San Juanico & Puerto Ballandra

An early morning rise promised an International Space Station sighting as we motored over to San Juanico, an anchorage that was very disappointing to us earlier. The ISS passed by as expected and aside from some minor slaloming between shrimp boats our exit out of Punta Chivato to San Juanico was pretty uneventful.

On the lookout for boats just before sunrise
Shrimp boat at the entrance of Bahia Concepcion
Shrimp boat at the entrance of Bahia Concepcion
Motoring from Punta Chivato to Caleta San Juanico
Motoring from Punta Chivato to Caleta San Juanico. Not a breath of wind.

Unlike our last experience, San Juanico was fantastic and we ended up staying four days there snorkeling and hiking with no swells to drive us away. There’s a cruisers shrine here where, once we found it (26º 22.31′ N, 111º 25.81 W), we left our little contribution. It was neat seeing things left by other boats we’ve met in the past year.

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Here we met SV Camelot who spontaneously invited to go clamming over at La Ramada. This was a new experience for us and Uly demonstrated how to dive down, look for, and retrieve chocolate clams. While we personally weren’t successful, it was a lot of fun to try! We also briefly met SV Liahona and enjoyed some amazing freshly baked goods they kindly brought by!  They had no idea that we were without refrigeration and longing for something sweet.

SV Juniper, SV Camelot, and SV Liahona at San Juanico

After a great stay in San Juanico we decided to head over to Puerto Ballandra on Isla Carmen. As we were getting the boat ready to leave, a small number of needlefish and green jacks had a feeding frenzy all around Juniper, splashing and swimming after smaller fish hiding under our boat. They swarmed and fed long enough for us to grab the GoPro.

Once underway, we had a downwind sail to Puerto Ballandra on Isla Carmen. It was fast and occasionally uncomfortable sail, especially once we had to turn towards the entrance and the wind and seas got on our beam. We still had our sails up as we entered the anchorage and were surprised to find SV Camelot, who left San Juanico in the early morning, anchored inside. We had a challenging time finding a good spot to anchor in the protected end and we both were a little worried about how close we were to shore should the winds change direction, but we ended up being fine as the winds eventually calmed.

We spent a few nights here and did a little bit of exploring on land and hoped to catch a sighting of the bighorn sheep that roam around the island (there’s a hunting lodge somewhere), but all we spotted were hoof prints in the salt flats. The sunsets here were spectacular and once again began enjoying sundowners on deck.



One year ago: No Previous First Aid Training Required

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