Sunday, May 17, 2009

Bahia Concepcion

It's amazing how quickly time slides by, we ended up spending 9 days in Bahia Concepcion. As mentioned previously, we started off with clam fests, hot springs, and whale sharks. We then got to know one section, Coyote Bay, a little by sailing around on the light and thermal breezes. In a short afternoon, we sailed in and out of most of the anchorages before finding the nice and mostly secluded Playa Santa Barbara. Over the next couple days we relaxed, star watched, had fish nibble on our toes, and shared more yummy meals (spinach dip, chicken cacciatore, fresh baked garlic loaf, brie!) with Pisces. We even took Julia and Jacob out for a light wind sail aboard Tao, the highlight of which (besides circumnavigating Isla Guapa of course) was sailing onto anchor with them cheering us on from their seats in Eeyore dragging behind.

The next day we had planned a sail on Pisces, but up came winds making Playa Santa Barbara a lee shore with several foot chop making it uncomfortable to leave the boat. Plans for a relaxing day vanished as we quickly prepped the boat and headed to the other end of Coyote Bay for protection in Santispac. It was a fun filled upwind sail in which we got to practice our man overboard skills leaving the anchorage when we heeled over and our solar shower, as of yet untied down, rolled off the deck into the water and then we lost a lure (the nice feather that Eric gave us) and a bunch of 100-lb test line to a big hungry fish as we tacked north through the channel. Once we got Tao settled in Santispac, we jumped in the water and swam to Pisces who motored over to pick us up for a sail. It was the antithesis of the prior mellow light wind day on Tao and we got to enjoy several of Pisces sail configurations in 25 knot winds. Very interesting to check out another cruising boat under sail and we were very impressed as they demonstrated sailing onto anchor while manuevering around not only other anchored boats but a high speed Hobie Cat and our previously introduced friend, the whale shark.

After a last meal the next morning with Pisces we waved as we slowly headed toward Playa El Burro in search of water, the weather guru Geary, and possibly some internet. Several hours later we sat becalmed at the entrance to our goal when all of a sudden the afternoon thermal winds piped up to 15 knots turning it into a lee shore before our eyes. Already full of boats anyway, we continued on back to the more isolated Playa Santa Barbara for the night. Ready to sail back into cooler sections of the Sea and in need of water reprovisions, the following morning, we motored to El Burro in the early morning calm. We enjoyed meeting Geary who has lived on the beach in El Burro for 15 years and provides an amazing service for the cruising community by gathering and providing the weather every single day. He was muy amable and although he soon left for town he allowed us to hang out on his porch and even use his Internet! So after four trips to nearby stores to fill our 5-gallon jug and a few quick internet tasks completed, we were ready to head out as the thermal afternoon winds again picked up.

We flew out of El Burro on strong SE winds and just out of Coyote Bay were becalmed in "the cone of no wind" until passing Punta Arena where we found solid NW winds. A mile apart and wind can be blowing in exactly the opposite direction, baffling. Still, it felt good to break free of the Bahia Concepcion scene. We had a beautiful sail and set the hook just before the sun set and the fog rolled in to our new home, Playa Santa Domingo, just outside the bay where the temperature is 15 degrees cooler and the breeze feels so refreshing. We'll see when the fog burns off tomorrow and who knows, maybe we'll go for a sail.

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