Log #62j Kino and San Carlos

August 10, 2017 in Log Series 60-69, Logs by Series, Series 62, Series 62, The Logs

Toronto, ON

Aug. 24, 2017

Hi Folks,

This is my last sailing log until we return to Veleda in Mexico some time in December.

We are down here for three presentations I am making to the Port Credit In Water Boat show this weekend. The times of my presentations have been changed to 11:00 am each day. Tomorrow is Part 1 Leaving the Great Lakes to the Mediterranean, Saturday is Part 3 Newfoundland to the Florida Keys, and on Sunday is Part 7 North to Alaska. I just had a full medical checkup, as I am now covered by OHIP, and have a clean bill of health.

We are settled into our two bedroom apartment up in Elliot Lake. We have sold the trailer, bought a new Honda Civic (in lustrious blue just for Judy), and are trying to sell the Yukon. I think it is worth more than people are prepared to pay for an 11 year old vehicle with 285,000 kilometres on it. It is advertised on Kijiji, but I have had more response from leaving it in the arena parking lot with a for sale sign on it. From the Kijiji ad, we have had one scam with the story he wants to buy it for his son, etc. Similar to one we had a few years ago when we were selling our old dinghy. We have had a few calls from LosVegas auction houses offering to list the car on their auction site for only $500.00

We didn’t buy the Grampion 30 sailboat at the local North Channel Yacht Club this year, and hope it is still available when we return next April, as we would buy it then and get a full season’s use our first year.

All the best,

Aubrey

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Log #62j Kino and San Carlos

Elliot Lake, Ontario

Aug. 10, 2017

Motoring down to Kino Bay, we dropped anchor February 11 at 0815 off the south shore of Isla Pelicano (28° 48.602′ N, 111° 57.732′ W) after a 97 nautical mile passage across the middle section of the Sea of Cortez from Santa Rosalia. Kino is a spread out community along the long sandy coast of Kino Bay. Old Kino is the original Mexican town to the south, a sleepy fishing community, while New Kino, spread out along the beach to the north, is a modern tourist area, home to many expats both Canadian and American.

We dinghied along for a couple of kilometres off the beach at New Kino trying to identify Club Deportiva, and finally landed at a small trailer park to explore. Landing on the sandy beach was complicated by having to haul the heavy dinghy up above the high tide level, after beaching it and dragging it up quickly so the small waves washing in did not swamp the boat. There were no docks along the beach.

We finally found the club, also known as Kino Bay Sports Club, an active group of more than 600 people, mostly expats, in an air conditioned clubhouse a couple of blocks from the main road along the beach. It is a fishing, boating, and social club that operates 2 ramps and a tractor launcher at the north end of the beach for dry-sailing a variety of power and fishing boats (no sailboats), as well as running the well known Rescue One VHF net on channel 16 and 24. We were welcomed there and enjoyed a few days and a couple of meals, including a delicious Eggs Benedict breakfast one day . Small world department, we met Paul and Sandra, whom we originally met in 2000 in the Balearics in the Mediterranean when they were sailing their boat Quarterdeck, which they have now sold. They were presently living in a motor home in a trailer park near the club, but have bought a comfortable little new house in in New Kino for a very economical price of only $45,000.

They have a lovely summer home in Campbellford, Ontario (we visited them there in July) and will use their Mexican home in Kino for the winters. A nice situation! Many of the trailer parks down here have shelters for sun protection and small concrete patios as well as small storage sheds. Many people use these parks as winter homes.

One evening, after a potluck supper, we made a slide presentation to the club about the first few years of our liveaboard life. The club is a good social group for all the expats living there. We rented a small fishing boat with its skipper to go up to the Seri native village near Tiburon Island. We didn’t want to do so in Veleda as the waters are very shallow requiring local knowledge to navigate. We set off from the covered shore storage towed by a tractor over to the launch ramps, and slid into the water north of town. It was interesting to be in a power boat to see how it was launched and retrieved. I was a bit disappointed as the skipper did not land at the Seri community, just motored around the sandy beach, as there were no docks to land at. All the native boats, pangas, were just hauled up on the beach.

It was strange staying on the boat as it was hauled from the covered storage bays and into and out of the water at the busy launch ramps. All boats there are dry sailed as there are no docks to accommodate them in the water.

 

We changed our anchorage off Kino beach a few times to anchor closer off the open beach, nearer to the club. However one day the wind blew up onshore quite heavily, and we relocated behind Pelican Island, a bit more sheltered, but still not a good secure anchorage. On the way around the island the wind howled at over 50 knots and blew one of our cockpit cushions overboard. I was going to let it go, but Judy wanted to rescue it. So we circled around in 45 to 55 knot winds to windward of the cushion while Judy retrieved it with a boat hook, after putting everything loose in the cockpit down below so it too wouldn’t blow over board. The anchorage behind Pelican Island was relatively calm, with only 25 to 35 knot winds and reduced wave action.

We left next day, Feb. 13, just before sunrise for a 52 NM motor-sail down to Bahia San Augustin (28° 16.503′ N, 111° 24.011′ W). We were now on our “Go home” run to San Carlos where we were going to haul Veleda out for the summer while we returned to Canada. The bays down this stretch from Kino to San Carlos are not good all-weather anchorages. They are coastal indentations which leave 180° exposed to southerly or westerly winds. There are no communities to speak of and no docks or marinas to tie up to until down by San Carlos.

Next day we motored another 17 miles down to anchor in Bahia San Pedro, a crescent moon shaped bay allowing protection from North and Northwest winds at the northerly curve, If the wind shifted we could motor across to the southern curve to be protected from south and southwest winds. We anchored inside the northern section (28° 03.453 ‘ N, 111° 14.831′ W). We didn’t bother launching the dinghy, but just enjoyed a tranquil afternoon and evening with the dry, barren, ochre-red Sonoran mountains dominating the coast line, especially at sunset.

This stretch of the Mexican mainland side of the Sea of Cortez is the state of Sonora (abbreviated Son).

February 16th after a short 15 mile passage, we arrived in Bahia San Carlos, a large well sheltered bay. We were unsure as to where to anchor or pick up one of the several buoys supposedly managed by Bahia San Carlos Moorings and contacted on channel 72. However our pilot book was out of date and the few mooring buoys are all privately owned now. (We have the Mexican Boating Guide, third edition, published in 2013, and it is the latest guide for the Sea of Cortez and Mexico’s west coast.)

We intially anchored (27° 56.841′ N, 111° 03.702′ W) in the middle of the bay, uncertain whether we were in any channel, or exposed to the only opening for the wind to howl into the bay. Due to our uncertainty, we weighed anchor and went in to Marina San Carlos for a few days.

There we made our arrangements with Marina Seca, a subsidiary of Marina San Carlos, to haul Veleda out on March 15. They use a tractor hauling a long trailer with pneumatic arms to raise and support the boat, then they haul the boat a mile inland down the main highway to their holding yard. This is a temporary yard where people can work on their boats, get work done and can stay on their boats overnight. From this temporary holding yard, after we have the bottom power washed, Veleda would then be hauled into another long term storage yard and blocked up until next winter when we will return to sail some more of the west coast of Mexico.

 The rates at Marina San Carlos are reasonable, but we stayed for only three nights before going out to anchor in the bay.However we were welcomed at the San Carlo Yacht Club located above the marina office. It is a luxurious club with an outdoor balcony, a large social area, kitchen and bar. We gave a slide presentation to the group at one of their dinner nights.

 

We re-anchored three times in the next two days to be sure we were far enough from other boats on mooring balls, and out of the entrance passageway and in a bit of shelter from the surrounding hills. We were anchored beneath a very dramatic craggy mountain crest dominating the skyline.  

Several days were spent doing maintenance chores such as changing the oil and filters, flushing out the cooling water jacket, and cleaning things up ready to leave Veleda on the hard for a few months.

The area has several bays, large and small tucked into the mountainous terrain. The much larger city of Guaymas (pronounce why-mass) is about ten miles along the coast with a large harbour, naval yard, and a couple of marinas, at one of which boats can be stored as well. We spent a few days gunkholing around the various bays and anchorages. On one of our short sails, we saw a pod of about 30 dolpins that came and played around the boat for a few minutes. They are always a joy to watch.

I will have more about the Festival in Guaymas, and a colourful elementary school festival in San Carlos as well as the actual haulout in my next log.