Patrick had been canvassing me to head back early. For two nights after he was bitten so many times by no-see-ums he had trouble sleeping. He said that if there was a way to paddle all day long and get back to a pharmacy for some Benadril cream he would have done it. My original plan was to follow the west shore of the island back to where we first landed, completing a close circumnavigation of the island. Most people who have done this trip have made a long crossing back from the south end of the island. Few have kayaked the extra day up the inside of the west shore. One more reason why I wanted to do it! When we came across the tides were strong and I planned the trip to travel north across the channel with the current helping us. In a few days the tide would be the mildest of the month and we could safely make a crossing at the shortest part of the channel, only 10 kilometers. The long crossing from the south end would be around 38 kilometers of paddling without even a rock to look at. Not my favorite type of paddle by a long shot.
But when we woke up on this morning the air and sea were incredibly calm. If we were to pick a day to make a long crossing, this was the perfect one. I decided that we should not tempt fate by ignoring such good weather. I let Patrick convince me to head back. We each dumped tons of extra water that we would not need. I saved four liters in case we got blown back and needed to camp out for another day or two. We started paddling north along the shore to the next point then turned farther and farther out into the channel. We headed a little north of our goal with the expectation that the mild tides would push us a little south. During the day Patrick had me try switching from my “normal” Greenland paddle to my backup paddle. My spare paddle is a standard modern paddle with large blades and Patrick thought I might go a little faster with them. My GPS did not bear out this hypothesis and as we started between the islands in Bahia de los Angeles I switched back to the Greenland paddle that I like so much better. After about 7 hours of nearly non-stop paddling, we landed on the sand in front of Guillermo’s Restaurant.
It was only 3:00 PM when we landed at Bahia de los Angeles, which felt like the middle of the day. We packed up and started the drive home without stopping to stay the night like the float plan said. We made it to El Rosario on the Pacific side of Baja by the time it was dark and stayed in a room at Momma Espanoza’s. The next day we drove out of Baja through the border town of Tecate. I find Tecate a much nicer town than Tijuana, the distance is about the same and the road is in good condition. Rather than stay someplace in southern California for the evening, we drove all day and into the evening to get home yet another day earlier.