Cabo San Lucas to La Paz: A Photo Essay

Since we’ve been a little preoccupied with the hurdle of creating our first sailing vlog (video log) episode 1 Resolute Sets Sail, the blog has been a touch neglected.  So please if you haven’t already watched our first episode check it out and if you like what you see Subscribe (there is a link at the end of the video or you can select the red button beneath the video if you’re watching in YouTube).

We sailed from Cabo San Lucas to La Paz stopping in Los Frailes for some incredible sunsets and balmy hikes with expansive views.  We used our pole spear for the first time and were rewarded with several nights of tasty reef fish appetizers.  Continuing north we bashed into 20 knot winds with the aid of the Sea of Cortez special, steep, short period waves.  Add to the conditions a strong current counter to the winds and it made for a rough and tedious day.  Poor planning, but chalk it up to another little adventure!

As for the rest, I will still my ceaseless ramblings for a change and let the photos do the talking…

Erik… you’re up:

S/V Resolute at anchor

Nikka enjoying the hike up from Los Frailes anchorage


S/V resolute Erik and Nikka

Nikka and Erik enjoying a cooling dip after a HOT hike


Baja, Mexico, cactus

Plenty of these guys around, careful what you touch


Small mackerel

Small mackerel we caught with the hand line


Black skipjack mackarel

A very large Black Skipjack, excellent dark meat like a steak


Baja Fish tacos

Our meal staple. Fish tacos straight out of the Sea of Cortez


Shade tree

The ONLY shade around


Beach life with a dog

Nikka enjoying a little beach life, sporting a nice lifejacket too


what lies beyond

Meagan wondering what lies beyond


beach walking

Meagan and Nikka enjoying a sunset stroll on the beach at Bahia de Los Muertos



open air bar

Meagan enjoying the wifi at the open air bar

San Diego Provisioning


San Diego Night Skyline

San Diego Skyline


We arrived in San Diego at the end of March, two days after tearing ourselves away from beautiful Catalina Island.  Upon entering the San Diego channel, a Navy RIB abruptly sped toward us as one of the men called out to us over the loud speaker asking us very kindly, but very directly to exit the channel we had just moments ago entered.  Unsure and slightly apprehensive, we thought to ourselves, “Less than a minute into San Diego, could we really be getting boarded already?” Without question we promptly did what we were told, having left our rebellious spirits slain on the shores of Twin Harbors.  From our vantage point outside the channel the reason for their request quickly became apparent as an enormous partially submerged submarine filled our view to the north.  At the top of the submarine a large American flag flew and several uniformed men stood waving.  Impressed and in awe of such a marvel of human invention Erik and I stood gawking and giddily waving like two children at a parade.  Once the submarine and its entourage of RIBs passed we proceeded back into the channel, on our way to the police docks. We were required to undergo an inspection which would mean the difference between permission to stay at the cruiser’s anchorage for free for up to 30 days, or tie up at the transient docks for a maximum of 14 days shelling out 36 dollars per day.  Suffice it to say we wanted to pass that inspection.  We motored back and forth through the channel attacking the difficult task of locating all of our non-expired flares and doing our best to make Resolute presentable down below.  Turns out we had little to worry about and we passed with flying colors, dropping the hook at the cruiser’s anchorage just in time to see the last of the sun retreat below the horizon.  While still on deck buttoning up Resolute for the night we watched, transfixed, as three large military crafts soundlessly motored past and stop a short distance off.  All but two of the men from each vessel slid quickly into the frigid water and even in the darkness our eyes followed them as they swam below the surface out of the tiny cove, their little red lights floating above them as they swam.  Later we learned that we had most likely witnessed a Navy Seal practice dive, common in the area because of the proximity to Naval Base San Diego, the largest US Navy base on the west coast of the United States.

Although access to the cruiser’s anchorage as well as the incessant noise and swell caused by a constant barrage of boats coming and going through the channel was at times almost unbearable, even looking back now the view still takes my breath away.  To the east the city skyline stretched out before us in an unobstructed view of sharp angles and twinkling lights.  Above the cityscape planes lined up for their final descent into San Diego airport and from our bobbing paradise we could follow their descent all the way to their landing strip less than a mile to the north.  During the day the view included navy war ships, commercial barges, and a plethora of various types of sailboats from schooners to racing trimarans, including a surprising number of restored tall ships.

My mom flew in from Florida on the second day to help us with some provisioning.  She rented a 19 foot RV for the week and we put her to work.  We loaded the RV with a craigslist outboard, ten foot paddle boards, Costco bulk items, and a million other odds and ends.  It was quite impressive to see her managing that RV on the city streets of San Diego.  Both of us were unfamiliar with the town and although she had my help navigating, I was recently separated from my smart phone and cherished google maps app for the first time in over 6 years and at times was so lost in a clutter of scribbled directions and small scale paper maps I was of little help.  Even when the craigslist outboard we were hauling spilled a gallon of gasoline in the RV bathroom I never heard her complain.  The fumes were so bad by the time we drove back to the dingy docks we were feeling pretty woosy and well on our way to substantial headaches.  That night she had to stay with us on Resolute to give the RV a chance to air out.  (Thanks Mom!)

After my mom left and we took care of some of our “real life” duties like taxes and fishing licenses we hung out with more family and friends.  Erik’s cousin Dana lives in San Diego and our friends Dalon and Heidi, from Marina Village in Alameda moved back down to San Diego a few months ago.  We all spent an amazing Easter weekend in Coronado which involved a lot of good food and some extreme paddle boarding.  We may have looked crazy doing it, but we had a great time, all of us lined up behind their Boston Whaler, grasping at the tow line and trying desperately to balance on top of our partially inflated paddle boards while Coronado Bay whizzed past at 5 knots!  There was rarely a night we spent in San Diego that we did not enjoy a soak in the hot tub of Dalon and Heidi’s marina.  Yes, their marina has a hot tub and yes, it was fantastic.  I know what we will be looking for in the list of amenities next time we decide to forego the anchor for a set of dock lines.

San Diego arriving by boat

Arriving in San Diego


boat friends

San Diego friends Dalon, Heidi and Scarlet


boat dogs

Boat dogs!


Our trip has begun!

Yesterday we shed our foul weather gear for bathing suits and something about that gorgeous sun on our sickly white, translucent bodies just made it feel official.  Our trip has begun!  Until yesterday we had been sailing day and night fully clad from head to toe, with only a little slit for our eyes between where the winter hat left off and the collar of our fully zipped foul weather jackets began.  Unlike Erik, I had the luxury of my finger tips basking in the sunlight since I had decided on fingerless sailing gloves, but still you get the point, not a lot of warm weather on the way down.  Due to the timing of our departure, the first of February, we have had a painfully slow trip down the California coast dodging storms, crab pots, and a severe lack of wind.  The one thing that San Francisco did not prepare us for was how to sail in such alarmingly light air.  Our tried and true response to the incessant luffing of a sail has always been to turn to the iron genny, but that method is not going to work for much longer.  If we keep feeding Resolute diesel the way we have been our own food budget is going to start feeling the sting.

We arrived in Santa Catalina four days ago, after a brief stop over in the rugged, breathtaking northern Channel Islands.  At their closest point, the northern Channel Islands are a mere 30 miles off the coast of Santa Barbara, however, we had them all to ourselves.  Well, not entirely to ourselves if you count the large pod of playful dolphins that escorted us both into our anchorage and out two days later.  Our first stop in Catalina was the small town of Two Harbors.  We arrived just as the sun was rising, which made a surreal scene that much more otherworldly.  Laid out in front of us was approximately 200 mooring balls with a backdrop of soaring cliffs, and a small Mediterranean looking village with skinny palm trees reaching skyward.  Our gawking abruptly transitioned to full on go mode when we saw the location where Charlie’s Charts directed us to anchor.  A tight little beauty with cliffs on one side, partially submerged rocks on the other.  It turned out to be quite spacious with the use of a bow and stern anchor to prevent any swing, however, a couple days later when we woke up to 4 other boats trying to share the 200 square foot anchorage, we knew it was time to go.

Another reason for leaving the quaint little spot came the night before in the form of harbor patrol steaming up to our boat.  We waved a friendly hello to the rapidly approaching patrol boat, naively assuming they were there to welcome us to the area similar to the gracious greeting we received by harbor patrol upon arrival in Morro Bay several weeks earlier.  As the boat pulled along side of us the man behind the wheel quickly revealed the bad news.  We had been banned from the island.  Yes, you read that correct, we had been banned….from the island.  My jaw dropped to the cockpit floor, then remembering my gullible tendencies I began to laugh, I had been duped again, harbor patrol must be having a little fun with the newbies.  But unfortunately, I was wrong, again, it took him several minutes to convince me he was not joking. I abruptly stopped laughing and he explained the reason for our banishment.  It turns out the outdoor beach showers that you see littered along public beaches across Florida and California, were on Catalina privately owned and were only to be used by people staying at the campgrounds.  Ooops!  After a long talk with harbor patrol and a couple trips to and from our boat, we lessened our banishment to only the campground itself, like I said before, it was time to go.

Following our bathing suit clad motor sail yesterday we arrived at the indescribably beautiful Small Harbor anchorage on the south side of Catalina.  There is a small campground along the beach (with showers we will not use!) and a vehicle pull out, but overall the place is pretty empty and we are the only boat for miles.  We are trying to enjoy a little of the slower more relaxed lifestyle we came on this trip to pursue, but so far has just felt like another to do item on the list.  As I sit here in this pristine cove I am reminded the daunting list of boat projects to be completed, phone calls to be made, and trip plans to be finalized, all can wait.  The sun here will set at precisely 5:56 pm and it will rise again at 6:13 am tomorrow morning bringing with it a whole new set of things to do.  I will let them wait…

Leaving Golden Gate behind on the second day.


Sailing California coast

Half Moon bay pier


Sailing California coast

Hanging by the Neptune pool at Hearst Castle


Sailing California coast

Our first overlook with lonely Resolute below


Sailing California coast

Amazing Morro Bay!


Sailing California coast

Morro at night


Sailing California coast

Sailing wing and wing in the Pacific


Sailing California coast

Santa Cruz island, WOW


Sailing California coast

Isthmus bay, Two Harbors, Catalina Island. DO NOT use the showers!


Sailing California coast

Remembering friends and good times with a little taste of Alameda


Sailing California coast

What we have been searching for. Remote anchorages with breathtaking views.