Ahoy from Puerto Escondido, Mexico!
My last log was from Agua Verde, which was absolutely beautiful. Despite it's beauty, we needed to get moving, so we headed to Puerto Escondido, which was only about 17 miles away. In the anchorage we had 3 kts of wind, but once we got out into the Sea, we had about 10 kts, pretty much on the nose. As we motored into it, the winds continued to build until it was blowing 30-35 kts and I said "Lets just turn around." as it was going to be another 3 hours of bashing into this stuff, and that didn't sound like fun. So we turned around and a few minutes later Sue said "I was really looking forward to eating out tonight." so I suggested that we head towards the shore where the mountains would give us shelter. It took a while to get there, but when we did it was relatively calm and we put up all of the sails and had a great sail to Puerto Escondido.
Puerto Escondido is a natural hurricane hole, providing 360 degree protection with mountains on one side. There are actually two anchorages, one outside of the basin which is called "The Waiting Room" and a huge basin which contains 119 very widely spaced mooring balls and you can also anchor in there. You have to pay wherever you stay and the rate for anchoring is the same for a mooring ball...Interesting!
The view that these anchorages provides is outstanding, particularly in the morning when the east facing mountains are lit by the warm light of the rising sun. It's definitely my favorite time of the day. One thing that we really wanted to do, but didn't due to my coming down with a GI issue, was a hike through the Steinbeck Canyon. Next time...
One of the other major attractions in the area is the town of Loreto, which is about 15 miles away. We rented a car with S/V Endorphin to explore the area. Loreto is a pretty town with a Mission, some beautiful hotels, a Malecon (boardwalk), but it basically devoid of tourists. As I've said before, there's no security issues in the Baja, but the press has scared the tourists away. I don't know how these businesses survive. My experience with Mexican's is that the vast majority of them are hard working, friendly people who don't deserve what the drug cartels are doing to their economy and country.
While we were in Agua Verde we got to know Dan, Lisa and their 5 yo daughter Savannah from S/V Endorphin and we had a bunch of time to get to know them better. They're a wonderful couple and we really enjoyed getting to know them. On Sunday morning the ladies and I went to the farmer's market (which was more like a flee market with meat and veggie vendors). We stocked up on veggies and Sue & Lisa even tried fresh Chocolate clams and I got a lesson on shucking them. All that I'll say is that I should keep my day job...
Now that I'm more or less vertical we're ready to continue our trip N. From here we'll probably head to Isla Carmen and then on to Isla Coronados, which are close to here.
-- Geoff & Sue
For the cruiser:
Puerto Escondido charges the same rate for anchoring in the basin as they do for picking up a mooring ball. The rate is dependent upon your boat length. For 30-40' it's $3.57 pesos/ft/day and then there are charges for Internet, showers, etc. For us, a 40' boat, it ended up being $13.67/day.
Note that free water is available at the docks. I would NOT make water or swim in the basin.
Organized hikes through Steinbeck canyon seem to be held on Sunday mornings and are lead by local cruisers who have been through it before. I was sick and couldn't go, but it sounds like a very interesting and potentially challenging hike.
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