Ensenada To Turtle Bay

By Chris Foster 2/28/19

I awoke on Wed AM about 7 AM after a great nights sleep.  Ted, Roger and Tebe were already up.  Alex was up soon afterwards.  I immediately got back to writing the blog and to doing some work on the computer.  Everyone else seemed buried in their own worlds communicating with remote offices, writing emails, etc.  About 9 AM Tebe fixed a fantastic breakfast consisting of eggs, cheese, sauteed peppers and onions with bacon.

Ted and I got stuck on a call until about 10:00 and held things up in order to maintain internet contact.  We departed to the west out of Bahia de Todo Santos immediately afterwards.  The sky was blue and seas calm.  Temp was about 67 degrees F.

At about 1 PM Alex aimed the boat into the wind over the Colenet high spot adjacent to a couple of anchored Mexican Rock Fishing boats on about 230 feet of water.  The waves were building and washing up through the scuppers as Kevin, Ted and I jigged some irons down near the bottom.

We Picked Up A Couple Of These On Iron Jigs Dropped On Ridges Well Out To Sea Which Tebe Prepared With Dinner That Same Night

Kevin hit the first fish of the trip a few minutes latter and brought up a nice bass.  I got another soon afterwards.

About 4:30 it was Cheese O’clock, a tradition started aboard Coastal Estate, precisely when we have wine, cheese, and if we are lucky, Black River Caviar.  Well into our second bottle of cold Pinot Grigio, Tebe got up to prepare dinner to consist of fresh fish, some nice sized scallops picked up at Costco and asparagus with cheese sauce.

Kevin’s Simple Scallop and Fish Recipe

  • Start with thawed scallops, fish (chunked), thin pasta, olive oil and butter.
  • Gently dry the scallops with a paper towel.
  • Heat the oil and butter in a shallow pan.
  • Cook the pasta in a separate pot with boiling water.
  • Place the scallops in the pan and heat until they begin to stick to the pan, turn and do same on the other side.  They should be browned on both sides, but don’t over-cook.
  • Remove the scallops leaving a little browned skin sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • Pour in a few ounces of white wine and let it burn off while stirring and scraping up the burned skin off of the pan.
  • Soon you will be left with a brown reduction.  Pour it over the scallops on a warm plate.  Cook fish in same pan.  Serve, with the pasta and some drawn butter garnished with Black River Caviar.
  • Drink more white wine.
  • Fantastic

The night was uneventful.  We talked about watching a movie at dinner but were too lazy by the time dishes were put away.  My watch ended at midnight just about the time we passed Sacramento Reef well to port.  (Note:  The Sacramento Reef has claimed many a boat over the years.)  I saw not a single boat or light other than the moon and the stars.

Cedros Island

On awaking in my state-room I could see fairly large waves/chop with whitecaps rolling past my porthole from astern, however other than a bit of yawing, the boat was steady with no pounding at all.  The sun was out and no clouds in the sky.  We are about 20 NM north of Cedros Island and directly west of the large indentation in the Peninsula known as Vizcaino Bay.  Given the large Baja coast curve to the east, the ocean is frequently rough in this area.  A few years ago, we broached Coastal Estate just west of Cedros in heavy breaking seas on our stern.  The boat rolled dangerously, and everything came out of the cabinets on the port side of the salon and galley, but no real damage other than to our nerves.

Cedros is a large island about 20 miles long and 10 miles wide.  There is a sizable village on the south-west end housing the workers for the salt packing and shipping operation at the SE end of the island.  Large ships are loaded in the small bite there and embark to points north and south.  Very few tourists visit the island although there is a fairly smooth anchorage just to the east of town protecting yachts from winds out of the west.  Docking or entering the small harbor is discouraged.  We passed about 11 AM without stopping.

Turtle Bay

The Old Fuel “Pier” In Turtle Bay

The well protected 9 square mile Turtle Bay is located about ½ way down the Baja.  The shrinking, and not so picturesque fishing village is largely abandoned due to the closing of a cannery there in 1998.  There is a deteriorated high pier there where you can purchase diesel fuel (if you are willing to pay about $6 per gallon).  Highway 1 is a 135-mile wash-pan dirt road away.  The same year we experienced the broach just west of Cedros we got stuck in Turtle Bay for 3 or 4 days waiting out a horrific wind storm which tore off the bimini above the upper helm.

The fishing can be pretty good to the west of the bay in the summer, late fall and spring. We have hookup on a number of marlin, tuna and wahoo in the area during trips up and down the Baja.

Nightlife in Turtle Bay is pretty much non-existent (I mean really) except during the annual Baha-ha-ha group sail and CUBAR motor boat group trips every other year from San Diego to La Paz.  A couple of beach bars have staked their existence on the events and are closed the rest of the year.

As we neared the entrance to the bay, 5 or 6 spouting whales were circling in the turquoise water offshore.  It was 2:30 so we took our first ice cold beers out of the Yetis to prevent dehydration during the approach.

The wind was blowing pretty hard out of the East by the time we got inside.  Our first attempt at setting the anchor near the entrance was unsuccessful so we headed to the east end for better holding and pulled up against some cliffs for protection from the wind.  That turned out to do the trick and we were set near shore in glassy water.  Cheese O’Clock soon ensued, enjoyed with Pinot Grigio and of course, Black River Caviar.

A Simple, But Tasty Dinner (As Most Great Ones Are)

Tebe started dinner just after sunset, treating us to sautéed chicken in Vindaloo sauce that he doctored up with some canned peas that we had moved over from Coastal Estate (he insisted that peas were an essential ingredient and would not rest until we found some).  They were likely 2 or 3 years old but did the trick!  I set the table with the usual candlelight ambiance and we toasted our good fortune. 

Before turning in we watched the first part of The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo.

4 thoughts on “Ensenada To Turtle Bay

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