S/V Hello World's Travel Log

isla san francisco

You're probably getting tired of blog posts about us leaving La Paz. I know I'm getting tired of writing them. But this time we really did it. And to make sure we didn't get hurled back into La Paz due to some mechanical breakdown or beer shortage, we shot past the islands of Espiritu Santo and Partida and made our way north to Isla San Francisco.

The anchorage here is well protected against the constant north wind in the Sea of Cortez's winter weather portfolio. There's a nice crescent beach and one of the best hikes we've seen in Mexico to date.

We ran into lots of old friends here at Isla San Francisco and met a few new friends as well. Each night involved a large cocktail party in Hello World's cockpit or somebody else's. Kevin from s/v Pahto was here to our surprise and introduced us to Steve and Charlotte from s/v Willful Simplicity. We anchored next to s/v Narama, crewed by Stephen and Heidi. As I dinghied over to introduce myself, Stephen noted that we actually met before. We had a conversation across dinghies in the pouring rain in Neah Bay several months earlier while we both waited for a weather window to head south down the Pacific Coast. People sure look different when they're not dressed toenails to eyeballs in foul weather gear.

We also ran into Ken and Susan aboard s/v Bint Al Khamseen. There were marina-mates at Shilshole in Seattle but more importantly, we share spectacular taste in sailboats (they also own a Caliber 40). And speaking of impeccable taste in sailboats, who should sail into Isla San Francisco as Ken and I are spearfishing for some grouper at the south end of the anchorage? The Caliber 38, s/v Pamdemonium! Officially half the boats in the anchorage are now Calibers. The only two other Calibers we've ever laid eyes on on the west coast happen upon the same anchorage at the same time. None of us have ever seen three Calibers in one spot, let alone accidentally in the same spot on a small island in the Sea of Cortez.

We spent the first day in the anchorage hiking the south ridge trail. It winds up and into this really interesting pile of boulders at the peak. All these huge boulders jumbled on top of each leave big voids that make caves that make for some interesting climbing. Along with Kevin, we scrambled down into these caves and climbed around in the dirt and rock. With Kevin in the lead, I'd shout ahead: "Is there enough room for me?" He's a little shorter than I am. Kevin would reply: "Plenty of room!" Here's what I learned: don't trust spatial evaluations from a guy that lives on a 28 foot sailboat. Plenty of room my ass. After a few yogic contortions and some near joint dislocations, we popped out a hundred yards away from where we started our spelunk.

We were sad to leave Isla San Francisco, we've rarely had that many friends in one spot. But there is a break in the north wind (meaning instead of blowing 25 knots directly in our face, it's only blowing 12 knots directly in our face) so we took the chance to head farther north.

Susan, Ken, Christy and Kevin on the south ridge trail.

Christy climbing her way up to the top of the ridge.

All of us pondering the great view of the anchorage down below. (Photo by Ken)

Kevin pointing down into the first cave. (Photo by Susan)

Kevin climbing around in the caves.

Poking my head out of the cave.

Three (count 'em THREE) Calibers in one spot.

I'm totally that guy that takes a hundred pictures of his own boat. What can I say?

24°49.205'N 110°34.297'W

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