MX - Sea of Cortez - 2006/03/15 to 2006/03/30 - Loreto - Day 11



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From Candelero Chico we paddled 24 miles back to Loreto. The first half of the trip was flat calm. In the second half, a little tail wind makes the long mileage bearable.




We awoke early as we were contemplating a long paddle all the way back to Loreto instead of the spending another night on Danzante and then having a short day and short paddle over to Puerto Escondido to meet our shuttle. The conditions would have to be right in order to make this a good plan. At least the calm start to the day looked promising.




The five person group sharing the beach with us was a small part of the Night Herons kayak club from San Diego. The rest of them had apparently spent the night in Ensenada Blanca. They were up also and we left at about the same time. They exited through the narrow opening and turned south on the second day of their trip. And we were finishing ours. This would be our last kayaking day and I was sad to see it come.
We paddled north out of Candelero Chico keeping to the coast as I wanted to see Ensenada Blanca. About a mile form Candelero we passed the rest of the Night Heron group, looking every bit the part of the Spanish Armada as they headed their large group down the coast. We told them that their fellow kayakers would await them at the first beach past Candelero and they stroked on without stopping.

Ensenada Blanco is a large bay rimmed with a continuous white sand beach. On the ridge above the middle of the beach is the expensive Danzante Resort, a collection of eleven conjoined bungalows on the brow of a hill. On the beach are some more private bungalows. It looked as if some kayakers had rented two of the small units. Clothes were spread out everywhere, drying into salted cloth in the soon to be hot sun. I followed the rim of the bay as I wanted to experience the whole of the thing while Rick cut across the mouth, saving several hundred meters. When I exited the mouth of the nearly perfectly shaped bay, Rick was nowhere to be seen, I assumed that he had paddled on and landed somewhere along the shore. I soon found him taking a break about a half mile up the beach.

After a brief stop we got back in the kayaks and started out for Danzante Island. We retraced our way up the west coast of Danzante for what would now be our third passage of this stretch. We landed in the little sandy cove of our eighth day. On the beach next to this bay the Mexican military was encamped with two high speed inflatables and about 20 men all carrying M-16 rifles. They were breaking camp. I was hoping they would not come over to us. They got in the inflatables and headed our way but fortunately one boat turned and headed back to Ensenada Blanca while the other one passed our point and headed for Loreto. I had seen a big military style truck and several other soldiers camped on the beach in Ensenada Blanca on my way by.

After some discussion we had decided that paddling all the way back to Loreto was feasible this day. Even if we did not make it all the way would could get far enough to make it easy to get to Loreto in enough time to cancel our shuttle appointment for the next day. There was no wind to contend with yet so other than the heat it should be an easy paddle.




Did I mention that it was flat calm - REALLY FLAT calm. It was one of those Baja days where the horizon disappears and sea melts into sky. Impossibly far away islands levitate above the water. ( See info on mirages. ) Your wake seems to stretch back to infinity. The world seems to be suspended in time.

We paddled along in this surreal scene for about an hour before some light wind began to ripple the surface. We paddled along at the same speed as the wind and it got really hot. I was suffering once again in my wet suit, dousing myself with water and trying not to get hyperthermic.

After about 8 miles of paddling we stopped along the shore just before the world of civilization closed in on us. I was really hot and needed to lie down in the shade for a while. I got some more liquids into me and some electrolyte drink and felt better after about thirty minutes. As we sat on the shore, the southerly (favorable) wind began to pick up and we began seeing white caps. The stronger wind would stay with us as we ranged in on the tower of the Loreto airport. Round two last points we once again landed in front of our hotel, dragging our weary selves up the beach and washing down all our gear. Our trip was done, and it had been good.




The next morning Baja gave us one more sunrise to make sure that we would come back again. We spent the day relaxing at the hotel. The next morning we took the taxi to the airport and began our long flight back. By midnight we were back in our home on the other side of the continent.

So, when can we go again?

Read about our 2002 trip from La Paz to Loreto........


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