It was a beautiful day with clear skies, and a mild wind from the north. Perhaps The Virgin was smiling on us. We set an aggressive ferry angle to counter the wind and watched several “ranges” to track our course. A “range” means watching the parallax between some nearby point and something much farther away. We had to watch features of the San Francisquito Point against the peaks of mountains on the middle of the Baja Peninsula. These indicated that we were traveling too far to the north so we turned farther and farther south until we were paddling straight into San Francisquito Bay from the north. Just before we paddled into the bay, we crossed a tidal rip. A noisy strip of water that was rising up into standing waves as the flood tide headed north. We found this to be a bit of fun, but I was sobered to think that this was a small flood tide and we had wisely avoided paddling in any of the large ebb tides in this area. (Ebb tides are usually stronger than the flood tides for the same change in water height).
We paddled into Alberto’s cove with the wind and waves pushing us along. Alberto did not answer our hail on the VHF marine radio, but he came home before we stopped by to pick up my truck. I backed the truck down to the water to load our gear and boats. The wind picked up and was so strong that it caused the plastic propeller in the receiver of my bumper to spin! This is a silly little decoration that looks like a boat propeller and plugs into the receiver when I don’t have a towing hitch or a bike rack installed in it. I was disappointed to hear (from my friends following me) that driving 65 MPH on the freeway does not make this propeller spin. So it was quite a surprise to see that the wind in Baja can make it spin! We went and talked to Alberto before leaving, and he said that it was interesting that the wind died down when we put our boats in the water, and picked back up again as we took our boats out!
There are a lot of interesting things for a kayaker to do in this area. John and I would like to come back some time when we can paddle to the smaller islands north of Isla Salsipuedes. I would like to paddle around Isla Angel de la Guarda one day, a large island north of here. That island would be easier to get to from Bahia de los Angeles, but it would be more interesting to island hop from San Francisquito. This is the best place to island hop across the Sea of Cortez to make a crossing to the mainland and back, another trip that I would like to do one day. And two years ago I ended a trip with here with Penny Wells and a bunch of other people. We all figured that we would be coming back here again to do another trip farther south. So we pumped Alberto with questions about the services he provides. It turns out that he has everything that a kayaker could want! He has a deep well and sells fresh water out of it. Warm beer is also for sale (he says if he keep it cool he drinks it all!) Alberto has a place to park your car for extended periods while out on the water. He has a truck and is willing to shuttle kayaks up and down the coast. We asked about shuttling kayaks in his ponga, but he suggested that the truck would be less expensive. Alberto also has camping sites in the dunes behind his cove for kayakers to stay in the first or last night of their trips. John agrees with me that we will be seeing Alberto again one day soon!
We drove across the airstrip to the resort to have fish tacos for lunch again. (One service Alberto does not provide is a restaurant) and then we started the long drive home. We stopped for dinner again in Bahia De los Angeles at Guillermo’s and kept driving. Our plan was to pull over into one of the side roads through the dessert and camp for the night, but we missed the turn-off and found ourselves back on the main Highway One sooner than we expected. The road from Bahia de los Angeles to the main road is so good in places that we got up to 65 miles an hour, and then dented the rim of one of my tires in a mine field of potholes! We didn’t notice this at first until the tire lost pressure and was completely shredded! We put on the spare and continued until we found a side road . We drove off into the dessert until we were far enough to get away from the sound of the trucks on Highway One and camped for the night.