Sunday, February 16, 2014

From San Carlos to La Paz

We departed San Carlos January 23rd and spent several weeks en route, arriving February 5th.  The trip was pretty uneventful for a change - we actually did a bit of no-motor sailing.  Imagine that - on a sailboat! The winds were fairly tame - although we did see 40 knot gusts while in San Evaristo at anchor there for a few days! But it was a cloudy/overcast trip for the most part.

We skipped the northern stops and went directly from San Carlos/Marina San Carlos to Isla Coronado on the Baja, near Loreto, arriving about 22 hours later.  A beautiful anchorage, we arrived at sunrise to some clouds and a double rainbow!!

Our depth meter panel shows our average speed this trip 6-7 knots. Bill is charting his engine log on the ladder.

 .....see we did have sails up!

 Morning sun rose as we neared Isla Coronado:

 The cockpit seats we love. Makes for a comfy ride.
 A stop at Puerto Escondido was very brief -  here we are at anchor in the bay, as seen from a boat work yard there and the lift crane they have.  We came into the marina via dinghy for dinner and check-in, fuel and a few groceries.  Bill hauls fuel cans via dinghy and carries the 5 gallon jugs (4 this time) in by hand and back. They still charged him an extra 14% " fuel dock" fee/tax even though he did NOT go to the fuel dock with our boat.  Go figure.  This marina is trying to be sold and has been in turmoil for several years.  The only saving grace there is occasional fuel and Pedro's Portobello restaurant and store. They do not answer their radio, or have hot water or dryers that work - or toilet paper.  Of course, never have they had shower curtains, either. So we still pay about $18 a day to drop an anchor in a bay....when one can find anyone in the office - which is now being run by a gal who several years ago was in charge of cleaning the bathrooms.  The locals (mostly Gringos) are allowed to use the laundry facilities a (for free) and one lady had the audacity to interrupt our "check-in" (the staff were over an hour late arriving as it was) and complain about the dryers not heating (well, the marina can't pay the gas bill, so why would the dryers work?)

We are in hopes that the plant and gravel project that was going on to impress a potential buyer due in that week, worked. The balls are more than half gone and we sure would not trust them to hold us.  Hardly anyone stops here anymore and the cruiser's Hidden Port Yacht Club has moved back into an old dumpy building and basically run by the Gringos on dirt at  (mostly  from Juncalito, a plywood and palapa squatters residence nearby). Loreto Fest is in the planning but doubt too many cruisers attend anymore.  So new owners, take heed and improve!

Following PE, we stopped at Los Gatos and San Evaristo as well as San Francisco and Espiritu Santo in Ensenada Grande. We met some new cruisers en route and hope to meet up with them again - yet looking forward to seeing old friends in La Paz. 
We arrived La Paz February 5th - and finally sunshine! - and jumped into the social life with all four feet, all hands on deck and no brains.  Once I download pictures and quit running all over, details will follow.