Sunday, May 8, 2016

May 5, 2016 - Isla Coronados

We left Bahia Marquer on Isla Carmen and made the 2 hour trip back across to the mainland, and the town of Loreto for some provisions.  Loreto is a very nice little town with a lot of character and charm.  Many Americans have retired here, so there are America-like facilities which definitely makes shopping an easier experience.

Loreto has no marina, so you have to anchor out in front of the town and dinghy into the panga fisherman's basin, located behind a breakwater.  The anchorage is exposed to most weather, so it can be a difficult place to stop.  We had calm conditions however, so it was once again an easy stop for us.

Look in the letter "e".  That little dot is our boat, Adagio
All the fishing Pangas lined up behind the breakwater.  Pangas are everywhere
in Mexico.  It seems odd that we never see these versatile boats back home.

A whale shark sculpture.  The breakwater is visible in the background.

We walked up to the Telcel store to see if we could figure out why our USB internet device quit working.  Unfortunately, this store was too small to help.  We then walked to El Pescador which is a nice grocery store.  After that we walked a few blocks, with our food-filled backpacks, over to the Super Ley.  This is a very large grocery store, like any you would see back in America.  We loaded a shopping cart, checked out, and then caught a cab back to the dinghy dock.

We saw our new friends on s/v Tigress and stopped to chat for a few minutes.  As we were hanging on to the side of their boat talking, our dinghy slipped away a bit too much for Cindy, who was standing on our dinghy tube while hanging onto the catamaran's side.  She ended up hanging from Tigress's side, feet dangling just above the water, while we worked to get our dinghy back under her.  It was a funny event, and we all had a good chuckle.  Sorry, no picture got taken of that....

Isla Coronados is one our favorite spots in all of Mexico.  The bright turquoise water could be from a post card.  The white beaches are the best anywhere in the area.  Warm water for swimming and snorkeling only add to the experience.  Plus, there is a volcano to hike here.  We didn't hike it this time, having done so just a few weeks ago, as well as last year.  We did take a stroll along the trail that meanders through the flat portion of the island and connects both sides of the islands together, as well connecting the two biggest white sand beaches.  While we were anchoring we saw what we at first thought was an underwater rock.  It was a dark black mass which contrasted greatly with the bright blue water.  A minute later we realized it was moving and figured it to be a large school of fish.  Only after we finished anchoring we realized that was a huge school of manta rays!

Walking the trail that connects the two side of the island.  This is the other side.
The black mass is a large school of Manta rays.  Spectacular!
Clear water and hundreds of rays.  A great combination.
A ray jumps right next to our dinghy.

We were treated to rays jumping for several days.  We ended up in the dinghy floating over the rays multiple times.  It was an amazing experience that we won't soon forget.  Mexico is a cruiser's paradise to be sure.

Flyin' High Again!
Fascinating creatures.
The tourists in this panga are getting a close look at the rays 
A ray jumping near Cindy.  She was out on the surf board.

We met this nice young man, from Guaymas MX while checking out the rays.
We will see him again in Puerto Escondido for Loreto-Fest.

Rays swimming under our dinghy

A video compilation of rays jumping around us

Manta ray jumping 

Kevin does a little "tow-surfing" on our surfboard, towed by the dinghy
Cindy's turn to have a little high speed fun.
When we arrived in the anchorage we noticed a very nice 62' Offshore (that's the brand name) yacht.  It was named Adagio.  It didn't take long before we heard something new to us on VHF ch 16;  Adagio, Adagio, Adago, this is Adagio, over.  We moved to another channel and had a laugh about sharing the same boat name.  Bill and Michelle are from the San Francisco area but have been living aboard cruising for 5 years now.  Bill is a retired airline pilot but might start flying commercially again later this year since he says he really misses flying.  

The "other" Adagio.    A very immaculate Offshore 62'

Not long after we met the couple from Adagio, a stunning Nordhavn 60' named "Daybreak" motored into the bay and anchored near us.  As we admired the boat we noticed that it's home port is Bow, WA.  That's about 10 miles from our home in La Conner.  Then I (Steve) remembered that our friends Earl and Louise mentioned meeting a couple from Bow, while they were here in "the sea" for 5 years.  We were ready to go to the beach and decided to swing by to introduce ourselves as neighbors, and to see if they knew Earl and Louise.  They do know our friends Earl and Louise, and they do live about 10 miles from us back home.  Jerome and Karen insisted we come aboard.  We visited for hours and had a great time.  We never made it to the beach that afternoon.  We found out that they thought they would be in the South Pacific by now, but their John Deere/Lugger diesel had been throwing an error code and it took the technicians quite a while to diagnose the issue, which turned out to be minor.  The delay was enough to force them to cancel their crossing of the Pacific Ocean, and they will do it next year instead  So, we might very well see them back home this fall.  Jerome and Karen are very nice people and have lived in Skagit Valley (home for us) for generations.  In a "it's a small world" experience, when Kathy found out that Jerome was the CEO of a construction company, with a familiar name to Kathy, she mentioned a software company she used to work for as a computer programmer, writing construction management software.  Jerome knew that software and said they used it for over 20 years and only recently moved onto something else.  Kathy likely wrote some of the software that Jerome's company used to manage their projects.  Small world.

m/v Daybreak, owned by a couple that live just 10 miles from our home.
Jerome is fishing up in front of the pilothouse.
We took Karen from Daybreak to shore one afternoon to look for shells.
We didn't find any shells, but we did find this.
My, what big eyes you have.  And what big teeth you have.

The next afternoon another boat we know came into the bay.  The catamaran "Jollydogs".  They invited us over to help finish a keg of beer.  Nice!  Mark and Isabel brew their own beer onboard and needed help emptying the beer from the last batch, so they could reclaim the keg in order to brew a new batch.  Always willing to help a fellow boater in need, we headed over to do our best.  Several hours later we returned, defeated.  There was still beer in the keg.  We tried but just didn't have what it takes.  Oh well, maybe next time.

We spent a wonderful afternoon on our favorite beach, the one at the south end of the island.  The kids skim boarded a little, and we all played in the warm water.  The water temp is near 80 is some of the shallower bays now, so swimming and water activities are much more inviting than even a few weeks ago when the water was noticeably colder.

Cindy getting ready to float around
Relaxing in the shade on a warm afternoon.
That same day our new friends on Tigress also arrived.  They invited us over for dinner the next night.  They had just been in Loreto a day before picking up their friends that live in La Cruz (our favorite Mexican cruiser town).  It was a great evening with David and Elena and their friends Begonia and Pedro.  The time flew and we didn't leave until after 11:00.  Ooops, that was a late night for us.

Tigress, anchored in front of Loreto a few days before.
We pulled anchor at 7:00AM headed for Loreto to grab some free wifi so Cindy do submit some home school assignments and take a test online.  Papers submitted, and a 100% score on her test meant we were free to leave.

Next stop, Puerto Escondido for Loreto Fest!

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