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s/v Code Blue – Puerto Refugio & Back to BLA 8-18-13 August 18, 2013

Posted by steveandjudy in Code Blue 2013.
Code Blue at anchor

Code Blue at anchor


OK, now back at the boat and I realize Lungta is 70 feet over all length, 60 feet on deck, 18.5 beam, 9.8 draft, 124,000 pounds just to correct and set things straight. Weather is calm here in B of LA this morning. We had hot wind from the west but only up to 14 kts last night. Lucy’s place now does not have a working internet at all now.

Picture of the village entrance at the south end of Bay of Los Angeles with Judy. Well we have two videos of whale sharks but no way to capture a single picture, movie is 105 MB so too big to transfer. The one picture of a whale shark I took is not very good. Sent 8-11-13 from BLA

8-12-13 Isla Coronado near lagoon on west side. Run from BLA at 3:12pm to here at 5:47pm for 9 miles total, 5 NM sailing, 4 motor. Last night was dark around here so could see the shooting stars very well. I got up about 3am and saw 20 in about 20 minutes, Judy said she saw so many earlier that she lost count but in the 40’s at least, in 45 minutes. The wind for sailing was not steady of direction to say the least. Near the end of sailing we had plenty of wind but sudden angle changes were 90 degrees or better and quite often in shallow water and not wide. We finally gave up and motored the last two miles thinking it would have the same problems but it didn’t. We are in 18 ½ feet of water and can see the bottom pretty clearly this morning. Just talked with Ken on Drifter on SSB Marine and he and Kevan swam on 8-11 with several of the same five whale sharks that we did. One time he was swimming next to one and another came up from underneath him and in back and he had to get out of the way. They had moved their boats closer to where we saw them near Gecko area.

8-12-13 From Isla Coronado we did 34 NM to Puerto Refugio in a cove on Isla Majia. We sailed 21 miles with 10 of those with our asymmetrical up, at times doing 9.3 kts and steady a lot at 8.4 kts. We suspect we had help with the current but Judy was concerned about the sail when the apparent wind of 13 kts with 15 to 16 true. With the ace off and took down the main, we just had the genoa up and doing 6.3 kts., which is pretty good for a 32.5 foot waterline. I checked some of the anchorages out by dinghy and thought this was the best. On 8-13 Judy and I took the dinghy out for a more through inspection of the Refugio area.

We’re in the cove that a friend our ours, Leslie and Robert were in with their sailboat Spirit Healer (Pacific Seacraft 37) back in 2003 when hurricane Marty (Cat 2) came through on September 22nd & 23rd. They had a 6 to 1 scope with a 44# Bruce and all chain rode and a 20 pound kellet on a messenger line. Robert saw no waves greater than 2 feet and considered putting out more chain but gear filled his V-berth blocking access to the chain locker. Their biggest mistake when the heavy rains started they went below instead of continuing to keep an anchor watch and motoring to keep a strain off their anchor. Spirit Healer dragged for 300 yards parallel to shore until her keel struck the rocks projecting from the beach on Isla Mejia. Anyone in the cockpit would of noticed they were dragging. As the tide came in, their ruptured hull filled with water. They had little time to gather food, clothing and personal effects and took shelter in a small religious shrine, 40” X 67” with two stranded Mexican fisherman. They were rescued 36 hours later after their beaching but it took 4 days for 5 boats from Puerto Don Juan 44 miles away to help with salvage. By then Robert decided she couldn’t be saved due to the water damage of tidal flows in and out of the boat. It took 20 people and six days of hard work to strip the hull and transport salvaged items 42 miles to Bahia de los Angeles, the site of the closest road.

Another friend Jerry on a sister ship of ours, a Caliber 40 (Mirador) similar to ours was in a bay a couple of miles from here. He was a single sailor at the time and also made the mistake of staying in the area. His anchor line parted with a 60# Spade do to chaffing. (He had 135 feet of 5/16” chain and 100 feet of 5/8” nylon rode deployed in 27 feet of water giving him a nine to one scope.) So he started motoring in a circle but couldn’t get out of the west bight he was in due to high winds 45 to 55 kts with gusts to 65 and 7 foot waves steep and close together, plus other boats in the area to dodge. He had 8 foot breaking waves on the beach. He finally put her on sand on the port side at low tide at 4 am. He lucked out and when Marty passed by the winds switched from northeast by 180 degrees and blew the boat off the sand at high tide with some help of putting a genoa up in 20 knot winds a little past noon. He anchored in 25 feet of water with his back up 44# Bruce anchor. You can read more on his website http://www.svmirador.net Jerry also wrote an article for Cruising World magazine, December 2003, detailing the above two boat episodes.

8-14-13 We went snorkeling around this cove area. 8-15-13 we did boat things, made water, cooked up a batch of clam chowder, washed some clothes. We’re planning on heading south tomorrow. A panga fishing boat came into the area this evening, our first visitors nearby, and stopped by the shrine, then near dark took off with torches setup but not lit for night fishing.

8-16-12 We decided to head south to BLA by getting up at 5:30am. Now the current is against us of about a knot at least, wind is against us 3 kts also. We’re doing 3.2 GPS speed, Lovely! Great sunrise this morning. The fishermen came back to the anchorage and slept in the panga while anchored out about 25 feet from shore. It only got down to 88 F last night and humidity was up to 60%. Now 86 F and 63%.

8-17-13 We ended up having a great sail to Isla la Ventana were another boat we know s/v Interabang a 46’ Benetau with Derek and Trisha. 43 miles over all and 33 sailing. We saw a pilot whale and a humpback whale, a bunch of common dolphins, and some sea lions out swimming around. Finally another sailboat, a tri-maran with no radio contact made. Wind was at an angle to us on the nose. The tri caught up to us then passed us and anchored near shore it looked like. We kept going to la Ventana. A small cove on an island as you would guess from the name. The next morning we took a hike up the trail to another cove we could see. Then on the way back hiked up to higher point that was over our anchorage. There were some nature signs for kinds of cactus, dolphins, whales and whale sharks. We came back to the boat, then went snorkeling at a reef near the entrance of our cove. This was a disappointment. Vis was about 20 feet in a half hour of swimming I saw 20 puffer fish, two were my swim buddies and I petted one that was the closest and he even got closer and stayed right next to me most of the time. One good sized trigger fish and one two foot meat type food fish and that was it except for a school of small fish. We stopped by Derek he said pretty much the same thing, poor vis, almost no fish. We decided to head into BLA for produce day which is on Saturdays, like today. As we were motoring toward town, Pitt of s/v KharmaSeas announced on the local net channel 68 that the whole town was without internet due to a main substation was not working but it was expected to be up later in the afternoon. Were here it is 8pm and still no internet. We bought a beer at a local store for 10 P each, then did some grocery shopping. We ate at the Alejandrina restaurant near the sail sculpture as recommended by the lady from the town museum. It was good and fairly cheap, big burger with fries, double cheese and bacon for 65 P, Judy had a chicken dinner with salad, soup and two warm tortillas with bean sauce for 70 P. We stopped by the Isla store and their internet is working but they have a whole different system she says and it’s 25 P an hour.

8-18-13 There are 8 boats in BLA area and 9 reported at Puerto Don Juan. We’ll see how many stay for the Full Moon Party on the 21sr. I know two of them are mostly here to work on their bottom paint and the like, s/v Iver and Sara M. Still no internet and it’s Sunday so not likely to get fixed today.

We came to shore 8-18-13 and Costa del Sol is working and the small store nearby is not working. We’re at Costa having lunch

Steve and Judy

Bahia de los Angeles

– s / j –



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