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.

June 18, 2012

Anchorages in review - Los Gatos (April 9 - 10)

Distinctive red rocks of Los Gatos
Easter Monday:  up and about, checking in to both the Sonrisa ham radio net and the single side band Amigo net.  Geary's weather update wasn't coming in too clear as we prepared to haul anchor and bid adios to San Evaristo.  Engine on at 08:05 and we were underway by 08:20, calling Bill and Linda on the VHF to say adios and wish each other "fair winds".  Our vessels were  headed in opposite directions for now.  The anchor and windlass had worked well, but Kelly was beginning to think the repainting of the anchor chain at various depth intervals was contributing to the problem of the windlass 'tooth' catching.  Perhaps the paint was being flaked off and sticking?

San Jose Channel had a slight swell running southward as we turned left and northbound, with either Timbabichie or Los Gatos as our destination, 26 and 28 nms respectively.  The winds were forecast as NW 6 - 7 knots, but we had light SSE winds most of the way.   That meant motor sailing to keep our progress at 5 knots.  Dolphins passed us heading south.   As we headed in to check out the Timbabichie anchorage about 13:00 hours we enjoyed the company of a few more.  This anchorage is more exposed and open to the east and south east; as as the winds had been "easting", we chose to continue the remaining few miles to Los Gatos.  

Timbabichie - open to the east and south 
Dolphins passing by
We prepared to drop the main and head into this anchorage, which was surprisingly empty.  A sailboat which had been well to our starboard and seemingly headed up the channel, was now changing tack and headed straight towards us.  Strange tactics to employ, as it was obvious we were in the midst of dropping sails.  Did they suddenly decide they wanted first pick of the spots?  Did they want to anchor right on Shawn and Heather's recommended way-point?  In any case, we picked up the pace, secured the main and spun back around to head towards the mid point of the anchorage. Los Gatos has a fairly long and usually submerged reef extending north from Punta Botella on the south side, as well as one further in which separates the southern part of this bay into two lobes.  The rocks were now the distinctive red that warmed up the surroundings and set off the blue of the water and the sparse green vegetation. 
Looking northward with campers on beach and sailboat at anchor

View southwest across sandy beach
We were second-guessing the winds at this point.  Would they continue with a south - southwest flavour?  We decided they would and dropped the hook in the prime spot just east of the red rocks which jut out from the western shore.  Anchor down at 13:40, facing ESE by the time it set.  We will wait and see how things unfold.  That curiously acting vessel continued in to the anchorage, checked out the campers on the north beach, then headed back out and north.  Eventually two other sailboats arrived, choosing the northern side as well.  Perhaps their weather crystal ball had received an updated weather fax?  The vagaries of choosing a suitable anchorage add to the adventure.

The day was becoming hot!  80 degrees F as we put up our sunshades; the water was actually 72 degrees F, the warmest we'd had so far.  It was so tempting to jump in to cool off.  A lazy afternoon, a treat to relax and enjoy the distinctive scenery and contemplate the upcoming days of our trip.  We were only here for one night.  The lethargy that set in decided us to admire, rather than hike the surrounding rocks and shoreline.  On our first visit, we had joined friends on the shore and climbed the smooth faced rocks and walked the extensive beach.

Cattle at the shore - we wondered if they actually drank the salt water?
We did feel the refracted swell which cruising books advise is common here; again our flopper -stoppers smoothed out the motion.  As dusk fell we spotted small 'fins' poking out of the water off our stern;  our thoughts were they might be either small dogfish, or the tips of small rays.  By the time the sun had set and we were settling in for the night, we decided we'd picked the better side of the anchorage.  Our neighbours to the north were rolling considerably more.  Sometimes you get it right!

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