Thursday, April 27, 2023

Nice, Easy Day

Isla Coronados, Sea of Cortez

We (Intermezzo and I) dropped anchor here at Isla Coronados just past 3pm after a nice, easy 18nm motor from Puerto Escondido. It's a beautiful spot, my first time here. I had just enough time to do a little exploring on land until it was time for dinner.

We got a late start because the metering and payment system at the Marina Puerto Escondido fuel dock wasn't working when we arrived around 9:30am. I asked how long it would take to get it fixed and the response was "20 minutes". The answer seems to always be the same in Mexico when something is broken. Rarely is it fixed in anything remotely close to 20 minutes. Sometimes it will take all day to get something working. I wanted to top off the diesel tanks, but had plenty enough fuel to make it to the next fuel dock at Santa Rosalia, so I could have forgone fueling. However, my rule in Mexico is "if you can buy fuel, buy it." So I decided that I would wait until 11am and, if the system wasn't working by then, I'd leave. Sure enough, right at 11, the fuel dock was back in service. I departed Puerto Escondido 2 1/2 hours later than planned, but with full tanks.

As we left the harbor, we were "waved at" by several mobula rays ("Devil Fish") doing somersaults out of the water. Later we passed within a few feet of the largest mobula I've ever seen, swimming just below the water surface, I'd say over four feet, wingtip to wingtip. I'm very fond of these beautiful creatures and love their hydro-acrobatics.

The weather today was sunny, clear, with light variable winds and calm seas. The air temperature on the boat was 79°F (26°C), but it felt cooler. It was just comfortable wearing shorts and a T-shirt, any cooler and I would have been a bit chilly. It was cold in the northern Sea of Cortez when we sailed there in late April 2017. I hope it doesn't get that cold on this trip, but I would prefer cool weather to sweltering any day.

Isla Coronados is a volcanic cone island. There are a few white sand beaches, but most of the shoreline is composed of red-brown and black volcanic rocks and cliffs, interspersed with desert vegetation. We're anchored in about 20 feet of deep blue water, the color of which changes to green and then turquoise as it shallows rapidly towards shore.

I took the paddle board to the beach (so much easier to launch and land than the dinghy) with my hiking shoes and socks in a dry bag. I jogged along the sandy trail leading to the foot of the volcanic cone and then scrambled up the well-marked rocky trail for about a half an hour, getting about one-third up the cone before turning around. It was good workout and the views from the slope were beautiful.

When I got back to the boat, I jumped in the water for a swim among a giant school of fat sardines, as the pelicans dove all around me eating their dinner.

It was a good day.

Tomorrow is another relatively short sail to Caleta San Juanico. 

View of the Isla Coronados anchorage from the volcano's slope
The trail up the volcano

Isla Coronados from the sea