I responded to a comment a little while ago saying that I was under the impression that all the islands in Baja are owned by the government. Apparently I was wrong. Although there is a National Parks of Loreto sign posted at Puerta Ballandra on Isla Carmen, at Bahia Marquer, further south on the island there is a “No Trespassing – Private Property” sign instead. Oh well, didn’t look like there was much of a trail away from the beach anyway.
We arrived at Bahia Marquer on Friday afternoon. We didn’t really do much on Friday except row ashore for a few minutes and then made a very half-assed attempt at fishing. Yesterday, we went ashore again. There was a 2-speedboat party on the beach who we stopped and talked to. Hard not to be friendly to people who open the conversation by saying, “We’ve been sitting here admiring your boat.” The party was made up of, if I remember right, 6 adults and a couple of kids. One of the couples was from Puget Sound and had actually been cruisers down here in the 80s. They must have been pretty young as they didn’t look as old as we are. We wandered on along the beach as far as we could go with Lulu looking for, hanging on to, and ultimately discarding various shells. A couple of small colorful pieces of shell did actually make it back to the boat, which is unusual. The speedboaters gave us a couple pieces of pear and a bag of watermelon slices, all nicely chilled.
In the late afternoon, s/v Alta May and s/v La Querencia with Caleb aboard, arrived but they anchored way over on the other side of the bay. Maybe we should shower more.
Our plan had been to start circumnavigating Isla Carmen in a clockwise direction which would take us from Bahia Marquer back up to Puerta Ballandra. But, although the internet connection was weak and iffy, I did manage to see some weather sites. They indicated that, starting Sunday afternoon, the predominant wind was going to switch to the west and actually get strong-ish from the west on Monday. That would make both Marquer and Ballandra exactly the places NOT to be as both are wide open to the west. So, we shifted plans and charted a course for circumnavigating the island counterclockwise with our first stop being Punta Colorada.
We woke this morning to a very unusual sight. The whole bay was socked in with fog. The area right around us was sort of clear but we could not see the boats on the other side of the bay. Nor could we see the mainland. Throughout the morning the fog moved around. Sometimes we were completely socked in, then we’d see the mainland for awhile then it’d be gone, then things would be almost clear, then we’d be socked in again, etc. At one point, not 100′ off our bow, there was, in the thinning fog, the coolest white rainbow. Never seen anything like that before. It was a regular rainbow arch but all white. Finally, about 1100, the fog completely dissipated and we got underway. The trip was only about 10 miles so it wouldn’t take more than 2-3 hours.
During the trip, Lulu ran the watermaker and the tank was actually full by the time we anchored. Very uneventful, mostly windless trip but very nice. Sunny and warm.
We anchored at Punta Colorada at about 1345 in 20′ of water with 100′ of chain out. The bottom is sandy. Being wide open to the Sea of Cortez, the anchorage tends to be a bit rolly. This might be why you don’t see many boats on this side of the island. Not everyone can put up with the level of rolliness that we can. However, right now we’re both thinking that we wouldn’t mind if it settled down a little just to make life a little easier.
There is also a Private Property sign posted here. We probably won’t go ashore and will just stay the night. Tomorrow we’ll make the big 10-mile jump to Bahia Salinas where there is the remains of an old salt-harvesting operation. Old buildings and such. The guidebook makes it sound like we will be able to go ashore there although we need to ask permission of the caretaker to explore the town. There are also some trails to hike. The bay is better protected from the wraparound swell than this one is and we should be able to tuck up inside for a smoother stay. Hope so as we may be there for a few days. The weather gurus are calling for relatively strong northerlies starting Tuesday and lasting a couple days. All the anchorages after Bahia Salinas, until we reach Ballandra again, are wide open to the north.
We’re completely out of internet range again so I’m posting these via Sailmail. As always, I won’t be able to read or respond to your comments until we reach “civilization” again. But please comment anyway.