Thursday, June 30, 2016
Loreto and Isla Coronados
Loreto rests at the shore of the Sea of Cortez
We spent 3 sweets weeks sailing between Loreto and the surrounding islands
which compose Loreto National Park.
Welcome to Loreto!
The map shows the town of Loreto, Isla Coronados and Isla Carmen.
We are currently anchored at El Burro Cove in Bahia Concepcion.
The Catholic church here is 300 years old
The Blue Anchor, our favorite internet place in Loreto
The Sea of Cortez ruins sailors.
There, I said it.
When Chris and I were sailing the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, wave heights of 5-15 feet were pretty much all in a days work. Expected. But here in the Sea of Cortez, it's so protected that a typical swell size is one foot. A scary day might mean swells of 3-5 feet.
It's that flat calm.
The water surface can be so benign in the Sea of Cortez that we actually motored 6 miles across open ocean between Loreto and Isla Coronados with our sunshades up and WITH OUR DINGHY HANGING ON THE SIDE OF THE BOAT.
You landlubbers won't get the relevance of this. But in the regular ocean, be it Pacific or Atlantic -- the above motoring scenario, well, it simply isn't done.
We enjoyed several days at calm and beautiful Isla Coronados
One day I went for a long swim across the bay at Isla Coronados. Halfway through my swim, mother and child humpback whales surfaced about 30 feet away.
My first instinct was to panic.
Yikes! There are two gigantic whales only 30 feet away!
But after a few deep breaths, I settled down and just tried to exude calm (Generally speaking, flailing and freaking out around wildlife is not a good idea). They surfaced again and then calmly headed towards the open ocean.
Wow. Pretty cool.
Later that night, while relaxing in the cockpit and watching the full moon rise over the mountains, we heard an explosion from the direction of the mainland.
"What in the hell was that?" we asked each other.
A moment later, we heard another explosion emanating from the direction of the mainland. The sound bounced ominously off of the mountains, across the water and out of the pitch blackness.
We sat silently, listening through the darkness.
We heard the sound again, but this time it was preceded by a large and loud exhaling sound, and then, the gigantic explosion.
The whales! It was humpbacks breaching -- diving deep and then hurtling through the ocean surface and smashing down again. They were so large, and it was so loud, each breach sounded exactly like dynamite exploding in the mountains.
Again and again, we listened to the sound of whale after whale breaching,. There must have been at least 3 of them.
We were anchored only a couple of hundred feet away.
The ocean between the mainland in the distance and Isla Coronados is where the humpback whales breached over and over again under the cloak of darkness
The next morning, we popped over to Loreto again.
Loreto brick and palm
Loreto has an adorable ficus walkway that goes right through the center of town
Mountain peaks soar behind the city
With the palm trees and the towering mountains, Loreto has almost a South Pacific feel
We watched a game of the NBA finals at gringo sports bar Augie's
with John and Julie of s/v Myla
After provisioning at the Ley's supermarket in Loreto and downloading all of our favorite podcasts, it was time to head north again -- away from civilization and into the wildness once more.
We actually caught some good wind and enjoyed a refreshing sail.
Chris set the auto pilot and rode Espiritu like a bucking bronco
That's it for now. We're currently anchored in Playa Burro in Bahia Concepcion with several other sailboats awaiting the big annual gringo July 4th fireworks show local expat Geary puts on every year. All is well.
What are your July 4th plans? Let me know! @email@example.com