Posted by: Sailing Camelot | September 15, 2011

Sep 9th – Arrival at Puerto Penasco / Rocky Point

We’re approaching our destination -Puerto Penasco- and the wind is blowing stronger and stronger, so we take down the sails to gain better
maneuverability and avoid flying into the high-rise vacation condos along the beach.

We’re at the entrance of the Marina at 8 o’clock sharp.

Getting into port is a little harrowing, especially with extra-angry winds, a really low tide and eyes blurred by lack of sleep. But as always, Tom delivers. He creeps towards the port entrance very carefully, eyes glued to the depth sounder.

Despite all the caution, the depth sounder reads 5.6 feet (Camelot wing keel draws 5.10); we know we’re shoveling the bottom –soft mud, thankfully, we just don’t know where this sandbar ends. It takes a little finagling, but we finally find the channel. Oh, did I mention there are no buoys, no markers, nothing to guide us in? At least we’re protected from the
wind, now.

There’s also a Mexican Navy Base here and their Marching Band is rehearsing, so we enter the Harbor with great fanfare.

Talk about extreme: they have tidal ranges of 20 feet here!

Water level rising

A few days ago I went thru the pointless exercise of whipping out the Sat Phone to call Marina Puerto Penasco and secure a berth (“sure, no problem, come on up!”) and what do you know, now that we’re here there’s no space available. So we’re spinning lazy circles, trying to figure out what to do, when a guy on the dock hollers and points to an open end-tie. We dock there and wait for the Marina office to open at 9.

Camelot at the Fuel Dock

This is a small and mainly commercial port, almost entirely occupied by about 80 big fishing vessels and maybe 30 pleasure crafts between sailboats and motorboats. There are three small Marinas, hopefully we can find a berth, right?

It wasn’t this calm when we arrived!)


It’s a fishing Harbor with entire fleets of shrimpers

As it turns out, the sweet spot we’re tied up to is rented out to an excursion/diving boat that leaves on Sundays and returns on Fridays.
Today is Friday, so we need to vacate the space before long. But the very friendly staff at the Marina Fonatur comes to the rescue. After placing a few phone calls they manage to find us another end-tie at the commercial Marina where we can stay until Sunday. The guys even drive us to the place to see in person if the berth is acceptable! We’re so grateful and very impressed by the friendly courtesy. After a quick look, Tom decides that yes, he can squeeze Camelot in there. After all it’s only for a couple of days, until we can return to the other, much more comfortable slip that will be vacated for the week.

Within minutes we’re ready to move. As I hold my breath Tom inches Camelot between a big private motor yacht and a huge fishing vessel, until we are docked. We have less than a foot of space between boats.  How the hell does Tom manage to work this kind of miracles is beyond me, but we’re in! We’re safely moored at –how funny!- the Safe Marina (I swear, that’s the name).

I can exhale, now…

We’re camouflaged, but we’re in there somewhere!

Later on, the guy who was hollering from the dock trying to help us comes by the boat. We get to meet Craig, an American who has a sailboat on the opposite dock. Craig proves to be one of the nicest guys on earth, sharing information about the port and the town and even offering to take us for a tour of Puerto Penasco by car. We enthusiastically accept his generous offer, but postpone the tour until tomorrow. Right now, all we both need is a good, solid nap.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: