Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Los Meurtos to the Lorenzo Channel and Isla Espiritu Santo - December 5

Up at dawn the next morning, we crept out of the bay with Chirpy and Silas Crosby in quiet seas and little wind. I was nervous this passage because we had been told that when the wind builds it could be impossible to get through. The island of Cerralvo parallels the East Cape of the Baja which forms a north-south channel that can funnel wind and waves to an alarming degree. The predictions for that day were good, but we wanted to make sure we got through before the diurnal day winds began. As it turned out, there was little to fear.
Even made a hot lunch under way!

As we entered the channel the winds picked up enough to sail for a little while. It was a relief to have a little respite from the engine noise. However, the wind was fickle and as we moved along it changed direction to right on the nose. When a large ship came up behind us we decided to start the motor again. As we approached the Lorenzo Channel, which separates the peninsula north of La Paz from the island of Espiritu Santo, we were able to change our course enough to fly the sails again. The wind picked up to 15 knots and we had a spirited, engine-less sail into this narrow passage. However, just as we were abeam the channel markers the wind completely died. One minute we were bombing along and, literally, the next moment the sails were flapping. We quickly started the engine, stowed the sails and continued through, following Silas Crosby north toward Bahai San Gabriel. Chirpy turned south and joined Thor, who had left Los Meurtes in the middle of the night, in La Paz.

Isla Espiritu Santo from the Lorenzo Channel

When we got to the other side of the Lorenzo Channel it was like entering another world. The seas were flat, a gentle breeze was blowing, it was warmer and the landscape became more inviting.

Ensenada de la Dispensa - first cove on Isla Espiritu Santo

Espiritu Santo starts to reveal its "bones" at Punta Colorada

We rounded the southern extent of Isla Espiritu Santo (the Holy Spirit) and dropped our anchor beside Silas Crosby in 4 meters of water (yes, 4), 30 meters of chain, in tranquil, opalescent jade green water on a white sand bottom. We were about to begin four of the best days of our trip to date.

Bahia San Gabriel - God's Swimming Pool

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