East shore of Isla San Jose, April 14th 2009.

We paddled the rest of the way down the east shore of Isla San Jose. After seeing some of the incredible sandstone cliffs again we paddled a low non-descript section that was still punctuated by interesting points with big caves and points with gravel beaches. We stopped at a few of these for rest stops and lunch and could have camped but it was too early in the day.

We rounded the southeast corner and started along the bottom of the island looking for the last good campsite before the mangrove swamp. We went too far, or just didnít find any good beaches and ran into the mangroves. Herb Howe had never seen them before, so we went in through a shallow entrance and paddled in the lagoon behind the shoreline. We crossed the lagoon and landed on a muddy beach to look around. It was a windy afternoon and that was keeping the bugs at bay. It was such an interesting place we considered risking the bugs to camp here just this once.

We found a deep-water channel that lead us farther west. It had steep gravel banks and flat gravel to camp on. However, the entrance that we came in through would be dry in the morning at low tide and we would have trouble getting out. So we went back out to sea while the getting was good, paddled a short distance west and landed on the outside. From there we could camp up on a gravel berm next to the swamp. Between the first rows of mangroves the wind was calm enough to cook dinner. Later in the evening the wind died down and the bugs started coming out so we retreated early into our tents.

All text and images Copyright © 2009 by Mike Higgins / contact