Monday, April 23, 2012

Spring Migration

The Spring migration is on in Baja. It's time all the cruisers return from mainland Mexico to Baja and start moving north, enjoying the warmer Spring weather before putting their boats away for the summer. There are the annual cruiser festivals in La Paz and then Loreto and the anchorages start to fill up as the boating population explodes. It's also the time of northern winds forcing boats into the few anchorages with protection from the north winds. Oh the joy of the crowds.

As you should know, we are not crowd people nor festival goers although we've been to both Bayfest in La Paz and Loreto-fest once. You have to go once just to see what it's all about. This Spring we are trying to find the off the beaten path anchorages and using the festival days as a time to visit the popular places while others are in partying.

So we went to Punto Colorada on Isla Carmen, Punto Pulpito, Punta San Antonio, and Punta Mangles on Baja, and now La Lancha on Isla Carmen again. All these locations are new to us and places most boaters don't go and all of them have been very enjoyable.

Our favorite so far is La Lancha, a bite on the north end of Isla Carmen that has protection from any southerly wind but is very exposed to the north. The shore is rocky but the bay has a sand bottom and the water is clear and full of fish and Linda spotted a Big Horn Sheep on shore. Isla Carmen is stocked with Big Horn Sheep, the desert variety which are smaller than the mountain kind, and there is a hunting lodge on the island where people come from all over the world to hunt these animals. We don't get it but to each their own. All the anchorages on Isla Carmen have signs posted to not walk inland on the island because you risk being mistaken for a sheep and shot at.

When you are anchored in Salinas Bay on the island in front of the lodge it is a courtesy when you go ashore to take a couple of curvesas with you for the caretaker who is also the hunting guide. He is happy to show you around the lodge and remains of the old salt flats so be nice and pay his small tariff. We'll be visiting Salinas in a few days and I'll have a couple of cold ones in a sack with me when we go ashore the first time.

The temperatures are rising into the 90's and the water should be getting close to 80 by the end of the month, warm enough for leisurely afternoon swims. It was a cold winter, last year we were swimming by mid-April.

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