Cedros Island Anchorage to Turtle Bay
The last 24 hours has been action packed. We have been traveling pretty hard to get south – an overnighter from Ensenada to the anchorage at San Quintin followed by another overnighter and full day to get to Cedros Island. The action packed day began with a visit from dolphins. Dolphins are a pretty common sight, as they like to play in the bow wave, and if they are in the area they will usually come over to check out the boat.
At sunset we hooked and lost a nice Dorado (aka Mahi Mahi) just north of the island. We arrived at Cedros just in time to get anchored before night fell, and had a few cocktails to get over our disappointment of the lost fish. Anchoring at Cedros is a bit exciting in itself, as the island is very steep sided with deep water very close to shore. There are several locations on the east side of the island where there is about a 100-ft-wide shelf where you can anchor, and once anchored, you can literally throw a rock from the boat to shore. The anchorage provides good shelter from the prevailing NW wind and swell. A colony of sea lions ashore provides entertainment. All was good until about 3:30 am when the wind shifted to the NE making the anchorage very uncomfortable. We got up, fixed breakfast and waited for dawn. Once the sun was almost up we pulled anchor and headed south again.
The wind continued to build and by 9 am we were sailing along at a good clip with about 15 knots of wind. My son called on our new Mexican phone number. Talk about progress – this is a pretty isolated area – I was amazed we were able to get a phone call offshore of the Baja peninsula. All that was required was an unlocked, quad-band global cell phone and a trip to the Telcel store in Ensenada for a SIM card and some minutes. $9 for the card, $15 for a voice, text and data pre-paid card. Moments later as we passed the south end of the island, the fish getter worked its magic and this time we landed a 40-in. dorado.
This area is known for fishing, as well as lobster, as the water is relatively shallow (less than 100-ft deep). Numerous floats marking the pots are present and we had been successfully dodging them all morning. There are typically two floats for each pot, and they are tied together with about 15 ft of line. The trick is to not go over the line as the line can become caught on the keel (on fin keel boats but not on ours which has a full keel), rudder, wind vane, or worst of all, the propeller. It looked like we were clear, but one that we passed had an extra single line trailing off on the end with a large loop. Yep, we hooked it on the propeller, which seemed extremely unlucky. We sailed on dragging the pot and its two floats – took a few minutes to come into the wind, drop the sails and stop the boat. We tried to get it off with the boat hook but no joy. I quickly rigged the swim ladder while Dan donned a snorkel and swim fins. Although the air was about 85 degrees, I think the water was considerably cooler based on Dan’s reaction. The offending line was quickly removed and we were on our way again. We were very lucky that we were under sail rather than motoring. Sorry no photos – I was too stressed!
Several hours later were safely anchored in Turtle Bay, where we were treated to yet another amazing sunset for our troubles.