Bahia Concepcion (Conception Bay) is a long bay located in the extreme north of the Baja California Sur. It is home to a handful of spectacular coves that will meet any traveler’s delight. Cruisers, both auto and sailors, find Bahia Concepcion to be a treasure far from the beaten path.
Bahia Santo Domingo
This lovely anchorage is a great stop for a rest, a few days, or as a jumping off point to cross the Sea of Cortez east to San Carlos/Guaymas.
Pretty, isn’t it? The above beaches. Uncrowded … Not a soul around. Well not a tourist around, that is except for us four cruising souls. This is Playa Santispac and according to Miguel, of Ana’s Restaurant, the camping beach is typically packed this time of year with parked cars and their tents, RV’s and their canopies, and the hut rentals that are often reserved through the end of the season.
Ana’s was closed for the season, but Carlos offered to open it up for us and we were able to enjoy dinner on the beach. Since we were his only customers, we chatted up Carlos quite a bit over a frosty goblet of margaritas. Todos bueno.
The next day, Carlos gave us all a ride into town to do some grocery shopping. We got a short tour of Mulege, which included a walkaround of the old mission and the spillway in the center of town. The Mision Santa Rosalia de Mulege is one of several in Baja California that eventually linked to the more famous 21 missions in California; including the church in our old home town and the namesake of my alma mater – Mission San Jose. (Go Warriors … !) The spillway is key for the large grove of palm trees alongside the river that makes the town a small oasis in what is otherwise arid desert.
We made the rounds of the local tiendas, laughingly following the Tecate delivery truck as it too made its rounds dropping off loads of beer to the stores. Having a case of beer onboard was great after passing through Loreto; where they had had an alcohol ban in place for the last month to keep people from congregating during the pandemic.
We eventually made it back to Playa Santispac with our overload of goods, graciously thanked Carlos for his kindness and dinghied back to the boat for the afternoon. From here, we made the big move further into the Bahia Concepcion to Playa Coyote for a spell.
Like Playa Santispac, Playa Coyote is also a camping beach. This beach has small huts … We anchored in emerald blue water and swam to the beach. Again, we were the only folks there. We swam, snorkeled, fished, and had a bonfire on the beach. We are grateful we filled our day and a half with these activities because the wind came up and we had to return to the protective bay of Playa Santispac for a peaceful couple of days.
We also doubled back to Playa Coyote for the now notorious Petroglyphs Hike of Impending Heatstroke. Tom, Katie, & Chris spent about three hours hiking in the heat of the afternoon only to discover that the pile of petroglyph covered rocks were about 20 feet from the side of the asphalt highway where we had first started. Yep, strolled right on past them. They were still pretty neat to see even though the heat took some of the novelty out of it – (turtle rock, dolphin rock, fish rock, stick figure rock … yeah I got it … let’s find some shade!!)
We tried for a bite and a drink at the local taqueria afterward. They didn’t seem abierto, but they weren’t necessarily cerrado either. We tried for limonada, but they were out of limes. And aqua minerale. Our waiter was about 12, but he did manage to cook up a taco plate for Katie. She ate her tacos on a step near where we had parked the dinghy. We then enjoy a really wet slog back to the boats as, of course, the afternoon breeze picked up just in time. Ah, a classic Baja experience if there was one to be had.
We have learned from the past few months that we enjoy hopping from anchorage to anchorage to get to the next main destination. This also allows us to sail during the morning and explore in the afternoon; as well as avoiding a long day on the water. For example, 45 nautical miles (nm) at an average of 5 knots would take about 9 hours. And that’s not accounting for any stops we may need; like reeling in a fish. So we stopped at P. Chivato for the night.
If you read this far, we are flattered. We hope you enjoyed the read.
And we are off onto the next destination … Sweet Santa Rosalia.
Nautical Terminology Why is it called the Galley?
Aka caboose (new on for me) is the ship's kitchen on the boat. It is also a small ship powered by oars. Wouldn't that be the dinghy? Nautical terminology is continuously confusing. Here is another explanation.
"Back in the day, ships were made of wood so cooking was a big hazard. The ingenious solution was to cook on a desire smaller shop called a galley. Modern ships are made of steel and have fire suppression systems, but the name has stuck."