5/21/2012 – Puerto Peñasco

So far, we’re loving Puerto Peñasco or Rocky Point, as it’s also called.  That’s not to say that coming into port wasn’t a bit nerve-wracking.  We were heading to Shawn & Heather’s waypoint which was just off the entrance to the harbor.  However, it looked like we were headed right for a big huge rock.  Funny how perspective can change when you’re on a boat.  Lulu and I kept peering through the binoculars trying to make sense of what we were seeing and also trying to find the opening to the harbor.  We finally saw a couple of boats head in and, by following their progress, were able to figure out where the inlet channel was.  It looked like, if we headed to Shawn & Heather’s waypoint, we’d be dashed up against the rocks to the south of the actual entry.  So, I adjusted course.  When we finally started making our final approach to the channel, I’ll be damned if we didn’t sail right across Shawn & Heather’s waypoint.  I tell ya, things look way different out there.

We entered the channel and started trying to find the Fonatur marina.  In the guidebook, it’s pretty straightforward but once you get in there, it’s a different ball game.  We did finally find the Fonatur marina but it’s really small and we couldn’t see an empty slip.  At least not for sure.  So we tied up alongside a big steel charter party boat on a very rickety dock.  I went ashore to see if I could find someone from Fonatur to show us where our “reserved” slip was.  I managed to find someone, explained who we were and they showed us “the only slip available”.  Well, this baby was way too narrow for us to pull into.  There was another slip next door but it was supposedly reserved.  I now believe that it was reserved for us but the weekend crew didn’t know that.  Anyway, the Fonatur staff told us to go ahead and pull in there and, when the other party showed up (which was probably us), they’d just have to take the narrow slip.

It took a bit of fancy maneuvering to first back out of the temporary slip we’d taken and then to get into our new slip.  Things are just a wee bit tight.  But, it went smoother than we could have hoped for and soon we were all tied up and hooked up to shore power and wifi.

Our neighbors to the rear of us are a bunch of old shrimp boats.  I have no idea how many of them still actually go out but two did leave the first day we were here.


As luck would have it, the first folks we met here, other than the Fonatur staff, were Bill & Elli on s/v Cada Dia Mas.  They’ve had the boat here for a year and a half working on various systems.  But they’re ready to head out and may actually depart tomorrow.  They have a condo south of town and spend a lot of time here.  They gave us a tour of Puerto Peñasco in their Jeep and then we all went out to eat.

Today, Lulu and I went on a little exploratory trip around the town on foot.  I must say that Puerto Peñasco is a pretty sweet little town, at least so far.  There are a lot of gringos here because it’s only 60 miles from the US-MX border.  You can drive to Yuma, Phoenix, or Tucson in 3.5 hours.  As a result, there are a lot of US expats here.  The town is a little gringo-ized but really not too bad.  Like I said, it’s a pretty sweet little town and we’re looking forward to exploring it further.

So why don’t more cruising boats visit? We very well may be the first cruising sailboat that’s come in here in over a year.  What gives?  Well, first off, everyone seems to be scared off by the warnings about the extreme tides.  This is low tide today, and it wasn’t a minus tide or anything:


Siempre Sabado is the boat with the green canvas awning.  Look at the size of those pilings!   Those big round concrete things?  They’re submerged under at least 6′ of water when the tide is in.  But, as low as the water was in this shot, we still had 9.5 feet of water under our keel.  Besides the tides, one of the other factors in cruisers not coming here is that there’s really no place to safely anchor.  You could anchor off the beach but, because of the hellacious tidal range, you’d have to anchor way out.  And, there’s no protection from  anything out there.  No, if you don’t have a slip in a marina, forget about PP.

But, we do have a slip in a marina, paid up for a month, so we’re enjoying the heck out of the place.  I’ll give more details as the month wears on but right now it’s bedtime and my eyes are really scratchy so you’ll just have to wait I guess.


BTW, if you posted a comment in the last couple weeks and your comment was wanting a reply, I have now replied to all of you, as far as I know.  Go check it out.


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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10 Responses to 5/21/2012 – Puerto Peñasco

  1. Hooray for Wifi! Glad you made it into the marina with not too much difficulty. There is sometong missing from this post though….oh yeah! No description of food. Are you starting there or what? 😉

    • sryoder says:

      Give me some time. We’re certainly not starving here but neither have we gotten into our groove yet. But have no fear, you’ll be reading about food soon.

  2. bud elkin says:

    Many of us that lived in Arizona in the late 60’s early 70’s used to go down to Rocky Point to hang out. Not that I ever participated, but pot was extremely cheap and plentiful there. The only thing that bothered us at that time was the Federales that walked up and down the beach with AK47’s in hand. It was a real nice place to visit back then. It appears from your report that it hasn’t changed! I mean the scenery!

  3. MWhite:LittleCunningPlan says:

    So how did you reserve that slip? Looking forward to seeing more photos of sunny Rocky Point. Know what we have up here? Two guesses and the first one doesn’t count. 57 degrees and pouring rain. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow and the rest of the week. No end in sight. Things sure are green around here. That’s me putting a positive spin on all this wet stuff.

    • sryoder says:

      We went to the Fonatur website and clicked on Puerto Peasco. All the contact info was there so we e-mails Eduardo and asked for a slip. he said there was no problem and a slip would be available when we got here. When we decided to move the date up 3 weeks, we e-mailed again and he said there was still no problem. That, of course, doesn’t necessarily mean there really will be a slip when you arrive but it worked out OK for us.

      Sorry about all the wet stuff but glad it’s you instead of us “enjoying” it.

  4. Bev Harrison says:

    Wow, 6 ft OVER those pilings!!! Hard to imagine the mooring rising that much! And those shrimpers are sure wedged in tight! Oy vey!

  5. JGattheSea says:

    Welcome to Puerto Peñasco and the RockyPointTalk forum! You will find some great folks in this little town! Enjoy the RCPM concert …. we will be heading down for it as well! … Enjoy and save some margs for the rest of us! Mark & Russ are great locals to help you learn about PP and on saturdays 12-2pm you can listen to the Rocky Point Ramblings on 106.1 fm and here Rosie and Russ show. Enjoy!

  6. JGattheSea says:

    Oh and forgot….. ask about Chari’s (Ladyjeeper) potluck this weekend and Mark about the Bird Island Trip for local charity… and you will meet a great bunch of regulars that know Rocky Point! Cheers!

  7. Russ says:

    Welcome to Rocky Point I know you will fall in love with it like so many of us have! We are full time fully immigrated and live in town now for over 6 years rarely finding a reason to head north of the border! Enjoy our little town!

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