Last month my friends and fellow Anacortes Kayak Tours guides Gary, Wyatt, Dan, and myself left San Diego and headed south to the small town of Bahia de Los Angeles in Baja Mexico. Our goal was to circumnavigate Isla Angel de la Guarda, an entirely uninhabited island in the Sea of Cortez twelve miles off the mainland. Circumnavigating the island is no easy feat, with fierce winds , no fresh water, total remoteness, and with very few options for rescue we worked very hard to plan and mitigate as much risk as possible. The idea for the trip actually came from Gary’s need to complete a senior capstone project for his Expeditionary Studies degree through SUNY Plattsburgh College in New York (I know right! Gary actually gets to major in sea kayaking, trust me it got some belly laughs whenever he would tell folks about it lol).
We were really blessed to receive alot of very generous help along the way to make this trip possible. To begin with Gary’s friend Colin lent us his car for the trip which was so awesome. Jenn Kleck, owner of Aqua Adventures in San Diego, hooked us up with a great deal on boats, let us crash in her studio apartment , and was an all around great source of information, support, and not to mention a great friend! We got some great info on the island and really enjoyed meeting two local LA bay paddlers, Peter & Deb. Peter who is in his 70’s has been paddling in the area for 45 years and was just a crack up to talk to. Deb has also paddled there for several years and was kind enough to lend us a desalination pump which gave us all alot of peace of mind. Last but not certainly least was Mary Crawford. We met Mary through Gary’s aunt & uncle who had lived in the area for a number of years. Mary was our Baja Mom. She has a beautiful property on the outskirts of LA Bay and graciously welcomed us in and provided us with an amazing homebase to work out of (and hot showers, and cake, and great company). Thank you guys!!!
We set out from Mary’s house with heavily laden boats full of fresh water and food (mostly summer sausage lol) and paddled back onto her beach twelve days later. In those twelve days we had the a journey of a lifetime. We encountered all sorts of crazy weather, big seas, neverending headwinds, sea lions jumping over our boats, rugged headlands, stunning pristine landscapes, crazy Panga captains, epic starry skies, bio-luminescent paddling, wonderful silence, camaraderie, cheap tequila, good laughs, and the best… the unspeakable beauty of it all.
I really wish that I was better at keeping a journal to share some our stories but I’m better at taking photos, I’ll let them speak for me. Below is a collection of some of my favorites from the journey.
You can see the full gallery with larger images at – http://galleries.rbcrosby.com/Adventure/Adventures/Isla-Angel-de-la-Guarda-Kayak/28093977_skLRt5