Punta Pulpito is so named due to the way the land juts out forming a long, low spit. At its point, the rock rises abruptly, almost 500ft high, into what looks like a preacher’s pulpit. Most folks bypass this cove, traveling from Concepcion directly to San Juanico, a long 53 mile trek, whether you leave from Santispac in the south or Chivato in the north. Pulpito, while small, cuts 8 miles off that journey. (Doesn’t sound like a lot… but it is for us, on average, almost 2 hours!)
As we rounded the corner of the pulpit, wind suddenly whipped around the point and blasted us before leveling off inside the small anchorage. We didn’t end up going to shore - too tired after a long day of wrestling the boat downwind for 10 hours. That low spit forming our little bay isn’t very high and the wind funneled steadily through it from the northwest onto our boat all night.
Pulpito’s shoreline is all rock; I didn’t see a beach easy enough to land a dinghy without puncturing our inflatable – but we didn’t try either…next time. Large rocks piled at the water’s edge seemed to abruptly plunge into the sea. With all those rocks, we were surprised at the anchor-friendly, sandy sea floor. We could ease the boat crazy-close into shore, while still maintaining 15ft depth. So the all-night winds weren’t a bother: wind waves were minimal, we didn’t get any swell and for some reason, we didn’t seem to wildly swing on anchor like we normally do in high winds.
Pulpito is now a favorite - it was well protected from the north with straight-forward access, sandy bottom and no lurking obstacles (rocks/reefs were well marked). We feel able to enter it at night if needed since we’ve been inside already, as long as it was unoccupied. Plus, no one seems to want to take advantage of this little gem; we had it all to ourselves. Maybe we’ll just skip San Juanico altogether next time.
The next day we sailed to San Juanico - a short, easy 8 miles. It was windy all damn day; good for sailing, not so great for shore side kayak excursions. The wind kicked it up a notch just after our arrival, like it was waiting for us to anchor before it unleashed its vengeance. So we remained aboard all day. Outside the protection of the bay the “buffalos” were roaming. "Buffalos" are what boaters here call large, white-capping waves… about the size of a buffalo. A mile distant, we could see their furry white mounds on the horizon, marching single file south. Imagine slamming your car into a 5-7ft high buffalo at 10 miles an hour? Again and again and again…and again…and again. Not fun. When the buffalos are roaming out in the sea, well… you just stay put.
A Day in San Juanico
Another minor rolly night in San Juanico due to wrap-around swell. Up at the crack of dawn the next morning, we contemplated getting the heck out of dodge. Not a sliver of wind, but the buffalos were still visible, doing their thing. So we opted to stay put another day. We enjoyed the wonderfully calm, albeit cloudy and cool, weather. We paddled amongst dramatic geological formations all along the north shore. We met and hiked the dirt road with “Sea Angel”. And I finally added my tree ornament to the famed cruiser’s shrine. (In June, we had to abandon the anchorage to run from the hurricane, so I wasn’t able to add our memento.) Thankfully, it was calm all day and the buffalos dissipated, smoothing out the bay for a good night’s sleep and an even better following day.
On down to Isla Coronados – Nov. 24th
TODAY was our first day (since we’d left on the 8th) of “Mexico weather”. Ahhh… a balmy, warm breeze… rippling seas… a ripe sun. Now THIS is Mexico we remember from last winter. Where have you BEEN? We pulled into the south anchorage at Isla Coronados into 16ft of clear, 75-degree azure water. Perfection.
Rounding the corner of the island we notice “Impulsive” raising anchor. Acquainted from the Ha Ha, we hadn’t seen them in a year. So we quickly threw the kayak overboard and paddled over to say hi before they left. They end up staying as we offered to assist them with a refrigerator problem. Eventually failing on that count (didn’t have the right hose nozzle for refrigerant), they still invited us to stay for dinner. We enjoyed a lovely, becalmed evening under a full moon. All conversation ceased while graced with a moon-lit dolphin drive-by!
Puerto Escondido: Halfway to La Paz…or thereabouts.
Wednesday Nov. 25th, the day before Thanksgiving. It was only a 4 hour trip to Puerto Escondido, but during that period it went from sunny and flat… to 5 kts, just windy enough to lazily sail in blessedly calm waters for an hour… to no wind again… to harsh, grey sky with wind building… to rain. RAIN? I don’t think we have ever had to stoop to sailing in rain since the Chesapeake. What is this weather coming to?
An American Thanksgiving
We were lucky enough to be invited to Thanksgiving dinner aboard “Impulsive” with “Scoots” and had a great time! Both sailboats were participants with us on the Baja Ha-Ha last year and are heading out with the Puddle Jump rally this March to Fiji and beyond to New Zealand. Brave souls. We wish them safe travels.
What did we eat for Thanksgiving? Nooo, not turkey tacos. These two boats are big enough to have real kitchens…with counter space…and actual appliances. So “Impulsive” impressively cooked a butterball turkey breast, brought all the way from Cosco in Puerto Vallarta. We also dined on mashed potatoes, stuffing, vegetable casserole, artichoke dip and rolls. I brought coleslaw and layered bean dip. Let’s just say we ate ‘til we were stuffed and drank ‘til we were over-stuffed. But the best part was freshly-made pumpkin pie courtesy of “Scoots”. And no-kidding real whipped cream made with that high-tech thingy called an electric mixer! (No… I can’t have one of those…no room + not enough power = wooden spoon + my arm).
Stuck in PE
After that… we were stuck. Thanksgiving was the only non-super-windy day for an entire week. I have some awesome photos to prove how calm it was, for that one day…