Posted by: Sailing Camelot | July 11, 2011

Sat June 4th – Caleta San Juanico

It’s unusually cloudy and damp this morning as we leave Isla Coronado. The only positive outcome of this gloomy day is the absence of bees!
God, were they ever a nuisance… They better produce tons of honey for all the inconvenience!

We’re lucky; as we pull out of the anchorage we find enough wind to fill the sails, what a welcome change! Camelot was morphing into a powerboat, lately; it was high time to give the sails a good stretch. Of course the wind is not always blowing in the right direction and it’s also capriciously changing direction from time to time, keeping us busy maintaining course and trimming sails. At times we go straight, at times we wander like drunken sailors, but we’re having a blast. The sea is calm and we’re in no hurry; our next beautiful spot will still be there for us when we get there!

Caleta San Juanico

By the way, we’re heading for Caleta San Juanico. Not an island, this time. San Juanico is on the Coast of Baja California South, a popular stop for cruisers.

I’m mildly concerned, earlier radio reports talked about a considerable number of boats anchored there, and I so want to visit this place everybody talks about!

Rock Formations

But we’re lucky again, after our very pleasant sail we  arrive to find plenty of space and a very comfortable and scenic spot to call  home for the next few days. I really have to concentrate on my anchoring  duties, this place is so incredibly beautiful and I have to resist the need to  grab my camera! Down, girl. There will be time, lots of it.

Boats come, boats go; within a few hours the anchorage fills  with friends and acquaintances. Tom takes me around in the dinghy to take  pictures of the magnificent rock formations, stopping by this boat and that,  greeting friends. The temperature is probably the hottest so far, summer must  be just around the corner… The wonderfully clear water is nice and warm, just  perfect!

Our Perfect Spot

We spend our days reading lazily on the boat, diving in for a cooling swim, taking little excursions with the kayak, exploring the water caves; generally having a wonderful time. Nobody talks about leaving this place! I can see why it’s so popular. Not only it’s a protected anchorage, but it looks straight out of the pages of a National Geographic issue!

I rediscover my passion for swimming, spending hours in the water. Tom, ever the dutiful boat-owner, pulls out his diving gear to go clean Camelot’s hull. I happily lend a hand; armed with sponges and old towels I attack the cruddy waterline of the boat while Tom is “six feet under”, busy fighting the barnacles that have taken up residence wherever they could. After a long time scrubbing the results are satisfying, but I’m still finding every excuse possible to stay in the water just a little bit longer…

The next day I join our friends Hugh and Anne from Serendipity for a snorkeling adventure. There are so many rocks all over the place, it’s hard to just pick one! In fact, over the next few days we’ll repeat the experience.

Seascape! Underwater Marvels

Smile, You're On Camera!

At times Tom and I just dive off our boat and swim the short distance to the caves nearest to us, armed with snorkeling gear and underwater camera. And let me tell you, that is the best piece of equipment ever! There is a total different world under the water surface. It’s like a botanical garden under there, incredible colors, plants, rocks, fish.

I can –and do!- spend hours with my face down, bobbing and floating, barely moving to let the fish come near me. Then, zap! Picture taken! I find myself watching a colorful fish
for a long time, repeating in my mind “take the shot, take the shot!” like a sniper… And then I strike. 

I can understand the fascination of Jack Cousteau, it’s the constant discovery of an unfamiliar and wonderful world. 

Between the rocks, the land, the sea, the birds, the underwater scenery, I have taken about 700 pictures so far. Of this place only!
After a good, heavy-handed selection process, I’m still left with 400 really good ones. I’m sorry you only get to see a few… 

Osprey in flight

Osprey's Nest

One day we decide to go to the beach for a sunset party, attended by a large number of boaters. Needless to say, it was Tom’s idea. He went around the anchorage, rallying up everybody! But what a pleasant way to end the day. As soon as it got dark a fire was lit: out came the marshmallows, the chocolate and the crackers. It’s S’more time! There were only two kids, but the
grown-ups enjoyed maybe even more. I think that was my official first beach-camp party! I hope we get to do it again.

Happy Fish!

The Cruisers' Shrine, where every visitor leaves some proof of their presence. We didn't.

We’ve been here five days. I think I could stay five months and not get tired of this corner of the world. But there’s more to discover ahead, so tomorrow we leave.

Caleta San Juanico, you gave me memories of a lifetime! This definitely goes on my Most Favorite Places list, high on the top.

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