Notes for Boaters

  • We anchored twice.
    • First at 18°04.375′ N, 102°45.014′ W. 18′ of water with 100′ chain, 60′ on aft anchor.
    • Second at 18°04.353′ N, 102°44.984′ W.30′ of water with 165′ chain, no aft anchor.
  • Strongly recommend anchoring further out, closer to our second anchor position, and not navigating close to the breakwater as there is a lot of fishing activity.
  • There was only 1 other boat anchored when we arrived, bow and stern, and not a lot of room within the protected area. There was another boat washed up on shore – horrible to see – with rescue operations under way.
  • We ended up not going to shore because of time/energy/grocery abundance. We heard from several people that Caleta de Campos has had some armed robberies of boats so we stayed highly on guard. Also, with the washed up boat, we did not want to drag.

Now that we know the area a little better, we might stop here again. Very beautiful from the boat.

Our Time in Caleta de Campos

It was frustrating back-tracking 22 miles to Caleta de Campos, and pretty frightening seeing the washed up yacht on shore – we were desperately tired, but also afraid we would drag anchor in our sleep. We set up every anchor alarm we have with extremely tight scopes (with the aft anchor, the drift alarm can be tighter).  We arrived post-sunset on 04/17/2023 and left again late morning on 04/17/2023.
Charles’ father warned us about Caleta de Campos, which was “featured” in Latitude 38 in 2013 for a very horrible boarding and robbery, so we took precautions. Split up our money, hiding valuables overnight, locking the door, having a knife and camera accessible… All felt icky, but being unprepared and wishing we had taken precautions would have been 50x worse.

We got visited by some kids from the area (probably 10 and 14) who asked if they could come onboard and use our boat as a diving platform. We were a little nervous that it was some kind of casing, but we said yes, hoping that we were being paranoid or it would be good to have a positive interaction. They were chill, and we did not get robbed while we were there, so fortunately there is no more to that story.

We spent most of the day watching the salvage operation on shore on 04/16, which had everything! An excavator/backhoe, an underwater lever point, three fishing boats tugging on the dinghy, and shocking numbers of bathers frolicking in the waves while the 50-foot yacht pitched in the waves. It seemed like they were going to get it at high tide on the 16th, but the backhoe was submerged in the waves up to the operator’s cabin, pulling a line that ran from the bow of the boat to the submerged anchor point and back to shore, and they just could not get it. The tide was not yet high when we left the next day, so we never saw their hopeful eventual success.

We had to move Ayala quickly, when the wind changed 180° and suddenly our aft anchor was holding us parallel to the waves, instead of keeping our nose into the weather. The anchor dragged a little bit, but then held fast and the line started chafing as it was pulled hard over our port side. Charles got into the water to swim down to it – about 18 feet – but the water was so murky he could not track the rode and locate the anchor.
Our next step was a motor maneuver where I first let out the forward anchor chain by 100 feet, then started reversing hard while Charles manipulated the rode to keep it out of the motor. I used our prop walk over port to swing us close to the aft anchor, and once we finally got it off, we decided to leave it out of the water, since 1.5 of our 3 strands were chafed through!
Ultimately it was not the most restful anchorage we spent time at, but it was very beautiful. The lighthouse made fantastic patterns on the dramatic cliffs, and the beach looked really friendly and full.