Plans that are written on sand – and what a sand, by the way !

We left La Paz on a warm, sunny Monday, en route to overnight at Ensenada Grande – a beautiful bay at the NW corner of Isla Partida, just 20 miles away from La Paz.

Some 4 hours later, we dropped anchor at Calleta Partida for the night.

Yup, not a typo. That’s just how cruisers’ plans are.

<This is the second in a series of four posts I am publishing this week covering our passage between La Paz and Puerto Escondido in Baja California. Click here for the first post on the series>

<written Tuesday, May 19th at Isla San Francisco>

We are headed North, towards Puerto Escondido and Loreto. Our buddy-boat s/v Coastal Drifter is along with us, and there are beautiful anchorages along the way, which we will be hopping to. We left La Paz planning on overnighting at Isla Partida, and chose Ensenada Grande for we had heard it is a beautiful spot there.

We chose a route just off the West coast of Isla Espiritu Santo, to gaze at the beautiful rocky formations. When we were in between Isla Ballena and Isla Gallo, m/v Adagio hailed us on the radio. They had decided to also overnight in the vicinity, but chose Calleta Partida instead of Ensenada Grande because of the forecast for the night.

We checked with Coastal Drifter, and they were fine with staying at Calleta Partida, and so we all headed there. The next day, we all left glad for this sudden change of plans, for the place is just stunning !

Picture this: the bay is formed by an old volcano crater. It has one entrance on the west side, about ½ mile wide, and a sandy isthmus to the east, with a stream of water connecting the bay to the Sea of Cortez on the other side (it is actually this stream that separates Isla Partida from Isla Espiritu Santo). Surrounding the bay on the south and north ends are steep, rugged, red-colored mountains. At the North and East sides of the bay, there are expansive shallow areas, with clear-white sand on them, and covered with the sparkling turquoise water of the Sea of Cortez.

At night, Adagio hosted a pop-corn driven movie night for the kids, and Adriana and I took the opportunity to sneak out to Coastal Drifter to enjoy great conversation, tequila and beers with our friends Debra and Phil.

The next morning, we took the dinghy and explored the bay. We were able to cross the stream of water that cuts the sandy isthmus in half and made it to the other side of Isla Espiritu Santo, where we found a large crater on the rocks.

I’ll let the pictures complement the story:

Fuelling up in La Paz just before departure
Filling up in La Paz just before departure
On the way over glassy seas, with Isla Espiritu Santo on the background
On the way over glassy seas, with Isla Espiritu Santo on the background
The Sea of Cortez and Isla Espiritu Santo
The Sea of Cortez and Isla Espiritu Santo
Approaching Calleta Partida, just after the change of plans. Isla Espiritu Santo to the right, Isla Partida to the Left,  sandy isthmus and water stream on the middle.
Approaching Calleta Partida, just after the change of plans. Isla Espiritu Santo to the right, Isla Partida to the Left, sandy isthmus and water stream on the middle.
At anchor off Isla Partida's sandstone hills
At anchor off Isla Partida’s sandstone hills
Going out on a dinghy ride.
Going out on a dinghy ride.
The clear water, and the brilliant sand below
The clear water, and the brilliant sand below
That's the cave right there
That’s the cave right there
Inside the cave
Inside the cave
Colorful rock formations of Isla Espiritu Santo on the way back
Colorful rock formations of Isla Espiritu Santo on the way back
After leaving Calleta Partida, en route to Isla San Francisco. Another day of glassy seas.
After leaving Calleta Partida, en route to Isla San Francisco. Another day of glassy seas.

As I write this, we are swinging at anchor at the spectacular Isla San Francisco – stay tuned, for there is more to come!

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