Log #62k San Carlos, Guaymas and Haulout

August 12, 2017 in Logs by Series, Series 62, Series 62, The Logs

Log #62k San Carlos, Guaymas and HauloutCochrane, Ontario

August 12, 2017

We had two weeks in the San Carlos area before our scheduled haulout, and so we did some gunkholing around the San Carlos – Guaymas area, exploring the many bays and craggy coastline. Bahia San Carlos by itself is a large bay with a narrow dog leg entrance giving it good protection from most directions.

                                                   Entrance channel to Bahia San Carlos

However, several times the wind howled through the few openings, not only the relatively narrow entrance shown above, but also across the low isthmus separating our anchorage from the open water. The picture below was taken on the open coast side, looking across the isthmus to our anchorage beyond. In the right condition, the wind would howl across this low-lying land into the anchorage. Fortunately when that happened the fetch was not long enough for any serious wave action.  


The inner half of the bay is very shallow, to the extent that at low water a dinghy could not even make it to the end. A couple of times when I dropped Judy off at the end where the river enters the bay, where she was meeting a bird watching group, we grounded and had to raise the outboard out of the water and drag the dinghy manually a la Humphrey Bogart in the African Queen. We dinghied up that river a couple of times at high tide to enjoy the bird life upstream.The picture below shows a group of snowy egrets sitting on branches of a fallen tree, their reflections cast in the shallows of the river.

  A bit further upstream we saw these two birds, a roseate spoonbill and a great egret, posing in the mangrove branches,  the barren arid mountainside in the background.




From San Carlos to Guaymas by land is a direct road trip of ten miles, but to go around all the rocky peninsulas by water, the trip would be over 25 miles.

We anchored in a couple of bays along this coast. One just outside Bahia San Carlos was tucked in behind a small island with a narrow entrance one side, and a shoal strewn opening on the other side, navigable only by kayaks or dinghies. However this is a popular spot for tourist boats that bring revellers in, drop thier anchors and “let the party begin”. These tourist boats launch seadoos, kayaks, small sailing dinghies, and paddleboards, while the tourists drink, sing, shout and sometimes swim or push each other in. We spent an afternoon and overnight there once, lamenting all the tourist boats, but fortunately they did not stay overnight; after having up to eight boats in at a time, by eight pm we had the small enclosed bay all to ourselves. It is a nice spot and quite understandable why the many boats frequent this bay.

The mountain scenery is spectacular, from craggy mountain tops to tormented rock structures, sea caves, arches, and see-through window formations at the crest line. In the picture below there can be seen a couple of faces etched by small caves on the left side, and a couple of window arch formations on the crest in the centre. The rugged shore is convoluted with a variety of arches and sea caves which would be interesting to explore by dinghy in calm weather.

Arch and sea caves


 In our passage over to Guaymas, we were favoured by a pod of dolphins that came to play around Veleda for about ten minutes. They are always appreciated and I think they enjoy us as they play alongside and cross perilously close to our bow, showing off their agility as they circle, dive and break the surface in gay abandon.

As we entered Guaymas harbour we were accompanied by a Mexican Navy tug also entering harbour.

 As we entered the inner harbour we saw a more modern Mexican Navy corvette alongside.

 While inside the harbour we saw a Sea Shephard anti-whaling ship with confused geometric camoflage patterning about to go across the Pacific to challenge Japanese whaling ships.

The Fonatur Marina in Guaymas was the same drab architecture of other Fonatur Marinas, minimally used, as we saw in Santa Rosalia and Puerto Escondido, but the price was right at less than $25.00 a night.

Guaymas is a larger city of about 40,000 people with a good variety of amenties, shopping centres, and some attractive suburban coastal communities. I went to a dermatologist to get some lesions removed, and the cost for two visits, and cyrogenic removal of the lesions cost only $45.00. I was able to get the Mexican equivalent of several of my Canadian prescriptions economically filled without another doctor writing out the prescriptions.

Later we caught a bus from Guaymas to Agua Prieta on the border with New Mexico to return to Rusty’s RV Ranch in Rodeo, New Mexico, and pick up our Yukon, which was stored there for more than a year along with our trailer. We drove the Yukon back to San Carlos so that when we hauled Veleda out we would have transportation back to pick up the trailer and return to Ontario.

  Also while in Guaymus we attended the Guaymas Festival parade. There were many floats, the same ones being used year after year, with classical Greek, Roman and Egyptian themes.  There were many street hawkers selling their wares from cargo bicycles and colourful carts with gaudy confections and knick knacks piled high. If I remember correctly, there was one display in the parade featuring a dozen such colourful carts in all their flamboyant chaos. However I felt the parade lacked enthusiasm. It came nowhere near the vitality of Carnival parades we saw in Grenada.

In San Carlos we enjoyed an elementary school fundraising festival sponsored by the Rotary Club. It featured several dances with their students dressed in colouful traditional costumes, as well as some professional groups displaying their musical skills and dances. The kids did a great job.

We spent another night in the San Carlos Marina getting Veleda ready to be hauled out. The most difficult task was getting the heavy 15 hp outboard and our ten foot RIB dinghy onto the foredeck. Once everything was stowed away down below and in the cockpit, and a cover lashed over the dinghy, we were ready. In the morning we motored across the marina to the launch ramp and awaited the tractor/lifter to arrive. The crew guided Veleda onto the lifter, now submerged below the boat. As they guided Veleda forward the four padded arms came up, holding her as the tractor hauled the trailer out of the water.

Veleda on the lifter being taken to the storage yard

 On land, they checked the positions of the pads and then hauled Veleda a mile down the public highway to set her on stands in the work area where we could make the final preparations, including powerwashing the hull, before hauling her again over to the long term storage yard.

The hull had some barnacle growth, but after power washing was fairly good. We plan to put another coat or two of bottom paint on her before next launching. This coat was originally put on in August 2015 when we were up in Alaska, and we touched it up in Sidney, B.C. in Sept. 2016. It is a copper epoxy based hard ablative paint that we are happy with. Growth seen on the picture below before power washing has been over a seven month period, half of which has been in tropical salt water.

It can be seen in the above picture that the barnacle growth is more in the lower regions where we could not reach with our periodic brushing and scraping of the hull while swimming or from the dinghy.

We had Veleda taken to the long term storage yard in the afternoon, and were very pleased with the hurricane posts set in the ground, two on each side as an additional safety feature to prevent boats from toppling over and onto adjacent vessels. We feel Veleda is very secure, even if a hurricane were to come across the land to strike the yard. She is supported not only with the four padded arms of the hurricane posts, but she also has seven padded stands supporting her.

Note how well with just power washing, the bottom paint cleaned up and the waterline stripe cleaned as well. However we will put another coat of blue hard ablative copper based epoxy paint on next season (mid December probably) before we launch her.

We spent a night in a local motel, enjoying a Mariachi band as we had supper in a nearby restaurant. Next morning we drove 300 miles in the Yukon up to Rusty’s RV Ranch in Rodeo, New Mexico to pick up the trailer and return to Canada.