Monday, February 13, 2012

Day 12 - Dolphins and Isla San Jose

I enjoyed a blissfully sound sleep – no pitching, no rolling and no disco boats in this quiet fishing village. If only I could sling my bed at home into a giant hammock, maybe that would re-create the floating motion of the Compass Rose on calm water - a subtle, gentle movement better than any sleep aid. 

Today, the plan was to reach the village of Los Burros on Baja's mainland, approximately 12 miles to the north of San Evaristo as the crow flies, spend the night in the small anchorage, then return to San Evaristo to hopefully find the larger market open for business.
Nopolo Village (L) and Dinosaur Ridge (R)
After a hearty breakfast of home-made huevos rancheros - a pleasant change from the recent rations of oatmeal - we headed north. Just north of Punta San Evaristo is another cove, an oasis in the desert lined with date palms and a small salt mining operation.  Between San Evaristo and Nopolo (a fishing village 5 miles north which is only accessible by boat) I played the well known explorer game called 'name that rock'. As we passed promontory rocks and features not mentioned in the guidebooks I chose new names like, Gorilla Rock, Scallop Rock, Badger Point, Cathedral Rock and Dinosaur Ridge (the last one, Capt. Mike’s contribution).

It was one of the better sailing days so I practiced tacking, sheeted the main, moved the drifter during a tack and mastered the bowline knot (three different techniques!) plus a few others.

Bahia Cazedero
Between San Evaristo and Los Burros we hugged the mainland coast and enjoyed a nice tack at 6-7 knots. Then, as usual, the wind died mid-day. The captain developed second thoughts about anchoring at Los Burros due to the rumor that a north wind was expected during the night, so we turned east a few miles short of the village, scooted across the channel to Isla San Jose, and chose an anchorage in Bahia Cazedero (The Hunter). At one time there was an inland lagoon here where water fowl were hunted. Now the beach serves as a camp for fishermen from San Evaristo and Nopolo living across the channel on Baja's mainland.

I cannot image a more peaceful place to drink up the sweet gift of time, to experience the rhythm of life in the sea. The Compass Rose is, for the first time, the only boat at this location. And for the first time this trip a pod of dolphins came to visit. Just back from exploring the beach, sounds of surface spouts alerted us on deck. I watched with wonder as they took their time, gliding leisurely past the boat and out into the channel northward...

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Sunsets never fail to fascinate me. The days' end is always rewarded with a beautiful farewell as the sun dips away for the night. Here in 'The Sea' the sky is a vast blue canvas and the setting sun seeps orange and rose into it, perfectly blending the colors behind mysterious, stoic mountain silhouettes. As darkness falls a flat sea mirrors the stars; pin pricks of light surround the boat from all sides as if I am floating in space.
Tonight the sea is like glass in Bahia Cazedero, Isla San Jose. I am curled up below deck in the salon with my pen and thoughts, and I hear them again. The dolphins have returned; the same pod heading south now, perhaps drawn by the sound of a guitar played on deck? We hear them as they pass close to the boat - they surface, exhale, dip below the water, and repeat. There is no moon, only stars, and the dolphins glide through them, away into the night.

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