Bahia Santa Maria turned out to be a pleasant resting stop for us. We arrived on Friday, March 12th and had to stay at least for one full day to dodge some weather, but we ended up staying over the weekend. It’s funny to realize that we spent our three weekend anchored in the same bay from Saturday to Monday. Maybe we are still conditioned to rest at this time of the week, despite having, most of the time, no reason to know and no idea of what day it is.
Santa Maria is a natural bay with almost no human development: there are a couple of buildings for a fisherman camp but that’s all. On our port side, we had the green rocky mountains that offered us their shelter against the elements – not so much the wind that was still too northerly, but mainly the ocean swell, making for a nice flat anchorage. No trail on these mountains, but nice little beaches down small cliffs. At our bow, the fisherman camp and the beginning of a long white beach that prolonged to our starboard side and most of the rest of the bay to the East. On the other side of those sand banks, the next possible stop on the Baja southbound route, Bahia Magdalena. We ended up deciding not to go and that’s how we spent one more day here. More South towards our starboard quarter, the mountain of Magdalena Bay, that looked pretty similar to ours, offers the shelter of Man of War Cove, the most famous anchorage on the other side.
Between us and the beach is a fishing boat that was anchored when we arrived on Friday. We wondered if it was the source of the blurry lights we saw during our bight crossing night. I guess we’ll never know… We’ve seen a panga that comes in and out of the bay. They apparently also go to that ship. They offered Yalçın to buy lobster this morning. At night, the fishing ship has all its lights on, including the navigation lights. It’s puzzling. We thought they would leave on the first night but they didn’t, or at least not before we went to bed (at… 9PM! Passage life!).
Between the fishing boat and us, thousands of birds come spend their middle of the day. Sea gulls and brown pelicans (the common species we’ve seen so far) as well as pelicans with flashier colors (they just looked like they are painted with different colors and we are not enough into birding to identify them – MoutMout if you are reading, we need your help, they are not inside the book!)… They all face the wind and seek the protection behind the tallest peak of the mountain. The ones which arrive later take place behind and by the end of the morning, an army of bird is floating up and down at the rythme of the little wind chops. They extend all the way to the other sailboats.
Anchored less deep into the bay than Tirb, there was a sailboat when we arrived. The conditions looked shacky for them as we sailed pass, which is what comforted us in sailing deeper for a better protection. We sailed quite close to check if they were fine nobody was on the deck but the companion way seemed opened. By Sunday, they had taken off, probably taking advantage of the wind that had calmed down. Another boat had arrived on Saturday and had anchored in between us. No contact either and none of us three has tried to dinghy to shore or anywhere else. One must admit that the wind didn’t make it seem easy.
Despite the wind hauling in the rig for most of the weekend, the place was peaceful, because remote and untouched. We had a little more internet than before and could finally upload most of the pictures and program the pending blogs (we treat you guys!). We were able to catch up on little things and chill after a somewhat intense week of sailing. We even find time to shower, cook and watch a movie. In summary, we made ourselves at home for the duration of a weekend, just enough to recharge and prepare our passage for the last part of our Pacific Coast journey along the Baja peninsula. This is the longest bight to Cabo San Lucas, a city that sounds like the Cancun of the West Coast, with overpriced yachts and fishing boats, jetskis and luxurious hotels; definitely another side of Mexico, really far from the remote places our sails have lead us so far. We still have an afternoon in paradise to decide on our course of action to make the most of that pitstop: we need to restock on water, food, propane and maybe other consumables we use onboard, do some boat and laundry cleaning, prepare what’s coming next on the road, maybe use some high speed internet for fun and less fun endeavours (tax season is approaching!) and see if we can enjoy some of the snorkeling that is also apparently available around the Cabo area… But let’s enjoy a little more of the Santa Maria Bay before we dive into all that…