Thursday, January 12, 2006

January 8 2006 - Isla del Carmen

Last week we did our first little kayak expedition. We left our base camp just north of Playa Ligui where we had – what seems now luxurious – a 3 man tent, camping chairs, a table and a cooler full of delicious food and bebidas.

Now, everything what we wanted on our weeklong trip around Isla del Carmen had to fit in the two sea kayaks. First you have to really think what you want/need during this week, but if you make the right decision, bringing very little stuff certainly simplifies life. The crossing to the island went well and the first three days the Sea of Cortez was calm like a bath tub. Along the shore there are lots of coral reefs, rocks with colourful fish – perfect for snorkeling. One of the highlights was that we encountered dolphins almost every day. Traveling by kayak is non invasive, hence perfect for watching wildlife animals in the sea and on land. We also saw other cetaceans, pilot whales – they are fairly small whales (slightly bigger than dolphins), but extremely playful – and performed a fantastic jump show for us in the air! On the north tip of the Island is a small seal colony – we could hear their barking from afar and some of them slid into the water and swam towards us to remind us (well, mainly Vik) to keep a respectful distance.

On day 4 the wind picked up - we landed on the most beautiful sand beach – white sand, turquoise water, like from a Club Med pamphlet. However a sandy beach is not a great place in a storm. The sand felt like needles on the skin. We tried to leave the sand blasting lagoon the next morning, but the wind and the current were just too strong so we turned back. Especially after hearing about the death of a Canadian kayaker which happened in a storm in the area 4 weeks ago, we didn’t want to underestimate “El Norte” the infamous North wind. The Sea of Cortez taught us patience and surrendering. We tried again the next morning, but the gusts were still too strong, sometimes I had to lean with my full body weight against the wind just to not capsize. We decided to land on a small beach, waited for a few hours and finally left this beautiful looking, but devilish turbulent lagoon in calmer, but still windy conditions. Around the corner El Norte was in our back and we could “surf” the waves, which was sometimes challenging, but most of the time a lot of fun.

This trip was a great preparation for our longer expedition, which will be from Bahia de Los Angeles to La Paz (about 800km):
We got to try out our gear and feel comfortable with fully loaded kayaks.
No problem to live minimalistic!
The Sea of Cortez confirmed that it is crucial to bring extra food and water, in case you get stuck in a storm for 3 days.
Some windy weather kayaking experience.

So – all set for the big expedition! Baja Wide Screen TV – Canale Uno (no channel hopping- there is only one channel!) for about 4-6 weeks. Oh yes, and thank you for your comments so far – they are highly appreciated! Big hugs!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow - you guys that was so beautiful! Thanks so much. Sigh.
Wishing you lots of luck.

9:00 AM  

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