As we were heading out of the Puerto Escondido entrance, we noticed that Honeymoon Cove South, 1 mile south of the original cove we had unsuccessfully tried to squeeze our way into a week ago, was empty. Score! The south cove had been occupied a week ago so we never bothered to scope it. Our intention had been to travel up to Ballandra on Isla Carmen today... we immediately veered off course.
Gliding towards the entrance, we began to see bottom at 40ft, it was that clear. With the place all to ourselves, we anchored in 10ft of water and could not help but be distracted by its utter sparkling clarity. Even Brian was so immediately blown away with the view he had me come up on the bow, while anchoring, to watch the fish and marvel at how you could see the anchor set from 50ft away. We stared at the flat clear water in amazement, tons of pufferfish floated and darted along the surface and small stingrays skimmed the bottom. It literally looked like a pool: aquamarine water wrinkled in sunlight.
A mile of yakking
The wind started to pick up and ended the pool-like clarity with wavelets forming. So we got in the kayak and paddled 1 entire mile, against the wind, to the north bay, the original Honeymoon Cove where we’d tried to anchor before. It seemed to take forever but in reality was probably about 45 minutes. Worth it! We slid up into the beautiful, sandy cove, hiked up on the rocks and took some gorgeous photos of the bay from above and of our boat one mile in the distance.
But our reverie couldn’t last long. We were there a mere 30 minutes. Then Brian kept looking at the boat, nervous. The wind had swung Indigo so she looked closer to the rocks; A LOT closer. It sure looked like she was dragging... had we left too soon? The anchor was set upon leaving but when the wind swings opposite the anchor has to reset itself… you hope. But we’ve been here long enough now to know we are waaaay too far away to tell this for sure, things have a tendency to appear much different from far afield or at a different angle. Still... it just looked close, so we hiked about another 15 minutes and then went straight back, fast, against the wind again. Of course when we arrived home Indigo HAD swung opposite, but nowhere near the rocks. Not. Even. Close. Distance distorts. Distorting distance can drive one to drinking.
Before lunch, we wanted to quickly snorkel over to the west reef tip where we saw lots of fish as we entered the cove. But as soon as we got in the water, things kept bumping into us. We felt these little transparent objects, like the size and hit strength of a plastic bead bobbing around, whacking us as we swam. Jellyfish! I could not see them, but I could feel them. They didn’t sting, yet, maybe they were too small? But the closer we got to the reef the more we ran into. Bam… bam… bambambam. They were everywhere. Disconcerting.
So we abandoned the snorkeling idea and swam back to the boat. We did see a large ray on the bottom, probably 3-4ft across. We followed it… and it noticed… and went faster… and I followed some more to try and get a photo… and it went even faster, whipping around on the bottom… so we stopped. No need to agitate the thing to come after me.
Back on the boat, the sun was at just the proper angle to illuminate the water surface. We could finally identify what creatures we’d been running into. The jellyfish were about the size of a 1/2 dollar, and absolutely transparent unless lit perfectly by the sun. Also showing up in the sun-dappled waters were these round dots, the size of a pomegranate seed, and iridescent blue. They permeated the waters seemingly every few feet, skimming the surface and hovering at all depths, like floating stars. Brian thinks these are some type of water bug. On top of that, string-of-pearl jelly fish glided on the surface like little hairs, everywhere.
After that insight, I did NOT feel the need to go back in the water. It seems each bay has its variation of sea creature population. But I think I need me one of those full-length, lycra snorkeling suits and a swim cap with the amount of critters milling about in these warmer 84-degree waters.
We watched instead from above, hanging over Indigo’s rail like little kids in our own personal aquarium. Fish darted back and forth, nibbling on the anchor chain as it shifted along the bottom and stirred up goodies underneath. I loved watching the pufferfish. Usually seen skimming the bottom, here a rogue agent or two would paddle around on the surface, spinning its mini flippers and propelling itself back and forth 180 degrees, again and again. They seem like little distracted puppydogs. OK spiny puppies. Ones you would not want to cuddle. Still cute.
That evening was perfection. The wind died to nothing and we were able to sleep soundly all night = happy campers. In the morning, I made chocolate chip pancakes since our distance to travel that day was to be only 10 miles. We sat again drinking coffee and marveled at our luck of finding such a perfect anchorage with such perfect water. I keep saying perfect… because it was just that. Other than not great snorkeling due to creepy water creatures, this was the purest water we’d observed thus far. Honeymoon Cove is aptly named.
May 26th Bahia Marquer - Isla Carmen
Since there’s no more getting fuel from here on out, conservation is key. This means we must sail now, more often than not, even if we don’t want to. Today it took about 3 hours to go 10 miles to Bahia Marquer on Isla Carmen…decent sailing most of the way. When we arrived at the anchorage, we just didn’t feel like going ashore. Too tired. Plus, it got pretty windy out so we didn’t want to get in the kayak. Instead, I made a chocolate cake (Duncan Hines mix) with homemade frosting for Brian’s birthday. It wasn’t ‘til tomorrow, but I didn’t know if I’d have time tomorrow... Gotta make hay.
During the 2-hour cake-baking extravaganza, dolphins came to play in our bay. They hung out about a boats length away from us for a while, left and came back several times, swimming amongst us and the 5 other boats. We relaxed in the cockpit, watching the dolphins cruise around and reading books and generally had a very nice quiet evening. For dinner I made jambalaya: onion, green pepper, box of tomatoes (yes you can get canned tomatoes and other canned veges in tetra-pak boxes down here), minute rice, green onion, 1/3 of a kielbasa, ½ can pinto beans, bayou blast. Awesome. Then we had cake. And watched Alias.
As I was getting ready for bed, standing in the bathroom, something hit me on the back shoulder and I flicked it off thinking it was a strand of hair but knowing deep down it was too forceful to be just a hair. I heard something hit the wall (hair doesn’t make noise) and then saw it on the towel handle and started yelling. It was a huge cockroach! Brian said it was a palmetto bug… whatever; it was huge, as big as my thumb. I freaked out. Wide-eyed and trapped in the tiny bathroom, I kept aacckkking and pointing, paralyzed. Brian came rushing in, recognizing my typical bug behavior pattern. I threw toilet paper at him and he was able to kill it without it disappearing down under the floorboards. My hero.
Funny enough, NOT… the same exact situation happened the following night. Getting ready for bed, in the bathroom, this time one hit Brian. (Let’s just be honest and say I’m glad it wasn’t me again.) All I heard behind the door was a lot of flailing around as he whacked doors, walls and floors, hurling a lot of expletives at something I hoped wasn’t me. He came rushing out and we could not get to that second one in time before he disappeared. He must be on those Lance Armstrong steroids, just too fast…We tore the boat apart; but we never did find it. Oh, how I LOVE living in nature…. Oy.