Sunday, December 15, 2013

On to Santa Maria and Magdalena Bay


As there was nothing to do in San Ignacio, we continued south to Santa Maria Bay.  It started as a lovely sail as we flew the gennaker for several hours in the afternoon and then continued to sail well into the night with just the main. The wind picked up to 17-22 knots, so around midnight we put in one reef on the main.  We arrived in Santa Maria Bay, on the outside of Magdalena Bay, about 25 hours after our departure from San Ignacio. We were welcomed by the flipper flapping of a whale!
Santa Maria Bay is lovely, with an inviting white sand beach. Several fisherman have fish camps along the shore.  We didn't explore the area because we had to go around the corner to San Carlos in Magdalena Bay to pick up our friend, Manny Souza, and his girlfriend, Nicky Martin, who we had yet to meet.
We left Santa Maria Bay early, but were slowed by the lovely views along the west side of Punta Entrada. Then a couple of whales entranced us in the entrance to Magdalena Bay, then there was some bargaining with fishermen... In exchange for some insulating styrofoam that we no longer needed, we got a lot of very fresh (live!) shrimp.
Fortunately, we arrived in San Carlos about the same time that many and Nicky drove in from La Paz.
The guide book claims that San Carlos is the second largest port , after Ensenada, along the western coast of Baja. Based on this information, we planned to dock, go out to dinner, provision, etc.  What a surprise when we finally arrived to find no public dock, no good access to shore and very few buildings. There is a large industrial pier for large fishing boats and tankers. As we were slowing down to figure out what to do, Manny hailed us on the radio! They were at THE hotel and restaurant in town, Villas Mar y Arena.  We anchored in the strong current in the channel and Dina took Tubby as far into shore (mud flats) as was possible. Fortunately, the water was warm so hauling Tubby up onto shore, and dragging him back out was not too bad.
Meanwhile, Malcolm cleaned the shrimp and marinated them in garlic. He SAYS that he had no problem killing the live ones, and was not squeamish about removing the antenna, eyes, legs, everything, ....