Sunday, October 31, 2010

Bahia de Tortugas

We passed Isla Cedros on her western shore yesterday morning, then motored on past Isla Navidad, looking for the purported “best surf of Baja.” The swell was unfortunately not a southerly one, so it wasn’t breaking well, but the kelp forests around the island were amazing and the water so clear that we could see them at least 30 feet down. Some kelp got stuck on the prop but Andrew and Luke retrieved it without any damage done to the engine. Soon after clearing the islands, kelp forests, and lobster traps, a mass migration of dolphins crossed our path at a 90 degree angle. Hundreds of dolphins jumping in unison swam off in a long line across the horizon. Around 1200 a breeze picked up and we were able to fly the asymmetric spinnaker on our way to Turtle Bay.

El Tiburon dropped anchored in Bahia de Tortugas at 1520 and secured a ride to shore from a panga. The cost was $5 and two beers. Upon arrival at the fuel dock/main pier, we crossed a beach to get to Enrique’s restaurant. A pack of local dogs that the kids had been playing with came to hound us, eager to get to Kitty. One was particularly aggressive and clearly the alpha male, but we managed to fend them off with some stern words and air-kicks.

Having made it safely to the restaurant, we were greeted by a “Captain Ron” named Evan who had been drinking all day while waiting for his torn jib to be repaired (with sewing thread and duct tape). He was escorting a group of kids in their mid-twenties with little experience on a bare 1974 trimaran, and felt it was his duty to make sure they got to Cabo safely. He was clearly passionate about his mission, as it was repeated at least five times during our conversation. Enrique and his family were more than hospitable, welcoming us and particularly Kitty into the restaurant that appeared to also be part of their home. Facing East, we watched the sun set on the arid mountains as pelicans dive bombed the bay while we enjoyed Modelos and some pescado delicioso.

After the sun went down we got a dinghy ride back to our boat by one of the green twenty-somethings from the trimaran.

Lessons learned:

1) never go ashore without bringing a Stanec (headlamp) or flashlight

2) never go ashore without turning your anchor lights on

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