Posted by: Carol | August 16, 2008

Ensenada Grande Again!

CBParker_D3_20080814_SeaCortez-034PHOTO GALLERIES
2008 Mexico 3 – La Paz to Loreto

We’re retracing our steps back to La Paz with less than a week left before heading back to Tucson – last night we were anchored again in Ensenada Grande, our favorite anchorage on Espiritu Santo.

Back at Puerto El Gato last Thursday night, we chose snorkeling as our cooling-off method of choice. Mike and I paddled around the sandstone shelves and underwater canyons until a Mexican fisherman approached us in his panga to strike up a conversation (he from his boat, we treading water), introducing ourselves, comparing names (his was Miguel – same as Michael in Spanish). He offered to bring us langosta (lobster) for dinner and as soon as we accepted, he promised to return in an hour and a half with dinner.

By 7 p.m. we had about given up hope and were thawing steaks for the barbeque when he returned with a lobster apiece for the three of us and more for the other boat sharing our anchorage. He had obviously gone off to his hidden spot and snorkeled for them – he had fins, mask and snorkel and was wearing a long-sleeve dive-shirt. He was a rather portly type and I think the effort was his exercise for the day! We gave him a six-pack of cerveza and 100 pesos ($10)and he seemed delighted…as were we as we immediately postponed the steaks and enjoyed lobster for dinner – delicious!

Next day we motored some four hours to Isla Las Animas, small rocky outcroppings barely worth of the name island – but we suspected (and it turned out to be the case) the diving would be spectacular. Already there ahead of us was an expedition dive boat named Argo, belonging to the Undersea Hunter Group. We intend to look them up on the internet to find out exactly what they do – especially as one of their tenders showed up towing a submersible back to the mother ship!

Diving Las Animas was tricky as there was limited anchoring space for Raven, especially with the larger boat there. Rod had to monitor our dive from the dinghy at the same time making sure that Raven stayed safe at anchor and didn’t tangle with the rocks or the other boat. All went well and Mike and I enjoyed a great drift dive along a 20 meter wall with 1000s of fish and extremely clear water.

From Las Animas we headed back to Laguna Amortajada on the south end of Isla San Jose to spend the night. Super hot, and in the evening we were plagued by no-see-ums and in the morning an unpleasant gassy odor presumably generated by the mangroves with no breeze to disperse it. As a result, we left asap and traveled back to Espiritu Santo where the weather was cooler, the bugs fewer, and the water protected for pleasant swimming and kayaking.

We have been trolling unsuccessfully (except for the phantom marlin strike) for fish this entire trip, some 300 miles up and down the gulf – and on this last leg we finally landed a mahi mahi, about time! An hour later he was lunch (also dinner, with a few more meals in the freezer).

At this moment we are headed out to dive off a nearby reef, having enjoyed a snorkel already this morning and also watching turtles and sea lions playing around in the quiet water near the boat.

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