S/V INTREPID II - Cape Dory Intrepid 40

My photo
Intrepid II is a Cape Dory Intrepid 40 sailboat, hull #2, designed by Chuck Paine and discovered by the Captain in Blue Hill Maine in 2006. The crew are Kelly (Captain) and Carol (Admiral and Blogger). In 2009 INTREPID II embarked on her West Coast journey from Victoria to San Francisco, the Baja Sur Peninsula and into the Sea of Cortez. In 2010/2011, we sailed ifrom Guaymas, south to Bahia Banderas and back. In 2011/2012 she left Guaymas, headed south to La Paz, spent three weeks at anchor on our northward journey and rested on the hard in San Carlos. Her 4th, 5th and 6th seasons were Boat Projects related. Season 7 - we are hoping to cruise again at long last.

February 24, 2012

Aqua Verde (25 31.425 N, 111 04.419 W)

Aqua Verde was one of several anchorages we looked forward to exploring this season.  It lies south of Puerto Escondido and is in the cruising area near Loreto area marine park.  We chose not to stop at Puerto Escondido, as we had adequate fuel and water.

Isla Danzante - a sleeping dragon
After the thrill of  the large pod of Bottle nose dolphins keep us company for over 20 minutes, we continued on with our motor-sail.  We viewed Bahia Marquer, which is more of an open indentation than an actual bay towards the south west end of Carmen. Our position on the water showed the characteristics of Isla Danzante, which tend to resemble more the 'sleeping dragon' silhouette than that of a dancer.

Roca Solitario at the entrance to Aqua Verde
This route had us bypass Los Candeleros, the three 'candle stub-like' islands we had skirted on previous northward sails. As the mid-day winds picked up, we started to watch for Roca Solitario, which is a prominent  rock outside the entrance to Aqua Verde.  The seas started to develop a swell and some chop.  We were glad we'd left in ample time to enjoy a pleasant, rather than insistent wind.  Looking into the anchorage we made out some catamarans anchored for scuba diving near one set of islands.  Several sailboats pass by both north and south, all of us with differing agendas.

Aqua Verde is a small fishing community and prized for its beautiful turquoise green waters. The fact that it has both north and south lobes, offers protection in various wind conditions, except from the east. Roca Solitario also offers excellent snorkeling and diving  opportunities; if and when the weather goes above 68 degrees! We had rolled up the jib earlier, then turned INTREPID II into the north east wind to drop the main once we entered the bay.  The bimini offers us protection from UV rays, but obscures seeing the wind direction from the helm.  Suddenly the mainsail was dropping to port in great folds, straining our Dutchman lines past the breaking point.  Kelly managed to tidy up the mainsail (with a few editorial comments).  We motored on towards the north cove wondering if we could find a suitable spot inside the reef.  There were three boats in prime spots and pangas filled the space in front of the beach.  (Note:  The mono filament lines were shortly re-threaded through the mainsail and tucked into their pocket; all was well.)
Aqua Verde looking east

Pangas and Buildings on north beach
INTREPID II  at anchor in Aqua Verde
Closer in to shore our perspective improved.  We anchored close in, checking with the folks on nearby boats for the scope they had out.  Our challenge also included a charted rock lying some 8 to 10 feet under water in prime anchoring space.  Aqua Verde wasn't quite what we expected from its rave reviews.  In this north cove, the hills rise high to the north west, blocking the view of sunsets and the hills to the south east.  Though offering good wind protection, they block the sunrise.  However, we deemed that a small price to pay for calmer waters and reasonable wind protection. Soon we had a visit from Greg and Janet and boat dog Atajo, who had arrived just after us and chose the south cove for the night.  They had departed from Guaymas in early January and we enjoyed comparing notes on our activities since that time.  Atajo has the honour of being our first onboard canine visitor.

The following day we dinghied ashore with hopes of stretching our legs on a long walk over trails noted in the cruising guides. Closeup they certainly appeared more like goat trails, offering limited footing up and over some of the nearby ridges.  Our hike therefore was more of a meander with stops for photos and to admire the various view scapes and perspectives.  Onshore there are two buildings which appear to be occupied by members of the village fishing co-operative.  It does not appear that the "Aqua Verde Yacht Club" is even a virtual site any longer.  The fishing folk have raised up wire fences to indicate the structures are in use.
Panga and fishing shed off our stern
Beach cliffs
We have now met George, captain of  the SV Susie.  We'd heard of this capable fellow, often single-handing, over the past 3 years, yet never crossed paths.  He has a unique radio presence in describing his mechanical crew and we were pleased to finally have a chat with him after his arrival. George left later on Tuesday afternoon.   His presence was replaced by three motor vessels of varying size and one sailboat to keep us company.

Kelly took the water temperature - a cool 65 - 66 degrees, decided it wasn't about to warm up much, nor would he have calmer waters to check the propeller and zincs.  Into his westsuit, then into the turquoise waters....brrr!  Surprisingly, the water is not overly clear, but once under the boat he could see that all was well.  No growth on the propeller and the zinc was in good shape.

Good news - the prop and zinc are in good shape
Tuesday was Valentine's Day.  We celebrated by preparing a flavourful meal including a small steak we'd saved for the occasion and a bottle of white wine. Salud!

No comments: