“Chasing Summer” – La Paz to Santa Rosalía

Thanks, Jenn and Jas, for the tag line! It truly feels like that’s what we’re doing right now. Actually, it may be more accurate to say, “fleeing summer heat!” But beyond the heat, our little cruising bubble has been bursting with beauty and solitude, and as you can probably guess, a few disconcerting observations; we’ll get to those along the way. Our summer began in earnest in June after we had FL hauled in La Paz. We said so-long to Anna and Don aboard S/V Redwood Coast II, who were bashing their way back to Santa Cruz. And then to Tom, John, and Maya aboard S/V Ellie, who were also bashing back to San Diego – but as luck would have it, it wasn’t much of a bash for them, thankfully. Tom was returning home to be a new grandpa to Hattie Jean (love, love, love, and Barb was already home). For us, it was time to begin the trip north to Bahía de Los Ángeles, where cooler water and our new water tank awaits (another story…).

So much for our tag line, “Going everywhere. Very slowly.” For a taste of how stupid fast we’re going, here’s the play by play: It is roughly 225 nm between La Paz and Santa Rosalía…ready? Go!

July 1: Puerto Balandra in Bahía de La Paz, still one of our favs. Fixed/replaced the Torqeedo brain/readout en route. This time around there was an algal bloom that hampered our water-making capabilities and our desire to spend a ton of time in the water. Nevertheless, it was still gorgeous despite the number of mega-yachts hanging out and their water toys buzzing about. Plus, there was Ellie and who could complain about anything when you have her crew for company?

July 2: Ensenada del Candelero on Espíritu Santo. Beautiful water and leftover enchilada pie! Lubed the traveler because it kept getting hung up. Hopefully, it’ll be like butter from here on out.

July 3-4: Ensenada Grande on Isla Partida. Blowing 20+ on approach to the anchorage, but tucked into a little cove within the cove for shelter. Unfortunately, being such a protected anchorage meant it was HOT! But the water was perfecto. Hiked up the arroyo to an overlook on the east side of the island; Jody almost bonked because it was so hot, but we made it, and it was worth it! Spent 4th of July on floaties, under the boat in the shade. Ha!

July 5: Isla San Francisco, another one of our favs, and again crazy busy with mega-yachts, including Calex out of Newport, who gave us a Yeti full of ice – so generous. Lots of other water machines and, unfortunately, jejene misery. But we did take a lovely hike at sunrise along the ridgeline for beautiful views. So nice.

July 6: Bahia Rincón. Another enclosed little bay, which made for beautiful calm conditions, but HOT, HOT, HOT! So, we installed a new fan in our cabin 🙂

July 7: Puerto los Gatos. Caught a (little) dorado en route and had a wonderful fresh mahi-mahi din din. Subsequently, we had to debrief on what protocols to employ when we catch a fish while sailing, especially with the drifter, cuz it’s a little trickier to deal with than the genny. We got it figured out though for the next time – oh, and there was a next time (see Los Pilares), and there will be many more!

July 8-9: Agua Verde was quiet with two other sailboats across the bay and a big mega yacht. We opted for a spot by ourselves and shared our view with a Mexican family camping on the beach for the weekend. We hiked into AV proper to look for a few provisions and wandered around the quaint little pueblita that had just what we needed (yogurt, bananas, beer), but also had pigs penned up in teeny-tiny little enclosures (one of the disconcerting observations). Not sure we’ll eat bacon any time soon. All in, we thoroughly enjoyed this little desert/beach enclave.

July 10-11: Los Candeleros again for wifi and some work. We inspected Candeleros Chico on the way up, which is where we met Kirk and Chris after we hooked S/V Linger Longer with our fishing lure (yep, forgot we had the gear out when we went in to look around). Not a great way to meet new friends, but they were very gracious and we look forward to hanging out with them up in Bahía de Los Ángeles.

July 12: Puerto Esco for a quick pit stop to take out the garbage, do laundry, grab some provisions, and free water so we could clean da boat. Of course it rained the night we cleaned her, but oh well, we’ll take the rain any day. Also, checked in on S/V Jean Butler for David and Grant – she’s looking good and stable on the hard – just awaiting their return!

July 13-14: Isla Danzante – Honeymoon Cove. OMG! O.M.G. Enough said.

July 15-18: Loreto again for wifi, work, provisioning, and ice cream. Plus, we got to reconnect with AJ, who, if you recall, is building a family home in Loreto. Unfortunately, we also picked up a cockroach or two (the second disconcerting observation). GROSS! I was sleeping in the cockpit because it was too hot down below and woke up to something walking on me. A roach! Ah! I managed to capture it and throw it overboard, but I was sufficiently creeped out and couldn’t go back to sleep. As you boaters know, a bug infestation of any kind, especially roaches, is a damn bummer. We think it stowed away on my backpack that I had placed on the ground at a bar in town. Time for some drastic measures.

July 18: Isla Coronados for a quick stop, but long enough to get swarmed by bees!! It had been a dewey night, so Jody swabbed the deck in the morning, which apparently turned into a shout out to the local hive. We let them soak up what they could before the deck dried out and we got underway. TTFN, bees.

July 19: La Ramada with Linger Longer and Take 5 trimaran. We opted to bypass Caleta San Juanico because it was blowing like stink and the anchorage was pretty rolly. La Ramada (barely a mile north) was just the ticket. We could seek refuge there but still hike over to the other side to get a load of San Juanico, which was a feast for the eyes. Crazy pretty – a definite stop on the way back down. Plus, there’s a cruisers’ “shrine” there – a tree where cruisers hang trinkets with their boat names and the year they stopped by. Pretty nifty.

July 20: San Sebastian is somewhat off the beaten path because it’s very small and somewhat exposed. We had it to ourselves – even though there are several homes on shore. All but one were deserted but for one guy and his German shepherd who appeared to be the security team for the absent homeowners. Once again, unfortunately, we had another roach show its ugly self (the third disconcerting observation). Rand creamed it with one of my shoes, then the following morning, we proceeded to nuke the bilges with bleach water and scrub out the food pantry. We’re hoping for the best.

July 21: FISH ON! (two, actually, but the first one bolted free when we got it to the boat) en route to Los Pilares, which is another overlooked anchorage, probably because of its proximity to Bahía Concepcion proper and its exposure to northerlies, which many cruisers avoid when going south in the fall. But because the predominant wind direction is southerly during the spring/summer, we decided to stop in. Again – beautiful, and we had another fresh dorado! But there was a seemingly deserted fish camp ashore with garbage and old refrigerators and coolers strewn about (fourth disconcerting observation). Nevertheless, the water was inviting, so we jumped in for our swim/snorkel exercise, but sadly discovered a mobula ray graveyard on the nearby reef (fifth and most disturbing, disconcerting observation). Rand thinks an upwards of 30 of these amazing creatures were dumped there by fisherman as they often become ensnared in fish nets and are considered by-catch. What a waste and a sad loss of life.

July 22-24: Bahía Concepcion – Santo Domingo and Playa el Burro – seriously lovely. We were trepidatious going to Concepcion because we’d heard it is a heat sink (see S/V Adventurer‘s account and their blog in general), chasing some folks out of the Sea for the summer. We must have expended some weather karma because the heat was tolerable, there were nice breezes, and the water, despite being quite warm, still offered a much-needed cooling effect. And we found wifi, thanks to Geary, one of a couple year-round ex-pats in Playa el Burro. Burro was sweet, with several gringo and Mexican families camping out in the heat of the summer, enjoying the water and each other. We’ll definitely go back.

July 25: Punta Chivato was another super brief stop, where the anchorage was just off a deserted resort and many fancy homes with no people. Granted we’re off season here, but it kinda gave us the heebie-jeebies. Nevertheless, we went for a lovely swim/snorkel and vamanosed the next morning.

July 26: Isla San Marcos – Caleta de los Arcos  – and chubasco number 1  with 32+ kts overnight!! Holy guacamole! We’d heard about this weather phenomenon but it didn’t really enter our minds until about 0200, as we were sleeping peacefully on the trampoline and were awakened by a far off sound that was the wind. Next thing we knew, it was gusting into the 30s and stuff was flying everywhere. Rand went back to the cockpit to secure things and his pillow went flying overboard. DOH! Luckily, it drifted past the transom, so he jumped in and retrieved it (five days later, it’s still not dry). Exciting stuff. And los Arcos? Wow! Sea caves, sea birds, beauteous!

July 27-31: Santa Rosalía – there’s too much to say about Santa Rosalía for this already too-long blog post. It is a little gem and we enjoyed it immensely – what with its history, its wooden (not cinderblock) buildings, the feel of the town, and meeting and hanging out with the crew of S/V Bloom. We were dockside here and it wasn’t miserable! We sat out chubasco number 2 in the marina, which allowed us to sleep easier, we caught up on work and blogging, we provisioned, ate ice cream, watched soccer, and enjoyed being in one place for a bit. Super fun.

Now it’s time to go – Bahía de los Ángeles or bust! Love to all!!


  1. Diane

    Fantastic pics. Fleeing the heat is a good thing. Today, in Vancouver, it is 105, yes, one hundred and five degrees. And you know how I just LOVE the heat.

    1. Jody Fraser

      Whoa! That’s too dang hot for the PNW! Stay cool, sister!

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