic picks up and there are jet skis, sail boats, fishing boats and a variety of tour boats. Rounding the point is a neat collection of flags. We see a hope in their display.

As the map predicted the famous rocks are in sight.

It does not look busy, but by the time we get close to the rocks we are surrounded by many boats. Everyone jockeys some to get a photo of themselves with the rocks. Those with bigger boats take the priority and we stay out of their way.

It does not look busy, but by the time we get close to the rocks we are surrounded by many boats. Everyone jockeys some to get a photo of themselves with the rocks. Those with bigger boats take the priority and we stay out of their way.

Smile.. We made it

Smile.. We made it

At one time one could go under the arch, but some fallen rocks have changed that possibility.

At one time one could go under the arch, but some fallen rocks have changed that possibility.

Time to head to the marina, but first we have to weave among the many boats.

A lot of defensive kayaking to get to shore,

A lot of defensive kayaking to get to shore,

Not really knowing where to go we head for the first boat ramp that we see. Turns out it is the fishermen's ramp, but we have arrived after their busy time. We are able to unload. park our kayaks on the street and wait for Collin who arrives shortly.

Upon arriving here we are amazed at how it has grown since our first time here. We feel quite fortunate in having a friend here. It would have had the potential of being challenging to get our kayaks out and a place to stay.  This stretch had some beautiful sections, but it was the most populated of any stretch that we have done. We are happy to be here.

Upon arriving here we are amazed at how it has grown since our first time here. We feel quite fortunate in having a friend here. It would have had the potential of being challenging to get our kayaks out and a place to stay.  This stretch had some beautiful sections, but it was the most populated of any stretch that we have done. We are happy to be here.

Mileage traveled !2.5 nautical miles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feb. 10

The wind continued to die during the night and by morning the seas were almost glass like. Quite a contrast from the last several days. It was time to depart our abandoned buildings and head south once again. The seas were calm but we were getting swells from the Pacific. The closer we get to the tip the bigger they will become. We were disappointed that we did not get to go diving and will continue to put it on our need to do list. We passed by a small rookery of sea lions. This site is visited quite often so the lions barely gave us notice. In fact they ignore the sea lion that was giving the warning bark.

This sea lion let the others know there were boats in the vicinity.

This sea lion let the others know there were boats in the vicinity.

These sea lions could have cared less.

Todays paddle would take us around the East Cape. We passed numerous housing developments. They varied in size from single rooms to mansions. The swell was hitting the shore with fairly large breaking waves. None of the landings looked great so we just paddled on. It was a long day in the boat and we were beginning to wonder if we were going to have to stealth camp when Don noticed a tiny protected beach just past some houses. It was surrounded by granite rocks in unique formations.  We watched the swells hitting the shore and were able to time our landing. We quickly jumped out of our boats and helped each other pull them hight up the shore. We were excited with this site, it even had flat rocks that we could cook on. No sand spice in this meal.

A perfect site before the San Jose and Cabo San Lucas developments.

A perfect site before the San Jose and Cabo San Lucas developments.

We had left early in the morning and our gear was a bit wet from dew so we took advantage of the sun and rocks.

If all goes well we will be in Cabo San Lucas tomorrow!

If all goes well we will be in Cabo San Lucas tomorrow!

Meanwhile we are enjoying the granitic rocks that are around us. We made good time today, with lighter boats and some wind behind us.

Mileage paddled -28.7 nautical miles

Feb. 7,8,9

We had been able to connect with our cell phone when we passed by a town yesterday and were able to update the weather/wind forecast. If it was accurate we were going to be having wind come our way on the 7th. We were camped on a beach with no wind protection and lots of sand. This would not be a fun place to hang out during a wind storm. We were glad when the wind had abated during the night and our plan was to try to get to Cabo Pulmo in the morning. Looks like we will be able to experience another Baja Sunrise on the water. This one did not disappoint.

There was energy in the water so we made good time to Cabo Pulmo where we knew we would get some protection from the wind. On the way I was entertained by 3 baby turtles making their way north. They were followed by a rather large shark. Here is to hoping they made it. By 8 o'clock the wind and waves had picked up enough that we knew that this was going to be a short paddle day. We were glad to get around the point leading us to the small town of Cabo Pulmo. Cabo Pulmo is a national Parque for snorkeling. Fishing is not allowed and the marine species are on the rise. We had planned to dive here but not in this wind. Looks like we will be doing land based activities.

There was energy in the water so we made good time to Cabo Pulmo where we knew we would get some protection from the wind. On the way I was entertained by 3 baby turtles making their way north. They were followed by a rather large shark. Here is to hoping they made it. By 8 o'clock the wind and waves had picked up enough that we knew that this was going to be a short paddle day. We were glad to get around the point leading us to the small town of Cabo Pulmo. Cabo Pulmo is a national Parque for snorkeling. Fishing is not allowed and the marine species are on the rise. We had planned to dive here but not in this wind. Looks like we will be doing land based activities.

We were able to set up camp behind an abandoned building which not only gave us some wind protection, but also some shade. 

Part of the building was enclosed with a nice window looking out to the sea.

It was a good place to read and cook.

It was a good place to read and cook.

As the sun was setting two ospreys perched on a nearby tower.

Periodically they would change places. Almost like a game of King of the Mountain.

Periodically they would change places. Almost like a game of King of the Mountain.

The full moon .. no need to say more.

One more osprey shot  

One more osprey shot

 

We had hoped to leave the morning of the 9th, but hearing the waves pound the shore and the wind shake our tent, it was obvious that we had another day of being here. Not a bad place as there was s mall town nearby that we could buy some fresh produce and even buy a pizza for an evening meal. Numerous mountain biking trails also surrounded the area so we were able to get some leg work in. For several hours of the last day, I occupied the nearby abandoned building for a change of location and to bake bread. It was quite scenic.

Great views in all directions.

Great views in all directions.

The wind started calming on the evening of the 9th. This is a good sign.

Mileage paddled 6.4

Feb. 6

We left our cozy campsite in the predawn hours once again. This is the usual pattern, but this morning just as we were starting out we spooked a school of fish and one made contact with Don's arm. Paddling next to him I heard him shout out an ouch and he said the fish looked at him before slamming into his arm. This is the resulting photo taken when we got to camp.

Glad that the fish hit a fleshy part of the arm versus a bone.

Glad that the fish hit a fleshy part of the arm versus a bone.

Today we paddle around Punta Arena.  I think that this is about the longest point that we have paddled this whole coastline.  It goes on and on and on!

We are thankful  that there is very little wind. Even with no wind there are descent sized waves hitting the shore line.

We are thankful  that there is very little wind. Even with no wind there are descent sized waves hitting the shore line.

We find a small point protected by some rocks that we can take a stretch break, Once we round the major point we will be getting some swells from the Pacific Ocean.  

We find a small point protected by some rocks that we can take a stretch break, Once we round the major point we will be getting some swells from the Pacific Ocean.  

Finally the true point is rounded and we begin looking for a campsite as it has been another long day of paddling. But first we are treated to a large amount of Mobulus Rays jumping all around us. Several times I put up my paddle to prevent them from hitting me. Underneath the water one can see 100's of the rays as they swim under our boats. It was a magical moment for sure. We spend time just watching them in their ballet type movements.

 

Eventually though it is time to look for camp. Swells are hitting the beach and we plan to do a surf landing. The landing went fine, and I pulled my boat up as far as I could before  unloading it. I even unloaded some of the water and pulled it up higher, but a large waves spilled onto the beach and took my boat with it on the return to the sea. I grabbed one of the lines and held on while my boat flipped and filled with water.. The undertow was quite strong. It was a lesson well learned. The power of the waves is not to be toyed with!

Mileage paddled 26 nautical miles

 

 

 

 

Feb. 5

We knew this day had the potential of being long. We needed to go by several town and most likely more houses. We were excited when the waves quieted during the night and by the first light we were on the water. We had gone over 3 miles when the sun cracked the horizon.

Ryan does not like this photo due to lack of wind, but we are happy kayakers.

Ryan does not like this photo due to lack of wind, but we are happy kayakers.

We noted in our guide book that this next bay was called the Bay of Dreams. It had been changed from the Dead Bay by the developers. Needless to say we were somewhat impressed by two of the houses that were built on the shore line.

There were many more structures to the rear of the house. We are hoping that the grass is astro turf.

There were many more structures to the rear of the house. We are hoping that the grass is astro turf.

A bit of the Old west Mexican style

A bit of the Old west Mexican style

Glad when we were past these houses and finally found a beach to take a stretch break.

It felt good to get out of the kayaks.

It felt good to get out of the kayaks.

We did not want to repeat yesterdays experience of not finding a campsite till dark so we started looking soon after this break and were relieved when  we found a nice sandy beach that was hidden from nearby houses.

We even had time to bake bread which can be challenging when you are surrounded by sand.

Mileage paddled -18.2 nautical miles

Feb.4

We awoke before first light and quickly could tell that the seas had calmed over night and we should have breakfast and be on our way,

An easy decision to determine that we should be on the water pronto.

An easy decision to determine that we should be on the water pronto.

Our kayaks are packed, we slide them into the water.

Our kayaks are packed, we slide them into the water.

Lots of interesting rock formation are along the coastline. some of it is quite different than other stretches of coast we have paddled.

Not many camping spots on this beach. This area we are discovering is also fairly populated.

Not many camping spots on this beach. This area we are discovering is also fairly populated.

Quite scenic and some of the houses are quite large.

We have attempted to camp at several beaches, but alas there have been houses there. The miles are adding up and the daylight is departing. We round a unique point and are close to La Ventana.

Great rock formations

Great rock formations

Our quest for a campsite was found. It was near a road and also hot springs which added to some of the traffic passing by our tent. After a long day of paddling the noise did not bother us and soon we were asleep. This area is well known for kiteboarding and later this month we plan to meet Ryan, Beth and Jeff here. We are hoping that the wind in the morning is better for kayaking than kiteboarding.

Mileage paddled 28.3 nautical miles

Feb. 3

After having worked two courses and having Jeff come visit, it was time to head to La Paz and figure out the logistics for paddling from La Paz to Cabo. We had stopped in Loreto to do laundry and while there at the campground we were staying we met a man who told us about a site in La Paz. It sounded like it might be just what we needed to stage our next trip. It more than met our expectations and when we checked in the owner offered a small cabin for the price of camping. We quickly accepted and our lives were made quite simple. We arranged to leave our car at a marina which was quite close to where we had ended our trip two years ago. We are feeling grateful in the town of....

The weather is perfect and we are ready to go kayaking!

The weather is perfect and we are ready to go kayaking!

We parked the car and loaded up our kayaks for for the 160 mile trip to Lands End or Cabo San Lucas.

Even getting a late start the weather stayed calm till early afternoon.

Don finishes getting all the gear in his boat. Back to having heavy boats loaded with food and water.

Don finishes getting all the gear in his boat. Back to having heavy boats loaded with food and water.

Sun protection on and I am ready to go!

Sun protection on and I am ready to go!

The seas were a bright blue and we soon left the town of La Paz behind. We passed several industrial complexes and a golf course which seemed out of place in the desert. As we approached a point that would take us out of the La Paz Bay and change our direction to south the wind picked up. We could fight it or look for a campsite. We chose the later when Ballandra came into view.

Not a bad looking beach for the first night out.

Not a bad looking beach for the first night out.

Soon our tent was set up and we were relaxing on the beach.

We generally do not like camping on sand, but this was the preferred option instead of beating against the wind.

We generally do not like camping on sand, but this was the preferred option instead of beating against the wind.

Interesting geology can be found on one side of the beach. One could get out of the shade under the cliff, but I was not sure that all these rocks were solid.

Opted not to hang out by this cliff.

Opted not to hang out by this cliff.

Mileage paddled 9.9 nautical miles