San Gabriel & Balandra

We left Caleta Partida for San Gabriel which we had hiked to from Playa Bonanza but not anchored at. Somehow we managed to not take any photos of the gorgeous San Gabriel beach or of Thomas and Allison on Cat (yes, the catamaran) whom we hung out with again there.

We went from San Gabriel to Balandra.


Balandra is not a well protected harbor but we had two nights of light wind and were able to anchor and enjoy the flat water, the windless heat, the white sand and fantastic snorkeling. It was a wonderful way to transition from at anchor to returning to the hustle, bustle and social scene of La Paz.


All along the Western portion of the bay is great snorkeling. There is an outer reef marked by a buoy with great coral and fish and then a series of underwater boulders and even one swim-thru cave on the Western shore. I’m new to free diving and the boulders and relatively shallow white sand bottom were a great place to practice. As long as I start clearing my ears as soon as my head goes under I am mostly limited by my own anxiety at this point. It is very fun to chase fish underwater.

Balandra - Livia free diving


  1. Hey, just saw this the other day. It was from Boat Bits but you might have seen it already.

  2. Thanks Lorry - Great info. As I understand it there is a difference between shallow and deep water blackouts. We are doing shallow water freediving and we understand that the most important thing is to *not* hyperventilate prior to going down. From wiki (I know, not always reliable):

    The mechanism for deep water blackout differs from that for shallow water blackouts and does not necessarily follow hyperventilation.[3][4] However, hyperventilation will exacerbate it and the two should be considered together. Shallow water blackouts can happen in extremely shallow water; brownouts can be induced even on dry land following hyperventilation and apnoea. However, the effect becomes much more dangerous in the ascent stage of a deep free dive. Refer to deep water blackout for more detail. There is considerable confusion surrounding the terms shallow and deep water blackout and they are made to refer to different things, or used interchangeably, in different water sports circles. For the purposes of this article the two are separate phenomena with the following characteristics:

    Deep water blackout occurs as the surface is approached following a breath-hold dive of over ten metres and typically involves deep, free-divers practicing dynamic apnoea depth diving usually at sea.[4] The immediate cause of deep water blackout is the rapid drop in the partial pressure of oxygen in the lungs on ascent.
    Shallow water blackout only occurs where all phases of the dive have taken place in shallow water where depressurization is not a factor and typically involves dynamic apnoea distance swimmers, usually in a swimming pool.[3] The primary mechanism for shallow water blackout is hypocapnia brought about by hyperventilation prior to the dive.

    More, including prevention:

  3. Thanks. Good to know. I hadn't researched it much yet as we're not "out there" yet but bookmarked it for future reference.



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