So many cruising boats take the direct line from Turtle Bay to Mag Bay, and miss the next few stops down the coast. This is a shame, as places like Asuncion deserve a closer look, and some extended time in their sheltered bays if you can show a little patience. Ascension is a quiet fishing and beach town, with a decent selection of services and a small but tight-knit expat community.
Avoiding the obvious point that forms the bay, which has some offlying rocks, and it’s a clear shot into the sheltered bay from just about any angle.
Similar to Abreojos to the south, this is a wide open bay that faces SW, with a long sweep of beach and room to anchor anywhere, in sand, in 20-30 feet (lost my notes on this one, so looking for additional detail from a recent visitor…)
Landing in a dinghy can be tricky if the swell is up (even out of the NW, which will wrap in to the bay a bit). It’s typically best to look for where the fishing pangas are making their daily landings, and copy them (but stay out of their way). The town is somewhat spread out, but you can wander the Malecon (yes, it’s a developed boardwalk) and a few blocks inland to find all kinds of fun eateries and stores.
If you’re looking for fuel, a whale watching trip, fishing info, mechanical parts or service, or just about anything else hard to come by along this coast, contact Shari Bondi, an expat gringo who runs a charter operation from Asuncion. She is well-connected in the community, and an amazingly helpful resource. You can typically reach her on her Mexico cell: +52.615.155.7197.
We really enjoyed our time in Bahia Ascension! Shari, who owns the Bufadora (blowhole) Hotel, was super nice and very very helpful with getting water, provisioning, recommendations and even invite us along to see a local baseball game! Leri, a local who has a sailboat in the bay, greeted us as we were coming in and gave us help in anchoring. He will deliver water to your boat, and is happy to help with all things that you may need. Two big red commendations that I haven’t found on any other source: According to the locals, anchor as close to the Western cliffs as you feel comfortable, it provides the most wind protection when it’s blowing strongly from the northwest which seemed to happen every afternoon until sundown, and leaves less bay to build up a chop between you and land. Most online resources have you anchoring in front of the beach close to downtown (which is why we anchored there in about 25 ft with good sand holding) This one is definitely a must, because it is very hard to go ashore with any kind of wave action bending around the point without pooping your dingy trying to time the waves: there is a very well protected dingy landing beach just inside the point under a big concrete wall painted white. You’ll notice it as one of the two areas that the local pangas moor their fleets. If you go towards the fleet of pangas at the point of the bay and look for the beach amongst the rocks, you can land in almost all conditions very comfortably. The only thing to keep in mind is you want to come in to the beach as straight as possible as there’s some sneaky rocks to the north that will hide in high tide. Walk up the access road and hang a right to head to town, and don’t be surprised if someone offers you a ride in. This puts you a fair distance outside of the main area town, but at least you and your gear will be relatively dry! And there’s even a spot to wash your hands and feet at the top of the beach.