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Back in Puerto Escondido

January 2, 2013

We are back in Puerto Escondido after a week of playing in the islands.  We will spend the next two days provisioning and preparing for our guests that join us on Friday.  Then we will be back out to the islands for about ten days.

We had our Christmas Eve dinner in Puerto Escondido at the Portobella Restaurant overlooking the inner harbor.  The restaurant has good food, a real Christmas tree, and Internet so we can Skype with family back home.  On Christmas Day we and about 30 other people gathered on the yacht Angelos and shared food, drinks, and stories.  We meet a woman who had been in Puerto Escondido 25 years ago when we were last here.

We head out to the islands on Boxing Day (for you Canadians) and end up at Isla Coronados.  Northern winds are predicted so we anchor on the south side of the island rather than in the picturesque crescent cove that opens to the north.  We dinghy ashore and take the short hike across the island to the cove and walk along the beach.  Coronados like many local islands is now part of a national park and the beach has eight pangas that have brought day visitors over from Loreto.  Not exactly a desert island, but charming none the less.

For our last night at Coronados we invite two other boats over for the sacred sun setter ritual of toasting the departing sun.  It’s a wonderful evening as the sun sets in the west and a full moon rises in the east.

The next day we raise anchor and sail to Ballandra on Isla Carmen with just a reefed main.  The north winds have been blowing and a formidable swell meets us on the stern quarter.  The boat remains dry and we bobbed along at 6 knots while dragging our meat hook.  The fishing has dropped off with all the north wind we’ve been receiving and we are fishless when we drop anchor.

The next day we hike up the dry stream bed of the arroyo and see some really big cacti.  Then we do a little sun tanning on the beach, our first time on the trip.  We have acclimated to winter in the Sea and now we get cold when the temperature dips in the 60’s.  It feels pretty good to warm up in the sun.

We awake on the third day intending to head south to Isla Danzante.  We listen to the Sunrisa Net weather on the ham radio and learn that it will blow hard from the south all day so we decide to chill in Ballandra one more day.  We are running out of fresh protein so Brian dons his heavy-duty northern California wet suit to combat the cooling waters and goes spear fishing.  We are rewarded with a nice Cabrillo, probably our favorite eating fish.  We share our riches with Mel aboard Iver, a 27 foot sloop.  Mel is a single-handing woman in her seventies who jogs on the beach!

Ballandra is a beautiful all weather anchorage except in westerly’s.  The southern blow ends up being 25 knots from the southwest and we find ourselves on a lee shore with a moderate swell rolling in.  We know our anchor is well set and decide to stay put and ride it out.  We keep our eyes on the anchor alarm as the sun sets and we sit down to a delicious dinner of Cabrillo.

The wind blows itself out sometime during the night and we wake up to a calm anchorage and a slight NW breeze, perfect for heading to Danzante.  In fact the wind never reaches its predicted 15-20 knots and we end up with a very slow and relaxing 15 mile sail.  Again we are disappointed not to catch a fish.  However, we see a whale as we are ghosting along at 2-3 knots and that’s always a joy.  We eat our fish tacos sitting on the foredeck while the auto pilot stands its watch.

We anchor in Honeymoon Cove on Isla Danzante on New Year’s Eve and Sandie makes a magnificent meal to celebrate; Cabrillo, baked potato with the works, corn, and salad with chocolate chip cookies for dessert. We enjoy another gorgeous sunset followed by a star-filled sky and a peaceful night’s sleep.

The strong northerly winds finally arrived at 6:00 AM on New Year’s Day.  By mid-morning we can see that the 2.4 mile channel to Puerto Escondido is filled with heavy white caps and big rolling seas.  We are glad that this isn’t a travel day and go ashore to hike the island.  There is an enchanting one-boat anchorage adjacent to Honeymoon Cove that we had anchored in 25 years ago and we hike over to the beach for our second sun-tanning session. We are hopeful that the winds will subside in the morning when we plan to head into Puerto Escondido.

The winds drop enough in the evening that we are able to bar-b-que a T-bone steak that Sandie has had tucked away in the freezer and we enjoy another wonderful meal.  Brian even dips into his 30-year old scotch to celebrate the New Year.  Then we put on a light-hearted movie and settle in for the night.

The winds calm considerably during the night and there are only a few white caps in the channel.  We conservatively bring the dinghy on board for the short trip to Puerto Escondido remembering how we lost a dinghy in northerly chop years ago.  But the beam seas are moderate and we have a dry 25 minute trip across the channel and anchor in Cocktail Cove in the inner harbor of Puerto Escondido.

Probably and old dorado???

Probably and old dorado???

Sun tanning beach on Danzante

Sun tanning beach on Danzante

Anchored in Honeymoon Cove

Anchored in Honeymoon Cove

Sunset in Honeymoon Cove, Isla Danzante

Sunset in Honeymoon Cove, Isla Danzante

New Year's Eve dinner

New Year’s Eve dinner

Enchanting cove on Danzante

Enchanting cove on Danzante

A rough channel to Puerto Escondido

A rough channel to Puerto Escondido

Eating fish tacos on the foredeck as we sail to Isla Danzante.

Eating fish tacos on the foredeck as we sail to Isla Danzante.

Arroyo on Isla Carmen

Arroyo on Isla Carmen

Preparing to hike on Isla Carmen

Preparing to hike on Isla Carmen

Sun sets as waves build on a lee shore

Sun sets as waves build on a lee shore

Crescent beach on Isla Coronados

Crescent beach on Isla Coronados

Isla Coronados south anchorage

Isla Coronados south anchorage

Sun setter

Sun setter

Cabrillo for dinner

Cabrillo for dinner

Trail across Isla Coronados to the park beach.

Trail across Isla Coronados to the park beach.

Still waters in Puerto Escondido's inner harbor.

Still waters in Puerto Escondido’s inner harbor.

Christmas day potluck aboard Angelos

Christmas day potluck aboard Angelos

Christmas Eve dinner at the Portobella Restaurant in Puerto Escondido

Christmas Eve dinner at the Portobella Restaurant in Puerto Escondido

 

 

From → Travel

3 Comments
  1. Dave Wong permalink

    Brian, are those your jammy pants? Do they have a flap?

  2. rob wolf permalink

    nice fish Brian, did you see any lobster? I wonder why they call that nice cove honeymoon cove Rob

  3. Cora Lee Jckowski permalink

    We’re learning so much from you! And we’re living vicariously, too. Thank you and Happy, safe-sailing New Year! Cora & Sonny Jckowski

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