Isla Coronados, San Juanico, Bahia Conception and San Marcos

On July 18, we left Puerto Escondido for the last time.  We headed the 19 miles toward Isla Coronados.  We sailed and motored when the wind died toward the narrow and shallow passage around the island.  We set the hook in a nice bay with a beautiful sand beach.  We soon discovered that many pangas from Loreto brought day tourists to lounge on this beautiful beach, snorkel the waters and hike the island.  We spent three nice days here, snorkeling, fishing and hiking.  

On July 21 we again set sail to travel the 20 miles toward San Juanico.  This anchorage has many reefs and dangerous shoals.  After a few tense minutes, we anchored in a safe bay.  As dangerous as the reefs are, they have amazing snorkeling.  We spent quite some time enjoying the beautiful and different sea life.  After the 2nd night, we moved to the northern portion of the anchorage to hike the shore and place some “Slow Dancer” shells on the “Cruiser’s Shrine”.  We saw various items dating back to 1999 adorning this tree.  Many, many cruisers have traveled these waters before us.  Together with Jim and Laura from Nilaya, we drank a beer in their honor and enjoyed the sunset.  

On July 24, we headed out of San Juanico at 7 a.m. we had a long journey ahead of us, 50 miles, toward Bahia Concepcion.  We were concerned about the dark clouds and distant lightening, but they were quite a ways in the distance, so on we went.  About an hour into our journey, Ken caught a fish, which slowed us a bit.  We noticed that the clouds were gaining on us.  The wind picked up and we pulled out the sails.  On we went as the winds increased and so did the clouds!  We heard thunder, which was concerning.  Just as we were about to round a point, the wind increased to 28k!  Yikes!  We turned to pull in some more of the sails to slow us down and were immediately spun around with the sails flapping.  We pulled both sails in, turned on the engine (as we had no idea what lay around the point) and proceeded north.  The winds died a bit, so out came the sails.  We noticed some threads flying behind our headsail…..oh, oh….damage?  Yep….the wild flapping had loosened the edges of our forward sail.  We pulled it in to prevent further damage and motored into Bahia Concepcion.  This is a huge, shallow bay with beautiful anchorages, and warm….if not hot water!  Our first anchorage choice was pretty open.  The winds and waves had picked up so, this wouldn’t work.  We traveled the 8 miles to Bahia Coyote.  Wow….this anchorage is beautiful!  We spent two nights here and enjoyed the palm trees and a great local restaurant.  While swimming around Slow Dancer and cleaning off the water line, Dale noticed a small hole in the hull.  Oh no!  This will have to be repaired and soon!  We borrowed some patch material from Nilaya to hold us until San Carlos, when we can get it repaired.  

On July 26, we moved the 3 miles north to Bahia Santispac.  Another beautiful beach with a couple of restaurants to dinghy to.  We were able to access internet and check weather to travel north to Santa Rosalia. As we were enjoying our lunch in Anna’s restaurant, we saw three huge busses bringing tourists to the beach.  The tranquil anchorage was suddenly transformed into a tourist meca!  We hopped in our dinghies and headed back to the boats to people watch.  

On July 27, we left early to travel the 38 miles to Isla San Marcos.  The winds were good, so we pulled out the sails, all the while watching the dark clouds moving in.  Worrying about a Chubasco (short duration storm with thunder, lightening and high winds), we reefed the sails and continued on.  The waves increased to 5-6 feet making our progress slow and uncomfortable.  As we approached the shallow and narrow entrance to the San Marcos Channel, we evaluated the safety of this choice.  Not feeling comfortable with this, we decided to go the long way around the island.  This added a few hours to our trip and even lumpier seas!  Ugh…..we thought the seasickness was long behind us!  Finally we rounded the north end of the island and traveled down to our anchorage, Sweet Pea Cove.  After a couple of tries, we set the anchor across from a “fishing camp” (a couple of shacks on the shore) and breathed a sigh of relief!  We enjoyed a wonderful and cooler evening with little wave action….a welcome change from the day.  

In the morning, we motored the 10 miles to Santa Rosalia.  We navigated the narrow breakwater and cruised into the marina.  The harbormaster, Fernando and a couple of his dock hands were waiting for us and grabbed our lines.  We had arrived!

Leaving at first light

Master fisherman!

Hiking at Isla Coronados

Filleting the fish on the back of the boat

We swim a lot!

So many things to see under the sea!

View from atop the bluff at Isla Coronados. Slow Dancer in the distance.

Amazing that trees can grow right out of rock!

Our hiking team!

Two guys walking down a highway…..

Bahia Coyote was beautiful!

Shrimp dinner and a beer for the equivalent of $6 US

A welcome oasis after a walk along the highway

Reef snorkeling

So much color!

This little guy was as curious as we were!

Good night at Sweet Pea Cove

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