Friday, March 9, 2012

Isla Coronado to Puerto Escondido


27 FEB – 4 MAR 2012

27 FEB 2012 Isla Coronado to Puerto Escondido

Bill at the bow as we approached Isla Coronado; the Puerto Escondido Singlar marina (most boats are in the bay on a mooring ball); JUCE' Bruce and Judy taking advantage of an opportunity; The Huichl Indian beaded shark and lunch in Loreto; Aboard JUCE for cocktails....

Hearing the weather forecast for the mid-sea, we headed for Puerto Escondido, the “Hidden Port” and a safe place to wait out some windy weather – a short 20 mile (3-4 hour at 4-5 mph) run. We left the beautiful little island at 0830 and arrived PE at 1430. The run was across the Loreto Bay and for about 2 hours, we had 30 knots of wind on our nose. As soon as we rounded to enter PE, the wind dropped dramatically. We found s/v JUCE, Bruce and Judy, were already hunkered-down in the bay and looked forward to visiting with them. We made to a ball just west of JUCE and Bill caught ball #75 and we made preparations to dinghy to the marina and check in with Marina Singlar…and have a cold beet at Pedro’s Porto Bello restaurant there.

27 FEB – 5 MAR 2012 - Puerto Escondido!

Awaiting the BIG WIND, we spent a few days prepping the boat, provisions, banking and searching for parts in Loreto. We had cocktails aboard s/v JUCE, dinner at PortoBello’s a few times and caught a ride with a friend of JUVE’, Dale, now a tent guy (as his boat-mate kicked him out, divorcing), into Loreto for lunch and provisions. We also met a new boat, s/v Shannon, a couple from Vancouver Island, Canada – Cathy and Carolyn. Along with JUCE, we had some great visits and chats, boat discussions, life discussions and just a few beers and margaritas. On our final evening and when the winds gone, we made a dinghy ride to shore, giving Shannon a lift, and had a parting dinner at Pedro’s. JUCE is heading home via San Carlos for Bruce to have knee #2 done in Colorado and Shannon will continue south at a slower pace than us – we may meet up again in La Paz.

Then, the winds came – totally messing with our minds and testing our real boat mentality. Throughout the ordeal, I could hear voices throughout the bay. “Please, stop the wind”, “why are we here…?”….”I want to go home!”… it was enough to drive any sane person bonkers…howling, howling, howling non-stop. Note to self, “BLOG on wind”.

The PE marina – but most boats are out on mooring balls. This Huichl Indian beaded shark is a a work of art, still in progress by a waiter in Loreto – which he hopes to sell for $8000!

We went into the marina Friday AM to get the “parts” Omar mailed us. And before the wind kicked in, we did a walk to look at a local Gringo “picnic” beach site at the government API (old marina) site – not impressive. After, we stopped at Pedro’s for a cold beer. About half way thru the beer, we watched the white caps start rolling across the bay. OOPS!! We jumped up, headed to the dinghy and got a very damp/wet dinghy ride back to the boat –in the nick of time.

Bill did an exceptional job attaching our mooring ball to the boat and we sat tight – but ever-worried. As we fell off the ball last year there, during high winds at Loreto Fest, we were pretty paranoid about having a similar incident. We arrived on a Monday and the winds kicked in on Friday, right on schedule. We sat on the boat for 48 hours, watching 30-40+ knots knock us, and everyone else, around our respective anchor balls. PE is not known for well-maintained balls – and we also noted on check in that many balls were missing! Luckily, we escaped escaping this year. But we did stand watch and Bill also reinforced the pennant, adding several anti-chafing leathers. With the wind and boat movement, neither of us ever really got any sleep despite a semi-watch schedule.

However, one boat, s/v Susie, did come off her ball. Unfortunately, the owner had left overnight to take his wife to catch a bus in Loreto. Several of us were advised to “keep an eye on her” and we did, all through the night. At 0530, Bill woke for his “watch” and I went below to catch some shut-eye. I had used Susie’s solar deck lights as a point to ensure we had not popped off our ball, and the lights were there at 0530. At 0630, and as the sun rose, Bill and another boat noted Susie was – GONE! Searching the 2-mile wide bay, we saw no signs of her. We looked for a mast out of the water – nothing. How had we all missed her un-manned and ghostly escape? Shortly thereafter, a radio report, a sighting of her 2 miles across the bay in a cove called Cocktail Cove; she was sited, just sitting there near the mangroves. I think one boat (in Spanish) may have felt her slide past, perhaps a nudge, a call for “help” and reported she was adrift. The Singlar marina sent out a marina panga as soon as they could and towed her out to a new ball and tied her up. What a surprise the owner had on returning that day! She appeared fine – and the fact she did not run into anyone of the 20+ boats at balls is truly amazing. We were right in her path and she silently slipped past us. Whew.

Once the wind stopped, Bill was able to replace the raw water pump and impeller that Omar had sent to us. The delivery system worked well; he sent it via Aero Calafia from Guaymas to Loreto, friend Pedro also has a restaurant at the Loreto airport so he picked it up for us! Omar is such a sweetheart; he even added an extra impeller, some tape, etc. We’ll arrange thru Joan and Tom to get him paid.

So – still heading south, hoping for La Paz this week. Our musician friend, Mark Mulligan( from San Carlos, is having a concert in La Paz March 13th and we are planning to attend! Have old friends awaiting us there.

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