3/19/2013 – Night Passage to San Juanico

We headed out of Santispac on Sunday evening at 1805, just 5 minutes later than planned. As we turned to head north out of Conception Bay, we immediately ran into winds on the nose and an apparent flood tide. Our speed was reduced to 3.3 knots which, if maintained, would put us in San Juanico at about noon on Monday.

As night fell, I could see a large fishing boat working near the mouth of the bay. He had all his halogen work lights on and it was really hard to tell what the hell he was doing. Our relative positions remained constant which is generally the indication that we are going to get really well acquainted sometime in the not too distant future. We eventually got close enough that I could occasionally make out his navigation lights through binoculars. First I was seeing his green (starboard) light so I knew that if I went to the left, I’d pass behind him. I adjusted course a little towards that end but, within a half hour or so I was seeing his red light indicating that he had turned 180 degrees or so and I would be crossing his bow on this course. I adjusted course again to pass to the right (astern) of him. Eventually we got close enough for me to see that his nets were stowed and he wasn’t even moving. Then I saw some kind of machine dumping fish into the hold (I assume). As we passed astern of him, I could see thousands of gallons of water being pumped overboard from the other side of the machine. Clearly he was just sitting there processing his catch. He’d probably just been drifting the whole time I was approaching. At any rate, I was glad to leave him astern.

As we turned the corner out of Conception Bay, we were less affected by the tidal current and our speed increased by a knot. By this time the wind had died off altogether. There was a swell that made things a little uncomfortable but knowing how much worse it could be, we weren’t too bothered. The only downer of the trip was when I looked forward at around 2130 and noticed that the port and starboard running lights on our bow pulpit were no longer shining. The stern light still was though, and, since they are all on the same breaker I was pretty sure what the problem wasn’t. Well, it was dark and bouncy and there was no freakin’ way I was going out to the end of the bowsprit to try to fix anything. It’d just have to wait until we reached San Juanico. It was unlikely that we’d meet any traffic anyway. Just to increase our visibility, I supplemented the stern and steaming lights with another couple of lights on the mast labeled “Bow Power Light” on the original Westsail breaker panel. These lights are red over white and located on the front of the mast near the top. So, now our mast was lit up as white-over-red-over-white. No idea what that means, if anything but at least we were visible. As it turned out, we never saw another vessel the whole trip.

We stayed about 4-5 miles offshore so, when it started getting chilly, we began spending our watches down below, going topside every 10 minutes for a look-around. We even had fog for a little while. We arrived at San Juanico at about 0800 for a 14 hour run. Had no wind until the last hour or so when we got a decent breeze out of the east. Could have sailed but by then, what was the point?

We anchored as close in to a beach on the NW part of the bay as we could get. It was pretty rolly which is how we remember San Juanico being last time we were here. The folks from s/v Rhiannon and s/v Viente Suave both dinghied over and invited us to come into the more enclosed area that had just been vacated by another boat. They said that it gets really rolly where we were and it’s much more protected in between the rocks. Didn’t take us long to decide to follow their advice and move. We entered what is essentially a little lagoon and anchored in 9-12 feet on a fairly short scope (45′) to limit our swing as there are shoals on 3 sides of us and another boat on the other side. The roll is considerably tamed down over here. BTW, if you’re following our position on Yotreps or Shiptrak, I’ve posted both anchor locations. I also updated the message on the second posting, having neglected to do that the first time.

Yesterday was spent doing laundry and napping to catch up on sleep lost during the passage. Our friend Caleb (s/v La Querencia) arrived a little after 1700. Said he had fog from the time he left Santispac at 0500 until well after noon. Today we went ashore to take a little walk. Met several of the other boaters while wandering along the beach.

Supposed to get kind of windy (20 knots) tomorrow so we plan to stay put awhile. We both have a couple of projects to do while we’re here. It’s a little chilly when the wind is blowing but you couldn’t ask for a prettier anchorage.


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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