Ensenada de los Muertos
01 November 2009 | Ensenada de los Muertos, Baja California Sur
Eric/Warm northerly breeze
Our sail down from Playa Pichilingue was delicious. We got up at 4:45 in the morning and were under way by five so we could make the nearly fifty-mile journey by dusk. We plan our passages based on traveling at four knots, and the days are growing shorter. The moon set gloomily in the west as I raised the anchor.
I promptly discovered our stern running light was out, so along the way I changed the bulb, and was pleasantly surprised by my foresight to have carried one at all. We have spares for what seems like everything, but frankly I didn't quite believe that I'd thought of that one. I also managed not to drop any screws in the water, so it was a job well done.
We passed through the San Lorenzo Channel as dawn broke pink and yellow, drinking coffee and tea with milk and sugar and reveling in the freedom of cruising. The wind carried us along gently east, then southeast down the 25-mile Cerralvo Channel. This watery gap between Isla Cerralvo and the mountains of southern Baja narrows to the south, funneling the winds and often driving them against the current, raising steep waves and making for a rough trip. But downwind, with a favorable tide, we made good time and arrived at Ensenada de los Muertos (on the Dia de los Muertos, no less) well before sunset.
Ensenada de los Muertos was one of the places I'd heard about since Sausalito. What I'd heard I couldn't have told you, except that it's a jumping-off place for sailing to Mazatlan; the western end of the Southern Crossing. The bay provides good northerly protection, with a steep, long sandy beach. Some fancy but ugly houses and the Giggling Marlin restaurant line the shore; at one end of the beach were a couple of dozen pangas pulled up on the sand. There were two northbound sailboats and a big power catamaran to keep us company at anchor.
From what we saw, I wouldn't make it a destination, but it is a convenient stopover and something of a gateway to the Sea of Cortez. If you sail this way, you'll probably stop there too.