Bahia San Gabriel … the closest bay on Espiritus Santos Island north of La Paz
We have worked for months getting ready to sail, but reached the day we were to leave without the necessary ‘Residencia Temporal’ cards documenting our Resident status in Mexico.
We were to travel with friends, Nancy and Sven on s/v Senta II, to Bandaras Bay on the mainland with a notion of staying for a bit in La Cruz before heading south along Mexico’s western shore. We decided to not waste the time, so we went along with them to Bahia San Gabriel, which is the southernmost bay on Espiritus Santos Island. The trip is about 20 nautical miles of coastal sailing. Takes 3-4 hours if the wind is favorable.
It was a cloudy day with light winds so the boats moved, but slowly at times. These are the days that distinguish boats that like to sail from boats that need to get there and boats that would rather motor given a good excuse like ‘light winds’.
Sven and Nancy, and Carolyn and I seem well-matched in this attitude, since both boats sailed most of the way there … using the engines mostly for anchoring. We arrived perhaps 45 minutes behind them to find them setting their anchor in the hard sand bottom.
This is how Spiritus looks from the bowsprit as we do the shake down for sailing again. Very close to how she looked on the way south and in some ways very different from how she looks sitting in the marina.
On this short trip, we are checking the water flow to the engine after the water-maker modifications to its flow. We are checking the function of the new wet-exhaust elbow that was installed two weeks ago. We are also looking at the water-maker output and watching to see if it affects our energy management. We had already converted many of the boat’s inside lights to florescent with lower usage to balance against the demands (4 amps an hour) of the water maker. We replaced four 40 watt incandescent bulbs with four 5 watt florescent which produce identical light in color and intensity and in lumens.
We haven’t yet changed out the anchor light (old style) on top of the mast with a newer more efficient LED bulb which we purchased. It should make a big enough difference to balance out the new energy demand from the water maker. It is always about balance in small systems.
Absolutely mellow and beautiful anchoring in the small bay. Glass-like water with light to nonexistent winds. Oh, and we are there on a near-full moon so, even at night, it is still beautiful.
Did I mention the sunsets?
The first shot is the sunset from the deck of Spiritus; the second is the sunset at almost the same instant from the deck of Senta with Spiritus at anchor in the pic; the third image is Senta II at anchor taking the pics. All these were coincidentally taken at the same time. ( We stole/borrowed the pic from Senta II’s deck from their blog … thank you Nancy and Sven).
All things, even great anchorages … become part of a bigger story and longer voyage. Senta II makes her way out of the anchorage and off to the mainland via the San Lorenzo channel, Bahia de Los Sueños (Bay of Dreams is the marketing term) or as everyone and all maps call it, Bahia de Los Muertos (Bay of the Dead). They will probably overnight there and head south to Los Frailles to wait on the wind.
We, on the other hand, have to head back to La Paz and check on the status of our immigration documents (see other page under Mexico Immigration changes for how it has all turned out).
Lady Spiritus (Carolyn) got to sail the boat all the way back to La Paz. A nice gentle reentry to sailing since she hasn’t sailed in about two years. She sailed Spiritus into La Paz harbor under just a mizzen sail and a partially furled genoa … no main and no stay sail. Had about 10 knots of wind behind us the whole way …. beautiful end to a shakedown sail. More to come next week when we head off in pursuit of Senta II.
We will find you, Nancy! Oh yes–we will!