Hiding out in Ballandra on Isla Carmen

Ballandra was just a few hours south and provides good protection from all but winds from the west. Pulling into the anchorage we were the seventh boat and all the spots tucked into the north bay were snagged. We would have take a spot near the middle which, the next day, would subject us to wrap around swell. But on our arrival it was calm. The water visibility was great and after diving the anchor we kicked in towards some rocks along the shore where small colorful fish were found. Nothing crazy but a nice time in the water exploring the shoreline.

The next morning we had some visitors aboard, five of the nineteen Zumba ladies (from Isla Coronado) hired a panga for the day and their first stop was Strikhedonia. Evidently it was a rough trip from Loreto Bay and there was talk of kidney damage from the banging into waves… Oh mother nature, the games you play. After relaxing, the trip was a more distant memory and floating in the warm ocean seemed to further fade those memories. A few hours later their panga driver made a nice lunch for everyone. This was greatly appreciate by Mike and me as after three weeks without a trip to the grocery store our fresh vegetables were nearly non-existent. Another lap around the boat and off they headed to Honeymoon cover where they wanted to squeeze in an afternoon snorkel.

Mike and I chilled for awhile before building up enough energy for a hike. The kayak to shore and a hike across the salt pan led us up what I thought was the path. Well at least the direction I led us was up. And without too many pokes from bushes we found a way to reach the saddle of the hill. Not content to stop we went up a bit sketchy ridgeline that gave us a super view of the bay and all the boats.

In the evening the wind and swell picked up, hitting us on the beam. Nights like this are when I am thankful to have a catamaran as it was a gentle motion and a good night’s sleep. The only kicker was a jackhole motor vessel that pulled in at dusk – just 50 meters away. And yeah he didn’t feel it necessary to test how his anchor was holding. Thankfully there was no overnight drama, but I was up a number of times to keep an eye on things.

Our jackhole stinkpot neighbor in the morning after the wind shifted giving us more space

In the morning we puttered around a bit before making the short trip to Puerto Escondido. Mikes adventure was over. The next afternoon he would fly home and my new crew, Julia, would arrive. His final send off was dinner at Pepigina’s at the marina where we split a couple pizzas and beers. Funny what you start to crave after awhile and pizza was high on our list. Dinner tasted great and the company was even better. Joining us were the crews from Stray Cat, Volare, and Perspective. We had met Brad and Sara (Perspective) shortly in Santa Rosalia and then for a couple of minutes in Santispac but this was our first real chance to hang out. Not having seen Stray Cat since the Multihull rally last spring, stories of grand summer adventures were shared and hopeful plans to cross paths exchanged. The night grew late and hopping into the dinghy we were lucky to have Volare’s dinghy (with nav and a headlight light) to guide us through the darkness back to our boat.

It was a great start to the season, and I’m grateful that Mike could join me on this adventure. I mean really, who volunteers to three days of hard labor in 95 degree temperatures, to help commission someone else’s boat? And for that I am beyond appreciative.

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