Jun 21 2010

Baja Bash: Bahia San Juanico to Punta Abreojos (June 21, 2010)

Got up early, pulled the anchor and set off for Punta Abreojos. Abreojos translates to “open eyes” because there are lots of hidden underwater nasties to catch, grab and sink your boat. The word is to NEVER make an entrance of this harbor at night or in poor visibility.

Marishanna and I made pretty good time on the way, and the breeze was relatively light–starting at 15 – 20 knots and freshening to about 25 knots–a typical day of summer sailing in San Francisco.

After eating all of the sushi from the last tuna, I decided to fish a little more. After 45 minutes with the cedar plug out on the line, I caught another Blue Fin Tuna–this time about 8 pounds.

As the afternoon progressed, the winds built to 25 knots of steady wind and the seas built to 1.5 – 2 meters–but the frequency increased to every 2 seconds. It was rough going, and I was happy to finally pull into Punta Abreojos. Because of the underwater hazards and I was rapidly losing sunlight, I approached the anchorage from the far Eastern side of the bay–well clear of the hazards.

I found a nice place to anchor in about 25 feet of water right around dusk, and watched the moon rise as I cooked dinner. Another really awesome day!

26°45.598′ N
113°30.820′ W

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Jun 20 2010

Baja Bash: Bahia San Juanica (Part 2) June 20, 2010

Published by under Lido 14,Mexico,The Adventure

I pulled anchor around 7:30am and headed for the next stop at Punta Abreojos. On my way out of the anchorage, another sailboat was on their way into the port and they hailed me on the radio–asking if I knew where the panga fisherman met boats for fuel.

Fuel, I asked? With the possible problem with the fuel lifting pump, I wanted to purchase some extra fuel so that I could continue to run off the top of the tank.

He said that a fisherman offered to bring him diesel fuel, and I wanted that too, so I turned around and went back to the waiting area. After another 45 minutes, the fisherman arrived. He was charging 15 pesos per liter (about 6 pesos more than the price at the marina in Cabo San Lucas), but I bargained with him for a 5-gallon jerry can for 10 pesos a liter.

What we didn’t know is that he was going to wait until his afternoon/evening fishing session to return with the diesel–which was about 4:30, and far too late for me to depart for Punta Abreojos–which absolutely requires a daylight approach for all of the submerged dangers.

In the meantime, the other boat and I had rafted together, were well into telling stories, they treated me to a fine pork chop dinner, and loaned me some DVD movies for the evening–and, I shared my charts and guidebooks with them. Theirs were a bit outdated.

During the day, a couple of locals came sailing up in a 14-foot NY Long boat. It was all wood, had the sailing rig attached (it is basically the design of row boat that they used in NY harbor in the late 1800s–with an optional sailing rig). The return line for lifting the keel had slipped through and the centerboard was stuck in the down position. So, they tied up to Marishanna, I loaned them some snorkeling gear, and Christian dove below to retrieve it. Afterwards, we offered them some beers and to come aboard.

Turns out . . . that Bahia San Juanico is a hidden gem of a town with a healthy ex-patriot community of surf/sail loving Americans. According to Christian, they have three restaurants at night, one during the day, a grocery store, a Sailboat/Surfboard designer (Choate), and some really great long-board surf–two really long pipes that I saw. Unfortunately, they have no cell phone service.

And, I must admit the bay was filled with surfers, stand-up paddle-boarders, kayakers, etc. It was quite beautiful, and definitely a place I want to return and stay awhile.

26°15.083′ N

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Jun 19 2010

Baja Bash: Bahia Santa Maria to Bahia San Juanico (June 19, 2010)

Bahia Santa Maria to Bahia San Juanico

I awoke around 4am, and actually had overslept a bit. The passage from Bahia Santa Maria to Bahia San Juanico is 95Nm–about 15 hours of sailing, and I wanted to arrive during daylight. So, I hurriedly, got dressed weighed anchor, and got on my way.

Over the night, the bay had calmed completely. The wind instruments were reading 0 knots of wind, and the water was glassy. As I steered a wide course around the point (most of the points have submerged rocks up to a half mile or more away from them), the wind picked up to a tiny 5 – 8 knots, and I proceeded on my way.

The stretch of land between the two bays has three water-filled lagoons–none of which I would attempt to enter in a boat with a keel. Perhaps a panga, or a sailing dinghy with a retractable centerboard, but certainly not this boat. And, setting a straight line course to Bahia San Juanico is the shortest route. The land curves a good distance away from that route.

Over the course of the day, the winds grew steadily to a meager 15 knots, and it was a fairly uneventful and relaxing (though long) sail. We like them that way. I did, however, drag the magical cedar plug on the end of the fishing pole behind the boat for about two hours and caught a 5-pound blue-fin tuna. I made sushi and put enough in the refrigerator for 2 more sushi servings.

On the final approach, Bahia San Juanico is an easy anchorage. You sail into the big nook on the East side of the bay, and far out in the center, I set the anchor in 18-feet of water. There was still some wind from the day, but the Punta Pequena protects the anchorage enough from the swell that there was no swell at all. And, into the night, the wind even died down. It was a very comfortable anchorage.

In the middle of the night, I got up around 4am and took a quick survey of the boat, and it was beautiful. The water is filled with plankton and with phosphorescence. At first, I looked up and saw that the relative darkness of this sparsely populated area allows for a REALLY good star-show. It was beautiful. When I looked down into the water, I saw something else. The phosphorescence was thick enough that it turned the darting fish into glowing, underwater silhouettes. It was quite a site to see the shapes of the fish, glowing green, darting through the water (NO–this was not an acid trip). 😉

When I was here, the water was a red color–from the red tide, so be careful not to catch and eat any of the fish in the water. Although, I always prefer to catch fish out in the open ocean because the water is simply cleaner . . . .

26°15.083′ N

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