Cruising the Sea of Cortez

Cruising the Sea of Cortez

We arrived in La Paz back in February with the intention of staying a month and then moving on into the Sea of Cortez for further exploration.  Nine months later we finally found the momentum to carry us north.

Our original goal was to leave La Paz on Thursday evening after completing a few final tasks. At the last minute Drew was offered the opportunity to play music at a local spot, The Shack, so we decided to leave early on Friday instead.

We didn’t have any specific plan for where we were heading other than “north”. Once we got under way and out of the La Paz channel we discovered two things. One, the wind was certainly not going to be any help getting us north, and two, the sea was so choppy and rough that motoring was going to be a frustrating and uncomfortable method of getting us anywhere. The decision was easy – we would pull into Isla Espiritu Santo, which was a short 3-hour motor, and try again the next day. We anchored in a little cove called Bahia Gabriela at the south end of the island.  We spent the afternoon fishing from the dinghy and deciding where we would venture to in the morning.

We made it out of the anchorage by 7am and up to Isla San Francisco by late afternoon. Upon arrival to Isla San Francisco we were immediately bombarded with tiny biting bugs, motivating us to get an early start and venture further north to Bahia Agua Verde.

On the way to Agua Verde we had beautiful calm waters, hundreds of little yellow butterflies surrounding the boat, and I caught my first fish of the trip. On the recommendation of Mary from S/V Hot Spur, we were hoping to buy some goat cheese in the nearby village but when we arrived they informed us that unfortunately the newest batch wasn’t ready.

Our final stop north was at Bahia Candeleros. It was my favorite. The bay was the most beautiful shade of blue and the beach led so gradually into the sea we could walk for what seemed like half a kilometer before entering waist-deep water.

We swam everyday and fished and finally made time to clean the bottom of the boat. We were even inspired to practice with our bows. Currently I am only able to hit the target on about 2 out of 3 shots. My bow is a 30 lb, which is just slightly over what I should be using but I am hoping by using the heavier bow I will gain strength in my arms and will ultimately be able to shoot harder. This will come in handy if I ever hope to use it for hunting.

Our time in the sea was filled with the most relaxed and beautiful days that I can remember but eventually we had to leave our little paradise. For the first time since this sailing adventure began a year ago, I wasn’t really ready to leave. I am usually the first to get stir crazy in a new anchorage, but Candeleros was still new and exciting for me. It felt peaceful and perfect.

We set sail in the early afternoon. We had a bucket full of chocolate clams waiting to be cooked for dinner but I threw my fishing lines out anyways. I ended up catching 3 big fish right in a row.. Every one of them fought so hard they nearly pulled me off the side of the boat, then promptly threw the hook and got away. Luckily I didn’t lose any lures. About 15 minutes later I hooked a 4th fish and managed, with the help of Drew, to get it on deck. I have never tried filleting because usually I go so long between catching fish that, when I do, I want to make sure I don’t destroy the meat, but since we had all those clams waiting anyways, I decided to give it a try. I had my handy book in hand for reference (this book has taught me everything I know about fishing), and I got started. I’ll cut to the chase – I butchered the fish, and not in a good way. I was shocked at how little usable meat I got from such a big fish and I felt pretty guilty for killing an animal and then wasting so much of it. I think I will wait to try filleting again until someone with experience can walk me through it.

At the end of the day, I made fresh salsa and Drew barbequed. We ate our beautiful dinner on deck just as the sun set.

I love the sea.

2 Responses to “Cruising the Sea of Cortez”

  1. Sebastien Nault says:

    Thanks for sharing your adventures Miya! Love following you guys and seeing what your are up to!

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