Mexico 2022: Ensenada to Bahia Santa Maria (San Quintin)

February 3, 2022

Woke up with a nice mocha from Captain Steve and lounged around for a bit discussing the plan for cruising. We departed Ensenada around 9:30 am and headed around the point and tucked back in so we could see the La Bufadora. This is a popular tourist attraction in Ensenada and one we could see from the boat. The La Bufadora is a large blow hole that spouts water when the ocean swell comes in and traps air and water in a cave. The info says this blowhole is the second largest in the world and the only one on the American continent. Pretty cool.  It also says it’s capable of spouting water 100 feet into the air.

After we recovered the drone and packed up, we took a nice short journey down the coast to Santo Tomas. We had previously decided to make today a short 3-hour day and not do full 13 hours it would take to reach San Quintin.

Santo Tomas is a very small town with a boat ramp and a dozen or so Panga boats tied up to mooring balls. However, it’s one of the few bays that has any protection down this stretch of the Baja. The bay has good holding but has a lot of kelp so I’m sure that pulling the anchor will be fun.

We spent the afternoon watching the local fisherman come in and relaxing. No complaints.

February 4, 2022

The swell picked up overnight, so we were rocking all over. Woke up at 5:30 am to Steve starting the boat and pulling the anchor. It took a while to pull the anchor with all the kelp. Luckily, it was just few swipes of the knife and the kelp fell away for the most part. With a few minutes of cutting the anchor was stowed and we were cruising down the coast with just a small hint of sunlight in the distance.

After the sun peaked up, we threw out the fishing lines and Steve went to make coffee. After a while I heard Barbara yelling. I think we have a fish. At that point a bit of chaos ensued. I’m not sure we thought we’d ever catch a fish. Steve was running around; the boat was rocking since we stopped in windy and choppy seas and none of the gear was accessible. I went back to the helm and got us back on course to stop the rocking and basically sat back and laughed at the rest of the commotion. Someone must drive the boat, right? The fish was a Bonito. I know there are many that see it as a lesser fish but it’s still pretty tasty when it’s fresh.

After the fish commotion was over, we decided to pull in the fishing lines because the sea was getting very rough. I tried to take a nap but ended up getting back up because the boat was trying to throw me out of the bunk. The good news was that windy said the weather would calm down after we around the point at Punta Colnett. And the better news was the forcast was correct! The sea calmed down and the rest of the trip was smooth.

Barbara started fishing again and was able to pull in a bigger Bonito the second time. It was again comical because Steve was in his cabin and just happen to pull up the rear camera. He saw the fish on the line and came up and asked Barbara if she had a fish. She looked back and yep, there was a fish on the line. We now have enough fish for a few meals.

The highlight of the voyage was dolphins. We came up to a spot and it looked like hundreds of dolphins were coming towards us. They came up to the boat, swam in our wake and jumped all over. It was an amazing site to see. We also saw a few gray whales. They didn’t come out of the water much so I can’t say they were all that exciting compared to 100s of dolphins playing about.

We arrived at Bahia Santa Maria around 5 PM. The whole bay is around 25 foot deep, so we had no problem setting the anchor.  It does appear that we’re anchored in the middle of the ocean but it’s relatively protected from the swells and the wind forecast for the next few days is calm so we should have any issues.

The dinner for the night was fish tacos and margaritas. You can’t beat having fresh fish! It was an early night given the early start.

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