2/19/2013 – Sitting in El Burro Cove

Yesterday after breakfast, we decided to opt for a little change of scenery by motoring down to El Burro Cove which is still inside the larger Conception Bay and only a couple miles south of Santispac, if that. It was already warm and deathly still when we left.

The day before, we had been facing south most of the day. Unfortunately, this put the solar panels in the shadow of the boom gallows through much of the day so our batteries didn’t get the charge we’d have hoped for. But, no matter, since we were motoring anyway, we could use the engine’s alternator to do some charging on our way to our new anchorage. We had also planned to make water along the way but the water in Bahia Concepcion has been full of an algal bloom the last day or two. It was bad enough yesterday that we were afraid it would plug our prefilters or possibly give the water an off-taste so we passed on making water.

El Burro Cove was a lot closer than I had expected and, before we knew it, we were headed in. Still wanting to charge the batteries, I slowed the engine down to an idle to prolong our arrival. There were only 3 boats anchored when we arrived. Well, there was actually a fourth, a little Wharram-style catamaran but he was anchored so close to the beach that we didn’t really need to be too concerned about him. We opted to anchor about equidistant between the two anchored motor vessels, Pegasus on our port side as we approached, and High Jinx to our starboard.

On our first attempt at getting anchored, we ended up in about the right depth of water but were closer to Pegasus than we were comfortable with. So, we upped anchor and tried again. On our second attempt, Lulu brought us to a good spot between the two boats but, by the time we had the anchor down and sufficient scope deployed, I was kind of uncomfortable with how close we looked to what looked like shallow water. We were in 15-17 feet of water and about as close to shore as our chain was likely to let us get unless we dragged. However, I was still uncomfortable. Finally, I got in the dinghy and rowed over the area that was causing my grief. Tossed the lead lone in and found it was only 5′ deep in the first spot I tried and only 7′ deep a few more dinghy-lengths closer to Siempre Sabado. Too shallow, too close for me to get a good night’s sleep. So we upped anchor and tried again.

This time we decided to go on the south side of Pegasus and the north side of a small mastless sailboat on a mooring. There was more room between these two and we centered ourselves pretty well. We crept in until we were in about 30′ of water, dropped the hook and continued on in until the anchor bit and we were in about 20′. Perfect. Except that the shallows looked even closer here than they had on our previous attempt. After I let out sufficient chain for a 5:1 scope, we found ourselves in 15′ of water which would have been okay if the very shallow stuff hadn’t been so damn close. Again, not conducive to a good night’s sleep. I’d about decided to throw in the towel and go back to Santispac but decided to give it one more try. This time, we stayed a bit further offshore but we were still able to anchor in 34′ of water. By the time we’d deployed enough chain, we were still in 30′ of water and I felt much better. It appears that the beach comes out quite a ways here, staying shallow, and then drops to 17-20 feet for a short distance and then drops off to 30+ and stays there for a ways out. We’re further from the beach than we’d planned but at least we’re in safe water.

All this anchoring and re-anchoring had allowed the batteries to charge up pretty good. The direct insolation the rest of the afternoon didn’t hurt things any either. After hoisting the anchor and around 120′ of chain aboard 3 times, I was pretty pooped. However, Lulu fixed me up with a cold cerveza and a meatloaf sandwich. I made meatloaf Sunday evening, having been unduly influenced by watching the Henrickson family eating meatloaf on Big Love a few nights before. It looked so good and I knew we had a really good recipe that we got from Bill on s/v Cada Dia Mas when we stayed with him and Ellie at their Puerto Penasco condo last summer. We have it listed in our recipe file as “Meatloaf like Bill’s”. And, as good as it was for dinner, we knew it’d be at least that good as sandwiches the next day or two afterwards.

The water between Santispac and El Burro was filled with the suspended algal growth and, here and there, we had huge rafts of red-orange algae or something. We were told by a local that the red-orange scum is fish eggs but I’m not sure whether or not I believe that. Whatever it is, there were huge swaths of it covering various areas.

We rowed ashore in the afternoon and had to walk through a little bit of the scum to get Babalooie beached. We had micheladas at Bertha’s Bar & Restaurant and got the lowdown on movie night. Every Monday evening, a movie is shown at Bertha’s. No charge other than the tip jar but the restaurant/bar does quite nicely since almost everyone that attends buys dinner and drinks. Last night’s movie was going to be “The Sessions” with Helen Hunt and William H. Macy. We rowed back out to the boat and planned to come back in for the movie later.

When we rowed back in for the show, we opted to go to the closest point rather than all the way over to Bertha’s. Much easier to walk along the beach than row against the wind if there was any. The beach is lined with palapas and a few trailers. We parked Babalooie in front of one of the trailers with the owner’s permission and walked down to Bertha’s. For dinner we both opted for chiles rellenos which were excellent. A large crowd showed up for the movie which started about 6:45 or so. I guess the same guy also shows a movie at another spot across the highway on Thursday evenings. Between live music, movies, the occasional music appreciation session, DJ-d music, etc., there’s actually quite a lot of social interaction available in the bahia if one wants to partake of it.

After the show, we walked back along the beach to get Babalooie. I was really glad I’d had the foresight to bring a little flashlight along. We had moonlight but there were still a few spots that needed a little extra light to make them safe. On our way to Bertha’s we had crossed a little dry arroyo on the beach. On the way back, in the dark, with the tide in, the arroyo was no longer dry. We were pretty sure it wasn’t very deep, like maybe mid-calf or so, but you sure couldn’t tell by looking at it. The previously mentioned orange scum covered the water and the only way across was to wade. There were various colors of scum built up and it really didn’t look like something one wanted to put their feet into. But there was no choice. Scummy as it was to wade through, we were rewarded with some truly amazing bioluminescence that our movements caused. Some of the organisms that made up the scum phosphoresced brilliantly blue. Rowing back out to Siempre Sabado was also a treat although the best phosphoresent displays were the result of me splashing on my backstroke so my mistakes were nicely lit up.

It’s very quiet this morning. However, the thick clouds are playing hell with the solar panels and keeping the temperature well below the predicted high of 77. Just about to row ashore to explore our new surroundings a little more.

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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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