Sea of Cortez Islands Recap – Isla San Francisco

Our time in the islands was great and there are many memories to share, so I’m splitting them up.  Second Part… Isla San Francisco.

With southwest winds still pushing us north, we headed the 22 miles up towards the small island of Isla San Francisco.  Considering that all the guidebooks have large, sweeping bay photos of Isla SF, we knew this was going to be a spot we wouldn’t want to miss.  It did not disappoint.   The more we explored this island the more we liked it.

Once more sailing with s/vs Navigo and Estrellita, we did our best to tack back and forth into the anchorage and avoid using our motor.  However, there was a slight problem.  We had a hard time figuring out which side of the island the big bay was on due to the inaccuracies of our old chart plotter.  Navigo said left, while the Capt’ said right (I may have slightly mutinied here as I also thought we needed to head to the left side of the island).  Turns out we did need to go to the left side if we wanted the large bay, HOWEVER, with the southwest winds it was a better choice to go to the anchorage around the right side of the island and tuck in for the night.  We moved the next day when the winds shifted over to the North.

In order to really get the full effect of the gorgeous bay, you have to hike up one of the ridges.  We joined Navigo for a short jaunt up one hillside and got some pretty good shots, but Dave went the following day on his own up one of the taller ridges and got the best viewpoint.  Pretty spectacular place.

Isla SF 046

 View of the Isla San Francisco crescent shaped bay with the eastern anchorage in the background and salt ponds in the middle. Pic courtesy of Capt Dave and his ability to climb higher than I can.

Besides the views, the beach around the bigger bay offers a nice walk from one end to the other where you can admire all the various, colorful seashells.  There are also some salt ponds in between the two anchorages that we enjoyed checking out.  Although the island is beautiful, it does have the dreaded jejenes (Hay-Hay-Nays or No-See-Ums – they give the worst, itchiest bug bites).  I’m just one of those people that always gets bit – no matter what – so I tried to avoid being ashore unless I was in long pants and sleeves and covered in DEET. 

Isla San Francisco 017   Isla San Francisco 036   Isla San Francisco 038

The Isla San Francisco beach (L), Livia from Estrellita checking out the salt ponds (Center), and a closer look at the salt (R).

We spent a few days here enjoying the scenery, doing laundry and boat projects by day and usually spending the evenings on Navigo playing Mexican Train or Sequence. 

We toyed with the idea of heading farther North or at least taking the small side trip up to the little town of Isla Coyote (which Navigo did), but the days were getting away from us and the weather turned much colder than we liked (we had to pull out jackets again!), so when the wind turned back around to the North, we decided to take advantage of it and start our migration south to warmer climates.

Heading back south we hit up Isla Partida, which we missed while sailing north. We had two stops there, Ensenada Grande and Caleta Partida.  More on those in the next post!

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