Saturday, April 25, 2015

Sailing into the Sea of Cortez

The Terrapin Crew finally broke free of Banderas Bay and has sailed for the past 10 days to get into the Sea of Cortez. The map below details the few hundred miles we've sailed making our way into the what others have guaranteed us will be our favorite parts of Mexico.

Leaving Banderas Bay after having been bed ridden with salmonella, I was only wanting to do some short sails in the beginning of our voyage to La Paz.  Our first stop was in Jaltemba, a place we hadn't visited before.  We anchored right behind a small island right off the bay and enjoyed hours of snorkeling and much needed "relax time". It felt so good to be on the move again. 

Think Emma likes her snorkel? She wont take it off, except to eat.

Next stop, San Blas. We had been to San Blas before and loved it. We were happy to be back again. This time we were with other buddy boats, YOLO and Makai. Traveling with other kids boats is a blast!


San Blas rooster

Our third stop was yet another Terrapin Crew favorite, Isla Isabel. When we visited last time, Phil swam with a mom and baby humpback whale. Again we were happy to snorkel in a spectacular place and enjoy the peacefulness that Isla Isabel has to offer.  Isla Isabel is #1 of our favorite places on the Terrapin list. We may even visit this gorgeous island for a third time on the way down to Central America in the fall. 

Emma and her snorkel. Are you sensing a theme?

Isla Isabel can comfortably host only 3-4 boats.  There is a small sand patch among the rock and coral to drop the hook on and you need to be very careful of reefs. It's a little tough with everyone trying to shoot their anchor in the same spot, but if there's a will, there's a way. Terrapin, YOLO and Makai made it work and it was kid-boat-apalooza!!

Emma jumping off YOLO's bowsprit

Genny from Makai jumping off YOLO

After a two day stop at Isla Isabel, it was off towards the Baja Peninsula.  We spent the next 51 hours sailing with very light southerly winds towards Ensanada De Los Muertos. Along the way we spotted dozens of little birds hitching rides on top of huge sea turtles. Total mooches!

Think the Captain was tired after our passage? respect Emma, no respect.

We arrived in Ensanada De Los Muertos after 51 hours and we were cold. Clearly we were not in the tropics anymore as we threw on our long sleeve shirts and pj pants. Without the heat and humidity that we had become accustomed to, the four of us were ready to make hot chocolate to keep warm in 75 degrees. We've totally gone soft.

We don't do this as often as we should, but we try to remember to bring a garbage bag ashore for a beach clean up. 

Ensenada De Los Muertos is home to some of the fattest pelicans we've ever seen.

Our first night in Ensenada De Los Muertos, the wind whipped up out of nowhere and howled all night reaching 30 knots at times...not conducive to getting good sleep. Thankfully, our second night was peaceful.

After two nights in Ensenada De Los Muertos we sailed for most of today to Puerto Balandra. As we cruised North into the Sea of Cortez, we were greeted by flying Manta Rays. These dudes are crazy. They fly straight out of the water, sometimes somersaulting a few times and then belly flop with a loud "slap!". Doesn't that hurt?

Here's the view from today's hike. Doesn't suck!

Mushroom rock

The water in the Sea of Cortez is amazing! Comparable to the Bahamas. 

The best part of this huge bay is that you can walk out about 200 feet from shore and still only be in waist high water. Tomorrow we head for La Paz, where we will get supplies, haircuts, cold beer and then we're off again.

Having the time of our lives.


  1. Right about now I'm ready to trade in Freedom for a bigger boat, pack up our shit and join you...... Come on Lotto........

    1. Lotto? We've never won more than $5. You just need more balls than bucks ($$). I'm sure my mom would argue more balls than brains..which isn't true. You can't pull off cruising if you're a total idiot.

    2. Winning the lottery is not that easy and requires extreme luck. But there is nothing impossible, just look, for instance, through Australian Oz lotto results. People win more.

  2. I hope my girls stay as close as yours. Sisters are great! Love all your pictures, what a great area to cruise!