Isla Coronados to Marina San Carlos

15 June – 4 July 2021

Provisioning – 16 June

From the western end of the La Lancha anchorage,
this is looking east to the morning sunrise.

We motored in flat seas from La Lancha to Loreto and anchored on the south side of the breakwater. We tied up the dinghy to the panga dock to avoid contending with the API officers who didn’t seem interested in us anyway. Besides, there’s a lot of pelican poop over there.  Our ‘taxi’ experiences were fun.  The first was a favor from a local since our taxi didn’t arrive. After we arrived to the first grocery story, Chris gave him our boat card and some Cerveza dinero.  The second driver was actually a taxi van. Next stop was the liquor store, then back to the panga dock. We were not looking forward to slugging 6-7 bags down the long dock in 98 degree weather. To our surprise, the van driver backed the van down the dock to just above our dinghy. Phew, that was a blessing. By the way, we had a fun time with English/Spanish conversation with both drivers.

Isla Coronados – 16-21 June

After we dinghied back to Dharma Girl, we motored north to Isla Coronados.  It is pretty and quiet here. But too hot for anyone to do anything, including playing bocci on the beach or visiting other boats.  Later that afternoon, our buddies Dan and Nancy, of SV Karvi, Tom and Annie, of SV Tappan Zee, also arrived in the anchorage. It’s just too hot today for anyone to gather for any reason.

We stayed here for a few days while the forecasted of ‘strong’ winds passed through. No winds to speak of arrived. Maybe the winds more like passed by.  With the anchorage calm and the weather a little cooler, at least enough to enjoy some activities, we dinghy to the north point of Isla Coronados to snorkel. We had some surprising sightings for this area.  We saw a parrotfish, an octopus, a new-to-us dark blue fish with neon blue dots, and a manta ray, along with the usual suspects we see at most snorkeling sites.  

It’s day three and Tappan Zee came for a happy hour visit. It felt good to interact with other humans aside from each other.  It was May 22nd since our last interactions with other cruisers, Dave and Marla of SV Cavu in San Marte. While Carrie was fishing from the dinghy (and I must share I caught two keepers) and Chris came over on the kayak with lunch, we enjoyed our floating meal together when they came over in their dinghy to say hello. They have a cool dog named Noche.

Staying on top of repairs is a must. If you don’t, the list becomes overwhelming and then we just don’t want to get started on it. 😉 Can you relate. As we wait out the ‘big winds’ we repair the cockpit chairs we sit on most days. We adopted these with the purchase of the boat and how have warned holes on the bottom seat. This was a fun opportunity for Chris to learn how to sew by hand. And after a few practice stitches, he proved he is a natural.

The ‘strong’ winds never arrived here but Karvi who left yesterday morning, radioed us to say they experienced 25-30 kts during their crossing to San Carlos.  So that there tells us the forecasted wind did pass us by on the outside of the island, or the center of the Sea of Cortez. So we decide tomorrow we will head north to San Juanico.

La Ramada – 21-25 June

The spinnaker pulls Dharma Girl in light breeze.

We head out early to provide enough time for us to potentially sail all of the way. We weigh anchor and immediately raise the mainsail.  Followed by flying the spinnaker; for our new record time of 80 minutes! The winds picked up, we doused the spinnaker and unfurled the genoa for a great sail with 12-14 knots, gusting to 16-20. The sea state was 3-5 ft and on our SB quarter, creating a slight sporty ride but not uncomfortable.  We made great time to San Juanico. However, the fetch from H/TS Dolores made its way up here and the San Juanico anchorage looked like a washing machine. So we continued north and around the corner, just a bit of a way later we come to La Ramada cove.  In the meantime, about an hour after we left we noticed on our chart plotter, SV Cavu is behind us by a half-hour and appears they were also in Isla Coronados.

It was a grand day of sailing with the spinnaker and both sails, and now we enter into a new to us cove. This is a larger cove than it appears from the outside and it has the beach we hiked to last year from San Juanico.  It can strategically fit 5-6 boats. This cove offers great protection from the S, SE, & SW winds and is located at the south end of San Basilio Bay. As the first boat there, we strategically dropped our anchor to avoid any wraparound swell. Later, SV Cavu, followed by Dale and Cynthia, from SV North Star, also avoided San Juanico and settled into the anchorage.

It was a good stay here. We hiked with SV Cavu to the local farm and purchased tomatoes and bell peppers, along with fresh goat cheese that they were finishing pressing that day. The rancheros offered delivery later in the afternoon to the beach.

SV Cavu lent us their Reef Fish Identification book; and that book opened a whole new experience of knowledge.  We look forward to sharing more specifics of the fish we spot with photos from the book. We have added this book to our collection during our US road trip. And look forward filling our book with notes and

Local Knowledge …  The local farmer from San Juanico Farm shares the cove we are anchored in is not named La Ramada by the locals.  It is named Al Mejas (the clams), where La Ramada, as the locals refer to, is actually located in Bahia Concepcion.  

Bahia San Nicolas – 25-28 June – New to us Anchorage

Another new anchorage and we are excited because there is more hiking and snorkeling. Carrie jumped in that afternoon and heading to the middle of the east wall – for a show of Goliath Grouper, Spotted Grouper (aka Cabrillo), one Cardinalfish, Giant Hawkfish, a couple of triggers, a Pandemic Green Moray that she followed for about 100 feet before losing sight, juvenile sergeant majors, a California Fish that changes colors of its topside when it lands on the sandy bottom; and and finally — a Leopard Grouper.

We joined up with SV Cavu on the beach and went for a hike above the anchorage. The terrain was flat and dry with warm weather.

Sunset from Santo Domingo anchorage

Bahia Concepcion

Santo Domingo – June 28-29

We stayed at the seashell beach for one night. It was nice to have a little cell service from the tower across the way. You can see the lights from Mulege along the shoreline too.

This is eye-candy to most cruisers.

Bahia Coyote – June 29-July 1

A year ago, we were one of three boats here.  No one was camping on the beach or using the beach camping palapas.  This year we enjoyed seeing families filling the palapas, swimming on the shoreline, and paddling their water crafts. The pandemic created an emotional strain on all of us.  Seeing the increased level of activities these past months is promising that normality is slowly returning; slowly.  Though we were personally active, we were not seeing many people. We believe this created an emotional undertow of grief and sadness.  

This is a screen shot from the Windy.com app I use on my phone. We were tucked down in Bahia Concepcion in time to avoid Hurricane Enrique. Using this app provided information on the wind conditions in the area. We were anchored in front of the long beach, at the south end, and felt safe there.

Santa Barbara – July 1-3

And yet, another first!

After three days and two nights of enjoying the sights and sounds of humans soaking up some beachtime enjoyment, we moved a little bit south to Bahia Santa Barbara.  This cove is sometimes used as a hurricane hole. It is a great tuck away from big storms and winds with the cove and entrance north facing and tall east and south hillsides.  We were the only boat for the three nights of our stay. The water was in the low 90s, and we took a lot of siesta time in the afternoons, knowing our time in San Carlos would be hectic and a little hot. 

Looking north east, this is the entrance to the Santa Barbara anchorage.

Local knowledge is helpful to enjoy the opportunities that are out there. So is knowledge from fellow cruisers. We were shared these coordinates from SV Cavu to explore a short river to a hike and pictographs. We ran out of time this tri

San Carlos Anchorage and Marina San Carlos – 4 July

We had a great crossing over to San Carlos. We left in the later afternoon, caught some sporty wind and chop leaving the entrance to the channel, then settled down into some nice beam reach sailing. We arrived mid-day to find a ton of tourist and sport fishing boats outside Martini Cove and the entrance to the anchorage and marina. It was a little crazy at first, then Carrie just drove Dharma Girl to fall into line with everybody else and it was no problema.

Heading East to San Carlos

We spent one night in the anchorage and were able to get into our reserved slip a day early. It was nice to be able to fire up the air conditioner and cool off in the afternoon. Poor Carrie really suffered some in the heat and high humidity – sweating profusely and maybe even having some light heat stroke. We planned to work half days to decommission the boat and get ourselves ready. This worked out well, and getting up in the cool of the morning and stopping in the heat of the afternoon was easier on both of us. We did celebrate the end of the list with a beer and a margarita at the Marvida brew pub in the marina.

We had quite the fun time humping all of our luggage up to the hotel trying to find a taxi. We drenched our nice go-out-to-dinner outfits in our own sweat, but did manage to find a nice taxi ride into Guaymas. The bus left around 9 PM, and we enjoyed a pretty nice dinner at El Oeste Steakhouse across and down the street from the Tufesa terminal. It’s the one with all the animal heads in back – just ask around. I should say the animal heads are all mounted on the wall, not just laying around.

And the luxury bus we ride for the next 9 hours.

Thank you again for following us and supporting our adventures with reading our blog. We are currently in the states, returning to Dharma Girl in October.

Stay turned. We will share about our road trip. You may be one of the fun features.

Cheers and Be well,

Chris and Carrie

Carrie’s Curious Corner

Vultures

After 4 years of observing vultures (buitres in spanish), we decided to learn a little about these prehistoric looking birds.

What are fun facts about vultures?

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Thermals help these birds to reach incredible heights, most of which would be deadly to other species of birds. A series of cardio-vascular adaptations means that vultures are able to fly at heights where oxygen levels are at their thinnest, with one particular Ruppell’s griffon vulture reaching almost 11.5 kilometres, or over 7 miles! And …

  • Vultures have wide, strong wings. …
  • Vultures eat as much as they can at one meal. …
  • These big birds sometimes attack sick or dying animals.
  • Vultures live in every part of the world except Australia and the Antarctica.
  • Some vultures are endangered.

A group of vultures is called either kettle, committee or wake depending upon what they are doing.The vultures in flight is called kettle.The vultures resting on the ground or in trees is called committee.And a group of vultures that are feeding is called wake.

Topo Chico

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Topo Chico is mineral water that has been sourced and bottled in Monterrey, Mexico, at the Cerro del Topo Chico spring since 1895. Yes, this water has been bottled for the last two centuries and t’s naturally carbonated. Topo Chico was first bottled in 1895. The beverage takes its name from a mountain in Mexico that’s associated with a legend that the sparkling-water brand continues to use in marketing. According to the legend, as recorded on Topo Chico’s website, in the 1440s, an Aztec princess was suffering from a terrible illness. Follow this link for the short story of how the princess recovers.

And there you have it.

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