We set anchor in the northern lobe of the bay just shy of the shallow turquoise water of the beach there. We deployed the dinghy and took a roundabout course to it along the shoreline. There were lots of caves to peer into and rock formations to enjoy. The water was down to two feet deep about a half a mile from the beach, so we were able to watch crabs run for cover and the grass waving in the wavelets as we passed overhead.
From Begonia with binoculars, we had seen a sign on shore. One of our guidebooks indicated there was a short trail there, so we were keen to see where it went. Once we were standing in front of the sign though, we could clearly see that it was the only indication of a trail. We poked through the growth on one dead end after another before giving up and deciding it must have been reclaimed by nature. We gave up on the trail idea.
Since the water was so shallow leading up to the beach, it was necessary for us to anchor the dinghy out and wade in to keep it afloat. Once we had finished our search for the elusive trail, the tide had gone down another foot or so, requiring us to drag it a quite a ways before it would float with our weight in it. I rowed almost all of the way back to Begonia with the oars touching bottom on each stroke. Along the way, we spotted lots of porous, fragile (dead) marine skeleton that looked like they could be made into loofahs if dried very carefully.
Exploring Caleta Partida
We got back to Begonia just in time for the hot-part-of-the-afternoon-hide-from-the-sun time, which we used to do all of the stuff the rays kept us from the afternoon before.
The other big thing to do in Caleta Partida is to take a dinghy through the channel to the eastern side of the islands outside the bay. At low tide, the channel turns into a sand spit connecting Islas La Partida and Espiritu Santo. High tide the next day was at 0932, which would give us a chance to do a little exploring before it started to get crazy hot. The channel is a big S weaving between two opposing sand bars, each topped with fish camps. In my mind, the East Spit and West Spit camps are locked in a bitter rivalry.
There are fish camps everywhere in these parts. Most are accessible only by panga and seem to be built out of recycled materials like road signs and used banners. They are lashed together just strongly enough to last until the next tropical storm blows them away. Most have no electricity, although we do see occasional ones with a solar panel and a satellite dish. The most durable structures are usually the port-a-loo outhouses.
We didn’t want to invade anyone’s privacy, so we landed near one at the end of East Spit that seemed to be unattended. We had a short walk along the beach and then made it about thirty steps up the hill before the growth got too thick. It was just enough to give us a little overview of the scene before we had to get back while the tide was still high.
The day was still young when we got back, so we decided to head to our next anchorage around the corner at Bahia Mezteño a day early. We ended up being the only boat anchored in the little bay. A white sand beach fronted by turquoise water had a tour boat hosting some day-trippers who were gone a few hours later, leaving it to just us.