So after our non-eventful crossing of the Sea of Cortez, we arrived in Algondones in the Mexican mainland state of Sonora… a wide beac-lined bay full of Mexican resorts (that’s resorts-for-Mexicans) and some private houses owned by Mexicans. We stayed one night to rest up, but having no place to grab a hot shower or a cheap meal ashore, we sailed the next day to San Carlos about 20 miles to the south.
San Carlos is a weird little gringo sea-side town with a weirder history. Supposedly (the very short version) it was bought up from a bunch of government land releases that were supposed to go to community owned villages but instead got re-amalgamated into a large private estate that was then carefully developed to be a private gringo town. It wasn’t even called a town until the 90′s when they wanted the government to chip in for road repair (or something like that)… and it comes complete with a marina and a golf course and a bunch of beach communities and a town to feed and house the Mexican workers who make the place run.
It’s actually not as bad as I make it sound. There’s a sweet little cafe called Baracuda Bob’s and a little coin laundry next door and a noisy sports-bar and a couple of taco stands… but most of all it’s really friggin’ beautiful with the remnants of the ancient volcano plugs sticking up all around the joint and the spectacular beaches.
After a spell in San Carlos, we sailed another 25 miles South to the much more autentico Mexican shrimp-boat port of Guaymas. Now this was much more our style. A busy working port full of Mexicans and open air markets and smelly diesel buses and packs of mongrel dogs running around everywhere. We stayed a night in the main port anchored right next to the malecon (beach boardwalk) which was noisy! and then motored into one of the far fingers of the bay to Marina Seca Guaymas (dry storage marina) which is well known in West Coast Mexico as the dirt-cheapest place to put your boat on the… well… dirt.
Our cat is narrow enough (15.6′) to be hauled by their travel lift and so the whole removal was easy… then they drove the boat through the existing yard… and (unexpectedly) into Gabriel’s NEW dry storage yard in which we were only the third boat in a huge vacant lot. I was a little concerned by the security risk of being the only boats in a large dark lot at night… but I had heard enough good stories about Gabriel to feel somewhat safe about leaving our boat here for the next three months (as we went to spend the end of Summer and early Autumn in the US — for the first time in over twelve years!)
We spent the next 2 days in a frantic rush of 44º heat (111º to North Americans) with 75% humidity and mosquitos… getting the boat prepared to spend a hot end-of-Summer and ultimately a hurricane season on the hard. We removed absolutely everything from the upper decks including most of our blocks and running rigging… all cushions, anchors, lights, sails… even the boom! We probably went overkill as this was our first season preparing for hurricanes… but at least we got it all done and we felt that the boat was secure.
On the third day, we all stood staring at our most precious of investments (not to mention our home!) and said Good Bye to Wendy Ellen. Then we hopped into a taxi and took a local bus to Phoenix and ultimately a plane to Reno… but that is another story!