Loc: Isla Tiburon
Acc: Hilleberg Keron 4 tent
Dist: 28,1 km
Start: 7:25 End: 13:00
We didn’t go snorkeling yesterday, as I forgot that one can actually swim with the sea lions with no problems. Tourists do guided tours to sea lion spots and snorkel around them. The fishing guys told us the lions play with their fins and masks while they were down on the sea ground harvesting whatever is alive down there. I was still shaking by the look into the barrel with all those slimy soft-skinned or spiky-skinned animals in there which were supposed to be delicacies…
The night was surprisingly windy, and I heard the metal sounds of two tent pegs going off their rocky weights. Elizabeth didn’t hear anything as she was sleeping with earplugs, but woke with my light and volunteered to go out to fix them. I rarely sleep with earplugs in the wilderness, especially not with marauding noisy sea lions and five stoned fishermen around us We went back to sleep for two hours and got up a bit later than usual. Our fishing guys watched us launching, and seemed to be happy posing for a picture which they were hoping to find on my Facebook later. They wished us a good trip and were overall very polite and respectful.
Our plan was to cross over to Isla Tiburon on the shortest distance as we had enough open water yesterday. The choice between clockwise or anti-clockwise was easy done in favor of the more interesting, rugged and exciting western and northern side. It was a light south-easterly wind, we would have it in our face again early enough.
If there wouldn’t have been the currents between the islands, especially around the middle-island Isla Esteban…The sea was not es dead-calm as yesterday, but still calm enough to have no worries. Sure, around the rocky sea-lion littered spit was some strong current going, but we stayed close in and could avoid the worst. Only the lions did not see the need for us to come so close, the group on the far end of the spit had to launch and chased us along for a while. So sorry, guys…but when the fishing guys yesterday operated their compressor and dived just off the tip of the spit, we couldn’t see many lions either…they preferred to play and chase instead of watching us passing by. Yesterday’s afternoon performance off our beach really put up the question who was watching whom, or who as in the zoo?
Each small point on the spectacular high, steep and colorful west coast cliff had a small tide race with lumpy waters for a while. We always stayed close in, and I couldn’t really tell if the current was with us or against, and if we ere were on and off the eddy. But it wasn’t really strong, just lumpy. The last point on the north-west corner was especially lumpy, but we were riding the current clearly along, but both had to paddle slightly concentrated for a while. I saw a small chicken path inside a peaked small rock and then through a small gap in the longer reef, but didn’t dare to find the way through calmer water as we were also going relatively fast. Elizabeth made it all right but was as happy as me to be off the lumpy area on the other side where we had to paddle for a while against the current. But overall, it was just very lumpy waters, but not strong currents.
And sea lion colonies were simply everywhere! Every smallest rocky beach, amazingly not the cliffs though, was littered with sea lions and their distinct noises. If we would have spent those three days off paddling here on this island, we would have been experts in sea-lion family life and language! The cliffs were really of the finest on the western side, the northern side was more mellow with beaches and not so spectacular anymore. Still, every beach as lion-packed.
We crossed over to Isla Tiburon for a mere distance of 12 km, heard and saw some whale spouts, but not even a single back showing. The plan is to swap places with Elizabeth and my following-up paddling partner Marg Rees in Bahia Kino, where Marg will arrive on March 4th in the evening. We had four days to spare, and could easily reach Bahia Kino on March 2nd, but rather decided to have two shorter paddling days before we cross the last day over to the city. We will have then one day to work on the past section with pictures and blog entries, before the following day, I will go food shopping with Marg and fit her into the kayak. Two city days are enough…and honestly, after a not completely undisturbed last night and the long crossing, we were both pretty tired today and fancied a beach life afternoon on Tiburon. The snorkeling was nothing worth, but the refreshing swim was welcome. Tomorrow will be another leisurely stroll along the Island to the south-eastern tip to the start of the 33 km crossing to the city.