Isla San Jose to San Evaristo, April 15th 2009.

In the morning we paddled the rest of the way along the bottom of Isla San Jose and rounded the last spit before starting north. We kept expecting to see the exit of the deep channel we found in the lagoon, but never found it. I think it was wise not to try to follow that channel. We paddled a long distance up the west side of the island along a big gravel berm before we found the north entrance to the mangrove lagoon.

We turned into the lagoon here and paddled a loop of deeper water. I poked the nose of my kayak into the mangroves to look at the impenetrable root system above a muddy shoreline. A swarm of gnats came out and started biting my face. We exited the lagoon and paddled close to shore for a while to avoid a shallow shoal offshore from the mouth.

Kate DesLauriers found a whale scull in the sandy shore here and we landed to check it out. We found a few ribs scattered about on the beach and inland between the brush. But not much remained.

Northwest along the shore we started seeing rusty iron equipment abandoned to the elements. Eventually we stopped to explore a ghost town. Another salt mine with drying ponds and old trucks. We found where all the missing left sandals go! Someone had collected all the footwear that washed ashore and arranged it in one of the abandoned buildings as an art project. Another art installation I found was an arrangement of bones sticking out of a shoe. It was meant to look like someone had died here, but there were way too many joints in the leg. Perhaps it was a space alien? In a tennis shoe?

We paddled on a while and stopped at the light tower near the end of Punta El Amortajado. The end of this point is one of the closer spots to the mainland so after lunch and resting up we charged the 4 miles across to the mainland. We had perfect weather for a crossing: Mild seas and little wind. What wind we had helped push some of us (the ones with sails) across. We came to ground in San Evaristo, a small town inside a protective cove. This town has a store and a desalinization plant. Some of us had to replenish their water supply, and we went shopping. There wasn’t a lot to buy, not even tortillas! I did buy a few apples and a jicama to slice up into a salad later.

Yachties were sailing and motoring in from all directions to anchor in the cove. We talked to some of them and they were all responding to a weather prediction of two days of 10 to 30 knot wind from the north. It was supposed to start the next day. Since this would only push us on out way, we did not change our plans. We left the harbor and paddled a mile to a cobble beach that had a nice flat patch of desert above it to camp in.

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