Final legs home to Penasco
Tuesday May 26th
We bid the fishermen goodbye and they head back to Puerto Lobos. We have to thank them for all the entertainment and fish, Especially Elvin who gave us his catch one day. Weather looks good for their crossing..
Soon after we bid goodbye to our Swiss friends and the Puerto Refugio anchorage we called home the last 3 nights. 3 nights is the longest we’ve stayed in an anchorage other than Puerto Escondido during Loreto Fests.
We’re off to Gonzaga which crosses the north end of whale channel. As we clear into the channel we get 15kts off our port steer and are flying through the 3 foot swells at 7kts. Life is good and Frankie is bundled up with the windy cabin. Late morning the channel winds begin to fade but swells are slow to go away making it a bit bumpy. Looks like we’ve be back in Gonzaga by 4pm.
The wind is back as we enter Gonzaga bay and get the last 2 hours sailing all the way to the beach village. A big shrimper is setting in our anchor spot and there’s huge yacht setting south. We saw both anchored in the north bay at Refugio last night. At Alfonsina’s, the shrimper crew is relaxing and talking to the captain I find they’re out of San Felipe and are here to sell some fish and pick up supplies from the store out on the highway. Soon they leave.
We arrange a ride for gas/supplies before dinner. This time our ride is provided by one of Alfonsina’s sons Roman which turns out to be the evening entertainment with his larger than life personality. We got off so well that he let us use the private Alfonsina internet and him and his motorcycle riding buddy Juan joined us for dinner and keep the fun going till closing time. I came away with a new name “Captain MataRay” thanks to Roman.
Wednesday May 27th
Jeffrey & Lynnie return from shore getting a little internet on their phones and bringing breakfast from the restaurant. We off to Puertecitos 45 nm north with a stop at Isla San Louis. I want to show them the volcanic waterfall that was flooded on our sail south. San Luis’s west side has huge contours of ash layers you see in the photo below. A rolly ride to the volcanic pool and damned if it’s flooded again . Interesting we’ve never seen it flooded and now 2 flooded visits. We need to avoid high tide.
Puertecitos here we come.
Winds out of the SE give us a nice push into Puertecitos. The village surrounds the south facing bay and the winds we rode in on created swells rolling right in the bay giving us a rodeo anchorage. Braving the dinghy and going ashore is the best thing to do while things settle down.
The radio cracks Gato Loco. It’s Panama a local looking down from the west shore. He gives us some local scuttlebutt and confirms we’re in a good anchoring spot. He indicates there’s not many people left in town as they’ve all left for the season. Panamas been in Puertecitos for a long time and sounds like a salty dog on the radio.
Our 1st stop is the hot springs. Tides are low exposing the pools. Temp varies from scalding to cool depending how far you are from the source. Air temps have warmed up and hot springs just don’t seem vary inviting so only pictures this time plus the sulfur smell is very strong today. A walk further in town confirms Panama’s comment that there’s no one in town only talking to Myron who lives near the boat ramp. He started coming to Puertecitos in the 60’s and has a lot of history. Below is the restraint/bar but closed up tight today and hasn’t been open for a couple years Myron says. We were able to get dinner with Brian, Heather & Bill on our last visit.
Getting back on Gato was even more challenging than departing. Rollers seem to have grown and timing is important moving from the dinghy to the back step or your in the drink. Actually we swam after anchoring and the water temp is great.
Things settle down for dinner and the breeze shifts more westward and is refreshing. Puertecitos lights come at sunset, a few street light and a few homes is all we see.
Tomorrow we cross to Penasco 81 nm and depart at 5 AM so it’s early lights out early.
Thursday May 28th
We’re off at 5 as planned.. Well maybe not.. Immediately the port engine begins revving without producing power… I failed to mention earlier as we left Gonzaga we hit a mataray with the port engine. Yesterday we hardly used the engines. Today powering up the port engine and the prop hub is spun probably by the ray impact. It didn’t take long to replace the prop and be on our way. Now I think Roman must see into the future since he started calling me Captain MataRay at dinner in Gonzaga. Spooky!!
Flat waters and clear skies as the sun rises. Heading home… Puerto Penasco here we come.
Back in Penasco at 6 PM, a 13 hour crossing. Winds were at our back all day at the same speed we were traveling making it a windless day and warm as Penasco is finally warming up to normal temp. Motors purred all day with the light wind assistance pushing us in the 6 – 7 Kt range.
Above, the crew shows their sad face as we wrap up the cruise but very happy right to be home safe and sound with all the great memories of the 2015 adventure in the Sea of Cortez. It was a short sailing season but a least we got some time on the water. Now on to summer in the mountains. Hope everyone enjoyed following along with us and thank you for your comments and well wishes. We enjoy hearing from you very much. Have a great summer.
That’s a wrap… Until the next Update
Have really enjoyed your blogs, Lowell and will miss them. Glad your back safe and sound and hope to see you in Prescott this summer.
Glad you are back safe and sound. We really enjoyed your blogs and pictures. It was good to see some of the familiar places that we had seen before. Hope to see you in Cholla a little bit in the summer, else maybe we’ll do a day trip to Prescott.
So happy we were here to greet you in Cholla. Always enjoy your blog adventures . Thank you and welcome back.
Hi Lowell & Frankie
As always enjoyed your Sea of Cortez adventures. It was short this year but you managed to pack a lot in. Hope there are many more.
Best Wishes Richard & Kerry
Your blogs and pictures are so well done I feel like I was on the boat with you! It’s nice to see the places we have previously visited along with some new views. Glad you had safe passage there and back – hopefully we can join you on next year’s trip! We’ll keep an eye on your casa!
Always enjoy your pictures and commentary, I almost feel like I am there.
Thank you for sharing your adventures.
Great to find your blog! We recently met a Swiss couple that was telling us about you and that you were based in Puerto Penasco. We just arrived in Penasco a few days ago and would love to talk with you about sailing in this area with guests who are coming. You can contact me at the above email address. Loved reading of your adventures! Nicole for “Let it Be”