Leaving Isla Partida, we raised our sails and excitedly realized that the weather disturbance that was moving in was creating southerly winds. We were expecting northerly winds for our entire trip up to Guaymas/San Carlos, which is the norm for this time of year. With the days’ initial goal of 17 miles to Isla San Fransisco covered in just over 2 hours, and while comfortably hitting a top speed of 13.1 knots, we decided to change our plans and “make hay while the sun was shining”. The sailing was absolutely phenomenal and the seas were totally flat. With the incredibly picturesque, Sierra de la Giganta mountains as our western backdrop, we saw and heard the loud “slap” of whales breaching eerily close to the boat. After changing our minds 5 times throughout the day, we ended up sailing over 50 miles and spent that night at Bahia San Carlos/Timbabiche.
Besides a group of sea kayakers that were camped out on the beach nearby, we were the only boat in the anchorage. The wind blew from the southwest pretty hard all night. In the morning, while I was preparing to eat my freshly cooked breakfast, a local approached us in a fishing panga, eyeing my outboard motors, asking for gasoline, and warning us of “banditos”. He only spoke Spanish, but we were able to figure out that his outboard had been stolen, he was borrowing his friends outboard, and he was begging us for some gasoline. He didn’t want money, just gas. I don’t usually do handouts, so I tried to see if he had anything to trade…Pescado? Mota? He had nothing. I wanted to eat my breakfast and get moving so we said our goodbyes and untied him from the boat. He went away sad…but, oh well. You can’t please everyone.
After breakfast, we raised our double reefed mainsails and sped out of the anchorage at 8 knots. Less than an hour later, the winds died and then shifted to the more typical west/northwest. We were still able to sail the entire way to Bahia Agua Verde, and arrived mid afternoon under spinnaker and one mainsail. Immediately after dropping anchor, we paddle boarded into the beach to have a walk around “town”. We saw a couple of spotted eagle rays that had to be close to 3 feet wide, and a huge moray eel all from the relative viewing safety of the stand up paddle boards.
Agua Verde is home to maybe 100 people. There are a couple of small goat dairy farms, and a small school. However, there are no power lines, no cell towers, no wifi, no restaurants, and no stores. Very basic living for a handful of hardy families. After some amazing handmade Margaritas on the boat, and some rounds of guitar playing, we spent a very calm and peaceful night sleeping very soundly.
With absolutely no cell coverage anywhere nearby, and Deidre needing to be in touch with her boss, we raised anchor very early and snuck out of the tranquil, sleepy anchorage. As we sailed out of the bay, the day was appearing like it was going to be a very light wind day. But, less than 1/2 an hour into our sail, we were being over powered by some land effect winds, whipping down from the very nearby Sierra de la Giganta mountains. With winds blowing between 20 and 30 knots, I placed double reefs in both my mainsails as quickly and efficiently as possible. While still feeling a little puckered from the sailing conditions, I decided to hail the Agua Verde anchorage and let anyone listening know of the conditions going on just around the corner. About 10 minutes later, I was able to catch bits and pieces of the morning VHF net coming out of Puerto Escondido, less than 15 miles away. The current weather condition was announced. “Winds from the west at 1.5 knots”. Wow! Very localized conditions we were in! Within the next half hour, the winds did virtually die, and all was calm and peaceful again.
We arrived at Puerto Escondido and received our first updated weather report since leaving La Paz. With the news of some strong Northers coming down the sea for the next few days, we decided to hang tight within the nearly 360 degree protected anchorage and catch up on work and Internet time.