|High and dry|
Two anchorages, two different experiences. Puerto Don Juan was for us, a pit stop. A continuous breeze and a pair of good books kept us tucked in our cockpit during the 2 days we spent there. Don Juan is known as a hurricane hole. While it is that, we have been considering other options too. It is a fairly large space, and we envision many boats would end up there. There is such a thing as too many boats in a hurricane hole, during a hurricane.
In Don Juan, there is also what’s called a careening beach – a steadily sloping beach once used for careening boats – you would manoeuver your boat to the shoal waters, let the falling tide lay the boat on its side in order to make repairs or repaint the bottom. Once the tide would rise again, the boat would be refloated. (Tides are fairly drastic here.) With the increasing commonness of boatyards throughout the Sea, I haven’t heard of many boats making use of it anymore. There is also a wrecked boat above the high tide mark, it’s been there for some time, but we don’t know the story behind its misfortune.
While we were in Don Juan, we experienced another chubasco – after a few challenges, we got over the chubasco. (Our boat regrettably dragged a short distance and we began to re-anchor during a lull in the wind, as we felt too close to our neighbour.) This is challenging at night, in a storm: Lightning, while showing you the surroundings for a brief moment, also wrecks your night vision. Eventually we were well anchored once again. We heard on the radio nets that some of our friends anchored in nearby La Mona had more excitement: Our friend John’s anchor swivel snapped during the storm. He lost his anchor in the process; from all accounts though, it sounds like he handled the night’s excitement with aplomb. SV Interabang was anchored a half a mile away from Time Piece and Eagle, and experienced 60 knot winds: Never a dull day in the Sea.
|The search for the missing anchor|
|Sailing into Bahia de Los Angeles|
Our last morning there, we enjoyed drinking coffee with Pitt on SV Karma Seas. Pitt is an Aussie singlehander we’d met in previous anchorages. (He is the fire breather I mentioned earlier this summer.) I noticed he also had some cool original paintings adorning his ketch, as an artist, I liked that. A few good stories later, we made our way through the passage into Bahia de Los Angeles, and finally, finally caught a fish underway. A sierra was brought aboard to our triumphant cheers. Upon arriving in La Mona, we cooked ourselves up a delicious meal and invited our buddy John over. A sierra may not be as glamorous as the numerous dorados he’s caught underway, (we’re still working on that), but he was more than happy to come fill his belly on Nyon.
|Catch of the day|
|The downpour is about to begin|
We stayed in La Mona for a few days. Our first two days there, we experienced the biggest downpour since Ensenada Carrizal. Lo and behold, we rediscovered our leaky corners and became re-acquainted with “damp everything”. Luckily, we also filled buckets full of water for our laundry and showers. It felt like the Pacific Northwest, except for the fact that it was 20 degrees Celsius warmer.
La Mona was a social place. We enjoy social, but we also enjoy solitude, when you arrive at a crowded anchorage it’s sometimes a tough balance. It was fun though. We also made a quick trip to the village aboard Time Piece; Trisha from Interabang came along as well. After gathering village dust on our feet, we were back aboard Time Piece and John was ready to weigh anchor when we got mighty excited: “Whale sharks, whale sharks!” At first, they didn’t appear like much, and then they came closer. Less than a boat length from Time Piece, one whale shark broke the surface – tail, fin, head – it was amazing. And BIG. (They can grow as big as 18 metres.) I’m glad I wasn’t the only one jumping up and down and squealing. Thanks Trish, I’m glad I can count on you! I hope I get to swim with one of these gentle giants soon. After the excitement, we returned to La Mona for a couple more days of fun in the sun.
Eventually, we quietly sailed off the hook, back toward the village and beyond.