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Home to Penasco, Bay of LA – Puerto Refugio

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Monday June 4, Day 7

The fog bank east of us, as we motor out of Cala San Francisquito 8ish, slowly rolls over us making a nice cool morning. The day starts with flat seas and 1.5 kt tide running in our favor this time.

It seems the magic time of day for us lunch. If we decide to have lunch the wind comes up. If we’re not careful we’ll be fat boys eating lunch all the time to draw in the wind Gods.. Anyway, before we finish lunch we have 18 kts on our stern. We haven’t put the main up yet and decide to fly to spinnaker without the main giving us a nice 7+ kts ride towards Bay of LA 52 miles north.


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What can I say?? >>>







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Quick stop in Bay of LA

Winds held until we pushed through the island entrance east of the Bay. Winds lighten and it looks to be a warm day ashore as we put the hook down 4ish. We’re thinking we’ll get supplies and move on after Doug and my experience on the trip south. We used lots of gas coming north in these extreme tides and need to fill all 4 gas cans. A stop at the internet cafe to send an Update then shopping at the mercado across from the cafe and it’s time for dinner at Guillermo’s. As we set down for dinner light wind gust start blowing through the patio area. Can you believe it, not this again.

With the treat of a windy night in the Bay we make plans to sail to Isla La Ventana anchorage 8 miles away.

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As  we depart 6ish, bellies full from a good fish dinner at Guillermo’s, it seems pretty sure it’s going to be windy. Ventana here we come. Sreacher out and we’re making 7kts as wind is at 18 as we round the sand spit 1/2 mile off shore. Approaching La Ventana it becomes apparent that the NW facing anchorage will be a poor choice since that’s the wind direction off shore. We’ve been wanting to visit Este Ton 18 miles across the Ballenas (Whale) channel on Isla Angel de la Guarda. Do we dare crossing the channel in this wind at night?? We power by the window on Ventana.. Wind has gotten very gusty from the island causing problems with the screacher and this sail won’t roll up in big winds without another to shadow it. We finally won the battle by rolling out the jib and turning downwind creating enough shadow to dowse it BUT it took some abuse and will need a little attention.

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As you see from the photos we made the decision to go for it.. The moon comes up around 8 and the winds are stable at 15kts as we sail out into the channel watching the sun setting on the NW corner of the channel. Looks like we will make the anchorage around 9:30 giving the moon time to rise enough to be our beacon into the anchorage. We’ve only read about Este Ton and haven’t visited it which make us a little nervous since we are now committed. I have google earth up on my big computer so we review the aerial and set a way point outside the entrance and one where we want to put the hook down. It’s reassuring that there’s no rocks near the entrance.

We see what looks like a flying saucer on the SE end of the channel and it’s coming at us fast?? That soon turns into a very memorable moon rise.. Awesome. Rick put’s Gato Loco right on the rheum line for our GPS heading and counts down the feet as we approach. There’s the entrance left where we expected, We turn to the waypoint to anchor just as we hoped it would work while the moon shined brightly allowing us to see clearly. Anchor down, time for a celebration on a passage that was a bit unnerving.

Tuesday June 5, day 8

We awake from a quiet restful night to the view you see below. It’s a very cool place just as the Gerry Cunningham describes in his guide.

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View of the anchorage looking SE gave us good protection from the NW winds last night. Paul stands in pumas stones washed up on the beach. Below, Climbing the ridge for the photo exposed the cactus valley and Paul holds a leg from a big lizard that was probably the victim of an Osprey.

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Every anchorage frequented by Mexican fisherman will have a cross erected. This one was a little difficult to climb to but worth is.. It’s made of agave stock.

Right, Paul checks out the outside reef at the anchorage entrance.

Just as we started our hike winds come up out to the NW gusting to where it’s difficult to keep a hat on. AND we need to sail up the channel to Puerto Refugio today. No joy…

Cool place.. We want to return.


Preparing for the worst we reef the main and head out for Refugio 10ish. We’ve got a big current in our favor and winds are pretty steady at 18. Gato’s riding smooth through swells with the sails loaded. It’s so much better than we expected.

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Fish boil and Paul’s headless Bonita.

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Tacking back to the island we sail towards a fish boil covered with birds. Paul drops a line in the water as we approach and with in 15 seconds he has a Bonita on the line. A bit later Rick hooks a yellow tail. Fish for dinner tonight for the first time on this leg.



The Puerto Refugio shrine greets us as we pull into the anchorage.

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Paul love’s this anchorage and he caught a big fish today. He’s happy. IMG_7637 [24] 









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At sunset we’re joined by a sports fishing boat from Caborca. They put in at Puerto Lobos and came out to Refugio today. Nice group but they ran a noisey generator until late in the evening. We had to keep our tunes up to drown them out. It’s a shame since we’re in such an isolated location. The fish was very good for dinner.

Wednesday June 6, Day 9

We’ve decided to take the Baja route home instead of the Sonoran Puerto Lobos route so we’re off to Bahia Gonzaga 48 miles west. Before departing Paul and I make a visit to the Shrine.  I’m pretty sure it would be bad luck to not make a visit and take a ceremonial photo.

Winds out of the SE from Ballenas channel giving us a nice ride as we exit Refugio…

Until the next Update.

(Sending this Update from Alfonsia’s in Gonzaga)

Our Penasco arrival plan.. We will leave Isla Polmo after sunset, sailing  through the night and arriving mid-day Friday, just in time for El Capitan. 🙂 🙂


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