Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Millie Falls Overboard!

A few short kilometers west of Tecolote Beach (north of La Paz, Baja Sur), sits an absolute gem of a aquamarine beach—Playa Balandra.  When the north winds are howling at Tecolote, the protected, shallow inlet of Balandra can be as calm as a baby.  The waters here are so shallow that you can walk nearly across the inlet (especially if its low tide).

But for our visit today, we had two objectives—swimming for Millie, and kayaking for me, Hans, and Ursula.  So, we arrived to Balandra right at high tide to enjoy our day.


I got the Sea Eagle inflated and let Hans and Ursula test it out while I took Millie to swim.


Hans and Ursula are former catamaran sailors, so when they saw a big cat anchored in the bay, they quickly paddled towards it, introduced themselves to the owners, and soon were being welcomed aboard to take a quick tour of the ship!


Meanwhile, back at the beach, Millie was having a blast swimming in the crystal clear waters.


Once Hans and Ursula returned, they handed the Sea Eagle back over to me and Millie and then went to rent a sit-on-top kayak to go explore the bay with us.

All started out well as we headed towards deeper water…


I soon heard Hans and Ursula gaining on us—time for a quick dramatic selfie!


Yes, the waters in Balandra bay are really this amazing!


Millie and I paddled ahead to stop and look at the next rock formation.  Meanwhile, Hans and Ursula were still trying to gain command of their unfamiliar ship and suddenly found themselves on a collision course with the front end of our Sea Eagle!

As Millie saw this big orange kayak rapidly heading straight towards her, she did what any quick-thinking savvy sea dog would do—jumped overboard to avoid the collision!


A few minutes of salt water chaos soon ensued with Millie trying (and failing) to jump back into our kayak, and me and Ursula trying to hold the 2 boats together to gain extra stability to catch a flying dog from the sea.  After a few moments, when it seemed as if no solution was ever going to work, Hans  donned his Superman cape, valiantly jumped into the water and went to rescue Millie.  In no time at all, he lifted Millie back into our kayak. 

Even though we were halfway down the inlet and very close to a deep water drop-off, our accident fortunately happened on the shallow side in waters that were only about 4 feet deep.  Whew! What luck!  Millie thanked her rescuer, and we were soon on our way again.


As we reached the deep side of the inlet, we paddled around the big yachts anchored there for the afternoon.  This vintage beauty was owned by an Austrian couple (which Hans and Ursula greeted in German)!


Hans and Ursula’s kayak (on the left) looked pretty tiny as they paddled towards this mega-big cruiser…


Here was the 50-foot catamaran they got to tour.  It’s owned by an Australian couple.


Ah, the life of one very lucky little yellow Labrador!


When we returned to shore, the tide was now going out and this was as close as we could get!  Millie didn’t mind jumping out and getting wet again, and I was very thankful to get help from Hans and Ursula to carry my Sea Eagle back to the car.


Apart from the few moments of mayhem, it was an all-around gorgeous afternoon paddle in a gorgeous bay.  Who could ask for more?


  1. What fun! I'm sure that Millie thoroughly enjoyed her outing and extra adventure. Such a beautiful bay, love the color and clarity of the water. Would love to paddle in that area. Yet another great adventure my friend.

  2. Too fun and I'm so jealous (as is Epic the water dog and my kayaks). You guys look like you are having the time of your lives! That is truly what it is all about!

  3. What a fun afternoon! Millie knows how to play it safe! Beautiful photos, as usual, Lynne.

  4. Had a computer snafu, so not sure if this will go through twice or not...
    Do you rinse Millie off after swimming in saltwater? Particularly when she is doing it on a frequent basis? I have dogs with long, thick coats (that don't dry fast) and wondered whether daily swimming in saltwater might begin to dry out their skin or otherwise cause itching?

    1. Here in Baja, she's not had a problem with the salt water. It seems exceptionally clean here and I towel dry her when she comes out. Also, I'm a bit more suspect about the fresh water here than the salt water, so think rinsing would introduce more weird bacteria than not. But, when I've taken her swimming in the U.S., I usually do rinse her off with fresh water. Seems to be more people and potential pollutants up there (especially So. Cal).

  5. We've been shopping for kayaks so we'll be ready for spring. The water there is unbelievably clear.

  6. How does Millie like the Sea Eagle? We have a Queensland Heeler (Sydney) that will be traveling with us once we pick up our trailer in April and would like to take her kayaking. We had ocean kayaks that were too large and cumbersome to take on our travels, so we are searching for a different one. It looks like the Sea Eagle can handle two adults or you and Millie, fairly comfortably. Your blog gives such valuable information, including the search for your kayak, but now that you've had a chance to put it through the paces... what's your feedback? By the way ... love your Mexico journey. You and Millie seem to be living "la pura vida"!

    1. Millie loves the Sea Eagle Fast Track-- a much firmer, more robust floor than the entry-level SE330 kayak, and the kayak has much less "flex" than the cheaper one. I love the way it paddles, and like that it can quickly go from a tandem, to solo, to solo with dog configurations just by moving around (or removing) seats. The deluxe seats are also very comfortable and keep you above any water that might get into the boat. Finally, the 30 lb weight and size are easy for me to stow into my Thule rooftop carrier or the back of the Tracker.

  7. thank you Lynne! Millie's one lucky gal...I am sure that the sea therapy is making her feel fantastic.


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