06 May 2008 | Isla Contadora
Ed has been conducting Yoga lessons on the fore deck. It is a lot of fun but sometimes he gets a little exotic for his newb students. Our favorite so far is the Ten Tibetans, ten exercises that include whirling like a Dervish.
We headed north today in the afternoon on the rising tide. Our goal was Contadora the one fully inhabited island in the Las Perlas. We have since discovered a large settlement on Isla del Rey, the largest island. That seems to be the extent of civilization here. Contadora is pretty fully built out but it is still very quaint. There are some lovely restaurants that are very romantic but unfortunately the food could get an upgrade by having Denny's cater. There is an airstrip with a couple of commercial flights a day and some beautiful beaches and little hotels as well.
As the tide began to fall the swell on the calm little beach began to get a little interesting. We decided to try our first beach landing with Shooting Star and have dinner at the Restaurant Romantico. I can say several complementary things about the Walker Bay at this point. First it is very light, second it has a little keel that keeps is tracking and third you could drive it right onto the beach before having to pull up the little 8hp.
Shooting Star is a much more tricky affair. First if you stop the motor you lose all directional control. Second if you head for the beach you need to pop up the motor sooner because it is a big 25hp and you are facing away from it to start with when steering. Third there are a lot of expensive bit, like a battery and a console, that don't fair well under water (Little Star had no such issues). Fourth the first wave that comes along once you have the motor up is going to turn you side ways. At this point you are happy that you have 18 inch tubes and only got really wet instead of turtled.
So as we turned sideways Nobu went over, I held onto the outboard, Ed jumped out and Hideko laughed at us. The plan was for Ed and Nobu to jump out and drag us up while I stowed the outboard. Then we would all jump out and haul the boat up on the beach. We got the last part right.
The restaurant has a giant chess set on the front porch, the kind with pieces that come up to you waist. Ed and I had a match while we dried off. It reminded me of my old chess opponent Richard, who is the last person I had played with prior.
When 7PM rolled around we announced ourselves at the restaurant in our wet attire but still tried to look respectable. We were seated and enjoyed a wonderful view of the anchorage and the growing beach as the tide went out. Little Star was a bear to drag on a beach because of the wheel in the keel, nice on the dock, like a Danforth in the sand. Shooting Star was, happily, much easier to drag on the beach with its fairly flat bottom. Good thing because the beach turned out to be quite large at low tide.