Isla San Francisco – 6 – 7th June 2019

Isla San Francisco is located about 44 nm north of La Paz.  The island has a beautiful crescent shaped bay with a white sandy beach, although it has a pinkie hue from the red pebbles.  The bay is surrounded by a ridge of rocky, pink cliffs and has the backdrop of the Sierra de la Gigantas on the Baja Peninsula.

6th June

We arrived mid-afternoon from La Paz and anchored in this beautiful, somewhat busy bay.  Andrew and the kids jumped off the boat for a swim and discovered that the water was ‘freezing’.  Siobhan and Ava paddle boarded to shore, while Andrew and I took the dinghy and walked along the beach.

The shoreline looks pink from the wet, red rocks which lie beneath the water.  Interestingly there were also a lot of shells with pinkie tones to them.  We walked to the point and back watching lizards sunbathing on rocks or floating across the bushes and dry ground, their feet barely ghosting the ground.

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Andrew enjoyed a relaxing drink on deck in his bean bag chair, which hasn’t been used in a long time, while watching the sunset and listening to the Eagles.

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7th June

Mid way through cooking an English breakfast we had a call from Jamie on the radio, wanting to know if we were up for a hike along the ridge.  I had been keen to do the hike, so Andrew readily agreed.  Ava was not so happy as it was disrupting her routine and she couldn’t understand why we couldn’t do it in the afternoon.  It’s a desert Ava, its going to be stinking hot in the afternoon.

By 10 am we had dragged the dinghy up the shore and were all clambering along the sand and up the rocky slope to reach the ridge.  Mairen spotted a cute little lizard sunbaking on the way and a backbone, which Jamie thought was either an eel or a ray.  Behan spotted hermit crab tracks and what she and Andrew suspected were snake tracks.  Andrew is a little anxious after having read that there are both rattle snakes and rattle less rattle snakes.  If it doesn’t have a rattle, then how can it be a rattlesnake?

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As you ascend to the top and walk along the ridge it affords you beautiful views over the boats anchored in the bay in turquoise and blue water and surrounded by the rocky cliffs in different shades of pink.  Gorgeous!

Looking down into the water below was a big black ball at first we thought it was a submerged rock, but discovered that the ball was moving.  Andrew thought it was a bait ball and Behan thought it was a group of stingrays.  We watched intermittently as the ball moved and also as another one on the other-side of the bay formed and moved too.  There was an occasional jump as one of what we suspected was rays leapt from the water.

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When we returned to shore we saw a smaller ball of black move past us and sure enough it was stingrays.

We returned to the boat so the kids could do some school and Andrew and I got al of our gear ready to go for a snorkel.  As we got in the dinghy we saw the black ball again and went for a look.  Jamie and Behan soon joined us and within a flash Behan was in with the stingrays.  I did go in too a few minutes later.  There was at least a hundred of the small rays moving in a pack.  There appeared to be smaller olive coloured ones that swam closer to the sand and also larger grey ones.  I managed to get a few photos of them, not wonderful but if you look closely you can decipher what they are.

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While Jamie and Andrew went spearfishing and returned with dinner, the rest of us relaxed or finished school work.  The kids gathered later in the day to play games or go paddle boarding.

Andrew enjoyed sundowners on the bow and I joined him briefly as we watched numerous turtles surface around the boat and two seals in the distance frolicking in the water.  A very cool day.

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