Kayak Trip to Baja – Nov Dec 2014

Map - Baja Overview

For our annual vacation, Susie and I did a 7 week road trip to Baja California to kayak the Gulf of California, visit some friends and see a few sights along the way. We drove from Vancouver Island to Baja and visited some desert parks in California along the way.

Scroll down for a selection of photos that show some highlights of the trip.

ISLA CARMEN

We circumnavigated Isla Carmen in mid November. We launched our kayaks from the marina at Puerto Escondido.

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Our favourite campsite for the entire trip was a remote beach on the NE corner of Isla Carmen. The desert was unusually green from the rain that fell during Hurricane Odile in September 2014. Fortunately we had a spell of calm wind. This beach is exposed to the El Norte winds that start in mid November.

 

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Susie paddling through a sea arch on the NE side of El Carmen.

 

 

Danzante - east side wind

We were pinned down on Isla Danzante for a day by the first big El Norte winter wind. The wind was reported to be over 40 knots. It picked up the spray from the tops of the waves and whipped it over the ocean. We were getting concerned because our six day water supply was running low.

 

Isla Carmen - Isla Danzante in background

Susie is looking happy after a great paddle around Isla Carmen.

 

 ISLA CORONADOS

Coronados Gerhardt 1

Gerhardt paddling to Isla Coronados from Loreto. I am using my Aleutian paddle which has become my favourite paddle for touring.

 

 

Coronados - SW spit

The view from the top of the volcano on Isla Coronados. The main beach is in the bay formed by the long sand spit.

 

 

Coronados  5

Lunch break on Coronados after a 3 hour paddle from Loreto.

 

 

Coronados - surf on spit

Surf on the spit on Coronados during a strong El Norte wind.

 

Coronados  - SE spit closeup

The long white sand beach on the spit on Coronados.

 

Coronados - camp on main beach

Evening in camp on Coronados. The tarp is a 10 foot square mesh tarp. It provides a wind break for cooking and shade from the sun. I used one aluminum pole to hold it up. It shed the strongest winds without flapping. We could see through the mesh so it was comfortable to sit in front of it while cooking.

 

Coronados - predawn paddle

We left Coronados before sunrise to paddle back to Loreto before the wind picked up. It was a beautiful morning. It gets dark around 6:00 pm in November so we went to sleep early and usually got up before dawn. Our bodies adjusted to getting 10 to 12 hours of sleep at night.

BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES

The islands in Bahia de los Angeles are one of the little known gems of kayaking in Baja. There is no airport or bus service so there are few serious kayakers exploring this area. Isla Angel de la Guarda, about 100 km long, is the largest island in the Sea of Cortez.

Bahia de los Angeles - Isla Coronado

View of Isla Coronado from the highway leading into Bahia de los Angeles.

 

Bahia de los Angeles - from Ventura

View of Bahia de los Angeles from the top of Isla la Ventana.

 

 

Bahia de los Angeles - lagoon on Coronado

East bay on Isla Coronado.

 

Bahia de los Angeles - Coronado rainbow 2

Rainbow from East Bay on Isla Coronado.

 

Bahia de los Angeles - Coronado 1

The cloudy weather made for some amazing sunrises and sunsets.

 

Bahia de los Angeles - camp on Pata Bota

Campsite on Isla Pata.

 

BAHIA DE CONCEPCION

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Bahia de Concepcion has some wonderful beaches where we chilled out between kayak trips. We met a number of very interesting vagabonds here escaping from the winter back home. The Kayak Kamper I built for the trip made camping MUCH more comfortable. We usually slept in the camper and used the tent to store our kayaking gear.

 

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Gerhardt enjoying being semi retired.

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Exploring Bahia de Concepcion. Thinking of fish tacos at the local cafe.

Bahia Concepcion - Susie arch cormorant

Susie and a cormorant keeping an eye on each other.

Bahia Concepcion - islands Susie

Guano on the rocks.

Bahia Concepcion - Gerhardt in shade

Not working at the office.

 

ANZA-BOREGA DESERT STATE PARK

Anza Borrego - death by sabre tooth

We were amazed by the metal sculptures at Borrego in southern California ( US ). We were told that the sculptures were all made by an artist in Baja California. There are dozens of amazing animal sculptures scattered through the desert.

 

Anza Borrega - Kayak Kamper in the desert

Anza-Borrego State Park in California is a wonderful place to get lost in the desert.

 

JOSHUA TREE

Joshua Tree - arch 1

Joshua Tree in California is a visual feast.

 

Bahia de los Angeles - Susie and Gerhardt

Happiness is a good kayak partner.

 

View of Angel de la Guarda and Bahia de los Angeles. La Guarda is about 100 km long and 25 km from the village. We plan to circumnavigate this island on our next trip to Baja. Carrying enough drinking water and avoiding wind are priorities for paddling this island.

 

Coronados sunset 5

Another amazing sunset.

 

Raven Woman  - inside

I got to visit some baidarka friends near Port Angeles WA. This three hatch baidarka weighs about 34 pounds ( 15 kg ) and is providing inspiration for the next creations in my workshop.

 More photos on Flickr are available at this link

Resources

Vagabundos Del Mar – Mexican Auto Insurance, charts, guides   Mexican Auto Insurance, charts, guides

Weather Underground

 

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