Day 3, June 2nd (San Jose Island)
“Cafe Grande please!” That’s Michael. He’s a late riser and a big person. By this time, Tio Guero knew he would have to prepare enough coffee and food for Michael. Michael always starts his morning begging for a grande coffee.
Luis, who was showing off his very nice-looking Puma sneakers for hiking, was put out when the soles fell off yesterday. “Now I realize why they were selling it two-for-one!” They look more like boxing shoes today.
After breakfast, we gathered our things so we could move to the next point, which was San Jose Island. We became more efficient in what we did through the course of the journey.
It’s not just about arriving to the island, but also getting there. You see a lot of marine life along the way. The vast sea seems as empty as the desert until suddenly a dark beast bursts through the surface. We were laughing with excitement at a big school of common dolphins herding us along on the way to El Pardito, where we made a quick stop.
The guests said El Pardito was an impressive little island. The family (and three previous generations) who lives there is very warm and hospitable; they always invite people in to their home. Some of us asked, “How can people live with so little and be so happy?”
In 1916, a fifteen-year-old seeking the life of Robinson Crusoe on his own desert island settled here. Don Juan Cuevas Ramirez died at age 75, but not before he had sired three generations closely linked to the sea.
El Pardito is about 150 km northwest of La Paz, between the islands of San Francisquito and San Jose. Its little chapel, school, solar-driven desalinization plant and radio help the isolated, tiny family community survive in this remote outpost on the Sea of Cortez.
These days overfishing by big international entities and illegal poachers threaten their modest livelihood. The need for national and international conservation pressure is great to preserve our Baja legacy.
The younger generation has turned to music to supplement the islet economy – three of them have formed a ranchera band. The songs of Los Grandes Del Pardito celebrate the life of the island family.
We left the little island fishing village and headed to the mangroves of San Jose Island. First it was ocean and desert, and then suddenly you come into an area that is so green that the contrast between the colors is hard to comprehend.
On the way to the beach Palma Sola Island we saw another school of common dolphins churning up the blue. Palma Sola is called “lonely palm tree” because there is one sole palm tree on the beach, making you feel like you came across an oasis in the middle of the desert. But we couldn’t feel alone in the wilderness with that friendly squad of dolphins racing alongside.
We camped on this island beach for the night. First we anchored and then immediately provided shade and fresh water to everyone. This time people were more energetic and knew what to do.
Day 4, June 3rd (Agua Verde Island)
Agua Verde is a beautiful place. The water is greener here because the type of sea bottom, the color of the rocks and sand there is lighter.
Oscar Ramirez, the other Oscar on the journey, expressed amazement at the beauty of his land. He feels prouder than ever to be a native of Baja California Sur and share his Baja heritage with us.
We saw Don Jose, a person whom we met on our first islands trip back in 2009, during the flu outbreak.
Ricky Ricky is Mr. Everything. He cooks and helps out with everything. With his positive attitude, nothing is too difficult for him. Cabo Expeditions is lucky to have him on our team!
As we prepared for sleep tonight, we drank in the beauty of the stars so close and bright. The next day we would discover stars of many colors at the place we were to name “Stars under the Sea.”
To be continued…