4/23/2011 – Still Anchored Bahia San Gabriel

Sure enough, we had a very rockin’ and rollin’ night. Well, just rockin’ actually as the wind kept us perfectly perpendicular to the waves so there was no rollin’ involved. Lulu says that the first night at Bahia Falsa was worse but I think we’re just getting our sea legs back and getting used to it. I’m looking forward to anchoring where we just sit still all night, though. The anchor held us in place like were welded to the bottom but there were still things that kept getting me up during the night. We’ve got the dinghy raised and hanging alongside on the jib halyard. Then it’s tied for and aft with the painter and a stern line. For some reason, the stern line kept loosening up and I had to invent newer and more interesting knots to tie it down with. Ultimately I hit on something that seemed to work. Hopefully it’ll pay off tonight.

Last night, while we watched an episode of Heroes and an episode of Glee and then sleeping, we were doing the laundry. That’s right, we were multi-tasking. Before sitting down for our evening’s entertainment, Lulu put our dirty clothes in a 5-gallon bucket along with 3 gallons of fresh water and a half a cup of ammonia. This is a formula that cruisers Greg & Jill Delesynski swear by. They say that you don’t even need to rinse the clothes. We’ll see. Anyway, we put the lid on the bucket and set it on the aft deck and then let the coromuel-inspired wave action act as our agitator. This morning, we pulled the clothes out of the dirty water and ran them through the wringer that the staff at Silver Crest School got Lulu as a going away present. Then they got hung up on the lifelines to dry in the Mexican sun. Well, they all came out clean and fresh-smelling. Who knew? Thanks, Greg & Jill.


After laundry, we launched the dinghy and went ashore for a little hike. As close as we thought we were to the beach, we are a LONG way out. Further than I want to row, at least until my blisters heal. By the time we were still 100 yards or so from the beach, it was already too shallow for the outboard. So, we got out and pulled the dinghy in while we walked alongside. This would be no problem whatsoever except for one little thing. My outboard, although it runs like a fine watch, leaks gas whenever it’s tipped from the perfectly vertical position. Unless I wanted to drag the prop through the sandy bottom, I HAD to tip it a little. I finally settled on tipping it as little as possible and then holding a rag to catch any leakage. Once ashore I needed a different plan. Ultimately we ended up standing the motor on end on its skeg and then using various pieces of line to hold it upright in that position. Amazingly, it worked but this is an issue which has suddenly moved to the top of the to-do list.

There is supposed to be a trail that goes from the beach at Bahia San Gabriel, across the island to Playa Bonanza on the other side. Hiking this trail was our mission. Once we got ashore and learned to watch where we step lest we get stuck with another puffer fish spine (no longer venemous, thankfully), we put on shoes and socks for the first time in months. The sandy, scrubby trail was just no place for sandals.


The sign at the head of the trail said that it was 5.3 miles long and took about 4 hours. We had no intention of being gone 8 hours but figured we could do better than 5.3 miles in 4 hours anyway, so off we went. Well, the “trail” petered out pretty quickly but it wasn’t too hard to figure out where to go: just stay between the hills and head towards the dip.

The area we were walking on was obviously underwater some time in the past. The ground was littered with old seashells and pieces of coral. LOTS of seashells and pieces of coral. In one place, the ground was completely covered with old clam shells. Must have been millions of them at least.


Later, the predominantly clam shells became predominantly oyster shells. Clearly, this bay extended a lot further inland than it does now. Other than the shells, there were a lot of scrubby-looking plants and a few cactuses. Some of the cacti were even sporting blooms.


After about 45 minutes of walking, we both started to get worried about the dinghy. It was just sitting there on the beach with the outboard tied upright inside it. There weren’t too many people around to bother it but, if we lost it, it would be a very long swim, especially for me, back to the boat. We decided to head back without seeing Playa Bonanza.

The colors as we approached the beach were spectacular. We’re not sure if we’ll ever get used to the beautiful white-turquoise-aqua-blue color transition that happens between the sandy beach and the deep water. It is so pretty. I always figured that there were various filters photographers used to get the effect, but it’s real.


Lulu, nut-case that she is, decided to swim all then way back to the boat. Made me nervous as hell and I hung around in the dinghy until she was safely aboard, but she made it all the way. What a gal!

Back at the boat, we decided we both needed showers really badly. We screened off the cockpit, hoisted the solar shower, stripped down and got clean. The water in the solar shower was almost too hot. Any warmer would have been uncomfortable. The shower felt so good and it really feels good to be clean again. And wearing clean clothes, no less.

Planning on another wild and wooly night tonight and then tomorrow, we’ll head a little further north. Maybe Caleta Partida, a “bay” that separates Isla Espirtu Santo from Isla Partida or, if it looks crowded, we might go up a couple more miles to Ensenada Grande on Isla Partida. BTW, “caleta” and “ensenada” both mean “cove or inlet” while “bahia” obviously means “bay”.


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About sryoder

Steve & Lulu... retired. Had enough of the cold wet dreary fall/winter/spring in the Pacific Northwest. Bought a boat, fixed it up, sold our home and sailed to Mexico in November, 2010. Been here ever since except for occasional forays to the States (summer only, thank you) to visit the kids, parents and siblings. If you're looking for a sailing blog, this is the wrong place. This is a traveling, hunkering in, eating blog. Sailing is just how we get from place to place when we can't walk.
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One Response to 4/23/2011 – Still Anchored Bahia San Gabriel

  1. What a great idea for washing the clothes! We're not yet liveaboards but will definitely have to remember this … no rinsing and letting the waves do the agitating … genius! We really hope to avoid a lot of time (and money) at laundromats. Hope you're not "rockin n rollin" as much tonight!

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