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  • Capt. Eric

Ensenada de los Muertos

This time no adventure when making our way up from Cabo Frailes: I had timed our departure with good weather, leaving early to avoid most of the afternoon winds.

We arrived mid afternoon, finding a good number of boats already anchored in the safety and lee of the Northeast cape. I could have wiggled Enfin in between the various sailboats and anchored there, but decided to try the other end of the beach instead. Away from the "crowd".

Incredible beach, Ensenada de los Muertos.

My charts indicated rocks closer to that end, so we anchored further out on sandy bottoms with rocks and coral reefs a short distance behind us.

As usual Princess was elated about our arrival and especially took great interest when we lowered the kayak from its cruising position on the upper deck to the water. We all got ready and soon we paddled over beautiful reef with bright fish, before landing on our very own side of the beach. Wonderful!

Di and Princess enjoying their new beach.

Evening treated us to an incredible sunset, the first of many as almost every night brought an incredible display of bright reds and oranges over the dark silhouetted mountains.

Time for an aperitif, and to reflect on the good life we're currently living.

The first of many incredible sunsets.

Walking the beach twice a day, we decided to try out the restaurant on the North East side, as it was highly recommended in the various cruising guides. To make our life easy, and our paddle a lot shorter, I moved Enfin from the empty side of the beach to the huddle closer to the activity, restaurant and boat ramp, after a few sailboats had left. It felt a little more crowded, but we've just been so spoiled in empty places that sharing a 2 mile long beach with 12 boats seems that way to us. This is very far from Mediterranean or even San Juan islands in the summer type of crowds.

The restaurant was very pleasant. A large open terrace under a palapa roof with Enfin just in front. Still "gringo" prices, but at half the price of San Jose de Cabo, acceptably so considering the location and great experience.

The good life.

We met many of the other cruisers there, and being the only ones on a power boat we were easy to spot. Princess did her usual ambassador job, introducing us to everyone. She got a number of hamburger bits and cheese rewards as a thank you.

Soon the discussion centered around the weather forecast showing strong Northerly winds every day for well over a week. Pretty much every sailor was going North like us, so all decided to stay until a weather window would open. Enfin could easily have made it North in those conditions, especially with a night time trip when the wind is weaker, but we decided that we'd prefer being "stuck" here in a beautiful and safe bay, huge expanses of white sandy beach and a good restaurant to boot.

1535 Restaurant. Great views, good food, good people.

So the days went by: 2 walks ashore for Princess, some swimming, and all of us taking the time to savor our anchored in paradise life style.

Burger with a view.

In the evenings, we'd often see whales in the distance, and even got lucky to be able to get close to a mother and calf pair with our kayak. We couldn't get as close to them as we'd had in Cabo Frailes, but nevertheless a very humbling and unforgettable experience.

After kayaking, we'd sit in our cockpit, watching the pelicans use the last rays of sun to decimate large schools of hyperactive fish at the surface. The panicking fish made the water look like it was boiling with their frantic tries to escape death from above.

This is the only place around that has phone signal.

The first night close to the boat ramp, I'd decided it'd be safer to keep our deck lights lit so the early pangas could easily spot us: Our masthead anchor light is powerful and bright white, but can easily be overlooked by a rushed fisherman going about its business. It is a lot harder to not see a lit up boat.

I got woken up at about 6 in the morning by a huge ruckus all around the boat and loud banging on the hull. Investigating what was happening I found literally hundreds of pelicans fighting for space in the lit area around our boat to snag as many fish as they could. Leaning over the cockpit, I could easily have grabbed a few pelicans by the beak if I'd wanted: They were so busy jostling with each other that they didn't care about my proximity at all.

I love pelicans, they probably are my favorite birds, looking all prehistoric and goofy footed on land, but able to fly so gracefully and dive like loaded arrows so accurately when fishing. The best part was the water being so clear we could actually see them catch their fish underwater right next to us. We felt like being in the middle of a nature documentary filmed by the top teams of the BBC and narrated by Sir David Attenborough.

Fish, birds of prey, pelicans, jumping rays, and so many more. The bay was teeming with life everywhere, a spectacle Di and I never grow tired of.

Pelicans waiting for scraps of fish.

Closer to the end of our stay, Nordhavn 43 "Algonquin" arrived in the bay, anchoring at the far end we'd first chosen. It was lovely to catch-up with Lyle and Diana again. We'd first met them in Ensenada where they were our neighbors for a few days, and after cruising a longer route than us and going South, had caught back up to us heading North again.

Clear, warm and transparent water.

Eventually, we decided it would be a good time to get "unstuck". Almost everyone saw the same weather forecast, with a whole day of reprieve from the daily Northerly winds, so early one morning we said good-bye to Ensenada de los Muertos. Despite its name (Bay of the dead), it has been our favorite place so far.

Tortugas Bay had more sea life, Mags Bay had longer beaches. Cabo Frailes had more reef and tropical fish, but Ensenada de los Muertos had a little bit of all, a very pleasant restaurant and felt like a "cruisers' cruising" place with all the anchored boats coming from far away destinations. A beautiful and relaxed little corner of paradise.

We all enjoyed regular swims.

We left as the sun was starting to show up on the horizon, and before the winds could come up, heading for Isla Esperitu Santo's Bonanza beach. The island is a national park and the beach its largest one. It should offer protection from anticipated West then Northerly winds, so it is the next destination for 3 of the cruisers in the bay, including our friends on Algonquin.

Unbeatable cockpit views.

We're continuing our trek North in the Sea of Cortez, after having spent so long going South to go around the Baja peninsula. Longer term, we'll be heading towards La Paz for a provisioning stop after exploring a few local bays.

Last, we've decided to spend the summer in the Sea of Cortez: We've been lucky to have found a slip in a good marina in Loreto, so we'll arrange our visa runs and my trip to France for my annual checkup from there.

The area is just wonderful, and we both feel we need more time to explore and absorb more of it.

I promise there are no filters or additional effects.The sunsets are truly breathtaking.

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