Francisco and Coyote

It took a bit, waiting on the wind to calm down a tad, but we eventually moved on from our island adventures on Isla Ispiritu just out of La Paz. We would turn Meriwether’s bow to the North toward Isla San Francisco, which the guide book describes as one of the most popular anchorages in the area – and proved true with the large motor-yacht types. We had already begun to feel the uncomfortableness of charter boats anchoring nearby, but the feeling was only just beginning to crawl under our collective skin, and much worse was to come in the future. But first we had to get there.

There were no expectations to sailing in the forecast, but within 15 minutes of lifting the anchor we had all the sails flying and the old diesel-donkey* was throttled down and turned off for the day. Sure, we would be headed into the wind, but we had all day to make a somewhat short hop to the next island to the north. What could have been a three hour donkey ride took 6+ hours by sail, but it was worth every second saved from hearing the all deafening clackity-clack. And 29.7 nautical miles later we were arriving to a crescent shaped bay on the south side of the island, already near full with other boats – most being chartered from La Paz. We dropped the hook and called it a day after [multiple, probably] cockpit cocktails and a sunset. Long days at sail make us take the easy way through what is left of the day, usually with the least amount of effort taken.

* Diesel Donkey – a blatant plagiarism of a phrase after I heard another sailor refer to their diesel engine this way

We did get up and off the boat the following day, this time for a proper hike. A trail was visible on shore, heading straight up the side of a hill, but it didn’t turn me off nonetheless. We hiked that trail. Well, as best we could with Kerri’s vertigo and the quite hefty breeze shoving us around up at the top of the hillside. It was a pleasant – minus that part that went straight up – hike up and around to the back side of the island then back down into the dried up lake bed slash salt flats area.

T’was a beautiful place to spend a couple days, but we were on the move at the first opportunity. First just a couple mile jump to the tiny island to the north – Isla Coyote – then back to the Baja mainland for more non-island adventures.

Isla Coyote is a very small Island just north of the (also small) Isla San Francisco. It hosts a small fish camp, where a family or two live during the season, and some of the friendliest folks you ever did meet. I’m trying with my Spanish, but not hard enough, and I regretted it here, as I would have loved to chat more with this great group of folks. Here, the catch of the can be purchased, and sometimes the women sell necklaces. The day we came, there were no necklaces to be sold, and the plentiful catch of the day was shark, so we didn’t buy anything, but we enjoyed the warm welcome, magnificent views from the short walk to the top, the scruffy terrier mix who tried to act tuff but really just wanted scritches, and the toddler running around in his PJs at noon. Oh, and the dolphin pod dancing right in front of us on our dinghy ride in. Our visit was short, but I’m sure I’ll remember it as a highlight of this region. – Kerri

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5 Responses

  1. Rob says:

    Great pictures!
    I’m curious about what the problem was with the charter boats…

    • Tim says:

      Often these charter-boats are fairly inexperienced sailors – or anchorers – on a boat unfamiliar to them (that was us in 2019 too) and unfamiliar with the ground tackle on the boat. Then, for some reason, they really like to anchor way too close to other boats making a fine recipe for disaster.

  2. Michael Hamerski says:

    Just curious, about what you guys think, about having pets on your sailboat adventure, since you had pets in Vanlife? I had to put my GSP down on April 17th and travelled everywhere with him for 11 years. It feels kinda empty, but freeing at the same time without him.

  3. Bruce Bateau says:

    Tim- I have been reading your blog for a while and enjoying following the pictures and adventure. As a small boat sailor, I’m not sure I have anything insightful to say, but I wanted to let you know how much I’ve enjoyed your photos and tagging along on your cruise. Fair winds! -Bruce

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