Friday, May 22, 2015

Two little islands...Big fun

We left Puerto Escondido to head towards the Islands of Isla Carmen and Isla Coronados. Both of these islands (including three others) are part of the Loreto Bay National Park.  

We anchored in Bahia Salinas on Isla Carmen and toured the old salt mine and remnants of the abandoned town.

Boat kids from Terrapin, YOLO and Makai

Best use of an old rusted out fork lift

Terrapin, YOLO and Makai anchored in the background





Once we made our way through the abandoned salt mine, we kept walking to see the evaporation ponds. The white salt crystals look like snow on the ground. 

Standing on salt

Day two of Bahia Salinas offered us an awesome snorkeling experience. There's a tuna boat wreck not far off from where we were anchored that we snorkeled. During most of the day you can see the wreck sticking out of the water...something to consider when coming into the bay for anchorage.

I'll always remember the first day our girls snorkeled on this adventure. We were in Cabo San Lucas and the water had finally gotten warm enough to swim in. We had dinghied over to a small island for great snorkeling. After all jumping in, I heard the screams. 

Oh, crap...someone got stung by a jellyfish!  What happened?   Who's hurt?

I made my way over to the girls to inquire what was wrong only to find they both were trying to talk through their snorkels while screaming with excitement. 

OMG Mom, this is awesome! Do you see all those fish?

Music to my ears. We had hoped that the girls would fall in love with snorkeling as we have. It's so amazing to share the underwater world with an array of sea creatures. 
Jessica swimming through the wreck

Emma exploring the tuna boat wreck


Roy (the 14yr old boy on Makai) is a master at spearfishing and took the time to help Phil better understand how to use his spear. Phil's now addicted to spearfishing and is able to put tacos on our plates at diner time. 

Looking through the wreck at Phil and his speargun

A ray trying to hide against the rocks


Phil's first full day of spearfishing yielded 3 fish, a small grouper and two yellow snappers.

We split from YOLO and Makai and headed over to Isla Coronados.  You can easily be confused by the pure white sand and crystal blue waters of Isla Coronados...if you didn't know better you might think you're in the Bahamas. We decided to take a family hike to the top of the old volcano cone at Isla Coronados. The 1.8 mile hike with total elevation gain of 928 feet was actually quite challenging. Apparently, Mexico doesn't believe in switchbacks! The last part of the hike is straight up and not recommended for little kids. 

View from the top of the island

If you were to ask the girls, they'd say they had just summit Mt. Everest. It may take awhile before we can convince them to go on a summit hike again.

The Sea of Cortez has been amazing so far. Every place we anchor is completely different than the last. Los Gatos looked like Sedona, AZ., the water at Isla Coronados looks like it belongs in the Bahamas, Isla Carmen had the salt mine ghost town. Yesterday, we saw a school of at least 50 manta rays swimming together under the boat and then each taking a turn to fly high out of the ocean and belly flop. We hope to get this on video to share as it's an amazing sight. Our next stop is Caleta San Juanico, which is back on mainland Baja.

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