The Payaso of Evaristo

I was told by my co-captain – who does all this sort of research – that the prevailing wind changes around this time of the year. We were hoping to be riding those sweet, sweet, southerlies all the way up into the Sea of Cortez by now, but the upcoming week was not going to be the week the wind would switch, so we had to plan our anchorage accordingly. It wasn’t that long ago that we were pinned down in an anchorage for a week due to constant, angry, northerly winds and we would be pinned down once more, this time for 9 straight days with no break in the blow.

The village of San Evaristo, and its bay, was only 9 miles across the channel, back on the Baja mainland, and had great protection from this upcoming northerly. We arrived after our visit on Isla Coyote and a couple hours of motoring. Only a single other boat had dropped anchor in the bay, and we anchored a respectful distance ahead of them. We normally prefer to anchor ahead of others as we trust our anchor tackle, and can not trust other’s gear.

Evaristo – the village – spans the length of the crescent shaped bay with structures lining the beach and a surprising amount further behind in the cactus. There were even a couple supplies (mostly cookies for me) where we were able to pickup a few extras to tide us over for a long period. At the southern end of the beach was a small shack of a restaurant, which we sampled multiple days in a row. It was a little slice of heaven after weeks of solitude. Ove the week we hiked around, ate out a few times, socialized with neighbors, spoke to those that would tolerate our still extremely broken Spanish, and just relaxed as best we can knowing that our clock is ticking to a summer haul out deadline.

By the very next day other boats began to pull into the anchorage. First it was a couple of our new acquaintances, then a few more, and a few more. Each were doing exactly what we were doing; waiting out the blow in the best spot available. Within 48 hours of our arrival the bay went from two of us to more than a dozen. Things were fine. Everyone spacing themselves nicely to allow for swing room with ample room for others to anchor if needed.

It was half way through the week long blow when I poke my head out of the boat just before sunset and spy a 40-foot chartered catamaran from La Paz parked a single boat length off our bowsprit. I was speechless, and anyone that knows me knows just how impossible that is. Why they decided to anchor directly in front and so close I can not understand. Directly to Meriwether’s starboard was protected waters with no other boat anchored for hundreds of yards. Another half dozen boats could have fit to our starboard without worry, but this ‘payaso’ (spanish for ‘clown’) parks it so I can play with his kids while standing on my own boat? S’rsly!

We exchanged a few words – me telling him to move in the nicest possible way but leaving nothing to misinterpretation – and he set about to moving… only to have an anchor tackle malfunction. He was now stuck in front of us, unable to pull up his anchor and sitting on top of ours. Not only can he not move, now we couldn’t pull up and move either. Remember why I said we like to anchor ahead of other boats as much as possible? This “captain” {insert eye roll} is in a boat that he doesn’t know, didn’t have to pay for, and won’t have to pay for the damage he causes, he gets to fly back to – oh, I’m going to say SoCal – next week no matter what. We, on the other hand, are in our only home, that he is trying to sink – grr. It took an hour but he finally was able to haul up anchor and move. The following day, as all the full time cruisers left their anchor stuck firmly in the sand, this guy motors out into the heavy weather, thankfully never to be seen by us again.

We finished up our stay without any further incident but for the failure of our anchor bridal. The line, used to dampen the tugging of the anchor chain on the boat, had finally met its match in the week long wind. All the tugging, and rubbing on a bracket, finished it off. Luckily, we had a spare and thanks to other Baba owners we had met recently, we had a new idea how to do a better bridal/snubber that should prevent this from happening again. 

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5 Responses

  1. Rob says:

    When I next hear the term “sleepy Mexican fishing village” I know what picture will pop up in my mind. I hope to winds do what you want!!

  2. Rick says:

    Beautiful place and good blog adventures. I like the F.Y.A. San Everisto entrance gate. What is it?

    • Tim says:

      Hi Rick. Not really sure to be honest. I appeared to just lead into a residence. We did not go beyond it to see.

  3. Rochelle LaRose says:

    Eager to know the details of your Baba snubber solution!

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