Sea of Cortez Kayaking Trip with Mar y Aventuras – Part 2

This post is a continuation of the Mar y Aventuras’ Baja Coast and Islands Loreto to La Paz 9-day kayaking trip. For an introduction to this trip see Part 1 of this series. For more general information and logistics, see Part 5.

Part 2 – Whales and Blue Footed Boobies

Day 3 – April 19

Camped at Puerto Ballena (5 miles down the coast from Puerto Agua Verde)

Morning starts with coffee at day break followed by fishing for those who want to take a boat ride. The morning light on the mountains glows pink. Fishing proved to be unsuccessful except for the perfect temperature and light on the water.

Back at camp breakfast was creamy refried beans, spicy scrambled eggs and a flour tortilla. A fruit platter and yogurt were also available.

The morning plan was to pack up, motor down the coast and then kayak to camp. A whale breaching – full breach out of the water – distracted us. As we watched for more action we got one more breach and just as we were about to give up the whale appeared near the boat. He never breached again, just teased and then disappeared.

It was a long boat ride to Puerto Agua Verde where we had sandwiches for lunch. They laid out a simple spread of build your own sandwich – ham, cheese, veg and greens, fruit and chocolate cookies for dessert. After a short break we geared up and started the paddle for the day.

Though longer than yesterday the 3-hour 5-mile paddle along the coast was still relatively short. We reach camp around 4 with a break half way.

The waters were generally calm. Along the way we saw numerous pelicans feeding on and diving for fish. Cormorants and blue-footed boobies also made an appearance. Nearing camp there was a short cave to explore.

Camp, Puerto Ballena, similar to the first camp, is located in a bay with a beach surrounded by higher hills. The tents lined up in a row were pre-set-up for us to move to our preferred spot. We took the bags off the boat fire-brigade style, got our tent and set up our bedding.

Happy hour – Margaritas served with a tray of guacamole and chips. Folks were hungry and thirsty and it went fast.

Dinner – Chicken mole with cauliflower and rice. All well done, especially for camping, but too much chocolate and not enough spice for my taste.

Day 4 – April 20

Camped at Puerto Los Gatos

Coffee – Beautiful sunrise with deep color at first light that lasted until sunrise.

The morning fishing trip produced no fish but we saw 2 pods of dolphins feeding, jumping and corralling fish into shore.

Breakfast – scrambled eggs with cheese, bacon and 2 slices of French toast. Fruit platter and yogurt were also available.

Today is a big kayaking day, 14 miles down the coast, 9am to 5pm with breaks and lunch. About an hour into kayaking Carlos sees a whale spout out in the distance. Soon others spot orcas jumping in the same direction. We watch and determine the orcas are chasing the whale, most likely a mother and a calf. The orcas mean to kill. If the whale calf dives the orcas will lie on the blow hole and drown it. Although the distance was great the sizable jumping masses were clearly visible.

After a short morning break we spot rooster fish chasing bait fish with pelicans diving above. Just before lunch a pod of dolphins swim through our group of kayaks.

As we head south the cliffs become pinker with striated layers of rock. Very little wind the whole day.

Lunch at Dejaban – Nearly 1:30 we stopped for lunch. The beach at Dejaban has a great shade rock. They laid out a taco salad spread – crisp tortillas with a tuna salad and a beet salad. Lemon cookies for dessert. We watch the pelicans dive for sardines as we eat.

After lunch Don tries his hand fishing with a Mexican rig, i.e., fishing line wrapped around a square of wood, which is really one of the anchors we burry in the sand to hold the tents down.

Don caught 2 trigger fish, one straight off the bat but the hook was stuck in his mouth and he needed Jaime’s pliers to free the lure.

Catching fish, we were lagging behind the others. When we finally catch up to the support boat one of the other guests shouts out that Don has seaweed on his line. Don pulls in the line and discovers he has a fish. As he starts to take it off the lure, voices from 3 different directions are yelling at him not to touch the fish. It’s poisonous. They all think it’s a scorpion fish. In actuality it’s a small bass with a bit of seaweed on it.

It’s a 5-mile paddle after lunch with a short break after the first 2. This being a long day some of the guests quit at the afternoon break and put their kayaks on the support boat.

Camp, Puerto Los Gatos, is in a protected bay where passing sailboats stop. The campsite, Porto, has a flatter beach with wind carved pink and white cliffs on one side.

Happy hour – Margaritas and garlic popcorn.

Dinner – Fried fish and shrimp, guacamole, pico de gallo, coleslaw and tortillas. Flan for dessert.

For links to all the posts in this series see the Sea of Cortez page.

April 2021