Several miles north of Los Angeles is the expansive bay of La Gringa, hard to miss with the facing hill covered with white painted rocks ‘ WELCOME TO LA GRINGA’. An interesting small tidal lagoon at the end of the spit was reported to have good clams which we were keen to investigate. A solitary camper parked several hundred metres down the pebbly shore the only other occupants. Just 10 minutes of scrounging found us with a few kilos of clean clams, – spaghetti ‘vongole’ Mels favourite Italian dish was now just a few hours away.
The local Amigo radio net at 0715 local time on 8122 Khz had all the usual gossip etc, we don’t check in but the general chit chat can sometimes be interesting. At 0730, Don, somewhere up toward San Diego gives a weather forecast for the region, of some interest at the moment as hurricane ‘Hillary’ slowly intensifies well south along the Mexican Rivera, with reports of 160 knot winds and 40 foot seas, it is good to be well north, though there is the warning that within a week it may recurve eastwards into the Sea of Cortez, no doubt well diminished with the cooler Pacific waters but worth keeping an eye on. With the numerous protected bays, and almost completely enclosed ‘Hurricane’ hole of Puerto Don Juan, the possibility of 40 knot winds of no real great concern. Most of the anchorages are in fine sand providing good holding .
Today we will wander back south towards Ensanda el Quemando, about an easy 8 miles. We had passed this anchorage last week and, again, the long sandy beach looked very enticing. BJ’s 5th birthday is on the 27th so we will be in the, generally, busy Puerto Don Juan to try and scrounge up a few party participants. The grapevine has it that there will the last ‘pot luck’ dinner on the 29th, a chance to see who has been in the area before most cruisers start moving south at the end of the hurricane season.
Yesterday we had a visit from Tom and Laurie from California, they left a year ago, he a retired policeman from Berkely. We appreciated his candid comments on the use of guns as BJ (as most boys of his age) is fixated with shooting things – perhaps our extreme animosity to them, and consequent lack of toys with any relation to them made a lasting negative impression.
4th October en route El Pescador to San Carlos
Bj’s birthday party – OK two extra people was (we think) a success, Mel made a wonderful dragon cake and there were a few presents to hand over. New friends from Eyoni, with a 6 yo daughter Zada made for some fun, apart from the usual mum and dad. The ‘pot luck’ was interesting as some 20 yachts all brought in some grub, mostly retired Americans that spend the summer in the Sea of Cortez and wander off for the cooler months – some had been doing the circuit for several years. The anchorage at Don Juan is a suitable ‘hurricane hole’ but without a long stretch of white beach we moved on directly back to El Pescador – for us ideal. Eyoni came along a day later so we ended up with a delightful beach BBQ, calm, clear water, just a couple of yachts, miles of white beach – if there was a surf break nearby and I would be happy for many years.
This morning an early start, with another, typically peaceful morning, the forecast Northerly picking up to 15 knots giving us a comfortable following breeze. By mid afternoon it had died again so back on with the motor – we hooked 4 Mahi Mahi and landed 3 so Mel busy filleting and filling the freezer – enough for 2 weeks of meals. Mahi Mahi are really a gift from heaven, while not being a religious family we always say a kind word of thanks to these amazing fish, their iridescent colours rapidly fading as they die, which, without fail, makes us sad. Huon still finds the thrashing fish very strange and upsetting – not a bad attitude to have. At our current 6 knots with a light Westerly we will arrive in San Carlos around daybreak, a treat to head in for a cooked breakfeast and internet connection.
Both Mel and I find the return to ‘civilization,’ after several weeks of anchorage a tranquility a bit unnerving with the pace of life shifting into high gear (all relative but for our us ‘high gear’ is anything over 6 knots). We move ashore in a few days with the planned haul out of Sonrisa on the 10th, I will don my overalls for the long list of chores.