Isla Partida

A cardón in bloom. They are also called Elephant Cactus. When the bloom fades and the flower falls off, the seed pods are very soft, and feathery, not at all prickly like a cactus. A forest of cardóns is a cardonal, thus the name of the ensenada.

From Pichilingue, Gypsy and Dharma Girl buddy boated up to Isla Partida, the northern island of Espiritu Santo. On the way, big rays were jumping instead of whales. We dropped anchor Ensenada el Cardonal, where we had been foiled by a grassy bottom earlier in the year. We wanted to go back to Cardoncito but another boat beat us to it and it’s too small a cove for three boats. Cardonal is a lovely, bigger bay with room for more boats, and it does have a nice hike to the other side of the island.

One of the highlights at Cardonal was getting to see Beethoven again, friends we met in Puerto Escondido and buddy boated with for awhile. They stopped by for the night before leaving for Hawaii in the morning. We all got together for a potluck and had a lovely time. We waved them off the next morning at dawn. Twenty two days later they anchored in Hilo Bay.

On to Ensenada Grande, a larger bay at the north end of Isla Partida. We were hoping that by now, the mega-yachts and Semana Santa party charters would be heading back to whence they came. Of the four other boats anchored, we were easily the smallest boat in the bay.

After a rolly night, it was time to move on. Winds were good for heading north. We got the spinnaker up for a little while. Fishing was catch and release seaweed. At one point, Nina looked back at Ensenada Grande through the binoculars and noticed a Princess cruise ship with what looked like a bunch of tenders in the water stopped outside the bay. We had counted five cruise ships parked outside of La Paz as we were on our way to Isla Partida. Forty-five minutes later they were on their way. We caught part of a news story later that there were protests in La Paz over the cruise ships staying in the bay.

We dropped anchor in San Evaristo that afternoon. Another rolly night, so we moved to a different part of the bay the next morning. Everyone else had the same idea, and by the afternoon we were surrounded by big charter cats. We are guessing that the anchoring instructions they receive are: find an anchored monohull; blast in and pull up really close to their bow; drop anchor with maybe a three to one rode, and call it good. The rode ratio is how much anchor chain/rope you put out in relation the the water depth. We generally tend to put out four or five to one, so things could get interesting. Bill did ask one to please move farther away as he was uncomfortable with how close to us they were, and they nicely complied. But then two more dropped anchor practically on top of us. A forty to fifty foot catamaran has a lot of mass and is not something that we’d want to drag or crash onto us in a blow.

Coffee in the morning with Dharma Girl and Jo. Dharma Girl needs to head back to La Paz for work on their transmission. We’ll be heading up to San Telmo with Jo, and with Rocinante, a boat we just met.

Not our seaweed catch and release, but a green skipjack we caught on the way across from Mazatlán. It was pretty good. We’re getting better at the messy bits.

8 thoughts on “Isla Partida”

  1. Wonderful reporting and pictures as always! Love to hear all about your adventures. Keep them coming! Love, Mom

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  2. I’m guessing you are correct on the anchoring instructions for the charter cats 🙂 Looks like the cacti and the hikes have been enjoyable. Great photos. Take Care. Pam and Carl

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