I left Ensenada Grande with my sights on Isla San Francisco. My ASA 101 sailing teacher had said this was one of her favorite places to anchor. Winds were blowing up to 20 kts out of the south and I sailed most of the way. There are three main anchorages and I chose the one on the north side to be leeward of the south winds. It’s a huge shallow bay and the color of the water is incredible. I had this bay completely to myself. I was hoping the winds would die down so I could snorkel but they didn’t drop off until dark. It was surreal having an anchorage to myself for the first time.
Once I was sitting out on the back of the boat and a dolphin came leisurely cruising by. He was by himself and didn’t pay much attention to me at all and he was gone. Right before that I had gone down below to make a sandwich and I come back up to find a seagull sitting on my outboard. He hung around for the longest time I’m assuming waiting for me to give into human instinct and want to feed the cute birdy. I didn’t because I envisioned this leading to a number of his hooligan friends showing up.
Another thing that was really interesting was there were gulls on the island and they would fly to the north, but once they got to a certain invisible perimeter frigate birds would attack them and drive them back. They were relentless and once the gulls knew a frigate was in pursuit they frantically tried to get back across the invisible barrier as fast as they could with the frigates in hot pursuit.
In the picture below you can see a house on the small island just to the north of Isla San Francisco called Isla Pardito or Coyote Isle. The logistics of building a home on this remote island amazes me! These people live very simple lives when compared to life up north and yet they are happy and content and want for nothing that isn’t readily available to them.
I was really excited I was going to wake up to dead calm conditions. Contrary to my hopes, I woke up to 20 kts gusting to 25 coming out of the north with 2 ft swells in quick sequence and the boat was rising and falling pretty dramatically. I wasn’t expecting this. I was expecting the winds to start out light and then start increasing from the west. I pulled anchor and headed to an anchorage west of me called Cabeza De Mechudo that I thought would afford good protection from the winds out of the west. It was only about an hour and a half there and when I got there I saw another boat that had anchored there the night before just heading out. When I got close I could see the reason they had left as the winds were coming out of the northeast were blowing right into the bay. I got out my cruising guide and found that just north a couple of more hours was San Evaristo which had a good reputation for riding out winds from the west so north I headed.