Just Like That Season 3 Is Over

We had several weeks of challenging weather forecasts in the Northern Sea of Cortez this year.  We regularly check 3 sources of weather and many times they would all be completely opposite. So, some days it felt like a bit of a crap shoot as to what we were going to get.

Downloading weather using the satellite phone

This was the case with our trip from Santa Rosalia. The forecast was for winds from the south, excellent conditions for the trip. What we had was a nearly, wind free, foggy passage to Bahia San Fransiquito with our buddy boat Salish Dragon alongside. The radar proved to be invaluable. We felt like we were in Oregon again. If the rain pants and coats weren’t buried in a locker somewhere, (they haven’t been used since Alaska), they would have come in handy.

Wall of fog we are about to enter
Salish Dragon exiting the fog bank

Then it was on to Puerto Don Juan to wait out a few days of big winds. Once the weather broke, we doubled back towards Animas Slot. On the way there, the winds picked up and with the leftover waves from the previous windy days it was a somewhat uncomfortable trip, so we bailed out to Punta Alacran.

It turns out this was a good decision. Not only did we avoid the lumpy seas, but we also got to check out a new anchorage. There is a resort here with 8 pretty nice-looking yurts, resident caretakers and a beautiful beach. We could hear sealions barking on a reef a couple of miles or so out in the bay. We took the dinghy out to get closer look, they were very curious to check us out too. We had great fun watching them swim, dive and jump all around us.  It was amazing!!

Alacran Wilderness Resort
Wilderness resort yurt
Lounging sealions
Playful and curious

Animas Slot is a small anchorage barely big enough for our two catamarans. With high rock walls on three sides we felt like we had discovered a secret hide away.  We think this spot goes on the list of our top 5 anchorages. The next day we saw a small pod of orcas. We had heard there were orcas in the Sea of Cortez, this was our first time seeing them. We figured they were headed for the sealion smorgasbord.

From here we sailed up the east side of Isla Angle De Le Guardia to Puerto Refugio. A rest day here and then the over night run of 107 nm to Puerto Penasco. A night in the marina to wash all the salt off the boat and sails and start on the chores.

Steve and Tracey from Salish Dragon
Flowering cacti
Entrance to Puerto Penasco
Shrimpers at the repair docks
Out of the water for hurricane season

We spent a couple of days decommissioning the boat, then took a quick overnight run up to Phoenix. Steve and Tracey came with us too and caught an early morning flight back to Vancouver the next day.  Since we plan to fly back in October, it was more convenient to pick up some of the larger items in Phoenix.  We had placed an order with West Marine for new flares, bottom paint and a few other things. For some reason airlines don’t like rocket flares on board. We spent another couple of days putting the boat to bed. We had to take off the boom and will get some replacement parts for the gooseneck. Then a 3-day drive back to Vancouver.

We took a different route home this time.  It was 40 deg C. in southern Arizona. We took a quick stop at the Hoover Dam to have a look, wow, water levels are really low.  We stopped in for lunch at Mark and Patty’s house in Reno, it was snowing!  The snow continued off and on through the mountain passes between Reno and Oregon. It’s a little crazy to go from 40 deg to -2 and snow in 24 hours.

LOW!!! water at the Hoover Dam
Mark and Patty from Agave Azul and snow in Reno
It’s May, you have to be kidding me!

We were getting regular updates on Derick’s mom who suffered a stroke a few days ago and sadly, she passed just before we got home. Its a reality of this lifestyle, that we are away from family for long periods. While we are saddened that we could not be there we are comforted knowing she passed peacefully.

We will spend hurricane season in the Vancouver area and expect to return to the boat in October. Further updates when we get back on the water.

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