Loreto to San Carlos

Late Spring 2013

Painted Cliffs Anchorage

Typical of the rugged beauty in Baja California.

Dana joined the boat in Loreto to explore Baja with me for the later part of the spring. We planned a dive centric time but unseasonably cold water temperatures made that idea not so pleasant. Re-setting the plan we decided to tour many of the areas in the central and northern Sea of Cortez that I love. You can see Dana's blog of our travels here.

Our first stop was Isla Carmen where we spent about a week hiking, and exploring the beaches.

Isla Carmen

Searching for tidepools in the rocks around Isla Carmen

We found many interesting things washed up on the beaches. This turtle's remains were mostly all there.

Another well disguised lizard

The doctors office at the old salt works still has a sign and working door, and not much else.

Some of the salt ponds still have large crystals around the edges

The wind, sand, and salt air are rapidly taking the old buildings apart. This faciltye was only closed in the mid 80's, but is rapidly being reclaimed by the desert.


We returned to Loreto for the Sunday market, ice cream and laundry
With the outdoor fruit hamocks filled we are ready for another couple weeks exploring Baja.

This haul included pineapples, mangoes, avocadoes, oranges, apples, limes, and grapefruit.

Isla Coronados

Our climb to the top of the 1000' volcanic cone at Isla Coronados proved to be far more challenging than expected.

The hike started with a nice flat sandy approach, followed with about 500' in elevation scrambling through jagged rock ranging from 2" to about a foot. Slow going, and tough on the feet. The last 500' was nearly straight up the sandy side of the cone.

San Juanico

The anchorage at San Juanico is considered one of the finest in Baja California

The harsh beauty of the desert meeting the ocean is unsurpassed

Some of the cactus were still in bloom

There were at least a half dozen Osprey nests around the anchorage

The Black Necked Grebes were in winter plumage and can not fly, but they dive under the water and stay down searching their prey

Dana loved going for kayak rides to explore whatever she might find

Enjoying friends and neighbors at a sunset potluck

Punta Chivato

Our stop at Punta Chivato was planned for a couple reasons. The weather was due to come strong from the north, again, so we needed a place to hide. Much more importantly, the beach there is renowned among shell collectors.

The skipper has gone through a couple interventions to stop grabbing every shell he thinks looks nice, there just isn't room on the boat.

Dana made this haul in one afternoon! She may have to buy a second bus ticket to get her collection back to the USA.
We could hardly have expected our encounter with a Whale Shark. It was so close that touching it would have been easy. This counts as the best surprise of the spring trip in Baja.

When returning from our shell collecting we saw a 12' whale shark in the water near the boat!

After dropping Dana on the boat so she could take pictures from above the shark returned and swam within inches of the kayak.

This time the underwater camera was at hand. The tail was actualy within about six inches when the shark finished this pass.


Salsipuedes translates as "leave if you can". I've never figured out if that means if you are able to, or if you ever want to. It is an area of a few very remote islands that clearly show their geologically recent birth. The waters are challenging, the wildlife is abundant and unusual, and the landscapes are raw.

Just after entering the Salsipuedes Channel this pair of Sea Lions gave us the flipper!

The anchorage at Isla Salsipuedes is narrow enough that a stern anchor was in order. When walking ashore we found a few cactuses but little other vegetation. There were plenty of pelicans and gulls though, the parasitic flies that live off them had a few bites of us too.

The water was so clear it was tempting to get in for some snorkeling, but the 59° temperature kept us on the boat.

Our adventure continued for another couple weeks, but ended earlier than planned. Life has become hectic as I try to juggle boat life and upcoming adventures. I promise to get the rest of this page up in the coming week.