Puerto Don Juan
Puerto Don Juan is one of the best natural harbors on the peninsula for vessels to hide from storms; or in our case during the pandemic, be pretty much by ourselves. Just 5-10 nm south of Bahia Los Angeles, this deep cove provides a breeze to keep you cool, warm water to swim in, a shoreline to explore, hiking in various directions, paddling around the bay, and tranquility. The coyotes sing to each other at night, fish jump, and a sea lion visits.
Aside from the dinghy at the point of the cove, you do not see any sailboats in these photos. We have been enjoying a rare experience for cruisers this time of the cruising season – almost total solitude. We will often see maybe a boat or two other than ours and our buddy boat, Absolute. Since the pandemic began and when we left La Cruz in April, we see fewer and fewer boats as we travel north.
With fewer cruisers to interact with, we have found we fill our days with long walks, slow and steady hikes, and exploring the shoreline. With the additional time with each other (without distractions from friends and working on the boat), our conversations are often about the sights in our view. It’s a delight to discover how we have really slowed down to look and see the small and large of anything in our view. And feeling fulfilled from it, whatever that may be at the moment. That’s good stuff.
Exploring Don Juan
We drove our dinghy to the mouth of the cove and found a spot on the South shore to land the dinghy and go for a hike. It’s always an uneasy feeling leaving our dinghy unattended. Though we remove the ‘key’, it’s never comfortable to walk away from her. So – we blaze our way up the mountain via a dry river bed and 60 minutes later we find ourselves sitting on a high edge, to the east, overlooking the Sea of Cortez. We take it all in, eat a snack, and hiked back down to the cove. With our dinghy awaiting. 😉
The main beach was quite shallow a long ways out and filled with mobula rays. We did have a large sea lion follow us in the dinghy one trip – he kept swimming circles around us, cork-screwing in the water and checking us out. Our exploration of the beaches introduced other live, and dead, creatures of the area. From fiddler crabs, the visiting coyote, to decaying stingrays and The San Agustín III , a shipwrecked fishing boat that deteriorates on the beautiful beach.
Bahia de Los Angeles
Bahia Los Angeles, BLA for short, is short boat or dinghy ride, (around the corner and north a few miles. We didn’t find a whole lot in this tiny fishing town – once decent grocery store, another tienda or two, and a lunch at a small restaurant. From the look of things, we think BLA does a lot of tourist traffic as a stop on the Baja 1000 offroad race. We spent a night in the anchorage just off the town center, then headed back over to Don Juan to avoid the possibility of a rolly night’s sleep.
We did try to go over to the one anchorage in La Mona, but found it was strung with a bunch of fishing gear; on the other hand we had a fun afternoon of day sailing in the bay.
From Puerto Don Juan we headed north to the small island of Isla Coronados and settled down in the anchorage called Bahia de Las Rocas.