Isla San Benito West………

Dear F&F,
We just went really slow all night to wait for sunrise to approach this island. The 2-6 am watch went the slowest & I got frustrated with my inexperience in sail trim.

There is a small fishing village on one of this groups 3 islands called Isla San Benitos. There is a lot of kelp so we had to be careful steering around it when we motored in. While I was napping (right after we set the anchor, since I\’d been up since 2 am) a fisherman came out to say hi to Scott & his children asked if we had any candy. They knew enough English for that! Scott told them we would come to shore later. After 2 hrs of nap, I got up, showered & felt semi-functional. Was eager to get
on land to take a hike. I prepared ziploc snack bags with a combo of trail mix, soy nuts and a chocolate for the children. I\’m not exactly carrying a surplus of candy! We did stock up on a bunch of D & AA batteries which we said might be useful to trade for fish or lobster. The dinghy battery was dead, but there is a lawnmower type pull start cord, so we got it fired up. Hadn\’t used it since Newport Beach. The fisherman & his son were on the shore & helped us pull it up out of the surf. We had not
really used the drop down wheels on the big dinghy before, they worked fine. It is heavy with the engine though, so it was nice to have extra help. The 3 children didn\’t seem too disappointed with the snack I gave them. They sat right down on the rocks & ate it. We changed from our \”get to the beach\” sandals, into our tennis shoes for hiking. We went probably 2 miles including a good uphill climb to see the lighthouse (defunct) & overall view from the top. It was a nice sunny day, and the breeze
was appreciated while hiking (chilly for standing around). We also walked over where the elephant seals congregate. Lucky for us, many had pups. They vocalize a lot & sound more like screeching monkeys than what you would expect from an elephant seal. The big males look so weird. We didn\’t go too close, but hopefully got some good photos. Scott estimated the largest males were over 1000 lbs.

We were hungry so ate \”dinner\” at 3:30. I made chicken tacos, very satisfying & easy. The sun went down behind the island hill about 4:45 pm. I am glad we will both get to sleep all night. Another sailboat from Vancouver Canada, literally just dropped anchor next to us, s/v \”Bandit\” who apparently also came here directly from Ensenada. Otherwise we are the only non-fishing boat anchored here. We have received email that 2 other Ensenada boats headed south today. The next 3 or 4 planned stops will
be daytime sailing only, anchored at night. But we will probably stay here at least one more night. The anchorage here is very calm and the weather for the next several days appears to be ideal. Scott is able to receive weather faxes over our high frequency radio and we can get text weather as well. This is all part of the long distance sailors day.

It was a big milestone for me to have those 2 overnighters right off the bat. The learning curve still feels pretty steep, but Scott is very sweet & encourages me to just try things & not be afraid to make mistakes (mainly I am inexperienced in sail trim & navigation). He is amazing me with his Spanish that just comes out of him. Sometime a French word or 2 sneaks in, but he is not afraid to try & that makes people very happy that he even makes the effort.

Cindy & Scott