Sporty sailing to Isla San Francisco

Making the break from Bonanza we were able to quickly get our sails up and make some good speed (8.5 knots). Not unexpected, the valleys on Isla Espirtu and Isla Partida acted as funnels channeling and increasing the wind speed. Moving up the islands was a pattern of reefing the sails followed by shaking out the reefs as we moved from areas of 30 knots of breeze to 5 knots. Up and down it went keeping life interesting. Good exercise and zero drama – nice.

Rounding Isla Partida the hope had been to snorkel with the sea lions but looking at the 4 foot waves moving past the southern side of Isla Lobos quickled ruled out a stop. However we were treated to rays jumping all around us. It was some great entertainment that brought some laughs.

Once out of the influence of the islands, it just aft on the beam sailing for our crossing to Isla San Francisco. With potential for SW winds overnight, I was a bit nervous about anchoring on the west side of the island so we took a look at the east anchorage first – the water was calm and mellow. But….not content to accept good, looking across the isthmus I could see the other side looked comfortable too. Change of plans, we doubled back to the west anchorage since it has a better beach and gorgeous view.

A mellow relaxing afternoon included swimming and watching the megayacht crews shuttle people, tents, chairs, and food to the beach. Happily we enjoyed sundowners aboard with unobstructed views of the Baja mountains.

The next morning, it was into the kayaks to hike the hills of Isla San Francisco. It has a few sketchy parts with steep cliff edges and rock scrambles. A special treat was found in the form of a log book stashed in a small cubby carved out of the rock. Past visitors drew pictures, wrote poetry, or just left inspirational messages. Made my day. We continued down the opposite side of the hill and walked the beach before tackling the other hill “Lovers leap.” The sun and sore legs convinced Jess and Sabrina to head back to Strikhedonia. I stuck around on shore for awhile just taking in the beauty and moment.

Lunch led to the afternoon siesta, I was enjoying a nap when I heard what sounded like the kayak banging into the side of the boat. Around the fourth or fifth time I begrudgingly went to adjust the kayak I was surprised to see the noise coming from a fish that attempted to joyride in my kayak. Sabrina had spent a considerable time fishing with no success since arriving in the Baja (a week ago) so this was a bit of salt in the wound, blerg. Silver-lining, he became a wonderful appetizer for dinner.

It was time to get moving so after a couple of great days enjoying Isla San Francisco we pulled up anchor and moved the short distance to San Evaristo. Once situated in a spot protected from the south swell Sabrina and I headed to shore for a hike. It was already hot so we kept the hike a bit shorter, plus we were on a schedule since setting a time to meet Jess at the small tienda. We “summited” the tallest peak, which isn’t saying much, and continued over to “white rock” peak (read covered in bird shit) before bushwhacking down the ravine to the cemetery on the north anchorage. Hustling back the timing was perfect as we met Jess as she was walking up to the gate at the tienda. The shelves were a little light in fresh vegs but we picked up a few essentials (avocados and tomatoes along with some chocolate cookies).

We headed over to Lupe Sierra’s for dinner and art. After ordering everyone worked on painting a shell to memorialize our visit. Mine, not so great. But Jess and Sabrina added two impressive contributions to the restaurant landscaping.

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