Sea Of Cortez

Be sure to check out "Movies" to see our latest additions…. "Summer in Northern Sea of Cortez 2013" and "Santa Rosalia-WalkAbout".

Painted Cliffs, Isla Carmen

We moved around the point to Painted Cliffs.

This is a lovely anchorage named because of all the colours in the cliffs.

Unforturnately one night here was enough as we got driven out by hordes of no-see-ums. (Midges) They were the worst I have ever seen and crawled through the flyscreen and were even biting me in bed. The mosquito coils didn't seem to bother them. Other cruisers have also been reporting problems with no-see-ums on Isla Carmen at this time of year - after the rain. Bummer!

Bahia Salinas, Isla Carmen

We arrived yesterday and Ken from Drifter arrived soon after. After a rolly night at anchor we were off to explore theremains of a large salt mining operation which can be seen along the shoreline. The company closed down in the 1980's but there is still rusting equipment and the remains of buildings which makes taking photos fun.

Someone around here likes to garden.

Out in the middle of the bay is the sunken wreck of a 120 foot tuna boat. The tuna boat lies on her port side in 35 feet of water so we took our snorkle and fins and went to check it out. There were lots of fish which was nice to see.

You can just see the tip of the sunken wreck out in the middle of the bay.

24th October

Isla Coronados We are anchored here with 9 other boats. There is a Pot Luck organised on the beach at 5.00pm and everyone turns up. It is a great way to meet new people and catch up with friends we already know.

Modes of transport…..kayaks and dinghies

The cruisers…..

Craig plays Bocce and laughs as the tape measure gets pulled out of the pocket. You can tell its getting serious because Dan has put his beer down.

The kayakers…..

These kayakers asked for some ice and were very happy when I gave them a bag. Salud!

The kayakers are from Canada and the UK and are on a 3 week adventure in the Sea of Cortez. It is a great way to keep fit, see the sights and get close to nature.

22nd October

We are enjoying staying at some of the anchorages we missed on the way north into the Sea of Cortez. Our next stop is Punta Mangles. Approx 17nm south. Just north of this anchorage are beautiful striated cliffs and sea caves.

The striated cliffs….did you notice how green the hills are now?

Move over Craig….its my turn to drive.

Should be able to find a couple of hiking sticks here!

This wall is the best part of another abandoned resort development.

We enjoy being with other cruisers but it is also very special for us to have such a beautiful location all to ourselves. This anchorage may be the end of the seclusion for us as all the cruisers from USA and Canada return to the Sea for the winter season. We have noticed a large increase of boats checking in to the Ham radio nets and as we head further south to popular Loreto the anchorages are starting to fill.

The annual BAJA HA-HA Rally which starts 28th October from San Diego will see 164 cruising vessels cruise down the coast to mainland Puerto Vallarta and La Paz. That's a lot of boats in a lot of anchorages. Some of these cruisers will also be doing the Pacific Puddle Jump. That is an informal rally crossing from the Mexico mainland or USA west coast to the Islands of the South Pacific.

Punta Pulpito We were the only boat anchored at Punta Pulpito so we decided to stay 2 nights and enjoy the serenity.

Punta Pulpito - Note the giant vein of black obsidian glass on the 475 foot high headland

Craig and I went fishing and exploring in the dinghy….

and we found a sea cave on the point. We caught several small grouper but threw them back to grow a bit bigger.

Punta Chivato On the way to Punta Chivato, Craig landed this Dorado. The bigger one got away!

Dorado for dinner! Yay! Their bright colours disappear quickly once they are taken from the water.

We anchored in behind Punta Chivato to get some protection from the northwest wind and swell. The shores of Bahia Santa Ines are lined with shells of all kinds. A good excuse to get off the boat.

Shells, shells, shells!

Craig with Dan from SV Dazzler checking out all the shells.

17th October 2013

We are departing Santa Rosalia tomorrow to go to Punta Chivato. Approx 27nm.

13th October 2013

We are just hanging out at the Santa Rosalia Fonatur Marina getting boat jobs, cleaning and maintenance done. A couple of us are waiting to see what Tropical Storm Octave is going to do before we move further south.

9th October 2013

After 4 nights of strong northwest winds the wind abated. Yay! We feel like we need to go somewhere or do something so we decide to continue south to Santa Rosalia approximately 120nm. This involves a night passage but the weather conditions are light and the seas have calmed and it is a beautiful night to be out. We arrive at Santa Rosalia at 0800 hours and are greeted at the dock by Entre Nous, Drifter, Dazzler and Chara. MaitaiRoa were still in bed.

Santa Rosalia is a wonderful town that has a lot of personality and history from its copper mining days. Even though we have been here before there is still a lot to see and do. In the morning we hiked up the hill with Bob and Joyce to the cemetery.

Great view from the Cemetery at the top of the hill

In the late 1800's the working conditions in the copper mine were very poor and many of the workers died young. I was hoping to find some of their graves but as you can see time has made it hard to find graves before 1900. A pile of rocks is what remained.

7th October 2013

Because of the strong northwest winds we have not left the boat for 3 days.

We have been reading books; watching movies; listening to music; repairing the Mexican flag which is almost shredded; editing iMovies and adding sound tracks which we hope to upload at Santa Rosalia; listening to Ham radio nets morning and night for latest weather reports and to hear where other cruisers are and what their weather conditions are; charging batteries with the Honda generator; planning and checking our charts for our South Pacific voyage next year, writing lists for shopping, maintenance and jobs we want to get done.

Alex from MaitaiRoa asked Craig to fill in for him as Net Controller on Sonrisa Ham Net for 2 days. As net controller his job is to open the Net, introduce himself, call for any emergency or priority traffic, health and welfare, followed by asking for vessels underway to check in. If they are underway he makes a note of their position. He then asks for general check ins where lots of boats call in and state their Ham callsign, name of boat, who is on board, location, weather conditions etc. At 0645 he will ask Geary to do his weather report. Geary gets up at 0400 hours each morning and checks a number of sources and then gives a 3 day forecast for the weather in Sea of Cortez and Pacific Baja. Also a Tropical Kitchen report to tell us if their are any hurricanes or tropical storms developing south of Cabo that may be headed our way. After Geary's report Craig will ask for any QST's (information), relays or traffic and at the end of the Net he will close it and advise this frequency is open for use.

Craig at 0630 being Net Controller for Sonrisa Ham Net

1st October 2013

There are not many vessels up here in the Sea of Cortez because many of the American and Canadian cruisers go home to visit family and friends thus escaping the extreme summer heat. Some cruisers keep their boats in a marina but it is much cheaper to haul their boat out and leave it on a hardstand long term. San Carlos in very popular for that. The cruisers then return in October/November when the hot summer weather is over. Winter in Mexico is warm and sunny which makes it a popular time for all types of vacationers. There are cruisers here who have been living this lifestyle for years.

We departed Puerto Don Juan and headed into the village to stock up with supplies. Most of the small cruising fleet were there and some were starting their journey 350nm south to La Paz. The weather is cooling and the winds are starting to change from south to north. The hurricane season is nearly over. As we have not explored the anchorages of Bahia de las Animas which is south of Don Juan and north of Santa Rosalia we decided to head south too. Our first anchorage was Ensenada el Quemado.

We went for a hike and found a resort which looked like it was still under construction or perhaps the developer went broke. There was no one to be seen.

A beautiful beach and a great view

A work in progress.

We proceeded south to a beautiful anchorage known as Animas Slot. There is only room for one boat here. We enjoyed some fishing and hiking here.

Animas Slot looking north to the extinct Volcano on Isla Smith (Coronados)

The weather forecast is for strong northwest winds for the next 3 days so we upped anchor and moved to an anchorage that is behind Punta Islotes, Bahia de las Animas. It reportedly gives good northwest to southwest protection. I am hoping to get some movies edited for the website during this time.

True Blue V 2016