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  • Anna Welscott

Our own slice of paradise: El Mezteño

Each time we venture to a new anchorage, it becomes our new favorite anchorage. There is something so liberating about filling Karuna with water, fuel, & food and heading out to explore for a few days. We are self-sufficient with water and solar, which allows us to stay at anchorage for days on end. We are incredibly fortunate with having the islands so close and so many choices of places to go and explore!


After Doug gave me a fantastic hair cut (I haven't had one for over a year) and we provisioned for some of our favorite food and drinks, we were looking forward to some R&R at Isla Espiritu! It is currently Holy Week in Mexico and we were warned that the town would be packed with people and even the islands might get busy. With the temperatures heating up into the 90s we decided we would take our chances and head to the islands to cool off in the beautiful clear waters. I had been researching our guidebooks and had my eye on a small anchorage that can only handle two boats, which is quite smaller compared to some of the larger coves that can handle 10 or 15 boats.


When leaving the marina in La Paz we have to hail the Capitán de Puerto (Port Captain) on the VHF radio and let him know that we are leaving port for a few days. We give all the pertinent information in Spanish: name of vessel, how many souls are on-board, where we are leaving from, where we are going, and when we will be back. He does not speak English, so we do or best to answer everything he might be asking or needing to know.


El Mezteño is about a 5 hour sail from La Paz. 5 hours is a long time to patiently wait to see if the anchorage we are shooting for will be open or if we will need to continue on or backtrack to find a spot to drop our hook. The great news is, the islands offer multiple anchorages and great beaches, so you can't really go wrong. We hoped for the best and were rewarded when we rounded the finger to find El Mezteño open, with only a couple small tourist pangas at the beach.


We dropped the anchor and jumped in to cool off and enjoy the water, which is as clear as a swimming pool. We swam around for a bit and then took the dinghy to shore. Meanwhile, the tourist pangas left for the day and we were left to enjoy the peaceful beach and sunset. Another sailboat arrived and we shared the anchorage with them for the night.


In the following days we enjoyed the beach, more amazing sunsets, and a hike. In the guidebook it says: "for those wishing to get off the boat and stretch their legs, a good hike leads up the arroyo (dried stream) at the back to the beach". Sounds great!....however the guidebook neglects to tell you that the hike is a full-on bouldering adventure! After an hour of climbing and scrambling up the canyon, we decided we should turn around, as we only had so much water and I started to realize that I'm not in as good of shape as I once was. The views were amazing and it was nice to get some exercise!


It was amazing to spend each morning enjoying coffee and reading in the cockpit while watching the sunrise. On a side note, we have discovered that we enjoy bird watching. Who knew??!! It's like a non-stop nature channel here with boobies, falcons, sea gulls, herons, and pelicans. We witnessed some turf wars between birds hunting and were quite impressed with the hunting skills and tactics that some of these birds have and the size of fish that they can catch!


After getting our beach and island fix, we headed back to La Paz. We had a nice sail back and we noted that we are becoming "soft" with the near-perfect sailing conditions that we have been having.


We are back at our marina and as I type this, Doug is at the market re-provisioning. The water is already filled, and we are looking to head back out to the islands sooner than later!




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