There is always a feeling leaving an anchorage where you’ve stayed for longer than a couple of days. It’s not a feeling or sensation for that matter that I can put a finger on, … but I have it every time. Maybe it’s a sense of readiness to move on. Or maybe just the opposite. Leaving Isla Estanque felt like a minor emotional success of becoming comfortable in a rocky semi-exposed anchorage. And maybe that is the feeling this time.
The travel to our next anchorage is a short 16 nm so we have a leisurely morning. With less than eight knots of wind, we motor for an uneventful three hours. We read up on Animas Slot and know that it is a small anchorage with room for one boat. Upon arrival, we motor through the narrow entrance and lower the anchor as close to the center of the cove as possible; allowing clearance if we swing. Then we said – WOW. We immediately see the attraction to this remote and secluded anchorage. A white sand beach outlines the South end of the cove; tall and rugged rocks provide wind protection: this is a lovely retreat and we soaked it up for four nights.
Last year, when we were semi-newbies to such anchorages, we wouldn’t have considered anchoring here. We took three attempts to find the ‘center’ of the anchorage so we could safely swing. When you look at the photo above, you can see how secluded the slot is with the bonus of being protected from most weather. Aside from a couple of fishing boats coming in to take a break and swim, we had the place to ourselves.
Our first morning we were pleasantly surprised to see two coyotes perusing the beach. One was entertaining as it slowly walked up to the Gulls floating in the water. As it moved closer, they would float a little farther. This went on for a bit until the coyote got smart and gave up.
During a morning Amigo Net, a fellow cruiser told us about a Geocache that is on a trail off the main beach. The next day we took off hiking to look for the treasure. It was a 90 minute steep and slippery climb to the top. We continued hiking North along the ridge but not find the cache. We took a rest and enjoyed the view and that is when we noticed a well-groomed trail to the Southside of the area. That must be the trail we should have originally taken. We backtracked over the ridge we already trekked and continued South on that ridge. After an additional 60 minutes of hiking, we are now climbing down from the slippery ridge towards the main trail when I put my hand down for balance and viola, a happenstance find of the geocache!
(photo gallery from the hike)
Have you ever done a Dinghy float? This was our first together. I’ve done raft floats on rivers and lakes. What we did was to simply jump into our dinghy, untie it from Dharma Girl, and allowed the light breeze to carry us around in the bay. We began just before the sunset behind the tall ridges that protect this anchorage. Our quiet sanctuary presented us with fish, the coyotes walking back to their resting spot for the night, the pelicans and gulls setting down on the reef, and quiet. Pure quiet.
After three full days of relaxing, taking in a hike, SUP’ing around the bay, a little boat care, reading, and taking in the sights (which is pure eye candy for these two sailors), we decided go the short distance North to Bahia Los Angeles.
Goodbye Animas Slot ! … you are an amazing gift for true solitude.
Bahia de Los Angeles
We stayed in BLA for a few couple nights.
Have you ever woke up from a deep sleep hearing noises and trying to connect the noise you are hearing to the dream you were having. Then figuring that the noise isn’t part of the dream but outside. The photos above are fishing boats, 26 to be exact. The were so close to Dharma Girl that we can hear the gringos talking to each other. When I poked my head out of the forward hatch, there was a fishing boat close enough for a fisherman to say good morning to me. Funny but weird.
The above photo is a Whale Shark. It was just shy of the length of our boat which is 42 feet long. The photo below is a juvenile Whale Shark. It swam in a style that appeared it was feeding; see how its mouth is open.
Why not end the day with a cold one and the small hook in the water?