7/26/20 – Santo Domingo to Posada Concepción
8.18nm / 311.17 hrs
After spending two nights at Santa Domingo we decided to venture further into Bahia Concepcion. We had heard that it is quite hot at this time of year in the bay, and they were right. We left Santa Domingo and set the jib and headed south with a light wind (4 knts) from aft and sailed along at a record breaking 1-3 knots. But all was good as we needed to do a dinghy repair (again) as Boundles had developed another leak. We watched the color changes in the water and avoided reefs, shallows and unmarked submerged rocks and wove our way into Playa Santispac to realize that the bay was taken by one other boat… a 300+ foot motor yacht called IJE. We snuck around the corner to Posada Concepcion and dropped anchor.
The other strange coincidence was that in December of 2019 we drove down to La Paz and stopped at a great overlook that took in a breathtaking view of Bahia Concepcion from the main highway, and today we were looking up at the spot that we stopped at with the car some 7 months ago.
It was a beautiful place with the warmest water we have ever swam in and even warmer evenings. We explored the local village, which was during off season (and got escorted out), swam, and explored beaches and mangroves.
7/28/2020 – Posada Concepción to Playa Coyote (Lunch Stop) to Playa Santa Barbara
5.76nm / 312.54hrs
We decided to move further south to Playa Coyote, which had a tienda ( so we could get some fresh vegetables). We left under calm skies and a nice breeze but by the time we had made the small distance weaving through reefs and islands we ended in Playa Coyote with a strong south westerly wind that gave us a lee shore once the anchor was set. Although we have a lot of confidence in our ability to set the anchor, a lee shore makes us nervy. An hour later, after anchor watching, we decided to do a dinghy ride to shore and off we went.
After landing on the beach in the little village ( which is also home of the NOLS program ( www.nols.edu) we met an older man who gave us directions on how to find the Tienda, go out to the highway and turn right and walk until you see it. So we did. It was blazing hot away from the water and no breeze. We walked only a short while and found a little roadside Tienda / truck stop / taco stand. SCORE!
We immediately got some fresh tomatoes, limes, eggs and a few staples, then ordered some fish tacos, quesadilla’s and a cold beer. The little stand had around 6 people in it but everyone was social distancing. We got our food last as we arrived last and upon finishing the food, and being the only people there, the cook/ owner struck up a conversation with us to inform us that COVID is a government conspiracy to make money and he had many other ideas to share. We smiled and engaged (ie: Julian did), and then bid our farewell back to the highway and the back to the boat.
Around 5pm the wind was increasing and was now a steady 14-18 knots from the south, south east and the lee shore was once again in our minds. At that time, we made a decision to pull anchor and head to more protected waters. We headed further south to Playa Santa Barbara under engine and dropped anchor in time for sunset in a beautiful cove with one other boat from Canada there.
7/29/20 – Playa Santa Barbara to Enseñada de Muerto (Punta Chivato)
29.8nm / 315.46hrs
After a good night’s sleep, punctuated by thunder and lightning and about 27 drops of rain, we decided it was time to begin trekking north again. There was still so much for us to explore in Bahia Concepcion and we decided it would be added to our “return again” list when opportunity provided.
We left the anchorage early and began our sail north with a great breeze, 8-13 knots off the starboard quarter which meant .. .spinnaker time! We set the spinnaker and sat back and enjoyed the energy that came from well set sails, well balanced boat and great wind. The boat cruised along at 6.3 knots and we decided to skip a stop in Santa Domingo and carry on north to Punta Chivalto around the top end to Ensenada de Muerto as the wind was coming at us from the south, south east. This area of Punta Chivalto would provide the best protection from the southerly winds, or so we thought. As the day progressed we dropped the spinnaker and set the main and foresail and rode the big rolling waves from crest to trough surfing down them one minute and sitting on top of them the next but at all times enjoying the sailing.
We arrived at Ensenada de Muerto and set anchor in 20 feet of water with winds on the bow of 15-18 knots. The difference here was that we did not have a lee shore to worry about due to the wind direction. We decided against a dinghy ride to shore to explore the beach due to the sea state. As we checked the weather forecast, we could see that the wind was going to ease by midnight but would pick up again in the morning. It was a blustery evening on anchor with some sea swell. A bit sleep deprived we awoke the next morning and decided to make the last run to Santa Rosalia where we planned to take a few days ‘OFF’ do some boat projects and do some ‘work, work’ and if possible actually stay at the Marina Fonatur Santa Rosalia.
7/30/20 – Enseñada de Muerto to Santa Rosalía
Brisk south, south easterly winds made for a great day of sailing as we continued our trip north. We reviewed the charts and decided to go around Isla San Marcos instead of through the straights due to the wind and possible currents and reefs. This meant a great sail with big rolling waves, surfing one minute and taking water over the beam the next, but clear blue skies, sun and warmth make even the most challenging sailing conditions more tolerable. We saw a few large turtles swimming past the boat and large Manta Rays jumping out of the water.
We contacted the harbor in Santa Rosalia as we got closer and they had a slip that we could use. We had driven through Santa Rosalia 7 months ago and felt is was a quiet sort of lifeless community, as the mining companies had ended years before and left many derelict buildings. We were wrong. As we were to find out, it has a very active community and busy little town with many amenities. Due to COVID it is not nearly as busy as usual, but it is bustling.
We pulled into the marina and set about securing the boat after a great long day of sailing. Anxiously looking forward to actually being able to rinse some of the salt build up off the boat.