Saturday June 30, 2001. Bahia Concepcion.
N 26 deg. 52′
W 111 deg. 52′
8:30 AM, 85 F/29C air temp., 75% humidity.
We have entered the oven! It is a convection oven in the afternoon, with hot wind… We arrived yesterday into the Punta Santo Domingo anchorage within Bahia Concepcion and the boats already there dissuaded us from sailing further down in the bay due to excessive temperature. Besides, several friends we had not seen in a long time were there. Bahia Conception is the largest sheltered bay on the eastern coast of Baja, about 5 miles wide and 22 miles long.
In our last email, we had just arrived at Isla Carmen which is a large island across from Puerto Escondido. We spent a couple of days there and had a fun beach potluck. Then we went to Loreto which is a tiny town of 10,000 people with an airstrip and a travel agent (according to our guide book). We needed to buy plane tickets for our summer visit to the US. So we went to the travel agent, only to find out they could only sell tickets for domestic flights (within Mexico). So we bought a phone card and called a travel agent in La Paz and asked if we could buy tickets through the phone. No, they need the actual imprint off the credit card, but they could reserve seats. I thought the only way to lock in a price was to buy the tickets but she assured me that no, she could make the reservation and we could pay once we got to San Carlos. So after 3 phone calls, she has a price (outrageous) and reservations but she then says that the price may be different when we get to San Carlos and actually pay for it… I was right from the start. So there was no way for us to buy a plane ticket without going back to La Paz! Finally,I called my summer employer and they agreed to arrange the flight (and got us a better price). This process was quite frustrating and we did not enjoy Loreto as much as we should have. It is a lovely town with trees lining neat streets near the town center. A lot of cruisers spend the summer cruising the islands and coming to Loreto on a regular basis for re-provisioning.
After our visit to Loreto in the morning, we motored to Isla Coronado, another pretty island which is a park. Loreto does not offer a safe overnight anchorage as there is no protection from a strong wind.
The island bay was created by a sand spit forming a half circle which offered wave protection but allowed the breeze to cool us off. We had beach party to celebrate a birthday that same evening. The next day, we rested and swam and chatted with the many other cruisers enjoying the anchorage.
The day after, we sailed to Caleta San Juanico where we found only one other boat, probably because the anchorage was quite rolly… However, it calmed down overnight and we did some snorkeling in the cozy little north cove. The water was not very clear, and, since we had heard reports of clear water further north, we moved out the next day and sailed to Bahia Concepcion.