I’m sitting here in the cockpit on this Saturday morning, watching the rising sun illuminate the other boats at anchor and the hills behind them. I’ve got my first cup of coffee, it’s 70 degrees with a soft breeze and I’m ready to bring you up to date.
We departed Agua Verde yesterday about 1030. Our destination, Bahia San Marte, was a short 8-mile hop away. It would be a little closer but for the fact that there’s an extensive network of reefs just under the surface guarding the entrance. Fortunately, they’re well documented in Shawn & Heather’s book so we gave them a wide berth. This bay has good protection for all the quadrants of the compass except the lower right (east to south). Since the normal summertime wind pattern is out of the south, maybe that’s why we’d never heard of San Marte before. We’ve obviously sailed past it a number of times but this was the first time that conditions, both weather and scheduling, made it a likely candidate for a stop. The fact that it’s so close to Agua Verde, a standard anchorage along the way, also makes it an unlikely place to stop. However, since we are on a slow track this season, it worked out great for us. There were two boats here when we arrived. We scooted in closer to shore than they were and dropped the hook in 15′ of water. During our swing around the anchor, the shallowest water we’ve encountered so far is 9.5′. That’s plenty deep enough to keep us afloat and the bottom is sand, so no worries. However, I did set the depth alarm to notify us if we get to 7′ of water, during low tide for instance. That might cause us to move out a little further. But, until then, we’re snug as a bug.
We rowed ashore yesterday with the idea of maybe getting wet. Well, I wandered out to where the water was on my upper thighs and decided that was plenty. Every inch that the water crept above my knees had me cringing. I’m such a wuss about cold water. However, we found plenty to keep us occupied without swimming. The beach is littered with skeletons. Mostly puffer fish but a few birds and such as well. This one skeleton that still had some skin and such on it had me wondering until I spied the barb on what must have been its tail. It was a pretty large stingray. The barb was about 7″ long. I decided that this was a rare opportunity and harvested the barb.
Meanwhile, Lulu was looking for shells. She found a bunch of the tiny little shells she likes but the trouble was, they were all moving around. There are more teeny tiny little hermit crabs here than you can believe. In places we had to be careful where we stepped to keep from crunching them. I found one shell that she really liked. You see them in shell shops sometimes. The surface is smooth and looks polished. There is an unusual purple color on its edges. And, of course, it has a hermit crab inside. She brought the shell back to the boat but has yet to figure out how to get the crab to abandon it and find other lodgings. Tried putting it in fresh water and tried just leaving it out of the water. Neither has worked. Don’t want to use anything that might mar the finish on the shell so, I suspect she’ll just have to wait until it dies inside and then try to figure out how to get the carcass and resulting smell out. It is a mighty pretty shell.
After breakfast today we’re going back ashore to do some hiking to stretch our legs and then what else the tide pools have to show. Saw a couple of small black sea cucumbers yesterday and I’m sure there’s lots more stuff once we really start looking. Haven’t checked the weather predictions yet so I’m not sure how long we’ll stay here. The next several anchorages down the line are also exposed to the lower right quadrant but, as long as things remain mild as far as wind speed and swell direction, no problem.
Almost time for the Sonrisa Net to start on the HF radio so I’d better get this sent off so I can listen to the net.
Have a good Saturday.
Sent by Sailmail HF radio e-mail.