At long last we have a wifi connection again, as we are at Marina Singlar in the town of Santa Rosalia with some opportunities to connect for email and blog updates. It is not working well on the dock, but we can head up to the “cruisers’ lounge” and plug in with some success. This is being written in segments, and hopefully posted by Easter Sunday to ensure you have our greetings.
|Santa Rosalia - our furthest stop north on Baja California Sur (bay south of Mulege is Bahia Concepcion)|
Santa Rosalia is known for its history of copper mining and for the French business interests who established claims. According to our cruising guides, the Compagnie du Boleo developed the operation, importing wood, engines, rail cars and labour from various sources. Working conditions were apparently not as good as could be hoped for, one of the less favourable aspects of the industry. After WWII the price of copper fell, the company was shut down, a Mexican company briefly ran it, but in 1986 the plant was closed. From what we have seen in our brief stay, there is tourism to some extent, fishing and the ferry to Guaymas to keep the town alive.
At the moment we don’t have a good, consistent Internet connection on the dock, so we will have to backtrack again to fill in the blanks with our travels and haul the old ‘lug-top’ up the dock to upload pictures – we appreciate your patience.
Briefly, after we left Puerto Escondido, south of Loreto, we sailed over on St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) to Bahia Salinas on the east side of Isla Carmen to met up with our Whiteshell II friends Lue and Claes and Joey for a long awaited reunion. We explored the abandoned salt mining village (it now has a small tourist lodge and caretakers), and then we went separate directions, INTREPID II heading north, Whiteshell II southward. A very pleasant interlude!
Weather - those abundant “northers” have kept us moving or waiting – often having to bypass anchorages we’d picked out to ensure we’d get to a more protected one before winds grew too strong. That just means we’ll have new places to visit on our next cruise, if the winds cooperate at that time.
On March 19th we left at 06:30 am for an 8 hour trip to Caleta San Juanico – 40 nautical miles north, and a good protected anchorage, for most winds . We chose to bypass Islas Coronados as the norther were moving in more quickly than called for the day before. There were blue whale spouts, some dolphins, pangas, fishing boats – enough activity to keep us watching and taking pictures as we motor sailed our way through the day. We arrived at 14:00 (2 pm) to find the best spots taken in the sheltered coves, but found a reasonable compromise and put out our flopper-stopper to soften the swell from the SE. More about this good anchorage in a separate posting – and yes, the northers came on schedule!
Monday, March 23rd we raised anchor for a 9 nm trip to a stark, quiet anchorage – Punta Pulpito - to reduce the next day’s passage. One other boat, SV Relax, shared the anchorage and we had a reasonably quiet night, spotting the space station passing overhead, thanks to information from another cruiser. March 24th – up early and leaving at 06:45 am– ok – so not that early – towards Bahia Concepcion – about a 9 hour trip – and mostly wind on the nose. We had some company along the way as several boats were headed in the same direction.
Playa Santispac, within Bahia Concepcion, offered the best wave and swell protection from the north, although the winds do blow through. We dropped anchor there, in company with Keetya I, our friends Kim and Rob from back home. Our plans to up anchor and move to El Burro Cove or further south changed with the winds, but we explored by dinghy and hitch-hiked into Mulege on Friday for a quick tour, banking and Internet. A good time was had by all over the next few days and by Monday night we were preparing to move on.
Tuesday, March 30th, we were on our way by 07:45 am towards Punta Chivato which promised a ‘great shelling beach’ – a 23 nm trip or 4 hours. The winds chose to strengthen from the SE – so, no longer a protected anchorage. This turned a 4 hour trip into 9 hours, as we chose to keep moving up to Santa Rosalia. The winds aft were helpful but not quite strong enough for a speedy trip. It was getting rolly and swelly as the afternoon wore on but we arrived at a good time to call ahead and the Singlar marina answered (finally) that there was dock space for us. We were met at the dock by Carlos and new cruising friends who have made this stay very enjoyable.
Marina Singlar (the government agency is Fonatur) here in Santa Rosalita is quite small, but offers cool showers, laundry (only $1.50/load compared to $3.00/load in Puerto Escondido) and has the skinniest dock fingers we've seen in a long time. It is clean and maintained and we have only a 5 or 6 block walk into the main part of town. We've been here since Tuesday and will watch the weather for our next passage, which is to cross the 76 nm of the Sea of Cortez to the San Carlos/Guaymas area. We then will explore that area and hopefully convince Singlar Guaymas that we do indeed have a reservation for INTREPID II for dry storage (another story for another time).
Now – time to post this and get on to the details and hopefully some pictures of each of our stops along the way.