Sometimes, when you sail towards a destination the wind is just right. Our first leg north was not one of those times. The wind seemed to be blowing from the island we were sailing to, but since it wasn’t that far away we tacked a few times and beat towards it. We were rewarded with some dolphins leaping out of the water as we arrived at Isla Coronado. The next couple days were the kind of sailing where the wind was almost just right, behind and and blowing. Of course there was also some wave action, and at times maybe a touch much wind. But for the most part it was some of our best sailing and we actually averaged about 5.5 knots on one of the legs while under just the jib. I can not for the life of me figure out why one of the boats that went by us was motor sailing, although I was happy to find out after they passed us that they weren’t just sailing. We eventually had to reef when the wind picked up and I couldn’t get the boat to slow below 7 knots. Tan Tori was a bit behind us and reported seeing 40 knots wind in that area.
After racing up to Bahia Concepcion so quickly we had a day to rest up before the 4th of July party, which we mostly spend recovering from the sailing and a rather nervous night at anchorage with 30ish knot winds all night. At least they were blowing from the beach, so if we drug anchor we would have woken up in the middle of the Sea of Cortez, not on the beach. We are also a little tired out from hauling in a 55″ Dorado and cutting off so many filets we had to give some away when we got to Concepcion. It even rained a bit in the morning after all the wind, making me a little homesick for typical Seattle 4th weather. We also went ashore to scope out a local tienda, which did not have a lot of goods on their shelves, but much to Jenn’s relief despite their lack of power did have a bin of ice with diet Coke in it.
On the Fourth, we headed to the party around noon, ready to enjoy the cruiser potluck and free hot dogs provided by the host Geary who lives on the beach and provides weather reports on the single side band radio for cruisers. Several of the boats that had been anchored in the next bay south with us had moved over to the anchorage in front of the beach, making it quite full. Overall I believe there were 40 boats that signed in. After a trip through the potluck line, a couple rounds of cold cervezas and some socializing we decided to head back to the boat to relax (nap) before heading back for the fireworks.
Prior to the fireworks, one of the cruisers put on a fire spinning show. He was good with the banter and had a lot of interaction with the crowd. Jenn and I were a bit amused with oohs and ahhs from the crowd – after Burning Man this was not the most impressive fire spinning show since we’ve seen dozens of people all performing at once. At least this performance was on a real Playa! (I don’t usually explain my humor, but since that one will only make sense to Burners, very few of which probably read this… Burning Man is held on a dry lake bed referred to as The Playa. Playa is Spanish for beach.) After he finished there was a little break, then the fireworks show. I guess on the plus side, not all of the shells were launched at once, but it was a rather meager show with a not a lot of variety. I’ve put on better shows with the fireworks my ex step dad used to buy.
The next day we decided to give the weather a some time to calm down. The forecast was for lighter winds that should be a bit more favorable to our direction of travel. If we had been trying to beat into the weather we sailed north to the party in, we probably would have turned around and skipped the party. We used our weather day to hitch a ride into Mulege. We had been told hitching a ride was pretty easy so we walked out to the highway and waited for a car to go by so we could stick out our thumbs. And waited. There were very few cars heading to town, and about half the vehicles that went by going the right direction were semis or other delivery trucks. Eventually the guy beer at the party drove by, and my patronage paid off as he stopped without us even sticking out our thumbs. It was a bit interesting sitting in the back of a box truck (think small U-Haul truck) with the sliding door open, but we managed not to fall out. Mulege provided some groceries, a very filling chicken lunch with great internet, and a fun second hand store we explored. We both miss our Value Village trips!
We caught a ride back much quicker, from a local in a pickup so old I had to check and see if it was a Datsun. He seemed like a nice young guy but didn’t speak much English. I was able to pick up that we was recommending a restaurant near our anchorage wear we think he worked. I still can’t carry on a conversation but I’m learning more words. Now if they just came at me a little slower!
We spent the next couple days heading back south to the Loreto area. The winds did calm down, a little too much so we pretty much motored the whole trip. We stopped in San Juanico and did some beach combing as Jenn was keen on finding some obsidian, and visited the cruisers shrine. We made a quick stop at Punta Mangles to check out the resort abandoned during construction. The beach combing didn’t live up to the guide book, and we were running a little low on gas for the dinghy so we skipped the several mile round trip to the sea caves. Maybe on our next stop we can check them out. Now we are back at Isla Coronados, and after a couple days of almost private anchorages we are a bay with 7 other boats and lots of VHF chatter during the day. It almost feels like civilization.
While the trip up and back was fun and provided some interesting stops the overall party was a bit of a let down. I was kind of hoping to meet some new people since a lot of the boats that will be in the Sea of Cortez for the summer were there, and we didn’t really accomplish that. It underscored how young we are compared to the average cruisers. We did chat with one other couple in our age range and look forward to seeing them again but didn’t have a chance to really interact on more than a quick conversational level. I guess I can’t complain too much, I’m writing this in the cockpit of the boat this morning in a swimsuit with dolphins feeding nearby and a ray repeatedly jumping out of the water and slapping back on the surface.