Everyone said it would be hot in the Sea of Cortez in the summer and especially hot in Bahia Concepcion, since it’s surrounded by mountains, but Audrey and had I lived in Miami and spent a few summer vacations in the Caribbean so we thought how hot could it really get? The short version is HOT and, as a result, we are now in a marina in San Carlos (on the other side of the Sea of Cortez) where we purchased the greatest invention of all time – an air conditioner!
The long version is we left La Paz in May and had been having an awesome time swimming, snorkeling, kayaking and even red-neck waterskiing all the way up the Sea of Cortez. The weather was warm and occasionally hot but nothing that jumping in the water and a cold beer couldn’t fix. Plus, at nights it cooled down so we slept comfortably. This lasted all the way from La Paz to beautiful San Juanico where it was even cool enough to have a bonfire on the beach at night.
After San Juanico, our next stop was Bahia Concepcion where we planned to spend three to four weeks waiting for our friends on Cake who were bringing our mail from the US. This didn’t seem too bad to us since we’d spent plenty of time in other places and according to our cruising and travel guides Bahia Concepcion is a “must see”. In fact, the “Rough Guide to Mexico” says, “the blue-green waters, tranquil bays and white-sand beaches are spellbinding”. It goes on to say “as far as kayaking goes, there are few places better than Bahia Concepcion”. And, “Sea of Cortez – A Cruiser’s Guidebook” says, “Boaters, RVers, Kayakers, Fishermen and vacationers from around the world all come to Bahia Concepcion to sample its beautiful bays and beaches”. Sounded to us like a great place to spend a few weeks.
Our first stop in Bahia Concepcion was Santa Domingo, a remote beach and anchorage at the north east entrance to the bay. The water was cool and clear so we spent a few days there before heading further into Bahia Concepcion to check out the anchorages and attend Gary’s famous 4th of July Party.
To give you some perspective on the geography, Bahia Concepcion is approximately 25 miles long and 6-8 miles wide, which is relatively large so we thought it would give us a chance to sail around in protected waters. But unfortunately most of the anchorages are within a 5-mile radius and the south end of the bay is shallow with no anchorages so our playground was much smaller than we anticipated. In fact, we could have just left the boat in one spot and took the dinghy everywhere. But, that’s not how we roll so we spent the next three weeks going up and down Bahia Concepcion from Santa Domingo to Playa Coyote (the only place with a store/tienda) to Playa Santispac to Buenaventura (the only place with wifi), then repeated the route when we got bored. If memory serves, we went to each anchorage at least three times.
Don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t exactly a hardship. We had a great time at the 4th of July party where the beers were flowing and Dan (from Rocket Girl) and I even saved a dragging power boat. We watched the World Cup finals in the Buenaventura Bar and the semi-finals at TKT bar on Playa Santispac. We even did a road trip with our friends on Delphinia (including their new little Mexican poodle Libby) to the town of Mulege, 14 miles north, to do some shopping and have lunch in a real restaurant.
But, to come back to the theme of this post, it was HOT, HOT, HOT in Bahia Concepcion and I don’t mean “hot, hot hot” like in the famous calypso song. I mean 100+ degrees during the day and 90+ degrees at night. I mean the water was 85 degrees so jumping in took off the sweat but didn’t cool you down. I mean hot like you were sweating all day then sweating all night as you tried to sleep. I even slept outside in the cockpit hoping the breeze would come up at night but no joy since the wind seemed to always die at night.
After 3 weeks of sweating in Bahia Concepcion we decided it was time head out of the bay where the water was blue and we’d get some breeze from the Sea of Cortez. We figured our friends on Cake had to be relatively close so we headed back to Santa Domingo (again) where we planned to wait for a couple of days then, if they didn’t show, head north. Well, the heat and sailing gods must have been smiling on us that day because that same evening our friends on Cake came sailing around the point and, since they planned to save Bahia Concepcion for later in the year, the next day we all headed north to escape the HOT HOT HOT of Bahia Concepcion.