Sunday, December 26, 2010

San Evaristo, Sea of Cortez

We sailed 25 miles from La Paz to the island of Espiritu Santo, spent two nights at an anchorage that looked just like the Grand Canyon, except with clear blue warm water. Then we sailed north another 25 miles along the Sierra de la Giganta Mountain range to the quiet fishing village of San Evaristo on the Baja peninsula.

Sierra de la Giganta Mountain Range

I have no adequate words to describe the bounty or the beauty of the Baja geography. I can tell you this, everything about the Sea of Cortez takes your breath away.  All that visit here are deeply touched by the Grace that shines brightly on Baja.
Simply put, its majestic.

Underway with Darrell and Sparky catching some rays, with Isla San Francisco in the background.

Home Sweet Home for El Tiburon for 3 days at San Evaristo

Two views from our "northeast" anchorage; it was a pretty quiet neighborhood.

A typical fishing shack with a couple of pangas

The view from our "back porch" (stern)

There are about 20 full time families living in the fishing village of San Evaristo. There is a school, a desalination plant, a cafe of sorts, a few dogs, 2 goats, tons of pelicans, more fish than anyone can imagine, and a half dozen pangas that take off in the early hours to fish and return after sunset with their catch.  The dorado and tuna that is caught is sold to La Paz markets. There is a dirt road that leads to La Paz, and another that goes up over a small ridge to a salt pond and lovely bay overlooking the Canal de San Jose and San Jose Island. We left early to take the desert path before it got to warm to hike.  A couple of local burros followed along.

D, Spark & Cardon Cacti

Two Amigos
When we got to the crest of the hill, we were surprised to see a desert oasis filled with date palms. Our two burro friends took the road to the west and ended up at a ranchero nestled into the base of the gigantic mountains. When they arrived home, they were greeted by two horses and a couple of cows - sort of like Noah's Ark - in Mexico.

Headed home to family

Date Palms provide some good shade
The burros turned left and we headed a bit further east down a road less traveled- drawn by the deep blue color of the water and the exceptional view of Isla San Jose. An island beautiful to look at, but with little in the way of safe anchorages.

Two road diverged - and we took the one less traveled, and that has made all the difference. It was a good choice, we were blessed not only with outstanding views of the Sea, passed by an old cemetery - still being used - but got to meet a local boy about 8 years-old. He chattered happily to us in Spanish and entertained Sparky by throwing rocks for him to chase. Later, back at the beach we met up with him and his older sister and younger brother and gave them a bubble making toy I had brought along for village kiddos. Shreiks of joy followed. His mother also agreed to fix us and our friends from Arione a fresh fish taco dinner.  We were joined by another couple from Sausalito, also anchored in bay.  The family chicken, a couple of goats, and a burro with a very fancy saddle and riding gear came by as well. Although the burro didn't stay long - he and a caballero rode off in the sunset. No kidding! Just one more reason why I fell in LOVE with San Evaristo. I digress, back to our hike.
The salt ponds

Wait til you see what's around the corner

Isla San Jose across the channel

A nice place to visit but....

A beautiful way to remember loved ones
That was a great walk, but it was getting hot and time to head back to the beach for a swim, and to meet our friends Art & Jaye from Arione, and get ready for our dinner.

Jaye, Art, & D check out the anchorage

Spark does a little stalking

Turkey Vultures do their thing as well

The panga is named Tiburon (no relation to our El Tiburon, and definitely faster) with the "Pacifico Cafe" in the background - but they only had warm Tecate - tasted great with the Sierra Mackerel tacos made especially for us by Lupita. Best cafe, food, and company I had enjoyed in a long long time. With bellies extended and hearts full we all retreated to our respective "yachts" for a good night sleep.

After a very busy day, Sparky curls up with his lamby boo-boo to watch the sunset.

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