Up into the Sea 2.5. Puerto Escondido to Santa Rosalia

Puerto Escondido’s natural harbor was beautiful as ever. Sunrises are especially serene there; the morning sky rises framed by two windows formed by hills enclosing the bay. The marina changed owners; a private company bought the land and harbor from Fonatur, a state-run network of marinas. It used to be dirt cheap to moor here, $5 a day, but now the prices quadrupled, but with the new management the facilities were renovated and services were improved: there is a new market now with large, round tables and benches in front, which double as Wifi spot and cruiser’s lounge.

We sat for hours catching up on emails and news and chatted with fellow cruising couple, who had their young nephew on board for a week. Deeply interested in environmentalism, he had moved to San Luis Obispo to study environmental science and stayed, because of the thriving community there. He explained, that the new mayor there won on a ticket of total transparency and even hosts an open door meeting once a week for her constituency. The young man felt so inspired that he stayed.

We hiked up the Cañon Tabor again, this time the winter wonderland of waterfalls and pools had nearly completely dried out and it was hot. We were hiking with Angel and Peter of SV Providencia, who we met back in Aqua Verde. Angel, originally from South China, had met Peter, originally from Switzerland, years ago in Los Angeles and the two embarked on their sailing adventure last December. We were quiet a diverse pairing, from four countries, all of us enjoying conversations about origin and traditions politics, spirituality, cooking and boating. After climbing down the canon over river stones, we had a nice poolside lunch on our way back at an oasis-like resort, Tripui, of delectable Mexican fare of tortilla soup, fish tacos and ceviche.

Next stop was a short hop to Honeymoon Cove on Ísla Danzante. Several secluded bays make up this cove, giving the privacy the name suggests. We anchored behind SV Providencia in the narrowest cove, both of us with a stern anchor not to swing too much and possibly into the bay walls close by. In the early evening we went ashore to watch the sun set behind The Sierra de la Giganta on the Baja, where we had hiked the Cañon Tabor, a few days prior, and took in the great views from higher up all the way to Ísla Carmen, Loreto and Ísla Coronado to the North. The island is stark and explored the different beaches, volcanic rocks and plants. That night we four had dinner on Imagine, with one of Radu’s sauces over Angel’s fresh egg pasta. Delicious! It is always a treat to have a great company and dinner in the cockpit with those lovely views!

We went to Loreto from there, but continued to Ísla Coronado after the east winds picked up in the afternoon promising a rolly night. SV Providencia went ashore and bought some fresh veggies for us, so we didn’t have to come back to provision. Instead we had a restful afternoon at one of my favorite bays at the feet of the volcano cone overlooking Baja and Loreto.

The next morning we had visitors for breakfast, a family of four dolphins swam the bay feasting on fish for an hour or more. We could see schools of small fish in the clear, light green waters. We went ashore the next day with Angel and Peter walked a short botanical walk and on the pristine white beach. The water looked nearly gray at the shallows, darkening gradually towards the sea. The gray, pastel blue of the shore mixed with the pinks and gold of the sunset light across the sea, leading into a dramatic sunset sky. Every time we have been here, the sunset have been incredible with multicolored striated clouds, it must be that the mountainous upwind conditions create those, as they are particular to this area.

We stopped a half day sail north at Caleta San Juanico and found a lovely spot to anchor protected by large, picturesque rocks with cacti growing on them. The water was very calm and warm and we went snorkeling. We saw small blue and yellow striped reef fishes, some larger, black ones with one white stripe near the head and a blue stripe outlining the body and several starfish, gray with a blue line on all arms. Snorkeling is new to me. I am still getting used to having my head under water and seeing a whole other world below. I must admit the depth and view under water sometimes scares me and I have to calm myself, so that I breathe calmly and don’t swallow water. Once I relax it’s amazing! We went again at our next stop Bahía Conception’s Playa El Burro, can’t keep me out of the water anymore. It’s June now and it’s getting hot with temperatures around 35°C/ 90°F, dipping in the sea is a great refresher, the water is getting warm now too, close to 24 C (80°), perfect for snorkeling for hours.

At Bahía Conception we stopped at Playa Santispac, hitchhiked to Mulegé a couple of days, had delicious ceviche at Ana’s and interesting conversations with Carlos, who runs the place with his mother and his wife. It is off-season now, the snowbirds have returned to their homes in Northern US and Canada, hardly anyone stops at their restaurant on Santispac Beach. In winter the beach is lined with RVs and tents, Tuesdays is happy hour at Armando’s, Ana’s bakes fresh bread three times a week, a vegetable vendor comes to the beach several mornings and there is even a laundry service. Now it’s dead. The sun is reflecting off the beach, the sand is too hot to walk on; we are sitting inside cooled by the concrete structure and a little breeze coming off the water. The heat makes you lazy, especially in the middle of day hardly anybody moves. In Mulegé stores close between one and five for lunch. Mulegé is a small town, but that’s the Baja for you, nothing is important enough to skip the midday siesta. Santa Rosalia, our next stop, is different than the rest of Baja. An international copper mine employs the majority of the town, people are busy in Santa Rosalia.

May – June 2017

Sunrise at Puerto Escondido.

The pools and waterfalls at Cañón del Tabor are dry in late May.

Hiking with Angel and Peter of SV Providencia at Cañón del Tabor.

Resting in vertical shade at Cañón del Tabor.

Getting fuel at Puerto Escondido.

Tight fit at Isla Danzante. Anchoring in a tight bay behind SV Providencia with bow and stern anchor.

Sunset view of the Baja from Isla Danzante.

Isla Danzante sunset walk with Peter and Angel.

Sunset powwow on Isla Danzante.

Sunset view from Isla Danzante with Isla Carmen (r), the Baja (l) and Isla Coronado’s volcano cone in the far distance.

Fiery sunset at Isla Coronado.

Cruiser’s shrine at the beach of San Juanico.

The cruiser’s shrine.

Improvised offering of SV Imagine at the cruiser’s shrine.

Sunrise at Caleta San Juanico.

Leaving in the early morning from Caleta San Juanico for Bahia Conception.

Headsail with pole to try to catch some wind…

Catch of the day.

Morning sky at Playa Santispac.

Sunrise at Playa Santispac.

Catching a ride to Mulege with Angel and Peter.

Boats rocking in the afternoon winds at Playa Santispac.

Hiking with Angel and Peter at El Burro.

Hiking at Playa El Burro.

View of Playa El Burro and Playa El Coyote.

Back down we were thirsty for a cool drink.

All sails up sailing to Santa Rosalia.