Our first sail of the season felt like a personal “welcome back” from Poseidon and Zephyrus themselves as the sea was calm and wind was fine. After a wonderful 105 nm jaunt south, we set our hook in Refugio anchorage on Isla Angel de le Guarda around 8:00 am, a truly epic place to spend our first day back in the slow life.
With the hook set in 20’ at 3:1 scope (coordinates) I pulled out everything I needed to make a big breakfast hash and put coffee on. The sun glistened off the water outside the galley portlight as the rays painted the dramatic mountain side in front of us. I quickly scarfed down breakfast so I could hop in the shower and make use of the hot water created by the engine from our last hour of motoring – there is nothing like the sheer bliss of hot fresh water cascading down your tired body after an overnight passage. I was fed, clean, and ready to remember how to “relax”. But what is relaxing without a little exploring? We launched our dinghy, picked up Peter, and made landfall.
Guardian Angel Island
Or Isla Mejia, to be exact. Puerto Refugio is the huge bay on the Northern tip of Isla Angel de la Guarda, flanked by three smaller islands – Isla Mejia, Isla Division, and Isla Granito. We anchored close to Isla Mejia, making it easy to get to shore and explore. The little uninhabited island had a flat marsh land in the center (recognizable by the pickleweed that grew there) with tall cliff sides adorned with Mexican Giant Cactus. Although I tried to find our more about the little island, all I could dig up was the fact that there are six species of reptiles: coast night snake, rosy boa, Slevin’s banded rock lizard, peninsular leaf-toed gecko, spiny chuckwalla and the common side-blotched lizard.
The shore of Isla Mejia was decorated with shells of all sizes as well as various bone fragments which, if you know me, was more exciting than the shells. We walked to the vista overlooking the anchorage where a saint shrine, likely founded by fisherman, could be seen. It felt good to move our legs again, but Avocet was begging for us to return as she sat peacefully against the rugged landscape.
The rest of the day was spent relaxing in the cockpit and writing, while the boys calibrated Kessel’s autopilot. Somewhere in the span of three hours I fell asleep with my laptop still open, the blinking cursor never skipping a beat while I was dead to the world. Apparently the boys circled Avocet a few times aboard Kessel, calling to me, but I never heard them. When I did manage to wake up, I got started on homemade pizza which paired nicely with the mini-documentary we watched about our friend Griff (Goth Babe).
Now It Feels Like Cruising
“That’s a huge fish off Kessel’s Bow!” Chris exclaimed as he jumped out of his seat. It took me two seconds to recognize that it was not a fish, but Peter, being the waterman that he is. Soon he was in our cockpit looking as awake as ever, asking for some coffee. It was another beautiful day in this little slice of paradise and we were excited to soak it all in, but first we had to do a little admin work. “I’m so white; the reflection off my computer screen is bad – I could use myself as a bounce on set,” Chris joked, momentarily blinding himself with his mirror image. Lost in his thoughts, Peter chimed in, “Everything in the mechanical world is made up of shafts, holes, and plates.” Needless to say, with these two characters around, there’s never a dull moment on board.
Chris made us lunch while I got some work done, enjoying the sunshine in my favorite outdoor office. The day was going by fast and slow all at once, but I didn’t mind. Around 3:00 I made my way over to Kessel to help prep food while Chris was tasked with getting a fire on shore. Peter already had most of the food ready to go, but I was asked to make coleslaw – which was easier said than done since his cabbage was as frozen as the iceberg that sank the Titanic. Thankfully, Chris was within earshot and dinghied to Avocet to retrieve our ingredients that weren’t frozen.
With all the food packed we made our way to shore where Chef Peter made potato tacos over a fire served with queso, guac, my coleslaw and lime crema. It was a simple but delicious dinner under the setting sun. Around the time we attempted to make cobbler, thefull moon rose over the rocks behind Avocet. It was spectacular, and as the boys continued to chat about sailing I started to get more horizontal along my blanket, listening to the cackling fire and sea lapping on the shore. This is the moment where it finally set in: we were cruising again! After a 6 month stint on Terra firma followed by what seemed like Groundhog Day in Peñasco it took a moment for us to realize we weren’t dreaming, but making dinner on the beach with the full wolf moon rising behind our floating home brought it all into focus. We were there, we were happy, we were living our best lives, and it was only just beginning.
Onto the Next Location
Anchor was up and the course was set for our next destination, Santa Rosalia. A cute French mining town just above Mulege full of history and quaintness. But first we had a 150 nm sail ahead of us, which turned out to be a tad sportier than anticipated with sustained 30 knots behind us and a whole lot of holding on tight as Avocet surfed down the 6 – 8 foot following seas.
But, as always, that story is coming up next