S/Y Nereida sails around the world

Solo RTW Sailor Jeanne Socrates' Adventures On, and Off, Nereida

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Sat-Mon 22-24 Aug 2015
Reid Inlet, Alaska05
Monday 24th Aug 2015 From Isla Partida to Cala Puertocito de Enmedio (Baja California Norte)

This is a very rugged, deserted coastline, making landfall difficult. . We arrived just before sunset today in a small cove bordered to NW and NE by jagged rocks, with sandy beach on S shore, backed by steep-sided, barren, pink mountains and a deep valley, with some greenery, leading off to the W.

It was a very nail-biting approach, rather like approach to Isla Partida after a fabulous downwind sail on Saturday, both times knowing the chart is totally unreliable and there are rocks possibly hidden just below sea level. Correct line of approach, in both cases, was vital but difficult to be sure of... I stayed in deep water for as long as possible and slowed right down a long way out.. Hitting an unseen, uncharted rock at slow speed is more likely to be survivable than at greater speed! But I stayed safe both times.

I didn't feel very comfortable on seeing depths down to 30 ft and less when still well offshore but they suddenly dropped to show deep water again until we were very close to the cove entrance (display was due to either hidden rocks or fish) . I had radar on to show position of land and rocks on Saturday also, but it got very confusing today, with multiple echoes. Once close enough to see the lay of the land (and rocky outcrops) clearly, life became a lot less stressful and I anchored in sand at under 20ft/7m in very calm conditions.

A ray jumped and splashed back into the water nearby... a turtle showed its head twice as it swam out ...and raucous gulls flew from the sandy beach and around the dramatic, rocky headland to roost as light faded...

Surprisingly, with so much overcast, I later spotted the Space Station, shining brightly as it approached the moon and headed on SE in clearer sky.

I'm looking forward to snorkelling around the rocks here tomorrow, hoping the fish will be more varied than off Isla Partida. There, I'd gone snorkelling with "Scoots" and "Azul" - Mike explained how to spot scallops and clams lying on the sea bed or on rocks, often well-camouflaged with growth. I saw what looked suspiciously like a giant squid (Humboldt squid) lying half-hidden in a rocky recess - they're aggressive so I did NOT approach too closely...!! Later, we all got together for a sociable meal on 'Azul' - Mike was a good cook of the seafood that had been gathered that day!

The geology of Isla Partida is fascinating, with clear volcanic rock formations - a caldera? I was reminded of the Giant's Causeway in Ireland, with similar rock structure, like enormous rhombic 'crystals'.

Partida was pleasantly cooled by sea breezes - and there were no bees desperate for fresh water to make life difficult - the island was far too barren for bees to exist there. It also had currents through the anchorage that made the boats swing about a lot - often we'd all be pointing in different directions.

We'll see what tomorrow brings...

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