Monday, March 11, 2013

Isla San Francisco

 Isla San Francisco is the picturesque spot on the cover of “The Sea of Cortez” cruisers’ guidebook that we have been looking at for the last two years as we dreamed about this trip. Yesterday we got the same picture on our camera, except that this time Solar Wind is one of the lucky boats in the anchorage. Need we say more?

Getting to this nice spot (21 miles north of our last anchorage) qualified as a very good day. We took off at the relaxed hour of 10 am and by 11 we were flying the spinnaker in comfortable 10 to 15 knot winds right on course and trailing our fishing lines. An hour later, we heard the “zing,”  again confirming that the trick to getting a bite is to find something “other than fishing” to do. Lanham was washing solar panels, Melinda was cooking lunch, Scully was steering. We brought in a beautiful dorado, got it filleted and refrigerated and continued on the spinnaker run all the way to our destination. Another feast from the sea, and some for the freezer.

The wind has kicked up in the two nights we’ve been here. We tried the anchorage on the east side our first night, due to the forecasted wind direction. Now we have moved to the more populated southwest anchorage, with good protection from the northwest wind that runs about 20 kts at night.

 In general, the fairly routine northwesterners’ worry about dragging anchor in wind and currents is nonexistent here. You feel the difference immediately as the anchor digs deep into the sand and holds fast and firm (most of the time?) We have gotten used to not hearing the anchor chain roll over rock throughout the night. So there was some unexpected excitement when a neighboring 30-foot boat woke up on the beach the other morning. The occupants were able to sleep through the ordeal and went out hiking for the day since there was nothing to do until the tide came in about 4 pm. Then with help from a couple other dinghies, it was rolled over further with a line pulling from the masthead and on the rising tide they floated off. In this bay such excitement seems to come from anchors collecting a bunch of slippery sea grass that can build up over time and prevent the anchor from resetting. We have been keeping our computer on with an anchor alarm at night and rising a few times to check on wind speed, direction and make sure everyone around us is still where they were when we bedded down. This morning one of our neighbors started dragging anchor and drifting toward us when a nearby boat alerted “the fleet” before any damage was done. We are looking out at the white caps today and think that we will stay put and stay alert!

The ridge top trail here on Isla San Francisco affords views in all directions. Wish you were here!

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