San Francisquito & Santa Teresa
A good sized northerly blow was threatening us in a few days time, and while we were somewhat protected where we were on Isla Salsipuedes, it wasn’t the best. And, if we stayed, we would have been stuck there another five days or more while the blow… well, blew. So, a couple days before the wind was to visit, we decided to move on and find an anchorage better suited to the forecast.
Less than 20 nautical miles directly to our South is the anchorage of San Francisquito (“San Franmosquito” in my language. Kerri still corrects me every time). We had not stopped in to this one on the way up the Baja coastline, so visiting it was always on our radar. This passage, of course, took place when there was no wind at all, so the Perkins got to take center stage once again for the three and a half hour voyage. Nothing of note took place during that time, we just got to where we wanted to go while allowing the engine to recharge our battery bank.
Still open to the north, we knew we could stay only a single night at San Francisquito before moving around the point to another anchorage better protected from north blowing weather. Any day of travel usually ends on doing little else afterwards. Once Meriwether is anchored we are usually just preparing and eating our dinner, a quick happy hour, and then straight to recuperations. And that is exactly what we did, with the addition of a short period of socializing as a neighboring duo came over to say hello and to use our Starlink to send emails home and get the latest weather reports. We are happy to provide this little service, Kerri has even set up a separate “guest” network on ours for any who need it.
The following morning we dropped the dinghy into the salty waters and rowed to shore. Rowing seems less effort than setting up the motor and trying to avoid breaking a prop, so I opted for yet another row, no big deal. We then set out for a quick hike up and down the shoreline to explore what there might me to explore. Just the typical piles of trash, a few of the usual shells and bird carcasses of course. So is the way of exploring remote beaches in Mexico. The only thing exciting was the sandstone formations a few hundred yards through the bush, so we bushwhacked back there to check them out.
It was at this time I talked Kerri into sailing off anchor. This wouldn’t be the first time, but we do not do it often. Kerri is still uneasy about the whole situation, as we are sailing while our ground tackle is still down… I get it. I talked through the plan, and escape plans A and B, and tested that the engine would start to help ease the tension. A few minutes later we had our mainsail up and were raising the anchor. Each time the boat would face the shore I would ask her to stop raising the anchor. The boat would slowly tack through the wind and point back out to the open waters where she would continue. The final time that took place we had only 50 feet of chain down in 25 feet of water, but I knew the boat would face the proper direction, which it did. Kerri quickly raised the rest of the anchor and we were off… under sail. Once the anchor was secured, we rolled out the headsail and picked up speed. It was a perfect sailing off anchor maneuver.
This 3 mile voyage would actually be a 5 mile sail. We had to sail around the point and get to the correct angle to jibe into the bay we would set anchor. Easy-peasy, but for a pesky current that was pushing us south at a good clip. With a few minutes to go we dropped the sails, cranked up the Perkins, motored into our spot, and dropped anchor in waters of Santa Teresa. So impressed were our neighbors that we got a prolonged horn honk as we departed. Booyah!
We would spend the next five days anchored off Santa Teresa while the big northerly blew past. We were well protected, and alone all but the final night. We explored the beach once again, enjoyed our own private sunsets over cocktails, got a few minor projects completed, and overall just enjoyed some peace and quiet while the weather threw it’s tantrum.
After five nights we woke at 3am to get to our next destination some 70+ miles away. It would be an all day voyage (about 14 hours) so we were starting as early as possible. The only problem was a 45 minute delay as we fought off repeated sea-monster attacks while hauling in our anchor. These massive balls of seaweed were so heavy as to cause the electric windlass to strain pulling up each before we could cut them away with knives (one broke, and another fell in the water) and our bare hands. Eventually we fought off the monsters and were able to set sail. South we go… with a stinky anchor locker.