Loreto (again) and El Refugio

As planned, but naturally, a day late we left Ballandras and motored across the channel to Loreto.  The open roadstead anchorage was decently calm so we dropped the hook in 10′ of water and went to shore to take care of business.  A couple of hours later the trash was dropped off, groceries acquired, and an attempted stop in the dive shop was foiled by the date being Sunday.  This being Mexico though, Two out of Three ain’t bad!  We holed up on the boat for the hottest part of the day, then once the sun went down went back to town for dinner.

The next day we tried the dive shop again. Bingo!  Two Lycra swim suits, snorkel fins for Brian, lightweight dive gloves, tubing for the spear gun, and a color filter accessory for the go pro later we walked back to the boat psyched that all item on the to do list were checked and we were ready to set sail again.

It was starting to get lumpy and windy by the time we were ready to go, so naturally something had to break.  As I was pulling the anchor up onto the bow roller the breaker popped, leaving the pointy and heavy anchor swinging precariously on the bow. I ran downstairs to reset it, only to have the same problem at the next attempt. Bah!  By the third try I realized that twist in the chain was forcing the anchor onto the roller with rollbar down instead of the typical up and jamming up the whole business. Bingo. I grabbed it with the boat hook and eased it sideways while Brian mashed the up button.  Success!  (Note to self, next time we’re in such shallow water, wait a minute after breaking out to let the chain untwist before raising.)

After the anchor drama, we had a fun downwind sail to El Refugio, a really neat anchorage that looks like a V with the sides made by light colored rock cliffs.  Widest on the ocean side, the cliffs funnel down to a small, perfect white sand beach at the head of the bay.  It’s Just barely big enough for Two boats, and the crew of the catamaran in there when we arrived graciously scooched in closer to shore to make room for us. Thanks Gato Loco!

We spent one very rolly night at anchor in El Refugio, then in the morning hit the beach to suit up for some sea cave and reef exploration.  It did not dissapoint.  I had to work up some nerve to swim into the cave, but am glad I plucked up the courage.  There was plenty of airspace above the waterline so it was plenty safe, and the colors were different than the sun drenched reefs we typically see from the surface.

We swam until we both got too cold to continue and headed back to the boat.  While it’s beautiful, it’s just too durn rolly to spend another night, so off we go to Painted Cliffs, another reputed beauty spot 8 miles around the corner.

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