Archive for December, 2012

Isla Danzante at Year’s End

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

Leif and Susan and I, and their son Travis, paddled and/or pedaled to Danzante today, after a leisurely start from Ensenada Blanca.

Leif claimed that the local dolphins have been seen cruising down the west side of the island regularly at ten in the morning.  We hoped to find them, and if not then at least to have lunch and do a little hiking.

The forecast was for a second day of relative calm between two blustery periods, and when we went down to look at the water from our own beach at 7:30 we were convinced.  And conditions were still placid two hours later when we set forth, but as we left the little bay the wind became noticeable.  We pressed on and had a fairly pleasant crossing to one of the beaches at the south end of Danzante.  A group from Tofino Expeditions landed there at about the same time with similar ideas — but unlike us, they actually did the hike.  They had come from Loreto and were well into a multi-day trip.We set out again after lunch.

We were still worried about the wind and the way that the forecast didn’t seem to match up.  My friends were particularly skeptical since they had paddled down to Notrí the day before and hadn’t seen the predicted improvement then either.  We launched from our lunch stop with the idea that we would head for port unless unless things looked better.  They did; so we paddled lazily north for a while, looked toward Puerto Escondido, and then headed south.

Conditions seemed pretty manageable until we got past the south end of Danzante, but soon we had to admit that we were dealing with waves coming from two different directions behind us, and wind from another.  In their attempts to remain upright, our craft chose three different courses toward the peninsula; but after about 45 minutes of toil we met up again and rounded the point at the north end of the little bay (about as far left as you can see on the distant shore in the picture above).   There was some discussion about how glad we were to have made this trip.  Susan and Travis had gotten a pretty good look at the promised dolphins when we first approached the island;  Leif had been lagging behind, and I even more so.

I think that in the future we may wait for a longer window of supposedly good weather before setting out across open water.  Also, the tour groups are religious about getting to their destinations before one o’clock; and while we may not agree with all tenets of their faith, well, those guys were probably a lot happier hiking than we were paddling.

Midday at the Oasis

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

This looked like a good day to paddle to Loreto, with diminishing wind predicted and partly sunny skies.  There was some swell as I launched but the water became nearly glassy as I passed the airport.  The big spit at the mouth  of the arroyo is mostly gone, taken away by Hurricane Paul.  This palm tree appeared in its place, though.  After my lunch at the Oasis these birds posed for me, looking as much like a chow line as anything.  No cutting in line.

Still no wind on my journey home, but there were now waves out of the northeast, left over from some earlier event.  With a push by them, or maybe just the inspiration to paddle harder to stay on course, the return trip took about 45 minutes less.