Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Current Location: Puerto Escondido (surprise!)

This being our second summer in the Sea of Cortez, I had some pretty definite ideas about where I wanted to go and where I didn't. Every location has its own charms but some are more charming than others. Isla San Francisco and Bahia Agua Verde were most definitely on the re-visit list. Both La Paz and Puerto Escondido were most definitely on the been there, done that, don't need to do it again list.

As you already know from reading previous blog posts, we ended up going to La Paz anyway, and not once but twice, for a total of 15 days. So, of course I should have expected that we would be spending time in Puerto Escondido again as well. But, I'm getting ahead of myself.

We left La Paz (the second time) a week ago and spent the first 2 nights at Balandra. After 6 previous visits we feel quite at home there and it's only a couple of hours (by boat) from La Paz which makes it a great starting off point. Last year it was always a quiet and calm anchorage. This year we spent a total of 9 nights on 4 different visits and every night there were Coromuel winds of 22-27 knots. Coromuels are unique to the La Paz area and occur regularly from late spring through summer, beginning around sunset and dying down by mid-morning. The calmest appearing anchorage during daylight hours can become something of a whirlwind just about the time you are drifting off to sleep. Coromuels must always be taken into consideration when choosing an anchorage this time of year. Balandra offers great southerly protection and we had no problems in spite of the winds.
Because of the strong Coromuels we reluctantly bypassed Isla San Francisco with its south-facing opening and went directly to San Evaristo.
Looking back towards town on the road headed north
The beach at San Evaristo
San Evaristo is popular with cruisers. It is well protected from most directions, has a small fishing village with a tienda (small grocery store) and lots of hiking trails with beautiful views. Several boats were already anchored in the most protected section of the bay so we spent the first night anchored in the center. All night we rolled in the swell that wrapped around the point and into the bay from the south. On the second night a surprisingly strong north wind blew in and we had to get up during the night to re-set the anchor. We do have a good anchor alert system that lets us know if the boat moves out of a pre-defined circle, but it is still impossible to sleep under those conditions. We had one full day to explore and, after a second sleepless night, I was glad to leave and head towards Agua Verde, my favorite anchorage so far.
Evaporation Ponds at the salt works behind San Evaristo
Looking north from the hill behind San Evaristo

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