From Santa Domingo to San Juanico to Isla Coranados
I woke up on the 13th of November at the beach at Santa Domingo at about 6:30 a.m. which has seemed to become my normal time of rising. I put on 2 pots of hot water on the stove for coffee before going up to the deck to watch the sun rise. I am attempting to catch every sunrise for the rest of my trip with the GoPro. Captain Bob woke up shortly after I did, and it was kind of funny because about 45 seconds before he opened his stateroom door and blurted out his usual “there is some life” talking about me, phrase, he was snoring. Cracks me up! I handed him his coffee press mug and I told him I would go forward to take the bridle off the anchor chain so he could raise the anchor with the electric windlass. Once that was done we went around the point of the Bay of Conception and headed south for San Juanico, a mere 47 miles away, and one of Bob’s favorite anchorages.
I started cooking breakfast for everyone once we got underway. A Mexican version of corned beef hash and eggs- chorizo hash and eggs! Lauren was impressed and thrilled that she wasn’t the only one who could lay down a bomb-ass meal. It turned out great and I had terrible heartburn all damn day-it was worth it.
We had a great wind of about 15 knots blowing out of the north which allowed us to unfurl the genoa and increase our speed- we had the port engine running as well. Seth and I had a great idea to set up what’s called a barber hauler, which usually pulls the genoa sheet inboard to allow the boat to point higher into the wind, but since we were running downwind, we set it up to pull it outboard which allowed more surface area of the sail to accept wind and we went from hitting high speeds of 12 knots to 13.3 knots. It was a gratifying modification and Bob was impressed. He estimated 8-10 hours for the trip and we did it in 7.
Lauren busted out the ipod and asked, “Do you guys want to listen to CCR, The Eagles, or Elton John?” and Bob replied, “In that order!” which was hilarious because I was about to reply “yes”. So for the next 5 hours or so we jammed out, drank Rosetta’s (a mimosa with grapefruit instead of OJ) laid out in the sun and enjoyed the beautiful mountains of the Baja, just a mile to our starboard beam. We noticed the cruising family on “Zimovia” the 50 foot Maple Leaf monohull that we met and now know as Garrett and Nicole, and their 3 kids, Scott, Ellie, and Dee. They arrived a day after we did at San Juanico.
San Juanico is beautiful. Turquoise blue water, 3 or 4 sandy beaches and many giant rock formations, one that looks like a giant skull with only the eyes and forehead sticking out above the water. I put fins and snorkel gear on immediately and dove down to see what was going on under us. Unless you’re around rocks, there really aren’t many fish or sea creatures, but I did free dive down about 17 feet and get a clam, but it turned out to already be open, which is no good. That evening as we were having some drinks in the cockpit, one of our lines went off and we had our first fish! I travelled 2000 miles and can you guess what the first species of fish I catch was? A got damn Catfish!!! Hahaha. It was a 2lb long-barbeled catfish which is actually pretty rare and we fried that sum bitch up with some tempura batter and had it as a little hors de ouvre and it was magnificent.
Bob wanted to take us to his favorite snorkel location he has ever been to, so we hopped on the dingy and rode for about 30 minutes back to the opening of the bay where some crazy awesome rock formations stood, towering like skyscrapers made from solid granite. We beached the dingy (it has wheels) on the west side of a rocky beach and started to dive around. Seth began rock stacking. After about 30 minutes, Bob realized the waves were too big a fierce to get the dingy back in the water so we all had to lift and tow the 300+ pound dingy over a 40 or 50 yard hilly rock beach to the east side where it was a bit more calm and we were able to get out to the sea and curve back to the west to get back in to the anchorage. We needed a lot of weight in the front because the waves were so big, so I was the last one to jump in the dingy and I had to steer us back in. Using a brand new Yamaha 15 hp outboard was reassuring, but climbing 10-15 foot waves with 5 people in the boat was F ing crazy. I handled it well and got everyone back safe and sound. We were soaked and laughing by the time we were halfway back to VIVA. Lauren recorded the entire ride back on her GoPro. You can now call me,” Captain of the Dingy”.
The next day, we noticed “No Problem” and “Ally Cat”, who we were anchored with down by Bueno Ventura pull in and anchor out as well. Next came “Zimovia”, and it was just awesome to see the same people again. Ben and A.J. of the former 2 boats came over for cocktails last night and they brought us a Halibut salad that A.J. made from a Halibut he caught that day. Bomb.com. I picked A.J.’s brain on clamming, hunting for lobster, and spear gun fishing, and he offered to pick me up this morning and take me spear fishing with him. So, after a couple eggs and a cup of coffee from 630-730, A.J. rolled up and both Lauren and I hopped in his dingy and we went to the same spot we nearly got stranded at the day before. Fortunately, the waves were much calmer today and for what seemed like 45 minutes, 2.5 hours went by and I speared my first 2 fish. Besides sailing, spear gun fishing is the most fun I have ever had. I speared a Wavy Line Grunt considered to be “very good” table fare and a Mojarra Grunt, also considered to be very good. I thought they were both snapper :-D
The fish were good- nothing spectacular, but I’ll get better fish soon, I know it! They were a simple white fish, but with some peach chutney on top and some gnocchi as a side, not to mention the homemade blue crab chowder that A.J. brought, it was a pretty damn good meal.
We departed San Juanico at about 730 this morning, 11/16, and motored 4 hours and 47 miles to Isla Coranados, about 6 miles from the city of Loreto. I have 3g here and was able to talk to my beautiful Fiancée for about 15 minutes, and my pops who updated me on the CHIEEEEEEEEEFS! I’m using my phone as a hot spot to upload this and awaiting the girls to return from their hike up the mountain so we can cook up some fish tacos with the leftover fish from last night. We’ll be in Loreto tomorrow and we get to go to Ben’s house, so maybe I can upload some videos then. Unfortunately they will be uploaded to facebook instead of the blog, so keep an eye out. I love and miss everyone! Talk to you soon! Adios!