Our sister boat, Rachel Lynn, another Fair Weather Mariner, was already anchored in El Cardonal, reported good conditions, and we were looking forward to more time with our friends Bob and Claudette. We sailed up on New Year’s Day and stayed two nights.

We stocked up very well at Chedraui before heading out to the islands, and our fresh fruit and vegetables were holding out well after 8 days. The weather was nice, but never quite tempted us in to swim, so all of our activities were on land. El Cardonal has a very cool valley, and you can wander a trail following a lagoon across to the east side of the island. We scampered up the hill of loose rocks and were rewarded with spectacular views of the lagoon and the anchorage.

The tide was going out when we met the Rachel Lynn crew for the hike, so we both left our dinghies anchored in shallow water. We came back to both dinghies stuck in sticky, sticky mud. The tide had gone out more than 100 meters, so we had quite a squishy walk carrying the dinghies back into the water. But it’s old volcanic mud, so basically a spa experience!

Even once we got back into the water, we barely had clearance to row until we were more than halfway back to S/V Ayala, and even then could not motor until we were 3/4 of the way back.

We anchored at 24°33.077′ N, 110°23.113′ W.

Notes for boaters:

  • Anchored in ~11 feet of water with ~75 feet of chain.
  • The shoaling is extensive. Boats with a similar draft (6 feet) who were anchored deeper into the anchorage found themselves with only 2 feet under the keel at some tides.
  • The wind protection is good from most directions, but the swell comes in without obstacle.
  • There is no infrastructure here.