The weather reports were finally showing an opening for crossing over to the mainland side of the Sea of Cortez, where we wanted to visit the San Carlos area. It looked like Monday would be a good day to cross, and we decided to head up to Punta Chivato, North of the town of Mulegé, to jump off. We departed on a sunny Saturday morning. The North winds were about 10 knots creating a little bit of chop for the 24 miles out of Bahía Concepción and across Bahía Santa Inez.
Punta Chivato has a very long beach with a significant number of houses, an airport for small planes, and what looks like an abandoned hotel (more on that later). When we arrived there were 4 other boats in the anchorage, but there was plenty of room off the beach in good depths. The wind, as one might expect by now, kicked up after we arrived. The anchorage has wave protection from the North and some wind protection, and has excellent holding.
When the wind died down we went in to the beach, which had a huge number of shells spread along its length. There were so many piled up it was like “shell dunes”. The entire area out to the Islas Santa Inez a couple of miles offshore is very shallow, so this must have been a great place for shellfish at some point in time. All of the shells did look very old and worn.
Sunday turned out to be a bit milder than Saturday. In the morning a fisherman and his two sons came by in a panga and offered fresh fish. We bought a small (6 lb) halibut and they filleted it up for us. It turned into some very tasty fish tacos later that evening. They also had a good sized Pargo (snapper) and some lobsters, but we passed on those. We paid in Pesos, cans of coke, and a bag of chips – the dad was hungry.
Later, we went for a walk on the beach where we met some fellow Gringos from Oregon staying in one of the nice houses up in the sand dunes. They had been down here since November and commented on what a cold and windy winter it has been. We then took a little dinghy tour around the anchorage and looked at what must have been a very fancy hotel right on the point. Our guidebook said it was the hotel Posada de los Flores and a great place to go for a sunset drink on the stone patio overlooking the anchorage. Well, the stone patio was still there but the hotel is out of business and obviously abandoned.
While sitting in the cockpit, we were amused watching large flocks of our favorite bird the lesser grebe as they popped up en masse, then suddenly would dive down again. Not clear what their signal is but they all disappear in just 2 to 3 seconds!
We were up before dawn the next morning, ready for a departure at first light. The weather was beautiful – calm winds and flat seas with sunshine almost the whole way. The 9 hour, 72 mile crossing was uneventful – the kind we really like! Next up is our visit to the San Carlos area on the mainland side of the sea.