Sunday, May 10, 2009

Loreto and Los Coronados (written April 28, 2009)

The day after our sail repair we took Eeyore a half mile away to snorkel on a shipwreck. It was very interesting; laying on its port side in about 25 feet of sandy bottomed water. It's starboard side was out of the water and diving down you can see anchors on the bow and a huge propeller (5 blade, 15-ft diameter!) on the stern as well as a ton of fish hiding in the bowels of the ship. Upon returning to Tao, we prepped the boat and weighed anchor. In the few breaths of wind we slowly beat out of Salinas Bay and rounded Punta Perico. We had a very slow bob/sail toward the north end of the island during which we figured out a watch schedule and readied the boat for a night at sea, planning to head to Loreto to get Grizzly's annual rabies shot which was to expire May 5th. But when we rounded Punta Lobos at the north end of the island we found lots of wind. For about 5 minutes we had a perfect roaring sail wing-on-wing with the main and drifter, then it got to be too much and we had to douse the drifter replacing it with our newly improved 100% jib. Pisces was comfortably anchored at Puerto de la Launcha which at our new speed was just barely attainable before light would fade. Decision point, should we continue on as planned toward Loreto even though at this pace we would be there around midnight or pull in for dinner and a few winks before pushing off in the middle of the night? We decided on the latter and sailed in to a nice little anchorage on the north end of Isla Carmen, had a late Happy St. Patrick's Day meal (corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and even cold Guinness!) with Pisces, and caught a quick nap before weighing anchor at 3:30 am.

We had a beautiful star lit sail to Loreto with the tiniest sliver of moon rising at 5:30 am and mellow winds filling in, of course, from the SE, the direction we were heading. As the sun rose we decided to turn on the motor in order to get there with enough time to find a veterinarian, get there with Griz, and get back to the boat in time to sail to a safe anchorage if necessary as there is no protection from weather anchoring off Loreto. The winds vanished as we motored through flat calm water watching dolphins chasing their breakfast and we anchored right off the little break wall for fisherman pongas. Just after setting the anchor, the winds piped up from the NE and immediately kicked up a quick 2-ft chop pushing us toward shore making Shawn nervous about leaving the boat. But we prevailed and both headed to shore in search of information for the tasks we were hoping to complete. We quickly found a dinghy dock inside the "ponga breakwater" to leave Eeyore and a nice gentleman ashore who answered all of our questions and even found us the veterinarian information and let us use his phone to call them.

Armed with lots of information and plans to get many things done, we headed back to the boat to get our gear and of course our favorite kitten. Grizzly, our little rock star, had an exciting first trip to Mexican shore in her travel backpack. The winds were still kicking swell up and Eeyore filled with our Dahone (folding bike), empty 7-gallon water jug, and all three of us was bounding up and down with lots of spray. From there she got to ride in her little pack on Shawn's back as they wound through town on the Dahone hoping to find the Feed Supply store that housed the veterinarian before it closed for siesta. No problemo, the girls found the store, took Griz to the counter and got the shot right there next to the cash register- the transaction all in Spanish, phew! From there they spent another half hour of searching the town for its only internet cafe where Chris was checking banking information and once found we all headed back to Tao. The winds had abated and sea's calmed once we returned to the boat. With only mellow winds forecast we decided to try a night at anchor off Loreto and headed back into town for a yummy lunch at MacLuLu's, a trip to El Pescador the local grocery store for a few fresh veggies, and several trips to the purified water store with our big water jug to supplement our dwindling supply.

Tired and reloaded the three of us fell into a surprisingly calm night of sleep and headed north toward Los Coronados after breakfast the next morning on light breaths of wind. We've been here now for three nights of amazing bioluminescence and have enjoyed hiking up to the Crater, a potluck on the beach, and yoga with Scheherezade, Pisces and La Querencia, as well as meeting new cruising boats and watching huge pods of baby diving ducks practicing and rays playfully swimming around us. Yesterday (the 26th) right after yoga the winds kicked up from the north making the southern part of our anchorage uncomfortable as the swells wrapped around the northward point. Everyone else left to head around the spit, but as we were more north in the anchorage, and all the forecasts we had heard were calling for NE and land and sea breezes, we decided to stick it out here and monitor the weather. It didn't lay down as quickly as we were hoping, but all day the winds gradually decreased and after sunset we again had a calm anchorage. It raised the question of wether we need to be more willing to flow with the weather in all its fickleness versus sticking with what we otherwise want to do. It could have easily resulted in weighing anchor in the dark but turned out well this time. Which is lucky because around 10 pm when Chris got up to check the conditions, a bee managed to sting him at the base of his neck and he had an allergic reaction with systemic hives and itching extremities. All it required was two Benedryl and a baking soda paste, but it was a reality check as to our current situation and how we need to always be thinking of safety first. Today dawned beautiful and we're gearing up for some snorkeling. Scheherezade has come back to join us and Pisces has taken the slight southerly flow to start their trek northward. We'll see what happens and keep you posted on how our adventure continues to unfold.

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