- Updates from GatoLocoSailing - http://www.gatolocosailing.com/blog -

Home to Penasco, Gonzaga Bay to Penasco & More

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Wednesday June 6, Day 9

Departing Puerto Refugio winds show some promise for another day with the wind behind us. Weather is cool and our morning starts with an anchorage visit from a  pad of dolphins as we’re exiting. They’re probably chasing a school of fish working the shallow waters with team work.

By mid morning wind has lighten behind us forcing us to motor sail.  The seas are very confused from waves coming through the channel and also passing north of the island.  We can’t wait for lunch time to hopefully bring in the wind Gods. Fish tacos for lunch and no wind. Maybe we’ve over used that card.

Finally the last 2 hours of the 48 mile 8 hour day are with wind quieting the complaints about running the motors. Actually wind only is sooo much better but if we expect the make the next anchorage motors are part of the cruise.

The Alfonsia’s beach on the north end of Gonzaga Bay is our destination. This beautiful beach area experiences night time westerly winds. The anchorage has a soft sand bottom offering great holding while the beach keeps the anchorage smooth and quiet even with wind. In the picture below, our anchorage on the right side of the spit and Willard Bay on the left. There’s no passage over the spit so to enter Willard you have to go around the island in the distance. Westerlys cause chop in the Willard anchorage making the Alfonsia beach the best spot. BTW: the mermaid above was painted on a large door at one of the residents by the owner. I love mermaids.

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  As soon as we set the anchor a medium size whale shark swims within 10’ of the boat. Rick jumps in swimming hard to catch up. Finally he grabs his tail which I’m sure the whale shark didn’t like at all since that his form of proportion. That’s the only sighting we had in the anchorage probably because they spread the word that there was a guy grabbing tail..!!


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The beach experienced an extreme high tide with this last full moon with tides up to the door steps down the beach which only made the beach look better.  The Alfonsia Cantina sets on the north end of the beach and also has a clean 2 story motel setting right on the beach.

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Very nice anchorage with meals off the boat at the Cantina. Dinner was one of the best of the cruise. Breakfast the next morning included internet so I didn’t have to go begging internet down the beach.



Thursday June 7, Day 10

We need beer, tequila, ice and gas since we done enough motoring to use up our reserve needed for a save crossing to Penasco tomorrow. There’s a mercado and a Pemix station on the coast highway a mile inland and the cantina staff are always willing to help run for supplies.

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Driving down the runway behind the beach and Paul in search of Dos Equis cerzesa.

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One of the residents airplane, Paul & Rick carry the dinghy to the water. The tide is way out near low tide.

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All of these homes are setting on land leased from the Alfonsia family that owns the beach, motel & cantina. A very nice friendly village.

10ish we finish provisioning and head out in search of more whale sharks that frequent the bay.

Isla San Louis and Isleta Pomo here we come

The sail north to Isla San Louis is only 12 miles north making it a island play day before we sail through the night back to Penasco at sunset tonight. Below San Louis as we approach from the north.

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With the big tides still swinging, the San Louis volcanic pool is being flooded by the rising tide creating a waterfall.  IMG_7716 IMG_7721









The sound of the falls makes one thing you’re in the mountains somewhere. Nice place to just relax and reflect on our passage so far.



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Isleta (small island)  Pomo near San Luis provides Gato Loco shelter from the afternoon SE winds. We will spend the afternoon here doing some sightseeing and rest a bit for our sunset crossing. The anchorage’s 300’ sheer wall dwarfs Gato Loco. The wall is like a bird condo with every little shelf or rock providing a roost for the night. The beach has a couple families of seagulls with very young hatchlings with their gray feathers. I briefly stepped ashore and was quickly swooped to tell me to keep my distance.

Below you see a cross on the wall below a rock shelter. We inspected this closely and there’s no way anybody could have created this. It appears to be a very cool creation of nature.


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We were able to enter the large sea cave but the high tide had the smaller caves flooded.

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Last photos from the anchorage beach before we haul anchor.

Paul motors us out of the anchorage to start our 90 mile crossing to Penasco at 7:00 PM. Winds are light at 8kt from the SE and seas are flat making it a nice start.


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We set a Cholla Bay (almost north) heading hoping we can do a sail by as we sail on to Penasco. We’re able to carry the main and screacher sail with a light motor kicker maintaining 6kts. The sunset ceremony is at 7:35. The moon won’t appear until after 11 giving us a few hours of dark star studded skies. Steak dinner at 9 and as we finish we have a freshening breeze out of the SW allowing us to shut the kicker motor down. 11, winds are a steady 18-20 so we furl the huge screacher head sail and opt for the jib which can  be managed much easier if the wind continues to build. We’re now surging to 10kt at times and music is blaring with a 4 hour music track Rick requested. Life is good. 11:30, Paul retires to be ready for a early morning watch. I dose on the salon bench while Rick is loving life as Gato Loco surfs down swells that have slowly built from the SW. 1:30 AM, looks like the SW winds probably from a Baja westerly are finished as we move away from Baja. Rick and I debate on weather to start a engine but winds begin to build from the SE so the decision is no motor. 2 AM, 14kts from the SE and we have a great broad reach doing 8kts again with the screacher head sail back up. 3:30 AM, Paul’s up, Rick’s down and winds still steady out of the SE. I’m back on the salon beach for some cat napping. 5:31 AM, the sun breaks to the east horizon. Paul just had a 15 minute run with a huge pod of dolphin while Gato Loco was hitting 10 kts surfing down swells. Looks like we’ll be in Penasco by 10 AM..

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Friday June 8, Day 11

It’s the first day of Circus Mexicus

We got the Hood a buzz after we made a few phone calls from the boat confirming our 10ish AM arrival. Winds have been building since sunrise and Gato Loco is sailing well to weather with the screacher still up. We’re busy cleaning and arranging things while she heads to Penasco at 8kts. It’s been an unbelievable, sailing full speed since 9:30 last night. We’re finally putting down the motors to drop the sails and motor in the marina. That’s when we discovered our blown out screacher. It was fine 10 minutes earlier. I guess the extra gusts rounding Penasco must have been more than it could take.

The plan is to clear the boat and head up to El Capitan and have a welcome home luncheon and maybe a celebration drink. It’s nice to be home with my peps Frankie & Neely and the Hood. No time to reflect on the cruise as we have a busy weekend coming at us with 3 days on music in Cholla and the local beach. Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers Circus Mexicus 21 brings Big Fun to the Hood and we made it home in time this year.


Circus Mexicus 21

Friday, live bands at JJ’s Cantina, late night party at Wrecked at the Reef. Saturday, daytime Beach party and soccer tournament,  Huge Peacemaker beach party nighttime concert. Sunday, live bands all afternoon at JJ’s Cantina. The Gato Loco crew needs some rest to keep up with this.

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Drinking Mexican Moonshine tequila for charity The stage for the big Sat night concert. Sorry no photos from Friday night. I checked out early.

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Soccer and beach action. Lunch was a Sonoran beacon wrapped hotdog the rivaled Santa Rosalia.

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Everybody at the McCulley Casa for pork tacos before the concert Sat night. Thanks Scott for the tacos.

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Two beautiful ladies in black. More beautiful ladies.

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Hanging in the garage to be close to the taco line.

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4000+ fans at the Wrecked concert. Great beach party. Bill & Dave brought Gato Loco and anchored near the concert and got a big shout out from the stage. Wave action near shore was to much so they gave it up after the first set.

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Weather was perfect with a nice sea breeze.

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Sunday morning brunch.

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JJ’s Sunday band line-up..

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The afternoon turned out to be even more fun than expected.

Happy spectators above. Band member from Sherman and Jim Dalton in the hat are the afternoon headline band.

The day ended with dinner at the McCulley Casa again. What a fun weekend. We all need some rest though.

And finally check out the two YouTube videos below, one from the cruise and one from the Sunday JJ’s music.

Seriously, It’s all over !!

Another great sailing season and Peacemaker weekend. Life is good.

Until the next Update.

Sailing north from Bahia de Los Angeles the Sailboat Gato Loco

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