Before such an industrious trip, we had to fill our bellies so we trundled off to the best fast food joint in town - Super Pollo. Super Pollo is unlike anything we have in the states. They have a big row of grills and rotisseries in the back and we immediately decided that we should have a whole grilled chicken. Contrary to the American fast food model, there are beers readily available and we washed our chicken and salsa down with some ice cold Pacificos. Scrumptious.
As tradition would dictate, we ordered a few beers and sat down to look at the menu. We were both in a bit of a daze from the heat and running to beat the rain, so we were having a really hard time deciding what we wanted. The waiter came back multiple times asking if we were ready. Eventually, in some jumbled spanish, I said, "Necesitamos veinte minutos para beber" (we need twenty minutes to drink). That was the only thing I could spew out of my jumbled mind at the time, and we both immediately broke into laughter, realizing how completely absurd it was. The waiter agreed, and let out a pretty hearty laugh himself. Eventually we decided on a mixed seafood ceviche that was absolutely delicious.
With that completed, all we needed to do was stock up on beer, and with a little mistranslation, we accidentally ended up buying twice as many as we were attempting to. Whoops. As luck would have it, we drank almost all of them on the sail out to Isla Espiritu Santo. As we sailed deeper in the sea our conversation slowly got deeper over time, as well. We covered a lot of ground, ranging from the existance of a higher power and afterlife to the ethics of the natural world.
It was a Sunday, so none of the gas stations were open upon our departure, and I figured with the 10 gallons in the jerrycans and wind in the forecast, we ought to have plenty of gas to make it through the next week without a fill up. The wind was very light when we started, so we fired up the engine to make Espiritu Santo before dark. To ensure that we wouldn't run out of gas while motoring, we filled the tank from the jerrycans and motored north. Ten minutes passed and I thought I heard a weird noise from the engine. Another twenty minutes passed and the engines coughed. Ten minutes later, the engine died.
Luckily for us, a fair wind had sprung up and we had a good anchorage within sight. I kept my cool and we sailed up to a good spot, dropped the anchor, and backwinded the sails to set it. We had caught a tuna on the sail in, so we promptly turned it into ceviche and decided to deal with the engine in the morning.
I spent a bunch more time bleeding the fuel line and it wasn't seeming to help. The engine would start and then die 10 or 15 seconds later. Wind was light, so we were feeling a bit sketchy about being able to find a suitable anchorage under sail. I dove down to check that the cooling water intake and the exhaust outlets weren't clogged our fouled and everything looked good. Finally, I decided to bite the bullet and change the secondary fuel fliter. This can be an arduous process, because one needs to refill the new filter with fuel and then do a lot of bleeding. There wasn't much sediment in the primary filter, so I was skeptical that this was the problem, but lo and behold, the engine fired over on the first turn and ran like a champ for the rest of the afternoon.
Such a stunning victory required a stout celebratory meal, so I went to work in the cast iron and started whipping up a really hearty pork green chile dish. While it was simmering away down below, we both grabbed a book and started reading while we were cruising along. We were both in the cockpit when all of a sudden one of the handlines we had been trailing started spinning out of control. This is always an exciting time and we were both filled with adrenaline when we looked back and saw a monstrous Dorado take to the air. "Dolphin!" we both yelled and the fight was on, with me wielding the weakest handline we had and Wade wielding the camera and the gaff.
But just as we resumed our course for San Francisco Island, we found that we were in for another surprise. Like a rocket, the second handline took off and this time Wade was the first to get to it. It sped off on a couple of blistering runs that had us wondering if he would break the line, but eventually he tired and we got him in to the boat.
I picked up some sort of stomach bug in La Paz, and I was feeling a bit under the weather, so I headed back to the Rascal while Wade continued to work the bay for roosters. Around noon, as we were walking along the beach, getting ready to depart, we ran into the architect from Mexico City who had been chartering the megayacht that was anchored in the harbor. He was very down-to-earth and they were all there to celebrate his mothers 96th birthday.
We knew we couldn't spend another night among the bugs of Isla San Francisco, so we set sail to the north with a fair wind at our stern. We were both a bit sleepy and dazed, but the arrival of a dozen dolphins helped to jolt us out of our stupor. They rode alongside us and dipped and whirled as the Rascal parted waves. We decided to bust out the go-pros and managed to get a few shots of them from under water as they splashed and twirled in front of the bow.
When we rounded the north side of the island, we found that the southern swell was much bigger and our anchoring options were slim until we got quite a ways to the south. With this in mind, we abandoned the possibility of anchoring on the tiny island offshore and we started to make time to the south. As we zipped along the shore of the island, we eventually got to a really odd looking stretch and noticed a few small coves on the north side of a small point. They were all geologically different from the rest of the island and we pulled in to take a look. What we found was absolutely beautiful. One was white sandstone, the next was bright orange, and a third one was bright red. There was also a limestone area with some big caves carved out and a glorious sandy beach sitting at the base of each of these fingers. Each cove was just big enough for a boat to anchor in and we immediately dropped anchor and rowed to shore.
We sat back to enjoy our drinks again, but all of a sudden, a bunch more arrived. The bloodbath recommenced and we killed dozens and dozens and dozens of bees. About a half hour into this bee slaughtering nightmare, we realized that we didn't stand a chance - there numbers were too great and they were clearly trying to relocate their nest to the Rascal. Our only chance of survival would be to sail out beyond the point into the prevailing wind and waves and hope that the wind would help to displace them. We started to do this when we each saw a sight that chilled us to the bone - the queen bee. By this time, we had queued up some inspirational music, and with AC/DC as our soundtrack, we each struck out after the queen with reckless abandon. Wade had been stung four or five times at this point, so the battle had clearly grown personal for him. She managed to dodge a few well aimed swipes but was finally smote beneath his size 12 flip flop just as we rounded the point. We both breathed a sigh of relief and we sailed in circles, doing our best to dispatch whatever bees remained. In the end, the death toll was staggering. Six stings for Wade, one sting for me, and an estimated two hundred dead bees littered around the decks of the Rascal. It was a sad day, but we're happy to report that the Rascal came out victorious.
We tucked all of the electronics away for the night just to be safe and did some stargazing before we called it a night. We saw no more of these mystery fisherman the next day.
We decided we ought to try and round the south end of the island the next day, so we threw out trolling lines and started beating into the south wind. We managed to catch a couple of tuna, but they were all pretty small. At the beginning of this trip, I had bought a heavy-duty trolling rod that we rigged up with a huge lure and some monster hooks. It hadn't caught a single thing the entire time, so we decided to switch it out for the small squid that were so productive on the handlines. I set the drag and let it pay out. After a couple of hours we heard a loud ZING, and line started paying out at a crazy pace. We immediately grabbed the rod and went to set the hook, but when we gave it a tug, the resistance immediately dropped off. We figured we had pulled it out of his mouth, but when we reeled it in, the truth immediately became clear. A young tuna had hit the lure a while back and hadn't been heavy enough to pull line out with the drag setting. We must've towed him for a while and something bigger and meaner (a marlin by the looks of the bite marks) had come in and tried to bite him in half. The larger fish didn't end up getting hooked, so we were just left with the mangled body of the tuna to our credit.
We trailed a line after we were out of range of the island and we must've hit a school, because both handlines took off at once. One of us was in the hammock and we only had a chance to grab one of the hand lines, the other jumped off the boat and into the sea. We both swore and were disappointed as we retrieved the one line. To our surprise, however, the second handline must've gotten tangled on the first after it jumped ship, and Wade managed to retrieve both lines at once! Two fish with one stone!
As we got close, the wind picked up again and we decided to dodge into Pichiligue cove and wait to enter till the morning. There just happened to be a little restaurant there and we got our first cold beers in a week. Delightful! The following morning we motored back into a familiar slip at the marina and promptly showered off a week's accumulation of salt and grime. It felt good to be back in civilization and we decided some breakfast at Super Burro was just the thing to celebrate with.