Los Gatos to Puerto Escondido

February 11th, 2006 by: cheyenne

Sea of Cortez, Coastline Mexico

A couple of days later, another south breeze cropped up and we headed out towards Puerto Escondido. After an hour of some perky sailing, the wind pretty much crapped out. We bobbed around for a bit, hauling different sails trying to move in some direction that could vaguely be construed as “forward,” and finally put the motor in the water. Funny thing about most of our short day passages: we take off in brisk wind, make excellent time, “Hey! If this keeps up, we should be to Puerto Anclaje in three hours; maybe we can even make it to Puerto Proximo Anclaje today.” Then the wind starts to shift and/or falter, “Hrmmm, should we put up the 170?” (The GPS estimates our travel time at three hours.) Then the wind dies, yet frothy whitecaps are plainly visible all around us; where we are located is a syrupy bath of shimmering non-windy shininess, “Looks like we should have some wind in a sec; maybe hold off putting up that gennaker.” No wind ever reaches us. The GPS estimates our arrival time at Puerto Anclaje in 38569306 hours. “Well, give it a minute, maybe it’s just changing direction.” It’s not changing direction. “Crap!” We probably have to motor if we want to get anywhere; “Should we put in the motor?” We are very non-committal on the motor issue. “If you want to.” It’s plainly obvious that we will not make it the 7 knots to our anchorage in less than 4402 years, let alone nightfall. “Oh I’LL start the dang motor!” Naturally, the moment we round the corner into our anchorage and get ready to drop the hook, the wind starts howling at 20+ knots.

Anyway, this was how the next couple of days of “sailing” went. We finally made it to Candelero Chico, a north-facing anchorage (we had a south “wind” so it seemed pretty mellow). And of course big fat gusts of southern wind came blasting around the hills and assaulted our little boat the moment we entered the tiny cove. Not the most restful night ever, but the anchorage was very cozy and there was a herd of cows that came ambling down the cliffside, mooing and ringing their neck-bells. (Cow question number one: Do they notice the persistent clanging sound, and if so, are they aware that it is coming from their very own necks?) Those cows came to the water’s edge (that’s SEAwater, by the way) and then they DRANK FROM IT. At least the first couple of cows did. Then they all stood in a crowd facing the water and stared at it for maybe 30 minutes, after which time they all turned around, faced the opposite direction, and stood gazing off for another hour or until after dark when we couldn’t see them anymore.

Cows drinking salt water near mushroom rock, Sea of Cortez, Mexico

The next morning, the wind was perky as usual and we headed out northward towards Escondido or Danzante Island, or hell, Carmen if the wind keeps up! Wind did not keep up, and we ended up finally breaking down and motoring into Danzante’s “Honeymoon Cove” (that’s not Spanish, obviously, but that’s what our book says) a little after lunch. We wandered all over Danzante’s northern end and took lots of pretty pictures.

Isla Danzante, Sea of Cortez, Mexico

Honeymoon Cove, Isla Danzante, Sea of Cortez, Mexico

Pretty! Pretty! Pretty!

Later that afternoon, another southern wind (the anchorage was protected from the north only) perked up, making the anchorage uncomfortable, so we pulled anchor and headed for a spot about nine miles north. Again, the wind was totally perky for a mile or two, then faded and totally died right at our immediate location (whitecaps all around, as usual, sigh, yawn, swear). We turned around and headed back for Puerto Escondido to anchor for the evening.

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Cheyenne Weil, Joshua Coxwell