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More Sights and Sites

La Ramada

Just south of Punta Púlpito lies a cozy cove called La Ramada. It is enclosed on the east and west by hills, with a small beach at the south end. Scrambling the steep slopes, goats munch on rather scrubby and prickly vegetation.

4 Goats climbing hillside
Caleta San Juanico

Overlooking Caleta San Juanico

We hauled our dinghy onto the beach and said hello to some folks in a camper. Surprise - we had met in Victoria! They attended an electrical course that Bjarne had put on (Barb was there as assistant and general gopher). After hearing their favourable reviews of the workshop, we carried on along the trail to the popular anchorage of Caleta San Juanico, spotting a few pretty song birds along the way and small bits of obsidian scattered about.

3 pieces of obsidian nestled in a pink seashell


Naturally, we had to inspect the underwater scenery. These Cortez Rainbow Wrasses are seen in many places and we always love their bright colours. It also amazes us that the juvenile pattern looks so different from that of the adults.

Adult Cortez Rainbow Wrasse

Adult Cortez Rainbow Wrasse

Cortez Rainbow Wrasse Juvenile

Juvenile Cortez Rainbow Wrasse

Agua Verde

Farther south, on the way to Agua Verde one passes by the attractive Roca Blanca. It was certainly appealing to the pelicans that day.

Roca Blanca near Agua Verde

Roca Blanca (one of many with that name)

Agua Verde is another popular anchorage. In addition to being pretty and having some protection in north, south and west winds, you can buy basic provisions and fresh goat cheese. There are also a couple restaurants receiving favourable reviews, and one can find good diving and snorkelling nearby. Agua Verde is a regular stop for the cruise ships as well. This particular time we were pleased to see the pride flag flying over Uncruise's Safari Endeavour. It was fun to watch the staff towing the kayaks ashore, looking like little ducklings following their mama. We chatted with a few of the crew and were invited to join the beach party later but alas, we were heading out that afternoon. When a cruise ship is in town, a hard-working family sets up a display of attractive jewelery, created from natural, local materials. Barb later heard a sad story of some of their struggles and was glad she had purchased one of their hand-crafted items.

Uncruise vessel Safari Endeavour flying Pride Flag

The Safari Endeavour, with Pride

Long line of kayaks being towed to beach

Keeping those ducklings in order

Due to its popularity, Agua Verde provided lots of socializing opportunities (for those who might worry we are isolated). Barb set forth on a paddle one morning but she ended up visiting more than exercising. We hosted a happy hour where some old friends met new ones, and enjoyed having company on one of our walks. That hike took us past an old, neglected cemetary with many broken or illegible markers. As we've seen elsewhere, graves were marked in very diverse ways.

Grave marker in Agua Verde Metal figure attached to grave marker in Agua Verde

We were also surprised when we came across a lagoon surrounded by palm trees. Usually we see them around towns where they have been planted and watered. Ron (with Karin on Double Deuce) wondered if they were being grown here and sent to resorts.

Palm tree plantation or Lagoon

On our departure day we were walking along the beach, goat cheese in hand, when we stopped to chat with a fellow in a camper van. As the conversation went on we realized we had met Bob in 2005 in New Zealand! He sailed there on Twixt from BC the same year we did. Wow! It's a good thing we aren't on the run as the Baja Peninsula is clearly not the place for sailors to hide out!

San Marté

It was a short sail from Agua Verde to the small bay at San Marté. We stopped here both on the way to La Paz and then again several weeks later as we wandered our way north. The bay is uninhabited although on our second visit there were several fishers working the reef.

San Marte

Looking down on San Marté

Cholla silhouetted against sky

Cholla on the hill at San Marté

Our guide book lauded the snorkelling, which turned out to be accurate in terms of nice variety of sealife and some large specimens. Here are a few of the sights.

occupied sea shell Barb snorkelling
Ray eggs

We believe these are ray eggs

Giant Hawkfish

Giant Hawkfish

Puerto Los Gatos

Carrying on south from San Marté, we stopped at the beautiful Puerto Los Gatos (port of the cats). We think the name comes from the incredible red sandstone rocks that are at the northeastern end of the anchorage, some of which look like a bit like cat paws, although someone we know calls them dragon toes. To the west one can admire the beautiful Sierra de la Gigantas.

Sandstone formations at Puerto Los Gatos Barb clambering on rocks
Rock formations at Puerto Los Gatos Hoku Paa with Sierras Giganticas Rock formations at Puerto Los Gatos
Rock formations at Puerto Los Gatos

We are not the only ones who like this place. The National Geographic cruise ship regularly stops here; interestingly, they also had a rainbow.

National Geographic cruise ship with Rainbow

Rainbow Cruise Ship, aka NG Venture

On the beach we met yet another camper. At this point we were almost surprised that we did NOT know him, even though he had done some sailing in the past. Although he was enjoying the beach, he reported that the road in had been so terrible it took him 4 hours to extricate himself from a hole. He had to lift his van bit by bit and shovel gravel into the depresssions. Some friends were supposed to join him but - go figure - they didn't brave the road, leaving him holding a large quantity of oranges that we were happy to help him consume. As evening fell we enjoyed some interesting conversation and company when two folks from another boat joined us for a little beach fire. And how rude would it be if we didn't introduce ourselves to the local sea creatures? The better visibility (20'-25') was a treat and it was here we saw the spotted eagle rays we were so excited about in our previous post about wildlife.

Jewel Moray Eel

This Jewel Moray likes Los Gatos too


Cloudy Sky with Sharp Cloud Bank

8.5°C?!! Ay, yi, yi! That was how February 21st began. Barb was tempted to dispatch an emergency email: send blankets!! Without intervention though, the sun did its thing, warming the day to a more comfortable 20°C. If only the ocean would heat up similarly... We at least ensured we had hot water to rinse off with after snorkelling.

The weather certainly kept us on our toes. The afternoon's brisk wind shifted unexpectedly, bringing large waves that soon had us hobby-horsing - unpleasant but not dangerous, we thought. However, as we prepared to go ashore, we heard the rudder strike bottom (which was luckily sand). Yikes! Nothing like bonking the boat on the ground to get people hopping. Once safely settled in deeper water we dinghied off for that beach fire on nice stable land.

February 22 brought a bit more warmth, with clouds moving in, rain off to the west, and more bounce-inducing winds forecast for the night. Our destination, the nicely protected San Evaristo, seemed appealing but, alas, the wind was coming from that direction. Since we needed to cover 29 miles (assuming one sails straight) we couldn't leave later in the day when a wind shift was predicted. While we slowly tacked our way upwind, there was much discussion about whether bashing to windward for a long day was worth a possibly better sleep, especially when in doubt of arriving by nightfall. Some of us, more trusting of the forecast, figured the sailing would become easier over the day. Others of us are more willing to sleep in a bouncy castle.

Sierras de la Gigantas in sunrise

Sierras de la Gigantas in sunrise

The take-the-easier-route-now faction won out so we turned about and enjoyed a very quick sail back to the cats' paws, with yet another re-anchoring later in the afternoon when that wind shift came in. And yes, some of us did not sleep well that night. The next day, however, we blasted south on a speedy downwind sail and all factions had to agree that the sailing was mighty fine.

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