While our cruising grounds are not exactly over-run with resorts and well marked channels, we are certainly not exploring uncharted territory. Sometimes poorly charted territory that keeps us on our toes, but Captain Cook would not be impressed by our GPS enabled adventures.
In particular, we have a gospel guidebook “Sea of Cortez, a Cruisers Guidebook” by Shawn Breeding and Heather Bansmer that tells us exactly where to go and where to anchor.
Pretty much everyone sailing around here has the book and uses it religiously. Unless you’re alone in an anchorage, you can bet that someone will be anchored exactly on top of their recommended GPS coordinates, and the other boats will be arranged around them. It just makes sense. When you’re sailing around your home with all your worldly possessions and there is a reliable set of anchoring coordinates complete with entry instruction, most people (including us) don’t mess around with the risk of uncharted reefs and rocks. You just go where you know its safe.
We finally broke the mold at Playa Santispac in the lovely Bahia Conception. The beach is a great anchorage, and is, of course, recommended by “the book”. However, its open to the south, and there was a lively little southerly blowing as we approached. It didn’t look toooo bad, but the other boats were hobby horsing around and the waves were large enough that we weren’t enthused with the spot. Capt Brian wisely noticed that an island about a few hundred yards off the beach was creating a nicely sheltered patch of flat water on its Northern end. We motored over and discovered that the island was steep to, with a nice 30′ flat bottom extending across the wide channel. Works for us! We dropped the hook behind the island and sat in the flat calm water while the wind whipped the areas outside of the islands lee into nice little whitecaps and made the boats on the beach dance.
We were feeling quite smug about our anchoring expertise until we realized that anchoring so far away meant a loooong wet dinghy ride to shore for dinner at one of the 2 totally irresistible beach front restaurants. Oh well, at least we slept well!