Thursday, March 6, 2014

OUR SEASON IN THE SEA of CORTEZ

Our sailing journey began in November.
Darrell and crew member, Nick, do a little fishing on the Pacific.

We sailed from Ensenada to La Paz - about 1,000 miles in 2 weeks time. A lifetime of experiences crammed into a brief moment in time. It was our third trip in 4 years. Would we do it again? You Betcha, next year!!!


Boating buddy Chris aboard Manuela, a Hylas 56, 
joined El Tiburon and Michael and Judy aboard Lunatica. 
Whales, dolphins, seals, jellyfish, tuna, marlin,seabirds, were also along for the ride.
 One of our friends
A few more friends

Our ultimate destination was the Sea of Cortez. Warm waters, turquoise sea, white sand beaches, lobsters, quiet anchorages, friendly faces, and brilliant sunsets.

The Sea of Cortez, where Desert meets Sea. Popularized by the travels of John Steinbeck and Doc Ricketts, celebrated by Jacques Cousteau, the Sea, is quite simply, our favorite place on the planet. Today, the Islands and Protected Areas of the Sea of Cortez in Mexico were inscribed as a World Heritage Site during the Twenty-ninth Session of the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO in Durban, South Africa. The area is made up of 244 islands, islets, and coastal areas located in the Sea of Cortez extending from the Colorado River Delta in the north to nearly 700 miles southeast to the tip of the Baja California 
Peninsula.
Do yourself a favor and read, The Log of the Sea of Cortez.
Another wonderful Steinbeck tale, that rings true.
Jacques
The relevance of the inscription of this area is due to its unique example of nature. Known by Jacques Cousteau as the “aquarium of the world,” this region contains a rich and diverse marine life - 39% of the world’s total number of marine mammal species and a third of the world’s total number of marine cetacean species. There’s no place like it on earth, and we know it each time we sail the islands and anchor in her protected coves. We were happy to purchase our annual pass for about $60.00 US, a great bargain for the privilege of basking in its sublime beauty.
One of our favorite sculptures on the La Paz Malecon
Jacques looking out to Sea 
We have seen whale sharks, gray whales, humpback whales, melon-headed whales, sea lions, schools of manta rays, a school of nearly 1,000 dolphins, turtles, wahoo, dorados, marlin, swordfish, flying fish, yellow fin tuna, a large variety of tropical fish, and countless sea birds. Every trip reveals something new to us.
Part of the catalyst for this designation was the purchase of Isla EspĂ­ritu Santos off the coast of La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico in January 2003. The International Community Foundation (ICF) and its donors provided $250,000 toward the $3.3 million purchase price, which also had strong financial support from World Wildlife Fund, The Nature Conservancy, and the Packard Foundation. President Vicente Fox issued a decree in January 2003 to expropriate the island for the federal government to be managed as a national park by the Mexican National Commission for Protected Areas (CONANP).
 We are not unlike the Paper Boat Sailor on the Malecon, always dreaming of distant ports. We have learned there are plenty of anchorages in the Sea to keep us busy for a few more seasons.
El Tiburon peacefully at rest in Los Gatos.
 Ensenada Grande Anchorage with sistership, Meridian
 Another crowded anchorage with Orion on the hook
Daybreak, a Nordhavn 64, our neighbor at Punta Salinas
Punta Salinas, Isla San Jose
Salt ponds at Punta Salinas
Sparky swims at Raza
Everyone's favorite anchorage, San Francisco
A sweet anchorage on the Baja mainland peeking out at Isla Santa Cruz
Did I mention lobster to order? The minute we dropped our hook, 2 lobster divers appeared to take our order for 6 lobsters. Two for us now, 4 more when our friends from Salt Shaker arrive in a week.
Arrachera and Lobsters with a fresh salad.
 Mardi and Rich from Salt Shaker flew in for lunch.
Balandra, scene of the lobster feast.
Cerveza, sun, and solar power.

On occasion the Mexican Navy will make a routine visit to the anchorages to make sure foreign and national vessels have all their paperwork and safety equipment in order. After 4 years this finally happened to us. It was no big deal, all was good and the marines were very friendly and polite and very mindful of not rubbing up on our new paint job.
 New friends.
Another reason to love cruising about the Sea of Cortes is the sunsets and sunrises. In fact, La Paz is quite famous for their romantic red sunsets.
 Sunrise at Evaristo
La Paz Sunset
Sunset on Isla Partida with Meridian
After many, many sunrises and sunsets, just as the weather starts to turn hot, it was time for us to head north to the Sierra. One thing is certain, we have a lot more islands and anchorgaes to explore in the Sea. 
Baja Geological wonders, The Sierra de la Giganta.
What do you mean, "It's time to go home?"
Don't worry Spark, We'll be back.
Can you find El Tiburon in the anchorage?

1 comment:

  1. There needs to be more pictures of the boat.

    ReplyDelete