Northern Sea of Cortez

30th September 2013

After travelling north we spent 2 nights at Bahia las Rocas. We spent one morning exploring the area around Isla Mitlan by dinghy whilst trying to catch a fish. On the way back we came across a large whale shark so I tried to capture it on video using my camera. See whale shark. The glare on the water made it hard to see but I managed to capture it in the end by standing up in the dinghy with the sun behind me. Whale sharks are always great to see.

The next morning Craig went for a hike with Gravel and Nat across the island to East Bay on Isla Smith (Coronados).

The lagoon on the way to East Bay

We would have liked to stay longer but the weather forecast was for strong northwest winds so we headed back to Puerto Don Juan where we know we can always get a good nights sleep.

23rd September.

Quick update. We are going to stop in at the Village for internet access and a few supplies before heading north to Isla Smith (Coronados) to visit a few anchorages which we have heard offer good fishing and hiking. We will be travelling with 3 other boats so it could be a race to see who gets there first.

20th September.

In the Tropical Kitchen……Hurricane Manuel hit land and is now a remnant low which is good news for us here in the Northern Sea of Cortez.

19th September.

In the Tropical Kitchen…...There is a Hurricane Category 1 (64-82 knots wind speed) in the Sea of Cortez. M is for Manuel. It is currently northeast of La Paz on the mainland side near Topolobampo. We are all keeping an eye on it as it has been unpredictable so far. This is the first one this season to enter the Sea of Cortez.

Its time for another Full Moon Party!

Lady Carolina at anchor, under the full moon

Everyone sailed over to La Mona and anchored off the lovely beach. As the tide rose we all headed for the "jacuzzi" at the entrance to the lagoon. I guess it got its name as that is where all the water rushes in and out with the tide.

The jacuzzi

Keeping cool on the beach

A Bocci tournament is planned for the afternoon followed by a Pot Luck on the beach.

Relaxing at the Pot Luck

The sun went down and the Harvest Moon came up.

By now you can probably tell that cruisers often make their own fun and entertainment.

18th September.

After 8 nights at Puerto Refugio we headed south back to the Bay of LA Village. We were able to stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables, bread and other grocery items. The only internet access is Wi-Fi at a couple of the village shops but it can be very light and variable at times. The other day when we logged on there was a large bang and power to the village went out. This is not uncommon.

Regatta Day was yesterday. Most of the cruising fleet made their way to Bay of LA village to participate in this annual event. There were 9 sailing vessels which consisted of 2 catamarans, 1 trimaran and the rest were monohulls. MaiTaiRoa is a motor boat and they acted as the Committee Boat. Hmmm….it seems they were multi tasking as they also caught a Dorado and we beat them back to the finish line! But they got lots of photos which was great. It can be hard to get a photo of your own boat under full sail. Young Joel from Lady Carolina was Grand PooBa and in charge of organising the event and making important decisions.

Getting ready for the race

When the starting horn sounded only 5 vessels charged off from the starting line. Sara M, the trimaran, Drifter, Let it Go catamaran and us.

The rest were left bobbing with 0.3 knots of wind. Exodus catamaran had a windlass problem and had to haul his anchor up by hand. Entre Nous had spinnaker problems and line tangles before withdrawing from the race.

True Blue V under sail

True Blue V first to round the mark at La Mona

We sailed to La Mona reaching top speed of 7.4 knots and were first to round the mark. The trimaran was hot on our tail but we managed to hold him off and take Line Honours! We were awarded the "Cup" by Grand PooBa at the celebration dinner at Costa del Sol Restaurant that night.

Grand PooBa Joel presenting the Bay of LA Regatta Cup.

9th September.

We have been here at Puerto Refugio for nearly 1 week. There is a great natural beauty here which is only enhanced by its isolation. Not many cruisers venture this far into the Sea of Cortez. It will be as far north as we go.

Checking out the beaches and bays.

Sandstone caves

Hiking on Isla Angel de la Guarda

We went for a hike. It was a scrubby, rocky terrain. We found some remains of a plane crash but most of the debris had been removed.

Looking down over Middle Bight, East Bay, Isla Angel de la Guarda

Out in the dinghy exploring Isla de las Cuevas which means Island of the Caves

This island is called Piedra Blanca which means White Stone

At Puerto Refugio

3rd September.

Today we departed Alcatraz Bay forPuerto Refugiowhich is 18nm north and lies at the far northern tip ofIsla Angelde la Guarda.The beauty of this secluded anchorage lies in the ruggedness of the terrain and numerous islands and rocky islets surrounding the anchorage. There is a large sea lion rookery on Isla Granito which will be worth a visit. Last night we had no-see-ums which are also known as jejenes (pronounced hay-hay-nays). At home we call them sandflies and for something so tiny they have a big bite and leave you itching for days.

2nd September.

Today was fun. We went fishing. We trolled a line behind the dinghy and caught several Leopard Spotted Gropers. We were very happy to be having fresh fish for dinner but the highlight of the day was still to come.

We were on our way to visit a Sea Lion rookery nearby. The sea lions live on a small rocky island which they share with pelicans and other sea birds.

Great body language…..bad breath?

I wasn't expecting it to be so crowded.

An extinct volcano 1,554 feet high, in the background on Isla Coronado.

The seals scrambled into the waterand were very curious about us. They don't get many visitors.

1st September

We departed La Mona and sailed 17nm north to Alcatraz Bay. It is a lovely bay with a long white sandy beach. Sea Note are also travelling north and pulled into the anchorage soon after we arrived.

Chicgaila from Sea Note on the beach at Alcatraz

Sunset at Alcatraz Bay

True Blue V 2016