Seamore Pacific and her crew arrived at Puerto Escondido (Hidden Port) yesterday after 5 days of “gunk holing” from La Paz. Using two Sea of Cortez cruising guides, the Navionics App, a nautical chart, our eyes, and an abundance of caution, we have another dozen new experiences and memories to hold on to. Without a doubt, all credit goes to our Bruce anchor. A bumper sticker of an anchor and the words, “I LOVE Bruce” comes to mind.
Falling head over heels in awe of Bruce became a love-hate triangle and anticipating each night’s anchoring conditions was similar to being on a blind date. Studying both cruising guides we would agree on the “nice” one for wind and swell protection. Much like going on a blind date, we used the experience and preference and assumed it matched our own likes and dislikes. Every single night was a dud! Most every night it would have been easier to drag Seamore Pacific ashore, hoist her on our shoulders, and carry her 20 miles down the road, then set her back in the water when the sun came up.
The days were lovely and the nights were hateful. Take for instance our date with San Evaristo. We arrived to find a dozen other boaters swimming, paddle boarding, and enjoying the warm water. We relaxed in the cockpit with appetizers and marveled at the view; a quiet little fishing village with the Sierra de la Giganta range in the backdrop. The sleeping in shifts at Ensenada Grand (we both slept in the cockpit to keep watch for dragging anchor) was erased by a beautiful day sailing past Canal de San Jose and along the eastern shore of Baja. It was picture perfect and Captain Chameleon was smitten with the wind protection the gigantic mountains would provide.
“We couldn’t have found a more perfect location. With those mountains over there, and the mountains over there, and how the cove wraps around…we are going to sleep great tonight!”
4 Hours later a Corumel hit and all mayhem broke loose. Boats were dragging anchor and their owners were trying to protect life, limb, and property. One boat in particular was dragging through the tiny anchorage banging into other boats, fouling anchors, and trying to avoid ending up on the reef. I went from a deep sleep to Captain Chameleon shouting over the wind, “get up here quick….we have a boat that just hit the Hans Christian in front of us and is coming our way… let’s get the engine started….get ready to pull anchor…I need a flash light….get the boat hook….throw on your life jacket…hey Baby aren’t we having fun!!!” He didn’t really say, “Hey baby aren’t we having fun.” But, what great team work that night. For the remainder of the Corumel blow, our eyes never left the boat wedged between us and the Hans Christian. 50 feet was all that was between two boats, in a 30 knot wind.
Tired from two nights without sleep, but eager sailors that we are, we pulled up anchor at 0730 and took off for a date with contestant # 3. Another day of breath taking beauty and rewarding sailing we pulled into Bahia San Marte just as dark grey rain clouds enveloped us. Excited about making it safe to port before the rain started and eager to have a good freshwater rinse for Seamore Pacific, we battened down the hatches and enjoyed the rain, confident in Bruce’s ability to stay put where the Captain had set anchor. 1 inch of rain fell that night and the next morning we woke with north winds blowing 20 knots. Locked in by the wind, meant we wouldn’t be making our way closer to an internet connection and letting family know were safe. We had anticipated taking 3 days to Puerto Escondido and here it was now day 4 and no idea when the dangerous weather would subside for us to leave. While 20 knots can make for a good sail in the ocean, 20 knots kicks up very rough seas in the Sea of Cortez. My spirits were sad that day and it was a challenge to try and put on a happy face. My sad face turned into a queasy face as we rocked and rolled through the night.
At 0700 the wind settled to 10 knots, we pulled up anchor, motored downwind to give ourselves ample room to clear the slightly submerged reef and then turned north to Puerto Escondido. My spirit soared and it no longer mattered if we were in for a bumpy ride…I was sailing with my Banda Ancha 3 G to a Telcel tower. There are no medals given out to sailors who go without internet and I’m convinced I’m a happier sailor when I have it.
Coming into Puerto Escondido, I was jumping up and down with excitement and giddiness. I had endured 5 days without internet or connection to the outside world. Guess what? No Telcel towers in this area. However, there is a little restaurant that has WiFi and with that, I’m a happy sailor again.
I Love Bruce and Banda Ancha!
A Norther’ is hitting the area tomorrow with winds up to 30 knots until next Friday. Boats are coming in right and left seeking safe harbor. We are on a mooring ball and pretty much ready for whatever blows our way. It is beautiful country, even minus a Telcel tower and I’m grateful for getting to spend time with Captain Chameleon cruising the Sea of Cortez.