May 3, 2008 — Puerta Ballandra, Isla Carmen — N 26 degrees 01′ 16.8″/W 111 degrees 09′ 53.3″

House battery at 7 am: 12.35 volts
16.6nm for the day; 574.1 nm cruised on the trip overall

We rose fairly early, and savored a lovely sunrise over Puerto Escondido. Weather for the next couple days sounds good, according to the two nets we monitor. I untied our bow line from the mooring ball around 8:45 and we eased our way through the Loreto Fest fleet. On the way out I radioed Singlar Marina to inform them of our departure.

The cruise today was relatively uneventful, with a crossing over to Isla Carmen, and then 10 miles or so north along its west coast. Sandy took the wheel for much of the way, while I sat below, sorting through digital pictures. We anchored at Puerta Ballandra, a nice anchorage on the northwest end of the island. There were 2 other sailboats there when we arrived, just after noon. Another pair arrived later in the day. In the afternoon we went ashore and walked the beach, around the entire bay. Park signboards inform visitors of the presence of rare and endangered wildlife, and to be careful when ashore. The cruising guide says there are desert bighorn sheep on this island, but we haven’t seen any. We did see tracks that might have been bighorns in the soft mud near a lagoon behind the beach.

The routine nature of the day has gotten us thinking about the conclusion to our trip. We are within 2 or 3 days cruising of Punta Chivato, the jumpoff point for our return crossing to San Carlos. Thoughts are shifting to a need to e’mail the mini storage lot owner, regarding our return. I also need to e’mail my car insurance agent to reinstate insurance on the truck in time for our border crossing back into the US. We will be crossing over to Loreto in the morning, and will take care of e’mail chores while there. If it sounds like there will be a good celebration in town on the next day for Cinco de Mayo, we may stay over to see how they celebrate this holiday in a Mexican town.

We’re buttoned up tight in the cabin tonight. Earlier today we were mobbed by bees in search of water. One even came down to the galley and went down the sink drain to get water from the drain trap. Sandy put a tray of water out for them on deck, and that really brought a gang in. Right now we’re swatting mosquitoes for the first time. A few got in before we closed things up. With mosquities in the air, there must be a fresh water source nearby.

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