We spent the first several days exploring La Paz and sampling a few of the local restaurants. We finally had the opportunity to go out and cruise the Espiritu Santo and Partida islands about 20 miles northeast, off of the city of La Paz.
The day was sunny, clear and warm with very little in the way breeze.
On the way out we encountered our marina neighbors, Bruce and Judy, on the sailing vessel JUCE. They were motoring back after spending the weekend at Ensenada de Los Muertos. While they didn't have such a good anchorage at Playa Bonanza Saturday night, they did have a quiet time over Super Bowl Sunday in Muertos. We continued on our way towards the islands while JUCE headed back towards the harbor.
We continued up the western side of Espiritu Santo island, looking into each of the anchorages as we passed, in search for the perfect spot for the evening. While there weren't a great many boats out in the islands, each of the first several coves were occupied with at least a single boat. We searched from Bahia San Gabriel in the south, all the way up to Caleta Partida up at the northern tip of Espiritu Santo before finally settling on Ensenada El Candelero, one cove south of Partida.
Once settled, we enjoyed our setting with the cave-pocked cliffs and cactus to our north; sandy beach to our east; Monument rock to oursouth; and, across the bay to the west, the spectacular mountain cliffs were highlighted with the pinks, oranges and blues of the setting sun. With the sun setting, we fired off the barbecue and put on a one-hour fresh tuna fillet. The evening was spent over dinner, chilled white wine and good conversation. As is usual when we're anchored, bed time came early. Save for a few fresh gusts, we spent a comfortable night at anchor.
We all were up before the sun crested the island peak to the east. Waiting for the sun to warm the cockpit, we watched several vessels motor north past the entrance to the anchorage. When the sun finally rose high enough to shine into the boat, we had already had our first cup of coffee and were enjoying breakfast. The sandy beach was populated with a flock of turkey vultures warming themselves in the suns rays. Our anchoring neighbor weighed anchor, motored over for a brief chat between boats before heading back to Palmira Marina in La Paz.
A short time later, Willy hauled up our anchor and we continued our journey north, along the eastern shores of Isla Espiritu Santo and Isla
The eastern side of Partida is a high jumble of rock faces and rock slides that tumble down to the water. All along the eastern side of both Isla Partida and further south on Isla Espiritu Santo there are few inlets suitable for overnight anchorages. Making our way down towards the final third of Espiritu Santo, the wind began to increase and there was one other sailboat sailing to our southeast. By then we were already to the reef at Punta La Bonanza.
Rather than sail for the last mile, we continued motoring under mainsail
After a spectacular sunset to the west over the beach and low lying portion of the island, we were left with the flashing white light marking the end of Bonanza reef to our east; the flashing green light marking one end of the San Lorenzo channel that could be seen just east of Punta Morro to our south; and, the twinkling lights south on the mainland at Playa Tecolote. As the night progressed, the winds abated until just before day break and we had a peaceful night at anchor.
The breeze picked up at Playa Bonanza during the predawn hours
The next several days seemed to fly by. We had dinner with Galey and Max, who live in the La Posada neighborhood and spent the next few days around town and then out to Playa Tecolote and Playa Bonanza. For Willy's final night in town, we got together with several other cruisers from s/v Merlot (Larry and Fran), s/v Trig (Mike) and Hans (who had arrived from San Diego that afternoon) and had dinner at the new Rancho Viejo Mariscos. We were all seated on the second floor balcony of the Palapa, overlooking the bay. With margaritas, beer and wine all around, we enjoyed good food and good company for a memorable Valentine day dinner.
The final morning aboard for Willy, we had coffee before taking him to the bus terminal on the Malecon to connect with his shuttle to the airport in San Jose del Cabo. We had a great time seeing Willy again and enjoyed all the stories he had to share. He was an easy guest to have and we enjoyed our time while having him as a member of Citla's crew.