Unfortunately, the wind was not with us today so we motored the Compass Rose out of Bahia San Gabriel and up the coast of Ilsa del Espiritu Santo (Island of the Holy Spirit) on the hunt for our next anchorage.
The west side of this uninhabited desert island is strung with many stunning white sand beaches, and this time of year the beach coves are caressed by wavelets of aqua water (amazingly, there are really no waves to speak of). This island is also close enough to La Paz to attract kayakers who camp and explore these beaches, some with trails leading to dry waterfalls and hidden canyons.
After touring past a number of pretty anchorages, the Captain finally selected one - El Cardonal - which appeared to offer the best protection from northern winds forecasted in the coming few days. It’s a long, narrow bay with plenty of swell and wind shelter generated as a result of the nasty northerly wind that blows in frequently this time of year. (After pitching and rolling in our previous anchorage, I’m ready for a full night sleep.)
We tucked in near two other sailboats and set the anchor. A gorgeous beach a few hundred yards off our bow was calling my name so I scrambled to gear up for my first official lounging opportunity on my own private stretch of sand. Cost? Priceless!
Returning to the boat, I enjoyed a long overdue shower, dinner and great home-made margaritas to celebrate another year on this planet. Later that night, as I lay in my bunk on the eve of my birthday, I marveled at the sounds that reached my ears through the boat walls; sounds of seals blowing bubbles, the click of fish nibbling on the hull algae, wind whistling through rigging, annoying repetitive noises that clank and slap during the night as the boat rocks to and fro, and some unknown thing within the vessel which taps against another unknown object, the last a mystery never to be solved.
The full moon was rising, the wind began to sing, and during the night the weather changed. Soon the party was on as the boat began to do a water dance that kept me up for much of the night. Party on…