Log #62g To Puerto Escondido

March 19, 2017 in Logs by Series, Series 62, Series 62, The Logs

Log #62g To Puerto Escondido

Monticello, Indiana, USA

March 28, 2017

Hi Folks,

We are on our way back to Ontario, currently here in our trailer in a Walmart parking lot in Indiana. We put Veleda on the hard in San Carlos on March 15, and on March 17 took the Yukon back to Rusty’s RV Ranch in SW New Mexico. We activated the trailer and stayed at Rusty’s a couple of days so Judy could do some bird watching, then set off towing the trailer behind the Yukon. Both the trailer and the car (I don’t consider the Yukon a truck. I describe it as an SUV on steroids.) weathered the eleven months quite well, although both covers were badly torn and were garbaged.

The trailer is fully operational, with only two minor problems in that the air conditioning and the hot water heater do not work. The Yukon is behaving well for a ten year old vehicle with over 275,000 km on it, and 3500 km since leaving San Carlos. We had a small electrical problem when the battery warning light went on,but had a new alternator installed and the battery replaced on warranty when we were in Arkansas.

We plan on visiting Barb and Charlie in Howell, just outside of Detroit in a couple of days. They are friends whom we met back in 1999 in London, England, and again in the Mediterranean on their sailboat, Sayonara.

  Speaking of boating, we are quite pleased with the storage of Veleda in San Carlos. We arranged to have it shored up with hurricane posts. These are four steel posts with arms and pads bracing Veleda stern and midships on each side. In addition there are seven other support stands holding Veleda in place. So, even if a hurricane were to hit the area, Veleda would be fine.

 

 

 

Veleda on the hard between steel posts

 

All the best,

Aubrey

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Log #62g To Puerto Escondido

Rusty’s RV Ranch, Rodeo, New Mexico

March 19, 2017

Even though we are now on dry land in our trailer heading back to Ontario, I will attempt to get my sailing logs up to date to our haul out at San Carlos.

The last log got us to Tembabichi (25° 16.264′ N, 110° 56.785 W’), a wide bay giving shelter from the north and west, but none from the south or east. Few anchorages along this coast give shelter from all directions, as they are just indentations on the coast, leaving a wide arc exposed to the non-predominant winds. This bay is unpopulated, with only a couple of pangas trailer launched and an abandoned hotel complex and airstrip further down the beach. We have seen several abandoned enterprises, or over-extended construction under-used.

As we didn’t trust the wind conditions for this exposed bay, we relocated in the early afternoon three miles up to the better sheltered Bahia El Gato, an equally exposed bay, except there is a small island off the point that we tucked behind for added shelter. There is no habitation on the bay, but the geology of the red cliffs is dramatic. The layers of the sandstone cliffs vary in hue from a light pink to mango orange and oxblood red and their peaks and cliff edges carved and raked by erosion have fierce pinnacles and and jagged natural statuary. The erosion patterns of the soft sandstone are intriguing.

We were finding the night time temperatures getting cooler, down to 13° C by morning as we are going north along the Baja. (Cool for us, but nothing like the snow and blizzards they are having back in Canada.)

I refuse to put our diesel stove on down here in sunny Mexico.

We left at 0815 next morning (Jan. 16) motoring 20 miles up to scenic Agua Verde (Green Water). It was a pleasant sunny day with light variable winds, as we coasted along, noting a few sports fishing boats inland of us. At 1113 we heard a distress call from a fishing boat giving his latitude and longiude. On checking we saw that position was very near us. We turned around and headed that direction to see a Boston Whaler drifting with the skipper waving to us. His 95 hp outboard engine was overheating and he had no engine power. We took him in tow the remaining five miles to Agua Verde.

When we were anchored, we launched the dinghy and I towed him to shore where he could work on the engine, and informed him we were heading up to Puerto Escondido next day.

Agua Verde is an idyllic anchorage, well protected by a spur and shoals on the outside, giving a wide protected area inside. The shore is sandy, with a few fishing shacks at one end where I took the stranded James Hampton and his boat. In addition there was an RV parked there in the glorious isolation of the bay. I had a talk with the Canadian couple who spend their winters RV’ing in the Baja and their summers up in B.C. Rough life!

In the southern portion of the anchorage along the sandy shore are a few homes and several more RVs, one of which was flying a large Canadian flag. We didn’t land the dinghy as there was a surge from the incoming waves which would have made getting ashore a wet affair.

James had got his engine started and anchored over this south side near his campsite. When we passed by his boat, a local was working on the engine without much success. He could start the engine and it would run for a few minutes until it started overheating again. We let him know we could tow him to Puerto Econdido where he had his car and trailer next day if the engine was not fixed.

Sure enough, next day he was still there, and we motored over to take him in tow again. We invited him aboard for the 24 mile trip. James is from Vancouver, a real estate agent, and he also has a home on Saltspring Island. He trailered his boat down and tents along the shore line, using an inflatable kayak to get ashore from his boat. He has a mooring buoy at Puerto Escondido and is quite familiar with the area.

Puerto Escondido is a large bay with a narrow south-facing dogleg entrance, with a mooring field of a couple dozen scattered mooring buoys. Anchoring in the bay is permitted, but costs the same ($10.00 a day) as on a mooring ball. We let James off into his boat just inside the entrance where he could motor the short distance to his mooring buoy. Once we were settled at a buoy James took us into Loreto, the nearby town, 30 km or 15 miles away, for grocery shopping, and picked us up later to take us for a lovely meal in town. James was extremely grateful for his rescue. He was desperate, and had waved at us, yelled, and even sent up a couple of flares which we missed as we were motoring a couple of miles past his location. It was only his garbled VHF call, giving his position and situation and indicating he could not receive calls and hoped someone had heard his distress call. We had responded and picked him up. This testifies to the fact that boaters should always keep a good lookout, as we missed his flares, and would have motored on by had we not heard his VHF call.

 

 Puerto Escondido is another development that overextended itself. It has a large infrastructure, but few inhabitants. The Marina Fonatur Puerto Escondido is a large standardized (as are all Fonatur marinas) long two story building, over half of it unused. There are several concrete walled channels, some with floating docks, with vacant lots and only a couple of homes in the process of being built. There are slips inside a couple of channels for home owners to moor their boats. The marina has a good fuel dock and potable water. The development is over built, but under used.

 

Channels, bridges and condos incompleted and under used

Outside the bay are two anchorages. The bay to the east is called the Waiting Room, and is taken up by a couple of dozen boats on long term private moorings. Across the entrance channel is a shallow indented bay where a few boats can anchor free of charge as they are outside the limits of the marina. There is a large cruising group here and a morning VHF net helps communication. Long term mooring here would require one’s own vehicle to get around as there is no bus service to Loreto and a taxi costs $50.00 (US) to go to town. Loreto itself is an attractive tourist town, but does not have any acceptable anchorage other than Puerto Escondido.

We had arranged to have mail sent to us from our Toronto address, and it should have arrived a week ago, by Jan.10. We stayed in the area for two weeks waiting for it. (PS – The mail never did arrive!)

Judy found a bird watching guide, Tom Haglund with BCS Birds, in Loretto, and spent two enjoyable mornings with him, spotting five species she had not seen before among the forty-plus seen each day. (Happiness is …)

  While on the mooring ball we weathered out a winter wind storm where we had 30 to 40 knot winds for a four day period. We went ashore with our dinghy once, down wind but were heavily soaked on the 300 metre upwind return. We were glad to be on a secure mooring ball. It was during this wind storm on night when I heard a loud thump thump noise. I could not see any boat under way, and could not figure out the source of the noise. On checking the nearby boats with a powerful maglite flashlight, I saw the boat astern genoa partially unfurled and flogging in the 35 knot winds. No one was aboard. In the morning a couple of brave skippers boarded Sea Angel to get the genoa under control. I previously attached a separate document outlining the risky procedure to get the genoa under control and furled more tightly.


    Once the winds died down we wanted to gunkhole around some of the off lying islands to kill time while hopefully waiting for our mail to arrive. There are three such islands to explore, Isla Danzante, Islas Los Coronados, and the largest, Isla Carmen. We first went 17 miles up to yet another Puerto Balandra, a cove on Carmen, for a quiet well sheltered anchorage. Next morning we went around to Caleta de Cueva, also known as V Cove because of its distinctive V-shaped configuration. We dropped the hook and launched the dinghy to explore some of the many sea caves etched into the overhanging cliffs. There was a swell that inhibited us from going into any of the caves for fear of being swept alongside the craggy rocks.

Even when we got back to Veleda we felt the swell too uncomfortable   and soon left to motor around the north end of the island to La Salina Bay (the Salt Bay) so named as it is the ghost town of an abandoned salt refining facility with extensive salt ponds behind the beach. A few houses have been converted to a hunting lodge, privately owned, and the decrepit remains of the facility lie forlornly exposed, the little white church still standing, unused since 1982 when the company closed and evicted the 200 people who lived and worked the salt evaporation flats and the processing facility.

    Ruins at Bahia Salinas

                       Abandoned church at Bahia Salinas

The caretaker welcomed us next day, but informed us we could not tour the area as the owners were in residence and would object. If we could come back next day,they would be gone and we would be welcome to explore the remains. As a strong southerly was expected, we declined and weighed anchor to head 18 miles down to Isla Danzante to anchor in the well sheltered Honeymoon Cove, just across the channel from Puerto Escondido on Jan. 25. We retuned to Puerto Escondido and stayed on a mooring ball for another five days hoping our mail would arrive. I enjoyed the spectacular sunrises casting an ochre glow over La Giganta Mountains west of the mooring field.

                                                    

La Giganta Mountains at sunrise

We finally gave up, and left instructions to forward any mail for us to the Marina San Carlos where we would be hauling Veleda out of the water for the summer on March 15. Surely our mail would be there by then. We left Jan. 31 for Isla Cornados heading north along the Baja.