Dec 2020 Isla Guadelupe-San Benito Oeste (150 nm)

12/28/20 While the winds have died for our transit back to the mainland, the seas are still a bit confused. We stay in the wind/wave shadow of Isla Guadelupe for the first hour of the sail. The relative calm allowed us to set sails and put out fishing lines for the overnight transit.

Steve checking sails with Guadelupe Islands behind.

Once in open ocean again, the wind and waves settle and we enjoy flying the asymmetric spinnaker through the night. We arrive and anchor at San Benito Oeste in the early afternoon. We share an early dinner with AO then settle in for the evening.

Full moon rise over AO

We watched a YouTube video from a cruising couple that showed an interesting hike on San Benito Oeste (adventureadrift.com). We also went ashore and if you watch the video, the cactus spines are as bad as they say-wear pants and hiking boots, or at least NOT flip flops. The Benitos Islands (N, S and Central) are also on the protected National Parks list, meaning you need the parks passport to visit.

Time to go exploring!

We came ashore at a small village where only researchers were present. They were studying a local, endangered bird, I did not get the name, but they build their nests underground. The trail initially is a raised platform over the nests. The researchers have built fake nests in order to have cameras on the birds.

Church at the landing/research village
Inside the church
Peeking….

Once you leave the raised trail, you really have to watch your step. In addition to the cactus and underground bird nests, there are elephant seals on the back side of the island.

Each hole is a nest.
Large dust covered Elephant Seal laying across the path.
I went to pick up the bottle but another elephant seal laying in the shade…

Our intended destination is the lighthouse on the island. We find out that there are two, the first on the highest point and another decommissioned on the point.

Back bay with seals and pups
New pups are why you don’t go ashore and scare the adults. The pups are not fast enough to get out of the way and can be crushed.
2 Seawinds anchored in the bay
Lots of cactus
The abandoned light house
Port hole view as you climb the inside spiral of the light house
2nd view
3rd view
4th view
View from the top
The two boats

We had lunch at the top of the island. The crows gave amazing displays of flight on the updrafts.

Crows looking for some handouts…

We had a leisurely walk back to the boat then once again settled in for the night.

Author: Sailing Always

Sailor, pilot, wife, mom, live aboard, traveler