A Tale of Three Anchorages
08 April 2015 | 25 48.50'N:111 15.48'W, Honeymoon Cove, Isla Danzante, Baja California
As we continue our way north in small daily trips of about 20-30 miles, the Baja continues to impress and amaze us with its diversity, friendly locals, and widely varying anchorages. Every day is definitely a new adventure here.
After leaving San Evaristo, we headed north a short 28 miles and anchored behind a small rocky headland called Punta Prieta. This anchorage is really just a wide open roadstead, but with a reef protecting it from the North seas. In general, if there is going to be a strong wind around here is comes from the north, so anchorages like this, though seemingly open, provide excellent protection. Being a cat that doesn't draw much, we slowly edged forward until we were in 10' of water close inside the point with a sandy bottom below. Although there was some swell outside, tucked in here it was glassy smooth. As an added bonus, this was the first anchorage that we have been in for months where we were the only boat. All the other cruisers were about 1.5 miles south inside the Los Gatos anchorage. It was great to have this place to ourselves.
Beachcombing here was very interesting with the shoreline a mix of sand, cobbles, and these stunning red rocks like you would see in Utah. They were relatively soft and had been sculpted into interesting shapes by the wind and see. Eventually we will get some internet and I'll put up some pictures. For now, you'll have to take my word for it. We also enjoyed our first Baja beach fire that night and roasted hot dogs that had been in our freezer for months - maybe even since Canada. But, with the beach wood smoke, they were extra tasty. We toyed with staying a few days here, but were eager to head further north while there was no headwind.
The next night, and the night after, we spent in the well known anchorage of Agua Verde, after another very short day of less than 20 miles. I'm loving the close anchorages around here. Agua Verde is a multi-lobed bay with a small subsistence village near the shore. No industry here, just a few families raising hundreds of goats and a few cows. Everywhere you looked there were goats - under pangas, under trucks, beneath every bush, and roaming the steep cliffs and hillsides around the valley. It was pretty cool, but it also brought a lot of flies. Our first night in the South end of the bay, we were plagued by thousand of tiny flies who came to the boat, seemingly looking for water, and then decided to die in our cockpit. The next night we moved to the opposite end of the anchorage and were rewarded with far fewer flies - thankfully! There was a good hike here over a small ridge to get out of the valley and then onto the beach to the north. We passed the community gr aveyard and were shocked to see that there was hardly a grave for anyone older than the mid-40's. It must be a difficult life out here in the middle of nowhere with no electricity, questionable water, and the nearest store a long dirt road away.
Today finds us on an island called Isla Danzante, just off of Puerto Escondido. Escondido is a huge harbour with a boat yard, a basin for a marina, canals for a subdivision of waterfront homes, but nothing much more. The government had big plans for the area but it all fell apart. Now, on the 117 moorings in the harbour, there are just a couple of boats. Many grizzled looking cruisers live here year after year, but they anchor in a bay called The Waiting room where they can anchor for free. They are a friendly, but seriously sun baked bunch that seem to be living from hand to mouth. It looked to me like this was a place where old cruisers go for their last cruiseÉ
Over here on Isla Danzante, in a bay with the unusual english name of Honeymoon Cove, we are hanging out with six other boats. Last night there was a party on the other Canadian cat "Three Hour Tour" which was a great way to meet some of the cruisers here. Today, it is very windy so not much is happening. We are all just sitting on our boats doing projects and hoping that our anchors don't drag in this deep anchorage. Several boats have repositioned so now we are all clumped together in the most sheltered part of the bay. I'm in about 60' of water with not quite 3-1 scope out. I would love to let out more chain, but the headlands are just too tight. I can't really move either as that would mean getting out of the best protection. So far, so good. 20 knot gusts are coming through the anchorage, but there is no sea with them. Tomorrow it is supposed to be lighter wind so we'll hopefully head over to Puerto Escondido to get some actual internet and go for a hike. Wow , actual internet! We haven't looked at email for a while now and are feeling the withdrawal symptoms!
Until then, we are enjoying a lay day on the boat. Dee is making yoghurt and soup from scratch. Yum! I'm knocking off a few boat jobs and reading plenty of books! It's not a bad life as long as the anchor holds!