May 6, 2008 — Caleta San Juanico — N 26 degrees 22′ 07.3″/W 111 degrees 25′ 47.8″

24.8nm for the day; 608.6 nm cruised on the trip overall

I awoke at 5:30 this morning to the sounds of pangas leaving the boat basin, a 10 knot westerly breeze pressing against our stern. Shortly after 6 I went ashore and walked up to the charter fishing office and picked up 2 bags of ice. There will be margeritas on the rocks tonight. The sun was just up when I untied from the rock jetty and pulled the stern anchor aboard. We were floating free and saying farewell to Loreto.

As soon as I cleared the boat basin I raised sails and shut the motor down. We sipped our coffee, making about 2.5 knots on the land breeze. We proceeded under sail despite a predictable drop in speed, as the land breeze soon began to fail. I wanted to listen to weather on the SSB radio, and it’s impossible to hear if the motor is running. Light winds were predicted for today, but tomorrow it’s supposed to blow out of the northwest. Our plan was to run up to San Juanico, with its good northwest protection, and lay over there tomorrow if necessary.

We motored for a couple hours, doing around 4 knots as we closed on the multi-colored cliffs of Punta Mangles. I intended on stopping for lunch there, however, as we neared the anchorage, which is open to the south, the southeasterly breeze kicked up, so we decided to have lunch on the fly. I raised sails again, and shut down the motor. We sailed comfortably on a broad reach, averaging between 3.5 and 4 knots most of the way up to San Juanico.

I glassed the San Juanico anchorage, and could see several boats already moored there. Since it is open to the south, I figured that they were open to swell. I headed for a little nook at the south end of the bay, which gives some southerly protection. It has a nice beach, and we felt like doing some beach combing. A refracting swell rolled into the little cove, but I thought the main anchorage would be worse. While we were on the beach we saw several large sailboats parade by from the south, all making for the shelter of San Juanico.

We spent several hours on the beach, picking up shells and marveling at the colorful rocks which have been deposited along the beach. As we walked back to the dinghy, we began to be bothered by bobos, and when we got back on board, Sandy discovered bees swarming inside the cabin. The swell had also increased, and was rolling strongly into the cove, rocking the boat badly. Pulling anchor was an easy call. We motored across the bay, toward the main anchorage which, by this time, held over a dozen boats. I wasn’t concerned about finding a good spot to anchor, since I knew we could move into shallow water, inside most of the fleet. I hadn’t counted on half the boats being fairly shallow draft multihulls though. We did end up in a comfortable spot, smugly hooked a hundred yards in front of a Sun Oddessy 54, looking picture perfect with her shining black hull trimmed in maroon and gold.

The breeze by this time had swung into the north, but it died down as the sun began to set. We went out in the dinghy to enjoy the sunset, but were glad to climb back on board. I don’t think it got above the low 80’s today, and it’s actually chilly outside right now. I expect I’ll find a heavy dew on deck in the morning.

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