Saturday, May 27, 2017

Puerto Escondido to San Carlos 2017

We left Puerto Escondido on May 9th after spending two days waiting out some unpredictable and changeable winds. We headed north towards Isla Coronados. The winds were out of the northeast (unusual) and we were doing so well sailing we decided to sail right past Coronados and go all the way to San Juanico (one of our all time favorite anchorages).


The slow cold front moving down from the north brought cooler temperatures (low 70’s during the day and low 60’s at night) and also cooler water (a chilly  69 to 72) when we first arrived in SJ.  We had some windy and cold days in SJ, but also some “perfect days” and the water did start warming up to 75 in the afternoons. By the time we left San Juanico the water was finally up to 78 and the air was up into the 80’s.
We met some great new people, saw old friends, hiked most of the trails, swam, beachcombed, got some boat chores done, relaxed, and made a good dent in the food that needs to be eaten before we head to the states.
Sunset beach bonfire

Moon rising behind the pinnacles
View from the cockpit

Sunset view from the cockpit

The road to La Ramada beach

The SJ fire pit for burning garbage

We added one more year on our Cruiser's shrine plaque
Our good friends Susan and Steve on Pacific who we met seven years ago.
Steve is a diver and has taken some awesome underwater videos.
If you would like to see what life is like beneath the Sea of Cortez go to
the blog roll on the side bar of our blog and click on "Pacific".
View from the trail up hills on the north side of the anchorage.
Loomba-Loomba is the middle boat.
View from the ridge trail (on the south side of the anchorage)
 looking north.
Looking southeast from the ridge trail

Looking southwest from the ridge trail
There was an abundance of grebes this year.
They are really fun to watch because they all
dive under at the same time and start popping 
back up about the same time.
I couldn't get a video, but this is a picture
of one of the smaller flocks:

It's also the season for the mobula rays to
entertain us with their acrobatic jumping:

San Juanico updates: 
The house/hotel (San Basilio) on the hill is getting fancier all the time. They’ve done a very good job blending it into the surrounding landscape. The road into the bay/house has improved. There haven’t been many obvious guests since we arrived.

The organic farm up the road has expanded and now has lots of chickens (and eggs), more goats (goat cheese), two turkeys, many more raised beds with shade covers, and a solar street light(?!!).


Jim and Servando with our first day's bounty.

Servando, Jim, and Carlos packaging up the
goat cheese and eggs.

When we were searching through the zucchini bed Servando
saw a rattle snake right in the bed. Apparently they capture them,
dry them for the meat, and use the fat for some kind of a medicine
for asthma. This is the rattle from the last one they caught.

The last leg of the walk back to the anchorage from the farm.
If you look closely you can see L-L's mast.

Eggs, tomatoes, zucchini, peas, beets, and goat cheese from
our last trip to the farm.
We had some pork medallions in the freezer so we made fried
rice with beet greens, zucchini, onions and egg and we made
a salad with beets, goat cheese, tomatoes and avocados.

We stayed in San Juanico for a little over two weeks
before heading across the Sea of Cortez to
San Carlos, which is where we are now - getting
L-L ready to store on the hard for hurricane season.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Mazatlan to Puerto Escondido: Friends, Whale Sharks, Big Horn Sheep, Spinner Dolphins, and Deserted Beaches

We started out from Mazatlan on the mainland
(far right) on April 14th and arrived on Baja just
south of Isla Cerralvo at Ensenada de los Muertos
on April 15th. It was a fairly comfortable passage.

We crossed paths with this tanker who came very close to us -
see the GPS photo below. We had the right of way, and he
turned to go behind us, but if I had been at the helm I would have
changed our course. It's probably good I am NOT the captain:)

Gorgeous sunrise on the way across

When Tom and Claudette left us in Mazatlan they flew to La Paz to get on Mike and Kathy’s (mutual friends) boat “Running Horse”.  We left Mazatlan a little later than we planned due to dentist appointments and weather so it took us five days to catch up with Running Horse.
We did an overnight passage from Mazaltan across the Sea of Cortez to Ensenada de Los Muertos just south of the Cerralvo Channel and La Paz , spent the night and headed to Playa Bonanza on Isla Espiritu Santos where we met some good friends for a late lunch and spent the next night. The following three days were spent getting to Puerto Los Gatos, Agua Verde and then Punta Colorada on the SE side of Isla Carmen (See chart below) on April 19th where we finally connected with Running Horse.  We played and partied for four days with the RH crew, plus other friends and ended up saying goodbye from Bahia Candeleros.

A gathering of Bainbridge/Poulsbo boats:
s/v Running Horse (hosting) with Kathy and Mike and Tom
and Claudette, s/v Carmanah with John and Donna,
and s/v Loomba-Loomba
Then next night we added the m/v Pacific crew -Steve
When Running Horse left to go back to La Paz we stayed in Candeleros
another day and were thrilled to encounter this whale shark near
the boat. We got in the dinghy to get a closer look and he swam
right under us! They are very gentle creatures and they
feed on plankton.

From Candeleros we went to Puerto Escondido for several days, rented a car with some friends to go into Loreto for some provisioning and lunch, washed the boat, did laundry, filled up with fuel, took care of business while we had wifi, saw friends, and rested up from our marathon journey and partying.  We spent about a month hanging around the Loreto area – mostly on Isla Carmen.
Spinner dolphins swimming with us off of Isla Carmen
We circumnavigated counter-clockwise
around Isla Carmen: Most of the time we had the anchorages to ourselves.
We spotted these big horn sheep on the beach in Bahia Cobre
young sheep actually wading in the water.....

while mom and dad stood watch

While all this was going on in at the beach another group was
walking across the ridge above us
We moved to the Painted Cliffs anchorage that
evening after Steve on Pacific said it was his favorite.
Great evening on Pacific that night, Steve left the next morning.
We ended up staying four more nights and loving it!
Sunrise at Painted Cliffs - view from the cockpit

The water was clear and warm

We caught a couple of triggerfish and
made ceviche

The weather eventually turned a little snarly so we headed
 around the north end of Carmen to Isla Coronados, 
dropped the anchor, had lunch and pretty soon the
predicted northwest wind became southeast.
We opted for a lively sail to Puerto Escondido and
a good night's sleep.

Sailing back to Puerto Escondido
Puerto Escondido has seen many changes just 
since last year with new ownership. We're
hoping they can make a go of it:
The staff is great - very helpful and efficient.
The landscaping has been re-done and looks great.
There are new docks in the canals and a house is
actually being built.
The mooring buoys have all been re-done.
They are putting in a new store and in the
mean time they have a free shuttle to the little
store in Ligui about five miles from PE.

The Ligui Tienda has a surprisingly diverse inventory from
produce to spark plugs.
The new tienda in Puerto Escondido should be
open in about a week.

We are leaving Puerto Escondido today to head north
to Isla Coronados and then San Juanico before 
heading back to the mainland and San Carlos to
haul out for the summer.
Haul out date is June 6.