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Monday, June 11, 2007

Agua Verde and Puerto Escondido

31 May to 7 June 2007

We made our annual stop in Agua Verde for provisions on May 31. We thought we were all set for a nice SE light air sail from San Marcial/San Marte (depending on whether you're using the Williams or Cunningham guide books) but an hour later we were watching a line of white caps building to the north of us. Rather than face tacking into the anchorage in the chop we reluctantly fired up the engine and motored into it for an hour.

The next morning we picked up Jerry, a single hander on the BCC Destarte, for a walk through the village to the tienda. Big changes are afoot in Agua Verde. There are several new cinder block homes being built, and the tienda is now in a similar new building just below Maria's house where the old tienda used to be. According to the woman running the tienda, it's all thanks to government efforts to provide housing which will stand up to the summer rains and hurricanes. The new homes had a layer of Styrofoam insulation under the tin roofs (a luxury the tienda building didn't rate), and are being painted the wonderful bright oranges, greens, and blues typical of houses here. Sadly Maria is no longer able to run the tienda as she must now care full time for her husband, who has taken a serious turn for the worse.

We enjoyed our stay in Agua Verde, with no weather to speak of, but on June 3 we decide to move to Candeleros to catch up with Flying Free before their friends, Rick and Kathy, arrived from the States. We had a lovely spinnaker sail which was interrupted by a VHF call as we passed Candeleros Chico. It was Evan and Flossie on Jambo hailing us! We had missed them in Evaristo because we left the morning after they arrived in the main harbor, unbeknownst to us. Normally Chico is a one boat anchorage, two max, and Jambo had already anchored behind Adios. But they were on their way from Loreto south to La Paz, and we hadn't seen them since our Seattle visit, so we dropped the spinnaker and raised the jib to sail back into Chico for a quick get-together. John dropped the hook in 11' on short scope to stay out of Adios' way and we dinghied over to Jambo. Two hours later, after a great time catching up with Evan and Flossie, we sailed off the anchor and hoisted the spinnaker once we cleared the cove. We weren't able to anchor under sail that day because the wind died just short of the anchorage at Candeleros, but we had a refreshing swim to Que Tal for a chat before the sun disappeared behind the mountains and we had to swim back to Nakia for showers.

With both tiendas in Puerto Escondido closed, we hiked 3-4k out to the Ligui tienda on Hwy 1 for beer and tortillas Monday morning. It's an easy one hour walk, with a Tienda Comunitaria in the tiny village of Ensenada Blanca along the way. The next day we followed Flying Free to Puerto Escondido where they picked up a mooring in the Singlar harbor and we dropped the hook in the Elipse anchorage.

The Puerto Escondido old-timers have, for the most part, been boycotting the Singlar mooring field because the daily rates doubled when the new facility was completed; we saw only a dozen boats on the Singlar moorings when it might have been double or triple that in the past. In the old days the mooring fee was something like .10/ft/day and now it's around .25/ft/day, but the old rate got you nothing but a mooring. Now there's a self-service laundry (33p/wash&dry) with brand new machines; lovely bathrooms and showers; what looks like a comfy lounge area w/fireplace (not quite open yet); a small lap pool and jacuzzi; and dock tie-up for taking on potable water or washing the boat. The new facility is very nice with already much to offer and lots of potential for more, so we doubt that it will stay empty for long. All it needs is wi-fi, a tienda, and a restaurant/bar and it will be packed, because at the monthly rate it's still half the cost of private marinas. For anchoring in the API controlled Elipse (this goes for the Waiting Room too) we paid API a $6 one-time annual fee plus a whopping $1/night (it's $3/night for bigger boats; and that's NOT per foot), and were able to do laundry and take on water at Singlar. The bathroom situation at Singlar was odd in that they were locked after office hours and often even during the day, but we managed to help ourselves to showers one day while we were there. They probably just haven't got the key system worked out yet.

We liked having a foot in both worlds but with Willy's tienda completely gone (he died) and the Tripui tienda/laundry closed up (rumored to have been run out of business by the woman who runs the RV park), we needed to move on to Loreto.

Linda and John