Our guidebooks said that Isla Coronados was a long extinct volcano with a demanding trail to the top. However, the sign we found at Honeymoon Cove said that Ranger was not allowed on that island either. So we all were pretty bummed about not being able to climb the volcano. But as we sailed closer to the cove shaped island we all knew what we each were thinking. We need to stop and climb that thing! When Ashley and I told the kids we were going to stop, both and Alexander and Victoria were ecstatic and began reading their hydration packs. So instead of sailing by we sailed into the anchorage and dropped anchor. It was a little late in the day when we began our hike. Normally by noon it is in the mid 80’s as it climbs to the 90’s in the afternoon. We knew we were not going to stay long because Ranger was not able to hike with us or even go to the beach so we set out on our hike right away. It was after one in the afternoon when we began the ascent. At first it was a lovely groomed trail through the dunes. Soon, however, that all changed. The trail went from smooth sand to large grapefruit sized obsidian rocks with super sharp edges. We walked on these rocks for nearly two miles up and down small ravines and through draws and spurs of the volcano. After the ankle busting rock trail we came out to the face of the cone of the peak. The trail took the direct approach to the summit with only slight switch backs up a narrow draw of very loose sand. Soon we reached the summit that gave us all magnificent views of the anchorage and surrounding sea. We spent a little time exploring the crater and then made our way back to the beach. Waiting for us at the beach were our friends from S/V Galatea. We had not yet reached 14 days of isolation so Alexander and Connor were able to play but keep their distance from each other. After the hike soaking our feet in the salt water and soft sound was very refreshing. Later when we all got back to the boat we decided that the guidebook was right when it described the hike as demanding. We also decided that it was a hike we would never do again.
Our next destination was supposed to be a long term (a week or two) stop. We anchored in a popular anchorage behind some large pinnacle rocks and submerged reefs. There we a few boats including about 8 kids. We were still not at 14 days so we kept our distance as they had all been isolated together for the last 3 weeks. We did meet a young couple from Colorado who shared our interest in exercise and also had a dog with them. They asked if they could join us on the beach and on one of our hikes. We told them to come along and we had a great time getting to know Crissie and Mark and their friendly little dog Hanky Panky. Lately our daily schedule has been we get up around 7 am, have breakfast and begin school before 8am. We then break for a visit to the beach to swim or hike or just explore the area at 10:30 for about 2 hours. Crissie and Mark asked to come along again the next day and we again welcomed them along. After our walk Crissie said she needed to do a little exercise before heading back to the beach. Victoria and Alexander looked at her and said BRING IT! Crissie looked at me wondering if these kids were serious. I just shrugged my shoulders and said BRING IT! So she led us all in a series of squats, lunges, push-ups, sit-ups and burpees. She was a little shocked that Alexander and Victoria not only kept up but enjoyed it. After our workout we all went for a little swim and then back to our respective boats to get out of the sun and back to school work. The next day we repeated the same schedule but Crissie really brought it and we all were wrecked at the end of the workout As we were all shaking off the pain she caused us and preparing to go for a relaxing swim she told us all to drop and give her 100 crunches. Did I mention that Crissie is a super fit Crossfit gal? Oh did I mention that she is a tall and mean heavily accented German woman? Needless to say none of us would let up when she was yelling at us to keep going. Later that day we met Mark and Crissie at the reef bordering our anchorage for some snorkeling. As soon as I entered the water I saw a large manta ray gliding over the reef. I called everyone over and Alexander, Victoria were there in seconds. The three of us were able to follow this amazingly beautiful creature for a few minutes before it made its way out to sea. The ray was probably 4 ft across and its tail was 4 ft long and it was not at all bothered by our presence. It was the highlight of years of snorkeling. The 6 of us continued on snorkeling exploring the many rocks, ledges and caves created by the reef that housed thousands of fish. After seeing that ray I made a promise to myself and to you readers to always have our underwater gopro with me. So for now on I promise to include some underwater pictures of what we are seeing while snorkeling.