25 November 2012 | Puerto Balandra
Michael / Sunny and windy
We left Muertos, rounded Punta Arenas de la Ventana and into Canal Cerralvo. We couldn’t have timed it much better. Although there was eleven knots of wind coming down the canal toward us, we were able to point just off the wind by heading to Cerralvo Island and maintain about eight knots over ground with the help of a significant north bound current. As we got further north the wind died down to five or six knots and the sea flattened into a gigantic pond, even glassy at times. This made it quite easy for us to navigate the San Lorenzo Canal (a sometimes tricky passage) and sail back down toward La Paz. We entered Puerto Balandra, a pretty little anchorage with about eight other boats anchored there, picked a nice spot just off a white sand beach and dropped the hook. This anchorage promised good holding and protection from the strong north winds and we were cozily tucked in under large cliffs to the north, just beyond our beach. So we splashed the kayaks and made a tour of the pretty bay. At the back of the bay was a public beach access with lots of locals enjoying the water but soon came their speed boats pulling skiers in and around the anchored sailboats. Miles of perfectly flat sea just beyond the anchorage to ski your brains out in and they have to zoom around the anchored boats. Simply amazing, the lack of marine consideration in this part of the world as compared to back home!
After sundown the skiers went home and everything quieted. I put the hammock on the foredeck and we enjoyed cocktails while swinging in a light breeze. About 11:30 pm I was awakened by the wooden hammock ends slamming about the foredeck. I went forward naked in gale force wind, took it all down and began securing everything about the cockpit. The sky was beautiful, full of stars, and the wind was warm but the boat had begun swinging and bobbing, like a toy in a swimming pool. We had well prepared for the usual northerlies but Desert Vision had swung 180 degrees was completely exposed to the seas and winds from the south, and was experiencing its first coromuel. Apparently this area is prone toward these evening storms that blow throughout the night when cooler Pacific winds blow down the Pacific Coast and cross over the low part of the peninsula into the warmer Sea of Cortez.
Well, at first light we raised the hook and fled to a different anchorage. None of the anchorages in the area hold any protection from the coromuels but where we are now at Playa Pichilinque there should be better protection from north winds and waves. We’ll see!