30 September 2006
On Wednesday we crossed over from Isla Tiburon to the state of Sonora on mainland Mexico. This was a 40 mile trip which took us a little over 11 hours (with a 4 AM departure), only three hours of which we were able to sail without the engine. We anchored with SolMate in Las Cocinas and it didn't take me long to get in the water for a late afternoon snorkel and beach walk. The water clarity was good with a wonderful variety of small fish, and shells of all kinds on the sandy beach.
Las Cocinas isn't well protected from the swell, especially anything coming from the N/NW. It got a little rolly overnight so we departed Thursday morning for Rada el Pasito just four miles to the south. On our way there we ducked in to take a look at Ensenada Julio Villa. This is a charming and well protected small cove but it's tight for a big boat. The water was completely calm and there was a nice little beach, but John wasn't comfortable with staying overnight so we continued on.
SolMate anchored in about 25' at Rada el Pasito and we nosed around until John found the edge of rock and sand where we could get tucked in at 14-15' to keep us out of the worst of the swell. Welcome back to the mainland anchorages where it seems we are always rolling.
That afternoon we took the dinghy back to Julio Villa and snorkeled a rock outside that anchorage. Not a lot of fish there but I enjoyed watching all the small creatures close up on the leeward side. It's so wonderful to be able to float at leisure in the 82-84 degree water. I just can't do that in the winter water temperatures of 76-79 degrees! That's fine for swimming but I start to freeze if I don't keep moving in the lower temps. We walked the beach at Julio Villa and then went back to the beach at Pasito for more shelling. The greenery above the beach was full of small flowers and greenish yellow worms with a spike on their tails which MJ said looked a lot like the green tomato caterpillars/worms in the States.
By late morning on Friday we were getting big wind waves rolling straight into the anchorage so we followed SolMate out. When they reported 18-20 knots out of the SE (on their nose going south to Bahia San Pedro) we opted to turn tail for the easy sail back to Las Cocinas. There was a lot of high overcast which increased during the day making it very humid.
It felt great to finally jump in the water at 3:30 and go for a snorkel. This time we went along the south wall and reef which were loaded with a terrific variety of small fish, including sierra, ladyfish, gafftopsail pompanos, and even a golden grouper. The sandy floor in shallow depths was covered with sand dollars, and we spotted an octopus in its hidey hole. The latter really give themselves away when they litter their doorsteps with the shells of their prey! A walk on the beach turned up a treasure trove of interesting things to pick up and look at, with even more waiting in the shallows of low tide. This was a terrific stop, the only drawback being a little swell and the ubiquitous flies.
Today we got an early start to continue south before the SE wind kicks up again. We've sailed past Bahia San Pedro and will shoot for San Carlos. If it gets too windy to slog into the chop, we can always turn around and go back. That's the beauty of cruising!
Linda and John