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Pleasant Weather Returns to the Sea

January 30, 2013

We are enjoying incredibly nice weather since JoAnn and Ed returned to the States.  The “blow” they experienced with us had winds up to 40 knots and was the biggest storm since hurricane Paul hit Baja in October.  But that is in the past and we have had nearly two weeks of gentle winds and temps in the high 70’s.  This is how cruising is supposed to be.

When our guests leave we take advantage of the rental car and drive up into the mountains to Mission of San Francisco Javier Vigge Biaundo founded in 1699.  The new road is paved and the trip should take about 40 minutes, but Mother Nature has not been kind and the road is completely washed out in places.   Not to worry, it’s a rental car!

We enjoy our roles as tourists and walk through the village and visit the mission.  Despite the high desert mountains the arroyo holds water from the last flooding rains and there are oases complete with palm trees.

The next week is spent anchored in Puerto Escondido working on the boat and enjoying Internet access.  We grow antsy and head back out to the islands where we can continue to do boat projects and play at the same time.  We sail in light winds to the back side of Isla Carmen that is a bit more exposed and less travelled and anchor by ourselves off Punta Colorada.  It feels good to be in a new place and we celebrate by whipping up some homemade salsa and relaxing the rest of the day.  So much for boat projects.

The next morning is perfectly calm with a receding tide; perfect for exploring tide pools.  We head ashore and find shells, watch the Sally Lightfoot crabs scamper across the rocks, and even spy a small octopus.

At noon we raise anchor and make the short hop up to Punta Perico which is even more beautiful than Coronada and better protected.  We pass through large patches of red tide but the anchorage is clear and Brian goes diving and returns with a grouper.  We enjoy a full moon rising as the sun sets and forget once again to do boat projects.  Maybe this is why we like the islands so much.

The morning brings a southerly swell into the anchorage and we decide to slip around the corner to Painted Cliffs with good protection from the south.  The water is perfectly clear and we can see our anchor on the bottom.  Brian again goes diving and this time returns with a 12 pound red snapper.  We now have so much fish that we self-impose a moratorium on fishing.  We shower of the swim step and go ashore to do some beachcombing.  This is truly a beautiful anchorage and we have it to ourselves.

It would be lovely to spend the night at Painted Cliffs but the weather forecast is for NE winds during the night which places us on a lee shore.  The anchor is reluctantly raised and we head around the north end of Carmen to the well protected Ballandra anchorage.  We arrive at dusk and we are treated to a fiery sunset as we drop our hook next to the only other boat.  Mexican fishermen have set up camp on the beach since our last visit and they return in the fading light.

The next day is absolutely perfect with no wind and clear skies.  But we feel guilty about our laziness and spend all morning and half the afternoon cleaning, varnishing, water-making, and filling dive tanks.  Thoroughly spent, we enjoy the late afternoon reading and eating chips and salsa with our favorite beverages.  We finally earned it.

The winds fill in from the NW during the night at 10-16 knots, perfect for sailing south to Puerto Escondido.  Small craft advisories are expected for the next few days so we take the opportunity and head out.  It is a bit rolly with a following sea but otherwise a very pleasant sail.  We arrive back at Cocktail Cove in the Puerto Escondido inner harbor and find our old anchoring spot waiting for us.

It is Tuesday evening and we now have only two days to do all the boat projects we had planned before we head up to the States on Friday.  But no big deal because we will be returning with our old cruising buddies Barbara and Curtis who can help with the projects.  But realistically we will probably all catch the cruising fever and just kick back and enjoy each other’s company.  There are very few projects that can’t wait until manana.

The outside of one of the windows in the inner harbor

The outside of one of the windows in the inner harbor

A calm day in Puerto Escondido inner harbor

A calm day in Puerto Escondido inner harbor

Another lazy morning with coffee & crosswords

Another lazy morning with coffee & crosswords

Electronic charts can have significant registration errors --boat appears to be on land!

Electronic charts can have significant registration errors –boat appears to be on land!

Punta Perico anchorage

Punta Perico anchorage

Great way to spend the morning -- Colorada

Great way to spend the morning — Colorada

Beach combing at Colorada

Beach combing at Colorada

Colorada anchorage

Colorada anchorage

Tide pools at Colorada

Tide pools at Colorada

Peaceful anchorage at Colorada

Peaceful anchorage at Colorada

Sally Lightfoot crabs were everywhere

Sally Lightfoot crabs were everywhere

Sun set as we arrive at Ballandra

Sun set as we arrive at Ballandra

Red snapper for dinner

Red snapper for dinner

Rocky beach at Painted Cliffs

Rocky beach at Painted Cliffs

Arch at Painted Cliffs

Arch at Painted Cliffs

Tide pools at Painted Cliffs

Tide pools at Painted Cliffs

Going through red tide

Going through red tide

Entering Ballandra late in the day

Entering Ballandra late in the day

End of a perfect day at the Ballandra anchorage

End of a perfect day at the Ballandra anchorage

Mission of San Francisco Javier Vigge Biaundo

Mission of San Francisco Javier Vigge Biaundo

Mission of San Francisco Javier Vigge Biaundo

Mission of San Francisco Javier Vigge Biaundo

Road to the mission

Road to the mission

Washed out road to the mission

Washed out road to the mission

Saturday morning brunch at the new yacht club facility

Saturday morning brunch at the new yacht club facility

From → Travel

2 Comments
  1. Tod Asmussen permalink

    Hello Brian and Sandie,

    Wow, another grand adventure. Glad to hear the wind has died down a bit for u. I look forward to talking with u both on Tuesday. Until then, fair winds and following seas.

    Cheers, Tod

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Chuck &Crys West permalink

    We are so glad to hear from you! You have been in our thoughts and ya’ know we worry… But it looks like paradise and you seem to be eating (and drinking) well. We love sharing your adventure…stay safe, save Chuck a fish and toast one for us!

    Love, Crys and Chuck
    M/V Red Red Wine

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