S/V INTREPID II - Cape Dory Intrepid 40

My photo
Intrepid II is a Cape Dory Intrepid 40 sailboat, hull #2, designed by Chuck Paine and discovered by the Captain in Blue Hill Maine in 2006. The crew are Kelly (Captain) and Carol (Admiral and Blogger). In 2009 INTREPID II embarked on her West Coast journey from Victoria to San Francisco, the Baja Sur Peninsula and into the Sea of Cortez. In 2010/2011, we sailed ifrom Guaymas, south to Bahia Banderas and back. In 2011/2012 she left Guaymas, headed south to La Paz, spent three weeks at anchor on our northward journey and rested on the hard in San Carlos. Her 4th, 5th and 6th seasons were Boat Projects related. Optimistic that there will be more cruising on the horizon!

February 18, 2010

"The Islands" - Espiritu Santo and Partida

Isla Partida (top) and Isla Espiritu Santo
INTREPID II and her crew enjoyed sunshine and sparkling waters as she headed towards "the islands" and Espiritu Santo Natural Marine Park on Sunday morning.  In 2003 the Mexican government purchased the island the island chain to protect and preserve its very special ecosystem.

One of our cruising guides advised that "the Sea of Cortez is home to 31 species of whales and dolphins - one third of the world's total....is a breeding ground for sea lions and marine turtles and is a migratory corridor for 210 bird species....some 500 fish species, 4800 plus known species of marine macro-invertebrates".  This is why we are so keen to go diving, and so disappointed we haven't done so yet.  (Image is courtesy of 'kayaking Baja')

There is now a requirement to purchase an park permit, which we've done, although we have only an official receipt at this time.  That is pending the government producing the actual "credit card" size permit and brochure and commemorative coin.  We're fine with supporting the conservation efforts and the cost was around $25 US each.

As we motored sailed in towards the land to take a peek and pictures of the various coves and beaches, we observed they were almost all open to the west.  This means they are better day anchorages than overnights, especially during corumuel winds which blow at night, usually from the southwest. The islands are comprised of striated rock layers of various colours - reds, pinks, sand, black.  The bays (bahias) are indented into the hills, with white sand beaches and sometimes mangroves in bright greens.  In the sunshine the water in the coves was a beautiful turquoise.
Looking north from our anchorage Caleta Partida
We were anchored in Caleta Partida by 13:30, on the southeast side, as the north cove was occupied by 4 boats and we hoped we'd gain some protection from the curve of the hillside.  It was an enjoyable afternoon, as we took pictures, tidied the boat, and had a bbq dinner.  Fish jumped, the wind was calm and we had another great sunset.
Sunset over Baja California Sur
All went well until 23:30 when the winds began to blow and to make a long story short, we were hit with strong westerlies, which blew right into the anchorage. It became a pitching, rolling night, although our anchor held tight.  Next morning we reluctantly made the decision to leave for a more sheltered anchorage, and hoped for a chance to return and do some land exploration as well as some snorkeling.

The seas were still choppy when we motored out at 09:30 and headed north towards Isla San Francisco and the Canel de San Jose, with San Evaristo anchorage as our destination.  We managed to motor sail on a port tack for a few hours enjoying the warmth and sun.  Here we are showing off the latest in cruising head gear.  
Happy Captain - sailing and sunshine

Smiley Admiral - smooth seas at the moment 
After a short detour at the lovely anchorage at Isla San Francisco, where boaters advised they had had no southerly or westerly winds, we moved onward for another two hours of motor sailing across the Canel de San Jose into the protected anchorage afforded by San Evaristo.