Off to sea we go

The Sea of Cortez (our new backyard) began beckoning. Our friends on Emma Bell had moved North. The thought of catching up with friends on Emma sounded amazing! Our recent trip away from the dock to Puerto Balandra left us itching for more.  We took two weeks off work, got the boat ship shape, provisioned and headed North!

Outboard troubles

We're off!

Is there an anchor down there?

San Fran sunset

Great anchorage

Isla San Francisco – 44 miles North by Boat
The winds were light, the seas were flat, and the dinosaur (diesel engine) was pumping as we made our way to San Francisco Island. After our arrival our GPS track showed we had sailed right through the island! Just another example of one of those Mexican landmarks that didn’t get charted properly. We were one of three boats spending the night in this beautiful horseshoe bay, with a long stretch of sand beach.  Before the sun set completely, we threw the inflatable stand up paddle board over the side and took turns paddling around the bay. I took the board to check out our anchor and Grant wanted to check out the beach.

Never gets old

Charts can be wrong!

Underway

Underway some more

100s of Manta Rays everywhere!

Making the approach

Time to relax

Bahia Agua Verde (Green Water Bay) – 52 miles North by Boat
The dinosaur helped us again the following day as we continued heading North in light winds and flat seas along the inside of the Baja finger. The outside of Baja lacked in comparison to the gorgeous backdrop that the Sierra de la Gigante mountain range provides to the full fledged aquarium found inside the sea. A whale said hi to us as he breached to take a breath, sending a large puff of water straight up into the air off our stern.  In the clam of the sea, manta rays surrounded the boat jumping straight up into the air and gliding gracefully through the water.

Amigos off the bow!

Maluhia at rest

Desayuno (That's "breakfast" you Iowans. :) )

Stunning scenary

Senor Pelican

Liftoff

Later bra!

Agua Verde quickly became our new favorite anchorage! We found Emma Bell contently hanging on her hook. Emma Bell had been hanging out here for a few days and showed us around “town.” The town consisted of a small fishing village that included a small school, a tiny jail, farm, and a tienda. We followed the long way into town, walking along a rocky unpaved road winding up and down through the valley.

Solid ground

Verde si, pero el aqua es muy claro tambien!

"Todd" and "Gail"

Still perfectly clear

Up up UP

On the farm the baby goats, along with a puppy and piglets provided plenty of entertainment as we made multiple trips to watch them play. A puppy is raised as a goat to work as a livestock guard dog, accompanying the herd on outings, and protecting them from predators.  An intimate one room show with two large freezer coolers located outside under large tarps propped up for shade was all that consisted of the towns mini-market.  The store owner greeted us as we walked around the market sticking our heads in the coolers looking for ice cold drinks. “Más veduras mañana,” he said hoping for our return. The vegetable truck came once a week. We purchased a half kilo of fresh goat cheese from the store who confirmed it was from the farm down the road. (We’re slowly learning that a half a kilo of anything is still too much for two people!)

Flora

Shade!

Peninsula

Down down DOWN

Endless valley

Are we there yet?

What a great view!

Parched and dreaming of cervecas by this point

A parade!

Big goats, little goats, itty bitty baby goats

Whatya YOU lookin at!?

Mama pig

Baby pig

Heading back for the evening

See Retch Run

The next day we filled our dinghies with snorkel gear, and motored out to Roca Solitaria. Depths near and around the rock provided us with a vast variety of small and large fish for viewing. Some fish were good enough to eat, as Eric & Pam teamed up to spear our dinner for the evening!

Wait for it...

...wait for it...

...Wow!

Fish EVERYWHERE

Fantastic clarity, even 30 feet down

Katchum had no problem bounding from one rock to another

Success

Here we go

Climbing back up

Say cheese!

Paddle Paddle Paddle

Ah, home sweet home

Again with this Todd and Gail

And they're off!

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