Isla Espíritu Santo

Isla Espíritu Santo

Last week we took a short vacation and sailed over to Isla Espíritu Santo and Isla Partida. These islands are National Parks, and have no infrastructure of any kind. In addition to the natural beauty and crystal clear water the primary draw for the islands are the friendly sea lions that swim with tourists, playfully nipping at snorkels and fins. Spoiler alert: we didn’t swim with the sea lions. We wanted to…but first it was too cold and cloudy, then it seemed too windy, and finally, the waves were too big. Basically it never seemed perfect so we kept putting it off until we finally needed to head back to La Paz and then it was too late. Even though we were never able to swim with the sea lions, we had an amazing time just relaxing and enjoying the island experience.

During the week we were at the islands, we anchored at several bays along the western edge, each different and beautiful. Some with big cliffs and turquoise water, others with sandy beaches and soft waves. At the second bay, we were able to anchor so close to the beach that I could not only see the sandy bottom clearly, but I could jump in and walk all the way to shore.

As soon as we were settled, we were anxious to get into the beautiful, clear water, so we jumped in and made our way to shore to have a picnic, laze around and explore. It was picturesque. After a couple of hours on shore, we decided to head back to TIE Fighter. This is the beginning of the ONLY bad story about our week at the islands. We were halfway back to the boat when I began feeling some stings around my belly. I lifted my stomach out of the water to examine the burning feeling, at which time we identified a jellyfish tentacle wrapped completely around my waist. Drew almost immediately began feeling the stings around his neck also. By the time we got back to the boat we had jelly fish tentacles around our neck, chest, arms, legs, and waist. We jumped from the water and scrubbed down with towels. A short time later the red tentacle tracks grew into big painful welts. By the afternoon the pain had mostly gone, but the angry red lines stayed for several days. After that, we were both a little wary of jumping into the water without checking first.

The rest of the week was easy and comfortable. We saw the Blue-Footed Boobies that nest on the island, lots of puffer fish scanning the bottom for food, and big black manta rays that would leap straight out of the water, flapping their wings as if they could fly, then splashing back down with an enormous crash. We fished almost every day, made a beach bonfire, snorkeled around the reefs and went on several hikes through the desert. It was about at close to perfect as it gets.

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