The Spring/Summer alternative to San Juanico
San Juanico has been a favorite of cruisers in this area for many years, so much so that a cruisers’ shrine tree on one of the northern shores is decorated with mementos and found art from dozens of boats. It’s a visually stunning area, with a few pocket coves to choose from among steep-walled islets, headlands, and sweeping rock formations. While there are a couple of fancy houses here and a beach campground, it’s almost always very quiet and peaceful.
Open from north. When approaching from the south, give room on the large rock 1/4 mile off the southern point (Mercenarios) marking entry into the bay. There is also a pinnacle rock marked on our chart nearly two miles out here, but we have been unable to spot it. Once you angle into the north end of the bay, you only need to be on your toes as you approach or pass any obvious chunk of rock. The rocky spires and reefs on the north end should be easily visible, and generally the water is deep right up to them. But note that the bay in front of the campground shoals very quickly.
This will depend a bit on your draft, but most boats tend to prefer what most think of as the middle anchoring area, between the prominent Islet furthest west and the rock peninsula that juts south from below the big house. Cats and tris will often work their way up into the inner sanctum here, but most are quite content between the rock formations and further out. Obviously make sure to give yourself plenty of room to swing, as currents and breezes here come from all quarters. Good holding sand in 15-30 feet in the middle area, 5-10 feet if you venture closer to shore.
San Juanico is braided with hiking trails, and loaded with sweet pocket beaches separated by imposing bluffs and headlands. This is a spectacular place to explore on foot. Do note the private land in the center and northern areas of the bay, however. A nice walk can be had along the northern road to La Ramada, and also west from the campground (low flats) to a well-kept rancho where cheese, eggs and vegetables can be found in-season.
A visit to the Cruisers’ Shrine Tree is a must, of course, and you should feel free to add some art or memento of your own from your boat, dated with the year you were there. It’s always fun and interesting to look through the constantly changing collection.
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