Sunday, June 8, 2014

Boys Trip 3.0 - Bahia Salinas to Loreto

In the third and final installment of the boys trip we visited Isla Carmen, Isla Coronado, and Loreto.

While in Bahia Candeleros we learned that the forecast was for a 3 day blow from the north.
In the Sea of Cortez a "Norther" can pack 25 to 35 knot winds.  In San Francisco we regular sail in 25 knots of wind but the sea state here can get very wild.  Big, short period, square waves that accompany the wind will slow forward motion to a crawl and get salt water in your cocktail.

Before the wind got serious we decided to head over to Isla Carmen and meet up with our friends on the catamaran Tisha Baby.  Being in Bahia Salinas on the South side of the island would give us good protection for the forecasted seas.

Bahia Salinas is one of my favorite anchorages.  It is a big bay that hosts an old salt mine and now a big horn sheep hunting lodge.  There is also a large wreck in the middle of the bay that provides great snorkeling.   If you look closely you'll also see that there are tons of Chocalati clams.

Shindighy anchored off the shore near a hulk left over from the mining operation.

The new hunting lodge.   For big $$ you can hunt big game on Isla Carmen.  Check out the promotional video 

The norther arrived!  While we had good protection  from  the seas, the wind funnels into the anchorage. The highest wind speed we saw was 36 knots.  On average it was 22 to 25.
Also recorded a new power output record on the Shindig Solar.  324 watts.  That is a new high and represents 86% of the specification of the panels.  I have not seen numbers since then.  I believe that the high winds were cooling the panels significantly.

Oh, did I mention clams?!

Pam and Richard hosted JD and me onboard Tisha Baby.

JD and I getting ready to dig into an incredible feast.

Boat dog Cloe is awesome.  She is always close by for a pet.

The wreck in the middle of the anchorage is an incredible snorkel spot.

JD and I attempted to spear some fish.  We were outsmarted by the wise reef dwellers

Clean up, Clean up.

Old equipment slowly returning to the earth

An office with a view.

Many of the original building built in the 1930's are crumbling.

These are two small locomotives used to haul salt from the ponds

Every salt mine needs a church

After the winds subsided we headed north to Isla Coronado.  This is a favorite place for many cruisers. It has north and south anchorages, a picturesque cove, hiking, snorkeling/diving and is only 8 miles from Loreto.

Out in the dinghy looking for  places to snorkel

Found a good spot!


Where the sandy trail ends and becomes a boulder dash uphill.

The view from the top of Isla Coronado.  This is the North anchorage, a favorite place for locals and cruisers alike.

Made it to the top!

Dolphin escorts never gets old
Whale sharks can be elusive in the sea but for some reason we've encountered several this year.  It goes against every instinct to get into the water with a creature that is 20 feet long.  They are curious about you but are mostly interested in eating.  They suck up salt water and filter out plankton.  If you find a good cloudy patch of plankton usually the whale shark will turn around and keep passing you, back and forth.

JD approaching a whale shark.
Video of the whale shark.

Loreto was our last stop on the boys trip.  JD flew out three weeks after arriving in La Paz.  What a great trip for both of us.

A nice sized whale shark statue in the Loreto harbor

The "Mother of all California missions" - founded 1697

Trees forming a canopy above historical walking area in Loreto

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