Pulled up anchor at Pichilingue at 07:30, anchored at Ensenada de la Ballena on Isla Espiritu Santo at 14:34.
Predictions indicated high winds, gusting over 25, and picking up throughout the day. We got up before sunrise to set our mainsail reef, then pulled up anchor as the sun came over the hills around Pichilingue. The sun hitting the green cacti nestled in the red hillside is an arresting sight every time.
For the first few hours, we were the only boat in view. Wind was light or non-existent, waves were short and confused, and it was warm and lovely, getting quite hot in the direct sun. The Raymarine MFD was almost too hot to hold your hand on, so we tried to shade it whenever possible.
At around 9:45, we started getting into the big winds – about 18 knots sustained, with gusts into 22. At first, it picked up as we tacked away from the island, then died down as we approached the island on our return tack. In the afternoon, the high winds also picked up on our tacks near the Espiritu Santo. Near the island, wind directions changed by 20-40 degrees, so we motored when necessary to keep our course close to the island.
We were treated to manta rays jumping and flipping (they make such big splashes!) at random intervals. Our hope was to get to Isla Partida, but wind predictions indicated a big increase at around 3 p.m., so we assessed each anchorage as we passed it. Ensenada de la Ballena was empty and had reasonable protection from the prevailing (and rapidly increasing winds), so we decided to stop there.