Log #62d Up the inside of the Baja

January 29, 2017 in Log #62c, Logs by Series, Series 62, Series 62, The Logs

Log #62d Up the inside of the Baja

Puerto Escondido, BCS, Mexico

Jan. 29, 2017

 

The passage from Puerto Los Cabos to LosFrailes was a short 28 mile trip, starting out with light SE winds that turned to stronger north force 4 to 6 (10 to 25 knots) into the afternoon, pounding into steep two metre (7 foot) waves. Unfortunately these are the conditions which we will probably experience more frequently as we go north up the east side of the Baja, as north winds are the predominant winds in the Baja on both the Pacific and Sea of Cortes sides.

 

Log #62d Sundowners on Veleda

We dropped anchor in Los Frailes (23° 22.822′ N, 109° 25.413′ W) at 1623 after a heavy four hour motor passage on Dec. 11th. While dinghying around the anchorage next day, we met Barry on Mia, a large 50 foot plus catamaran, who was single handing at the time, – a large boat for one person. However he was an Aussie (Australian), and as fellow British Commonwealth Canadians, we had a pleasant time with him. That evening we hosted a “Happy Hour” on board Veleda. We had another skipper pick Barry up, as for him to launch his heavy 60 hp dinghy by himself would be difficult. A good time was had by all.

 

 

 

Just behind the beach were several RVs camping. Several had fishing boats they could launch from the beach. A couple we talked to had good luck in their catches, and were cleaning the catch of several good size fish on top of their ice chest, and sloshing it down with buckets of sea water.

Log #62d Los Frailes - Copy

 

This was the first of many beaches where we would see RVs down on the beach, camping free of charge or in some circumstances for a moderate fee of 100 pesos, less than $5.00 a day. Several campers have been there for weeks or months as snowbirds from Canada or the US. It reminded me of camping with our trailer in New Mexico and Arizona on BLM land, free of charge in the middle of the desert. The sunsets on the barren mountains were spectacular with the red hues highlighted at dusk.

 

Log #62d Sunset in Los Frailes

Sunset at Los Frailes

This bay is well sheltered from the north, but would be exposed in a southerly wind. It is just below the Tropic of Cancer (23° 30′ N) that we would be crossing next day. We were getting out of the Tropics!

 

Our next destination was Puerto Los Muertos 45 miles up the coast. As the winds tend to come up during the afternoon, we chose to make a late night departure at 2310 for a quiet overnight motor in calm winds but a beautiful full moon for our passage. We anchored in Los Muertos in about 14 feet of clear water by 0833 next morning, about 50 metres off the beach.

 

However as we swung around with the light winds at anchor, we noticed a shoal that we were drifting towards. Our depth sounder was indicating less than four feet, the depth of our keel.  Log #62d Shoal or school of fish

We raised anchor to clear the shoal and re-anchored about two hundred feet away. However we noticed the shoal seemed to move! Were we near another one? It rippled over a large area of ten to twelve feet in an oblong configuration. It was actually getting closer to us! Then we realized that it was a gigantic school of fish that were attracted to the shadow of our hull on the bottom of the clear shallow water. It was not a shoal after all, but a school of fish sheltering in Veleda’s shadow! It was so large and clear and appeared stable that we thought it was a shoal. But shoals don’t move. OK, were settled in that second position ( 23 59.310 N, 109 49.723′ W) for the next couple of days.

 School of Fish, not a shoal or a shadow

That afternoon we were invited to a pot luck get together on the beach with a few other boaters at sunset. We informed Barry when he arrived in the anchorage with Mia. We were invited on board to see his luxurious catamaran, and to help him launch his dinghy. It was a bit awkward as there was no table available, and no bonfire. The food was laid out on some rocks on the sandy beach, and every one had to stoop down by flashlight (for those who brought one) to get their food. Pot lucks are always interesting with the variety and quantity of foods, and the opportunity to meet with sailors from other countries such as Britain, France, Germany, Denmark, Australia and New Zealand, as well as those from Canada (B.C. and Alberta mostly) and the US (Washington and Oregon mostly).

 

Next day we dinghied over to one of the resorts behind the beach for lunch. It was a luxury resort, but they welcomed us in their restaurant, an interesting one as it was themed on model trains and had an extensive set of tracks that circled around the upper balcony.

Log #62d Trains

There are three resorts tucked in behind the beach area, but this one was the only one with a public restaurant. The others were for guests only, and we saw few of them about. I guess this isn’t the busy season or the economy doesn’t support this level of tourists.

 

Our third day there Barry and I went fishing in his 60 hp rib dinghy. I was hoping to learn some fishing techniques from him and to catch some fish. Unfortunately we had no luck after trolling several miles around the cape and following a few fishing pangas. This is the second time this year I have gone out with an experienced fisherman, but caught nothing on either outing.

We raised anchor and left early next morning at 0540 before sunrise and headed up the channel inside Isla Cerralvo. As I frequently do, I trolled a couple of lines astern, and by 0740 I had a strike on the the port side lure! I reeled in a 30” Dorado, also called a Dolphin fish or Mahi Mahi. I can’t wait to tell Barry at our next stop!

Log #62d Dorado - CopyThe problem with catching a fish on a sailboat is a place to clean it. We don’t have an ice chest to keep it, and we don’t have any kind of cleaning station on board. The Dorado was too large to clean in the sink or ina bucket, and so we used the lazarette to do the deed. Judy does a better job of cleaning the fish, and I am happy to have her do it.

She stripped as it is easier to wash the blood off her than off whatever she might be wearing, and cleaned the fish “au natural” while I hosed out the blood and Judy and the rest of the Lazarette and cockpit sole. We put four fillets into our refrigerator, and chopped up another one to enjoy sashimi (raw fish) with soy sauce and wasabi for lunch. Mmmm!

 

We anchored in the scenic Balandra Cove by 1350 (24° 19.270” N, 110° 19.801” W) our last stop before La Paz where we would spend Christmas and the New Year.

 

Log #62d Map 2 - Copy