Monday, August 24, 2015

Isla Fuerte

Our cruising guide wasn't too good for Isla Fuerte....okay, our cruising guide was actually nonexistent for Isla Fuerte. We had merely photographed a few pages from Juan David's guide. It had been an 80 mile sail from Sapzurro so we arrived in the late afternoon and had three sketchy ideas about where to anchor. We headed to the first spot and it seemed too far out and offered no protection from potential South winds. We motored to the second spot and didn't like it either, so we headed to the third spot and before we even got there decided against it, so we headed back to the second spot. It would have to do.

Suggested Anchorages

As we were picking our way back to it a panga came up to us and offered to show us into the "harbor". Hmm, harbor? What harbor? We agreed and suddenly our new friend Clider leaped aboard and took the helm!
Now we are not paranoid people and usually trust in the inherent goodness of strangers, but this was stretching it a bit even for us. But what else could we do? He obviously had local knowledge and wanted to help us find a safe anchorage. As he headed confidently towards shore we confirmed that we drew five feet and he said, "No problem". We continued across a shallow spot and into the "harbor", quite close to shore, where we anchored in ten feet of water. We gave him a 20,000 peso (about $7.00) tip and two sodas and he left happy, telling us that it would be much calmer anchored here.

Where We Anchored           

And it was. Until 3:00am when a huge wind came up creating a Cabo-San-Lucas-type fetch that had us running out to secure things on deck. It only blew for an hour but the seas remained lumpy for several hours. But we were fine, and the boat was safe, so we decided to wait another day and get some more sleep before departing for Isla Tintipan.

Looking back, we both decided that letting good old Clider drive our boat to that anchorage was probably a very good thing. It was close in with some protection, had a sand bottom, shallow water, and people on shore. Who knows what the conditions would have been like at the location the cruising guide suggested? In my mind this experience just confirms that sometimes it's good to put your faith in  the kindness of strangers.

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