Beautiful Mexico

Hola amigos!  I started this draft back in January (yes – I’m terribly behind) and I had initially written “we hope 2020 is off to a terrific start for all of you.”  While we still hope that’s true, it probably sounds a bit silly in the current covid environment.  But we do hope you are all well.  Here’s the first of several posts to catch you up on what we’ve been up to.

After leaving La Paz, we headed north to Isla Espirtu Santo.  The bluffs there remind me of a much more beautiful version of those in the Wylie Coyote and Roadrunner cartoons.  The varying red and brown stratifications were just gorgeous and seemed to change color throughout the day, depending on the sun’s position. 

From there we continued north to the tiny island of Isla Partida, which has crystal clear azure waters, gigantic saguaro cacti (that can grow to over 40 feet in height), and breathtaking views from the mountain peaks.  There are small fishing camps at either end of the island, but otherwise it is uninhabited.  Swimming there was like being in your very own enormous swimming pool.  Just unbelievable really.  Cap’n Mike, Henry and I decided we needed to stretch our legs and hike up the hills to take in the bird’s eye view of the islands.  It started out easily enough, as we made our way through the sand, rocks and cacti.  It didn’t take long, though, before we found ourselves in much steeper terrain, scaling rocks and large boulders.  I should mention at this point that, while beautiful, it also appeared to be just the kind of place that rattlesnakes would love to hangout.  If you know me, you probably also know that my number one fear in life, rational or not, is snakes.  Let’s just say I was a tad nervous and kept my eyes down with every step!  As the terrain got steeper, the sun rose higher, and it was getting pretty dog gone hot.  A couple times I, and I suspect Henry, would have gladly turned around and headed back down for a cold beer and a pool floatie.  Not to worry though, Cap’n Mike kept us motivated and on course.  We finally made it to the top, and boy am I glad we did.  The views were just amazing!  We lingered up there for quite a while, relaxing and rehydrating, and finally headed back down.  And I am extremely happy to report, no snake sightings (although we later heard that other cruisers did, in fact, spy a couple).  Unfortunately, Henry suffered a minor paw injury, which required daily bandaging to keep him from licking it incessantly.  Note to self, buy and keep a cone of shame onboard for such situations.  After a week or so, he was all healed up and ready to tackle the next trek.  Later that night we joined fellow cruisers, Jamie and Carson of Sailing Vessel Lee Ann, for a campfire on the beach, complete with hot dogs and popcorn.  It just doesn’t get any better than this.  

We then journeyed further north, stopping at anchorages in  San Evarista and Agua Verde, before finally arriving at an anchorage just off the town of Loreto, which is nestled between the Sea of Cortez and the Sierra de la Giganta mountains.  Loreto was the capital and religious center of Baja California for decades.  At the center of Loreto sits Misión Nuestra Señora de Loreto Conchó, the first Spanish mission in all of Baja California.  It was founded in 1697 by Jesuit priests, and the stone and mortar walls, which still stand today, were constructed in 1740.  It was considered Evangelization Central at that time.  The church is beautiful inside and out, and we had the honor of attending Sunday Mass there.  Though we didn’t understand much of the Spanish spoken, it was a blessing just to be there and observe the locals worship in this sacred place.  While in Loreto, we also found a place to get a massage and a pedicure – much needed after a couple months on the boat!.  We taxied out to the small spa on the outskirts of town, and our masseuse drove us back and dropped us at the local market – first time I’ve ever had that happen!  Though we absolutely love the local Mexican food, we had a hankering for a nice big steak.  We found a hotel restaurant that seemed to cater to gringos.  Big mistake.  Worst steak I’ve had in my life.  Lesson learned – when in Mexico, stick with the local food!  We did have a great seat to view the small Christmas boat parade across the street in the bay though, so that helped to make up for it.  

We decided that the air and water temperatures were getting a little cool for our liking  this far north, and decided to head south and across the Sea of Cortez to Mazatlan.  We had a great weather window for the crossing, which is always important – especially since this required an overnight underway.  We made landfall in Mazatlan a few days before Christmas, and decided we would stay there at the El Cid Marina and Resort for a week or so to enjoy the holidays.   

I know this post is long overdue – I apologize for that.  Will try to get caught up soon!

So, until next time…live the adventure!