Sunday, June 29, 2014

40 Days in the Sea of Cortez

We enjoyed the lush, tropical west coast of Mexico and looked forward to the dry, desert-like cruising in the Sea of Cortez. After a two week stop in La Paz to catch up on city life we headed north into the Sea. I won't cover all our stops in this blog, but just hit the highlights.

San Evaristo anchorage

There's room for about 15 - 20 boats in the anchorage. Cruisers meet on the beach for a cerveza and to swap stories and suggestions for cruising in the Sea. We met several cruisers in San Evaristo who we continued to see over the next few weeks as we sailed north. This photo was taken at Cipriana’s “restaurant", just a hut on the beach. We got some cruisers together and asked Cipriana if she would prepare a meal. She got fish from one of her neighbors and we enjoyed a nice meal of fish, rice and beans.

Cipriana's "restaurant"

We hiked to visit nearby salt flats. Some workers were loading 100 pound bags into their pickup. When they finished, the truck was so loaded down I didn’t think it would be able to drive away. Obviously they had done it before and knew how many bags the truck would hold.

Salt Flats

When we were preparing for the Baja Ha-Ha, we heard that there might be opportunities to give local kids toys and school supplies. That didn't happen on the Ha-Ha, but Kathryn carried her bag of goodies with her every time we visited a remote anchorage. There was a house on the salt flats where four children were playing. They enjoyed their surprise gifts and we also gave their mom a solar “Luci Lite” for their house. When we were leaving, the kids ran after us with their own gift – a package of cookies … nice!

Toys for the kids

Another stop was at Puerto Los Gatos. There is no community here, no port and no cats. The cruising guide said the bay got its name because a family of mountain lions used to frequent the rocks above the beach. This photo shows a small part of the beach, which was covered with well preserved shells – a shell hunters dream.

Puerto Los Gatos shell beach

The anchorage is known for its vibrantly colored red rocks that reminded us of Red Rocks National Park, a popular climbing area in Nevada.

Red rocks at Puerto Los Gatos

The anchorage is also known for a panga that regularly visits the bay with live langosta. We had to give it a try for our first lobster dinner in Mexico. As you can see, it was pretty tasty.


We sailed on to Bahia Salinas on Isla Carmen, the site of an abandoned salt mining operation.

Bahia Salinas

In its day, it was quite a substantial business with a dozen or so abandoned buildings just off the beach.

Abandoned buildings

It was prosperous enough to have a company store, maintenance shop, hospital, etc.


This was Kathryn's favorite mode of transportation in the Sea of Cortez. We inflated the kayaks before we left La Paz and used them whenever we enjoyed a quiet anchorage.


There were a lot of picture post card beautiful anchorages in the Sea of Cortez, and Isla Coronados was one of them.

Isla Coronados beach

Isla Coronados is in a national park, with trails and local park rangers to warn you to avoid rattlesnakes alongside the trails.

Loreto Bay National Park

We hiked to the center of the island, enjoying the desert. 

Isla Coronados hike

Yes, the water really is that color!

Isla Coronados anchorage

It was appropriate that our last stop was Isla San Francisco, after leaving San Francisco 3,200 nautical miles and 9 months ago.

One of the most beautiful anchorages of the trip

Kathryn hiked to the top of the island with our new friends from Nirvana and Alycone

Betsy, Kenny, Sherry, Bob

We're looking forward to returning to the Sea of Cortez and mainland Mexico cruising in the fall. Next season we plan to motor less and sail more, head further south to Zihuatenejo, catch more fish, and experience more of what Mexico has to offer.

Agave Azul with the Sierra de la Giganta mountains in the background

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful pictures. Looks like you are really enjoying retirement! So happy for you.