The Cardon Coast

San Felipe to La Paz

Baja Sea-Kayaking Adventure #9

33 days with Jenny, 680 miles, Nov 1989

Ray Jardine

Cruising The Cardon Coast page 3 of 36

DAY 1

We awoke at dawn and sat upright in the luxurious warmth to watch the spectacle of a beautiful pre-sunrise, painting the horizon in flamboyant crimsons and golds. Some 30 feet distant, the girl of the night before rose and came and introduced herself. A German, Colene was taking a few days' vacation time from her social work in Tijuana. She had arranged to meet her friends here, but had been unable to find them, and it wasn't until several hours later that she discovered they had slept only a couple hundred yards further on along the beach. Colene and her boyfriend were quite friendly, reminding us once again that a very good way to meet nice people is to leave the big cities.

We slept here on the beach, and now we are finishing our work on the boat.

Jenny and I resumed our work of completing our Lilliputian yacht assembly, and it wasn't until 10:30 am that all was ready for embarkation. Unlike the day previous, today's wind was light and from the west, but it seemed to be gradually piping, and we wanted to put to sea before the surf rose to disquieting proportions. Our anxieties proved in vain, though, for we launched into mere 6-inch seas, and the conditions remained benign throughout the remainder of the day.

The kayak is loaded and we are ready to depart.

We had stowed 15 gallons of drinking water on board. This included four gallons of store-bought bottled water, to carry us through a few days until we could organize filtering the remainder, obtained at the RV trailer park in San Felipe.

We paddle for quite a distance before finally reaching the man-made harbor, then held fairly close to shore all the way to Point Estrella.

As a matter of note, we had timed our arrival at San Felipe to coincide with the moon's first quarter, as this (or the 3rd quarter) is when the mildest tides occur. [Search the internet for "Tide Calendar for Sea of Cortez".] On previous trips I had learned that this tactic would greatly minimize what can be monstrous problems with San Felipe's expansive tidal flats and adverse currents.

I bought this straw hat from a street vendor.

After paddling 4-1/2 hours, as the wind slowly veered to SE, we land ashore at Playa Estrella, an aptly named beach where we would celebrate our first night away from civilization. The beach is flanked with a long line of palisades and these we climb in search of firewood, but we find very little. Back at camp we strike a meager fire, and on it cooked dinner. Darkness fell at about 5:30 pm, and we enjoy the evening sitting on rocks composed of consolidated, fossilized sea shells, and watching the offshore lights of shrimp trawlers with their droning diesels.

Day's mileage 15, in 41/2 hours.

I'm checking out the camping possibilities while Jenny hoves to.

Jenny cooks dinner on a meager fire.

The story has 36 pages. This is page 3.
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