Anchoring Punta Santo Tomas

Strikhedonia needed a little break from marina life so off went the dock lines and south we headed. With hurricane Linda off the coast, the swell was from the Southwest with light winds leaving us motoring the entire way. I had hoped that we would see a bit of on shore breeze once we cleared Cabo Banda.

Maybe it was the optimism of raising the sails which jinxed us but the outcome was not much added push. A mellow swell, the grind of the motor, and a beautiful hot and sunny day made for a great day on the water, wind or not.

Around 4:00pm we squeezed around the point of Punta Santo Tomas dodging the patches of kelp. Not as bad as around La Bufadora but still requiring a lot of zig and zagging to get inside the bay back to the anchorage near the fishing boats.

The bottom is mud/sand but with the limited space getting the anchor to set was a challenge. We took four attempts and a 5:1 scope before we could get any stopping power from the anchor. After running both engines up to 2,400 RPM for two minutes we called it good and cracked open a couple beers to help enjoy the evening.

Relaxing evening on the water

Gorgeous sunset

The next morning, up with the sun as is normal, I see a fishing boat approaching. Eh, no biggie. They probably want to sell some fish or are just taking a look at the new neighbor. As they get closer I can tell this isn’t a social visit by the three Mexican marines aboard, two with automatic weapons. Oh joy. I holler down to my friend Jeff that we have company.

The inspection turns out to be much ado about nothing. ID checks, my phone number, a question about how much the boat is worth (???) and a peek in a few hatches amounts to the extent of their interest. Surprising since they drove 90 minutes on dirt roads to get here… As they were finishing up I asked to take a group photo which was quickly declined. Damn.

Videoing my boat as they head back to shore

It wasn’t until they were back on land that I see the three Humvees (two mounted with 50 cal turnets) and 18 soldiers. All for little old us. Maybe it is good I didn’t see that before they arrived…

A relaxing day of bottom cleaning, swimming, drinking cervza seemed reasonable after all of that excitement and poof the day was gone.

A few nicely grilled steaks and a movie to end the day tied things up nicely. Oh, we did feel a bit guilty watching a movie since it was probably visible from shore and the fishing village doesn’t have power. Maybe that is what got the marines called.

Late in the afternoon the wind shifted and caused our anchor to unset. Lest you think I don’t give enough respect, I do use Anchor Watch to give me some peace of mind overnight. Plus the first night I would get up every hour until around 2:30am to check on our position.

Everything was great for about 24 hours, until we started getting pushed out into the kelp. Which led to five attempts to reset the anchor – guess it was good that it happened with daylight. With the hook finally reset and my confidence in it staying set low, I spent the night checking every hour. And while we made loops around the anchor, it remained set and happy all night long.

The next day we powered back up to Ensenada. Whether it was the current or the clean bottom (or both) we managed about one knot faster going North. Coming up to Islas de Todos Santos, I noticed a sailboat anchored on the South side of the South island, which surprised me as I didn’t think there was any place suitable. We made a loop through the small bay to check in out.

We didn’t get close enough to gauge the depth but the chart plotter made it look possible (assuming there wasn’t a risk to wind shift overnight). Something to investigate on a future date.

Clearing around the islands, there was a slight breeze so off went the motor and up went the sails. We started the 10nm leg on a leisurely 2.3 knot pace but the winds picked up the closer we got to the harbor and were seeing 5.5 knots before dropping the sails and returning to the dock.

It was a great three days out away from all the noise and dirt of the city. Not sure if I would go back given the poor holding but still nice to know there is a fun spot to chill and have a beer. Or grill a steak.

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