Wednesday, April 13, 2011

La Paz to San Evaristo or a very close call to complete bliss

So here's what's been going on aboard Santosha this past week. We departed La Paz and headed out of the narrow sandy channel, when both of our engines died. Patrick quickly got one going, and then it died again.......we had no choice and had to drop our anchor right in the middle of the channel. This channel is the only way in or out of the La Paz area. Lucky for us, it was not a busy day, so no other boats were coming or going. While he tried to get the engines started, the wind kicked up, and we started to drift at a rather fast pace towards a rocky cliff. It was clear that our anchor was dragging, and at this point it was full on panic mode. we had no way to control Santosha and we were moments away from being slammed into the rocky cliff. Then out of no where.....a fishing dinghy pulls up and tosses us a line, and tows us away from the rocks and into deep water. This angel, named Enricko, Ricko for short, saved our ass. The only photo I snapped was of him pulling us to safety, but I so wish I would have taken a photo of his face, which is forever burned into my long term memory. Had he not come along, this post would be all about how our cruising days are over, as Santosha is now at the bottom of the sea.....any way, back to the story.......So we set anchor far away from the channel and the rocky cliff side and waved goodbye to Ricko. Patrick worked for over an hour and finally got both engines up and running. The fuel lines had air in them, which happens when you change the fuel filters, which he did back in the marina. It usually bleeds right off, but on this day...for what ever reason.....that was not the case. I have never been so scared in all my life. It was horrible. So with our knees shaking we set off for a 7 hour crossing to our next spot, Isla Sanfrancisco, realizing we would not make it there until dark now. We arrived around 9pm and it was windy as all hell. We pulled on into this wide bay and set the anchor in complete darkness, since there was no moon to help us out. The swells were hitting us all night long, and the only one who slept was Jack. Having each and every last fight or flight nerve damaged from our near death experience earlier in the day, Patrick and I could not sleep. We took turns keeping anchor watch. Once the sun came up, we looked around with bloodshot eyes, and we were amazed at the beauty that surrounded us. The Sea of Cortez is breath taking. The wind was still blowing strong, and the weather report indicated that it was going to keep building for the next few days, so our stay here was cut short. We pulled up the anchor and headed to a safe North wind anchorage just 1 hour away. As forecasted, the winds kicked into overtime and blew 25 to 35 knots for days. San Evaristo offered good protection, and we enjoyed 4 blissful days of hiking, snorkeling, kayaking, and shelling ( looking for cool shells). Jack made a few fantastic wind chimes for his art class when we returned to the boat with the goods we had gathered. San Evaristo is a small small small fishing village, where free range cattle and burrows roam freely. No stores, or provisions, but they did have a school we visited and took a few supplies too. They were so grateful for our offering, and allowed me to snap their photo. Note the class size of 4! Jack was shocked at the houses they live in, which were mostly ply wood, and palapa style roofs. It was a good teaching moment for both of us. We talked about perspective. While they don't have material possessions and really just the basics to survive, they are so rich in community and connection to family, each other, and nature. They don't participate in the rat race treadmill or have to deal with the 405 freeway. From an outsiders view, they seem to live a slow paced, very happy, meaningful life.

We spent hours and hours hiking each and every trail we could find. We came across a few different grave sites. Some had dates, some were just mounds of shells. One man lived to 98 years old. All this fresh air, slow paced life, and fresh fish will do that to you.


  1. Just an amazing blog entry - these are the days we treasure, life's lessons. I think cruising is one of the few ways we can experience these things, away from the daily freeways and beltways.

    I hope you remember me from CSL. We did our cruising back in the 70s but still hope to do a bit more. You inspire me! ...and our dear Wild Call, a 36-ft. yawl still sits in our backyard, just waiting.

    love, ChuckieFrog

  2. Ick about the engines and dragging. Strong Norther went through and you probably experienced that. San Evaristo is a good hide out! Say hi to "Sun Baby" for us! I see them anchored behind you. Awesome shell mobiles Jack made - the shelling gets better further up! We used to just anchor anywhere, dinghy in, shell, move further up the beach and do it again. Then find a place to spend the night. Isla San Jose on the N side of the lower bight has some great stuff on it - even though it's a rocky point. Nopolo is a neat stop for a few hours - cute kids there. Timbabchi & Los Gatos are cool - not the best for shelling, but beautiful. Punta San Telmo is beautiful too. Wish I could have written notes in your Sea cruising guide - all the hidden off the beaten path spots. You aren't missing anything here except wind and the same old... Enjoy :)

  3. AAAAAwwwww that looks so beautiful! Great post!

  4. Wow girlfriend!!! That certainly was a scary few moments and I am so grateful that the angel in the fishing boat happened to come by just at the right moment!! Your post is awesome and the pictures love love Jack's shell chimes - beautiful!!

    Enjoy your exploration and stay safe my beautiful friends!