This will be a running blog covering the journey north and until such times as I get access to the internet and be able to post once again.
I buddy with Ken on “Drifter” and we decide to leave at 2.00am. Alarms are set , they go off and up we get, coffee gets put on and drunk. Amble down the dock and feel a hot breeze from the west and it appears to be building. Whilst this is a good direction to sail to our destination, Sanfrancisquito, it is a concern as we have to pass a point called Trinidad which is renowned for strong westerly’s and messy seas, coupled with the potential of odd wind directions and seas off the “Tres Virgennes” a volcanic complex. We decide to delay and retire back to the boats to sleep……..damn should not have had the coffee.
We leave the next day at 2.00pm, motor sail at 4.5 knots . This keeps the fuel consumption down to a minimum ( Perkins 4108 at 1300 rpm), basically just over tick over. We hit Punta Trinadad at 9.00pm and the seas are running and the wind is from the west. Sloppy uncomfortable seas for 3 hours but we make good progress. I have a reefed main and a slice of jib out to keep the boat moving and at 4.00am we decide to slow down as we are going to hit the anchorage before sun up. I get the approach waypoint as the sun comes up, down the sails, put on the sail covers and have a general tidy up. I then make my way into the anchorage. Nice spot, fairly sheltered from most wind directions. Drop the anchor, make some breakfast, put up the shade covers and get some sleep. The wind comes up and blows 15 knots from the south east and the swell comes in from a different direction, the boat is facing the wind but broadside to the swell. Rock & roll all day. Very little sleep.
Chara and Dazzler turn up late afternoon, Chara anchors next to Drifter and Dazzler opts for the eastern anchorage. The evening westerly comes and the sea state dies down and from around 8.00pm things go quiet in the anchorage. The possible chubasco, because of the thunderheads earlier does not appear. We have now moved across a time line so have to reset the clocks back an hour.
Not liking the anchorage we decide to leave the next morning and make our way up the Canal de Salsipuesdes ( leave if you can channel). This deep channel has strong currents, tides and wind. We maintain a speed of 4 knots, no seas but we are probably going against the current/tide. It’s a peaceful trip, time to clean and polish the stainless until a pelican lands on deck and sits on a open hatch cover. He takes some moving, eventually a whack with a length rope forces him to leave. A little later I go down below to make a snack and find the pelican has down a monster shit though the open hatch and the saloon table is covered in pelican shit, he must have eaten a big fish earlier !!
I see a bunch of dorado’s but they keep well clear of my trolling line. Most of the day is gone when I arrive at our intended anchorage Cala Puertocitos de Enmedio, I quickly check Animas Slot, the anchorage next door to see if two boats will fit in, the answer is no. Take a look at our destination and also decide a no. Call Ken on the VHF and advise him I am going around the point to another anchorage two miles away. This one is picture perfect, sheltered from the next few days south westerlies and friends are already anchored there, Code Blue. Ken arrives an hour or so later, I have tidied up , put the sail cover on and row over with two celebratory Pacifco’s. We end up drinking 3 and I stop at Code Blue on the way back to catch up on what they have been up to. Then the night chorus starts, wild coyotes on the beach and a big pack of them. What a Fantastic sound , never heard a coyote sing before, unfortunately it only went on for a few minutes. I am hoping to actually see one either at dawn ( yeah not likely ) or at dusk tomorrow. Will stay here few days as there is weather arriving in two days so need to stay put and protected.
Reminds me of a joke, what do girls from Essex (UK) use for protection whilst having
sex…………….a bus shelter !
Need to do a bottom inspection tomorrow , its been a month since the last clean and I am sure the prop will need a tidy up, also the waterline which has lost most of it’s anti fouling. Hopefully not too much will have grown on the hull. Last time Sally helped but will have to do it by myself this time. I have to say, sat here in the cockpit writing this is different. It is pitch black, no ambient light from anywhere, just the occasional splash of a pelican hitting the water and the two mast lights of my anchorage friends. It’s a bit surreal tapping away on a Apple laptop in this isolated location. Have sorted the autopilot which was not functioning properly today causing some concern. Hand steering……. YUK.
I get shaken out of bed by a rap on the hull , Steve and Judy from Code Blue ask if I want to go ashore, coffee in hand I join them to inspect a rather unusual shoreline. Ken is already ashore and I snap a photo of him beneath the rock face, it’s huge. The bay is pretty well protected from most directions except Northerlies and these blow strongly in the winter. I can’t imagine the force and height of the waves entering the bay and then smashing up against the soft shingle rock face. I guess a bigger bay is being created each winter.
Further along the beach is a huge whale skull. Of course it is fully inspected, discussed, photographed and we step back in awe of it’s size. I guess it was a tough job being a whaler back in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, going out in 16-18 foot row boats and harpooning a whale of this size and then riding the whale until it tired.
Then the highlight of the beach comb, we spot 5 Coyotes on the beach, they watch us , we watch them and as we try and get closer they run off into the hills, looking back on us all the time. Maybe tonight at dusk we will spot them returning to the beach and hear them sing again. Awesome , never seen a wild coyote before. Time to get back to the boat, clean up and put up the sun awning, probably put the outboard back on the dingy as I have virtually reached my summer base in the Bay of Los Angeles, which is about 15 miles north. From this point onwards, most sails are only a few hours so I can drag the dingy with outboard attached. Water temp is a cooler 79, was 87 in Bahia Conception. Maybe I will wait for the prop inspection until the anchorage at Don Juan.
Ken and I spent the next morning fishing in the dingy, it was our lucky day as 5 fish decided to commit suicide and we had a fish feast on the BBQ that evening, some cooked with garlic and butter, some just lime and the main fish steamed with ginger and onion and a dab of butter and sot sauce. Needless to say we ate too much but the best dish was the last one, I would recommend it to anyone. We simple scored the side of the fish both sides, wrapped it loosely in tin foil , put the onion, ginger , butter and soy sauce sealed in with it and cooked each side for 5 – 7 minutes. Perfect.