Aboard Astraea

Invest in experiences, not things

Giving Thanks in Puerto Escondido


After swimming and lunch in Puerto Ballandra on November 25th, we got a call on the radio from our friends Megan and Jonah on s/v Orion. We hadn’t seen them since leaving San Carlos together on November 8th. They were going to celebrate Thanksgiving on their boat in Puerto Escondido and invited us to join them. We were done with Ballandra so we upped anchor and sailed very slowly south 16 miles to Puerto Escondido.

The winds were pretty light, 10 knots and falling. When we were making less than 3 knots it was time to turn the engine on and motor the last hour in to Puerto Escondido. Right as the sun was setting we caught a fish, a sixteen inch bonito. We pulled in through the narrow entrance of Puerto Escondido and anchored in the large inner bay for the night.

Bonito caught on a pink lure

Bonito caught on a pink lure

We decided to take a trip to Loreto, the town 15 miles north of Escondido. Since hitchiking worked well in Santispac we decided to try it again, but we got lucky and another cruiser with a car was driving in to town for breakfast so we hopped in and rode to town with him. Loreto was the first Spanish settlement on the Baja California Peninsula, but now it’s a tourist resort, catering mostly to U.S. travelers

The start of "El Camino Real", the historic road that follows north along the route of Spanish missions

The start of “El Camino Real”, the historic road that follows north through California along the route of Spanish missions


Mission of Our Lady

Mission of Our Lady



Sully needed to play and I needed some alone time, so the boys went to a playground and I got a pedicure. It was wonderful! Afterwards, we met up and had pizza for lunch.

Sully got a new shirt after having an accident at the playground

Sully got a new shirt after having an accident at the playground

Riding in boats on trailers through town

Riding in boats on trailers through town


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Thanksgiving dinner aboard Orion was delicious. We brought stuffing and corn casserole, and instead of turkey (because those don’t fit very well in boat ovens), Megan and Jonah made a roast chicken stuffed with herbs and onions, and Nia from s/v Azul brought the mashed potatoes.



Sully wanted candles on Megan’s Thanksgiving spice cake

A few days later we all got together again for “Clam Fest” or as we later named it, “Clam Stock”. Megan, Jonah and Nia went free diving for Chocolaté Clams and they found so many we had clams three ways. Nia made clam chowder, Jonah put some on the grill with minced garlic, and I steamed some in butter, garlic and white wine.


Four dozen Chocolatés and those white ones were the size of Jonah’s hand!


After Thanksgiving and Clam Stock, we all needed some exercise, so we hiked into Steinbeck Canyon across the highway from Puerto Escondido. The photos don’t do this place justice – the rocks looked like speckled pastel easter eggs and there were small waterfalls cascading into freshwater pools. Sully hiked and climbed the whole thing!


Photo by Jonah of S/V Orion


The hiking gang. Back row: Nea, Megan, Jonah. Front row: Mike, Sully, Natalie and Nate. Photo by Jonah from S/V Orion

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We were anchored in Puerto Escondido for over a week. Between late season hurricane Sandra and the intense Northers that kept blowing down the sea, we felt a little stuck. We finally got out of there on Thursday December 3rd when the winds calmed down a little. We wanted to be in La Paz by Sunday the 6th so we’d have a few days to get things done before my mom arrived in Cabo on the 8th. Unfortunately, this meant that we wouldn’t be able to stop and enjoy the beautiful anchorages along the way. We spent our first night in Los Gatos and on Friday the 4th we sailed all day and pulled into Bahia San Gabriel on Isla Espiritu Santo after dark.

Shortly after leaving Los Gatos I was sitting in the back of the cockpit when all of a sudden one of the fishing lines tightened and snapped. Then a five foot marlin started jumping out of the water and flailing around for five minutes. It put on quite a show, but I felt bad that it had our big cedar plug hooked in it’s mouth. Later in the afternoon we finally saw whale fins slapping at the surface. It took a year of cruising, but we finally saw more that a few spouts!



  1. A Thanksgiving to remember!!! Treasure these moments! It will be over much too soon for you!

  2. Just started on your blog and enjoying it. It’s good to see a military family out there living the dream. I’ll be out in 2 years 6 months and 26 days, but who’s counting?

    • Congrats! We were counting down to cruising and now getting ready to go back to normal life. It’s going to be hard to get back to the real world after being my own boss for over a year. Best of luck on the rest of your time in.

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