Bay of Conception
Back in 2018 when we were discussing living on a sailboat, the visuals in my head was that of being anchored right here, somewhere in the Bay of Conception. Here we would live on the calm and silent waters, a fair distance from the RV’rs and Van Life’rs crammed together on the beach, but we could dinghy in to shore for the parties we would surely have all the time. We wouldn’t have to hear the neighbor’s gen-set running into the night, nor the kids screaming nearby, and the water would beckon us to swim daily. This was going to be the life baby!
Reality check – the waters are rarely calm, nor silent (those shrimp can be loud!), and audio travels across water much better than air, meaning we have dozens of generators/kids to hear all at once now. Nevertheless, I was looking forward to hanging out for weeks; sunbathing, relaxing, getting drunk and fat… you know, how all the sailors on YouTube live. On the plus side; we did eventually move on to more secluded anchorages in the area and the waters are the warmest here than anywhere else we have been.
But, in the end we spent only a week in Bay of Conception. The schedule of having a haul-out in mid June was killing the dream of being lazy. We simply could not stick around for very long. And, as it turns out, there was little reason to. We are here so late in the season that most of my vision had already packed up and left the area. April – almost May – is not the time that land dwellers are in Baja. It gets too hot on land. The beaches were empty, meaning only the most leathery-skinned of folks were still hanging around. I have no beef against leathery skin folks, but they aren’t the folks in my vision.
Affter arrival, not long after dropping anchor, we were already sitting at the very same restaurant on the beach that tried to roofie us back in 2016, anxiously expecting a blackout evening of fun and bbq, but things had changed. The margarita were gringo-style now. All about the profits, not the real substance of the meanest margarita in the world. It is fine. We ate our meals, and drank our drinks before returning to Meriwether for a sleep. Waking up the next morning is when I found out how the place got me this time around; food poisoning! I would spend the next week squirting from both ends, not enjoying life at all.
On the other hand, Kerri embraced morning life (Wha?!?! I know! She is never out of bed before 9am. Who is this person pretending to be my girlfriend?), going out for morning rows in the dinghy to go snorkeling all on her own. Fair enough, I wasn’t the nicest smelling thing to be around, so she spent some more time off the boat than usual. And because I spent most of my time in bed, I will leave Kerri to tell additional short stories of our time here.
We moved to a tiny bay on a tiny Coyote Island, sheltered from the forecasted afternoon winds, and set out a stern anchor in the shallows by rowing dinghy to avoid swinging into shoals. The process takes a total of ten minutes max, and during that time, we leave the motor on in reverse to maintain our angle and distance while we set the stern. These two stared us down in disgust during the entire process, and as soon as I shut the engine off (just as soon as we were certain our stern was set), the guy loudly says, “THANK you.” (Not in the thankful tone). How I really wanted to say, “You have no idea what it takes to anchor a ten ton boat, do you? Sorry for disturbing ten minutes of your day so I don’t sink my house.” But Tim just said, “Thanks for your patience,” to no response. – Kerri
Baby seagulls do exist!
…so, the boat yoga (the real good-for-your-body kind, not the squeezing-into-tight-spaces kind) just never panned out for me since Baja. Too many unpleasantries: cold, heat, rolly anchorages, and mostly BUGS. But since we hit Bahía Concepción, where the waters been in the mid-to-high 70s, I’ve stumbled into a new morning routine that I’m actually loving. I’m foregoing the electric motor on our rowing dinghy, and actually rowing it… to wherever the nicest place to snorkel is, doing some slow snorkeling (where I really have a chance to be in the moment), then an intense swim back to the dinghy, and intense row back. I get my me time, my exploration time, and some exercise in. It’s been great.
I haven’t done a whole lot of snorkeling in my life, and I’m l earning some fun things. Like shore birds are completely unconcerned with your presence when your slinking around halfway underwater. The pelicans let me get just a few feet away from them without batting an eye. Today I surfaced to empty my mask and found myself about five feet from a fluffy baby seagull and its mum. The mum did little more than give me a glance.
This has been such a great way to get up close and personal with nature. Unfortunately, that also meant the “agua mala” or “string of pearls”. I got hit twice today by that near-invisible cluster of tiny stinging jellies. It felt like I’d just rubbed stinging nettles all over my body, but a little more subtle. – Kerri