Spring is the time of year when cruisers in Mexico have to make a few decisions. Many boaters make a jump (The Pacific Puddle Jump) to French Polynesia, or Hawaii. Others go South to Latin America and Panama. A larger handful make the decision to stay right here in the Sea of Cortez. Out of the group staying in the sea, many take their boats North in search of cooler temperatures, and cheaper dry docking. Dry docking is parking your boat on land for the summer, flying home during typhoon season and returning in the fall.
During our time in La Paz at Marina Cortez we were able to get acquainted with new neighbors Bob and Linda on Tahoma. They have been cruising the Sea of Cortez for many years and provided us with a wealth of information and ideas for making boat tasks easier. They were gracious enough to share their land wheels (a van) with us on numerous occasions. They showed us the best Fish Taco place in the city, introduced us to the man who sells the best smoked bacon, and took us through parts of the city we had no idea existed due to our limited mobility by foot.
Tahoma had been stuck at the dock for many weeks while they had their teak decks removed. Once the job was complete they were itching to get away from the marina and we decided to join them! They only had a few weeks left before Tahoma would be dry docked for the summer and wanted to make the most of it by spending as much time away from the dock as possible. There was talk of stopping at Puerto Balandra but we had no hard fast plans. As we swung by Balandra we couldn’t believe the amount of boats that had already claimed their spot for the weekend in the anchorage. So we kept going! We decided to try anchoring at Bonanza, an anchorage located on the Eastern side of the island Espiritu Santo.
It was strange going back through the San Lorenzo Channel between Espiritu Santo and Baja for the first time since we arrived in La Paz. As we rounded the corner to Playa La Bonanza we could clearly see the Cerralvo Channel. This time it was a different sight. Calm, flat seas instead of the rough salt spraying mess brought on by the North wind that plagued us the first time we sailed by that point. We took a moment and shook our fists at the channel then settled in at Bonanza.
It was the first time Tahoma and Maluhia had ever been to this anchorage. We explored the beach and found many shells. One small cacti tree provided the only shade on the beach after the sun had carved its path low enough into the sky.
We stuck our noses into the canyon that leads back to Bahia San Gabriel.
In the North corner of the beach we found good sand and hermit crabs. In fact the sand was perfect for beach time Bocce Ball! Bob and Linda had the game onboard. Many evenings back in La Paz we’d walk to the beach and play a few rounds. The game consists of various color balls and a smaller target ball. The target ball is thrown forward and players throw their color balls as close as they can to the target. Points are distributed to those balls that are the closest to the target. Knocking your opponent out to improve your position to the target is fair game. We were hooked!
Gilligan joined us ashore but wasn’t interested in playing bocce ball.
Back at the boat we swam and snorkeled. We decided to run our engine to cool down the refrigerator. Grant jumped in the water while I fiddled around down below. Before I knew it Grant was back on board and turning off the engine. There was no water coming out of the exhaust! It was time to get to work. Grant took off the raw water filter and cleaned it. Next we took out the engine impeller and had a look. All was well so we put it back. The moment of truth came when we went to start the engine. The sweet sound of splashy water coming out of our exhaust had returned. We were back in business!
The water in the anchorage was so clear, at 15 feet we could see the bottom. We could also see fish! Bob and I spent time casting the rods trying to catch two trigger fish. The fish enjoyed egging us on and eating our bait until we gave up and put the poles away. We had a wonderful time at Bonanza and decided to add it to our list of favorites!