It's a good thing we only had to go 20 miles today because the winds were hard on the nose today. There was no room in the "waiting room" to anchor so we pulled in and fueled up at the Singlar Marina fuel dock. What a ripoff! They charged us 31% on top of fuel. We don't get how they can charge that much on government-controlled fuel. 11% IVA tax and then dock fee for 20%. It certainly did not start us off on the right footing.
We checked at the fuel dock and found we can anchor in the enclosed area. Then we found out you have to pay for anchoring. ?????What do you mean pay for anchoring? Not slip, not mooring but anchoring. Well there goes strike 2. Unfortunately we have to stay because the winds are just howling in the enclosed area and didn't even want to know how bad it was outside! Oh well. Maybe town is nice!
Yep right. Strike 3. There really isn't a town here. Not a fishing village either. There's a Modelorama not far from the marina near the RV lot. And they charged us over 400 pesos for not even a bagful of stuff. Really not liking this place at all!
Walking back to the marina makes you think of the long road stretches in Mad Max movies. Then when you get to the developed area you feel like there was WW3 and nothing is left except a few half buildings and paved parking lots with lights. It's really a strange area.
Let me tell you about the grumpy people here. Hardly anybody waves or says hi and when you ask a question it's like we should be paying them for their time and effort. And they bitch about people having extended emergency discussions on VHF 16 when there's a boat aground and click the mic to annoy the people talking. We don't get it. Are their any CRUISERS here? So STRIKE 4.
Sorry no pics for Escondido, just a couple quick videos. I have to say that the mountains around here are really impressive (see I can think of one nice thing to say about this place :) )
When the winds let up, we are sooooo out of here! We're thinking of what we need to do and have on the boat so we can bypass this place next year!
A bit more wind today but of course not helpful wind, so we motorsailed all the way to our next destination -- Agua Verde. Big rocks here in the ocean and a few boats in all of the anchoring spots. There's even some palm trees on the beach!
Another small town, but bigger than Evaristo. We did not go ashore here.....maybe next year. It looks like a nice place to explore.
We left Ballandra early with light southwest winds. But of course as soon as we were out of the bay, the wind died. We're getting used to be a troller!
We trolled all day and not even a nibble! Lots of jumping rays today though. We chatted with Whirlwind (in San Francisco) and said bye as they are heading to La Paz.
Today was a whale of a day! I mean whales everywhere! Pilot whales by the dozens. I got lots of great footage but no pics so I can't post them. I take no chances with moving mammals! I have been beaten too long by dolphins.
Made great time to the anchorage in San Evaristo. It's a very small town here and I can hear roosters again! You really get used to hearing them. The townees are having a blast in a powerful panga pulling kids around on an inner tube.......going so fast sometimes it looks like it will be a parasailer vs an inner tube.
Amazing thing about VHF.....you can't talk to people in the next cove but sometimes you can use it like SSB! Point in fact: we heard Wally on Andanzas on the radio and got on the horn. Where are you? (How did he catch up already?) Oh he's just crossing from Mazatlan to Muertos....only 150ish miles away. Get out!
After taking a much needed day of rest yesterday, we headed into La Paz today for fuel and some provisions.
This channel into La Paz is well marked and sooooo not as scary as some people have made it sound. We skipped the first marina with fuel in favor of Palmieri where they taxed the fuel 13% (thank you very much). But one stop and we're headed back to out to Ballandra.
Well a slight detour for internet on the way out delayed us about an hour. I'm holding the antennae all different ways while Jim takes us up and down the channel so I can get enough signal to reply to everyone before we head back into the communications dead zone. Quite funny actually, but we did it!
We briefly detoured into beautiful Caleta Lobos but the flies attacked us before we were even near the anchorage so we just swung right back out. We are sooooo done with flies this season!
We dropped anchor in the beautiful bay of Ballandra (or Balandra) where we had visited three years ago and had a fabulous time snorkeling. We were right next to the famous mushroom rock!
Winds picked up so no shore time for us!
We had a very nice day 1 of our 2 day crossing. We sailed out with friends (Sunshine Lady & Liberty) within shouting distance. We had a gorgeous couple hours sail at about 7 knots.
We motor sailed (mostly sailed) that night under our last full moon of this season. Liberty & Sunshine Lady still within chatting distance.
Not as much wind (or the right direction) for us to sail today. Liberty passed us sometime in the night and are now ahead of us.
Night falling with bigger currents and bumpier seas around Isla Cerralvo
Winds picked up early this morning and seas are building. We were barely north of Cerralvo and trying to turn into the San Lorenzo passage when we hit gnarly westish winds 15-25 plus huge gusts. Only making about 2 knots......La Paz is not going to happen. We start batting down hatches and tethering on as winds are just whipping the seas at us.
We decided to try to get in the shadow of Isla del Espiritu Santo and hope for the winds to die down. We made our first anchorage attempt on the east side north of Lobos. It's gorgeous here BUT we keep hearing grinding noise and don't know if it's rocks on the chain or are we dragging (GPS coordinates bouncing around) so we decided to move. We ended up in the anchorage south of here near Punta Bonanza. What a beautiful place.....why's it not in the guide?
Well it's been great hanging out with Neill and his friends on the docks. The breakfasts have been wonderful at the red place (does it have a name?) and we said bye to the ladies there this morning after our last desayuno.
Our friends on Whirlwind - Ron & Marianne- hailed us after the net. They are headed across today so they'll keep their ears open for us starting Wednesday.
Then Jim & I cleaned the boat up for departure and got a few last minute items (fruits and veggies). Mike from Sunshine Lady stopped in and let us know he'll be crossing as well tomorrow but may head to Los Frailes instead. So we'll have our ears open for him.
Lots of sad news on the home front. My brother-in-law Robert's mom died this morning. Jim's daughter Danyal and my brother Jeff are both having health conerns though Jeff's is already looking better with medication (thank God) and we're waiting on results for Danyal. Jim's son-in-law Russell is a one-armed man for a few months after having broken his wrist. One of Jim's oldest friend is in the hospital with a very large tumor on his brain and will be undergoing surgery soon to remove it. Just a lot of things going on and at least we've been stationary at the right time to get all the emails and phone calls for all of it. Our love to everyone, best wishes and prayers as well.
The good news from the home front is everyone is excited about us coming home and we've been getting great pictures of Jim's grandson Cole. Cute little guy! Only a few more weeks for us this season and off we'll be to California then New York.
Tomorrow morning is our shove off day and after fueling up,we'll be heading across the Sea of Cortez to hopefully La Paz or farther north, as far as the winds can push us. So we'll be out of contact for a few days or more depending on where we end up and if there's any connections (internet or phone) there. Said bye to Mike & Melissa on Tortue tonight and Neill will be tomorrow after breakfast (I hate byes).