Our next stop on the way South from Agua Verde was Puerto Los Gatos, twenty-some odd miles down the coast. On the way North we stayed at Tembabiche, just a couple of miles south of here. When we arrived, the anchorage was empty save for a panga that seemed to be setting up a camp on the beach. We chose to anchor in the S lobe of the bay in anticipation of SW winds. In retrospect, it may have been better to tuck all the way up into the NW corner. Los Gatos is known for its beautiful pink sandstone formations, buffed smooth by the wind action. It also has several reefs that are good for snorkeling.
The anchorage is completely exposed to the east and as the southerly winds picked up in the afternoon, swell wrapped around the small point on the South end. As usual, we had the flopper stopper deployed, but wound up deploying the other one for the first time this season. That flattened things out nicely. Later in the afternoon a few sailboats arrived, and the beach camp took shape, with nearly a dozen dome tents, a cook tent, a sun shelter, and what looked like a “pee pee tee pee”. Soon afterwards, a group of kayaks pulled in, led by another panga.
After a pleasant night, Gwen got up early to catch the early morning light on the rocks.
We got the big dinghy down to go ashore, and as we were doing that, we saw spouts jut offshore. We motored out and saw a couple of humpback whales swimming back and forth just outside in about 100 feet of water. We wanted to get a little bit closer… until one surfaced nearby and we realized how big they were. Gwen says I screamed like a girl. I steadfastly maintain that I was merely commenting on the majestic creatures. Afterwards we went ashore to walk along the beach, explore the rock formations, and walk out on one of the reefs at low tide. The sandstone was very cool. It was easy to rub off bits of it from the rock, so you could see how the jagged bits of it were eventually worn down into smooth shapes. There were lots of tide pools on the reef, but as we have come to expect, none were particularly rich with life. There were a fair number of crabs on the rocks and Gwen got some good pictures of the increasingly rare Sally Lightfoot crabs.
The water was very clear and reasonably warm, about 71 degrees. We went ashore and had a good time snorkeling along one of the reefs. As we finished up, the wind had shifted from SW to SE and started blowing vigorously, creating a bit of surf on the beach. We were in the big dinghy and had a bit of excitement getting it turned around and launched into the surf and freshening breeze.
After a rolly night and more SW winds forecast, we decided to bid Puerto Los Gatos good bye and move further South. On the way out of the anchorage we spotted a fairly large pod of whales we had not seen before, which we think were pilot whales. They were swimming back and forth in a leisurely manner, again just off the anchorage. The depths drop off quite rapidly here, so we assume that this must be a good feeding spot. After watching them for a while we turned Southward bound for San Evaristo.