Ensenada de los Muertos

Category: Ships Log

Time period: Thursday, 12/05 to Sunday, 12/08

Thursday evening we made it to Ensenada de los Muertos (Bay of the Dead and recently renamed to Bahia de Suenos – Bay of Dreams).  There is one restaurant here, a hotel, and a boat ramp where locals launch their pangas each morning. 


The best we’ve come up with for why it was called Bay of the Dead is that this may have been a burial site for pre-Columbians.  The entire tip of the Baja Peninsula was a burial area, and perhaps this particular bay was as well (thanks for the article Dovi!). Anyway, despite the name, the bay is actually quite nice.

Entering Ensenada de los Muertos.

Friday, our friends from Walnut Creek came to see us.  Jeff, Yuko, and their son Dillon were in Mexico visiting family and came to La Paz for a few days to hang out. Unfortunately, we were unable to make it to La Paz in time, but luckily they were able to drive to Ensenada de los Muertos to see us, thanks to Jeff’s really great uncle, Luis.  The day was overcast and rainy, but we still had a good time.  We checked out the restaurant, walked around a bit, and got everyone over to our boat where we enjoyed some swimming and snorkeling.

A rainy day in the Bay of the Dead.


Lunch with Jeff, Yuko, Dillon and Luis.


Taking everyone back to shore in our dinghy. I think there was about 2" of freeboard left on the stern. :)

It is a sandy bottom here, so the water is a clear aquamarine and looks like a giant swimming pool. There aren’t as many fish as at Los Frailes, but there are still a few. Interestingly, the vast majority of fish are porcupinefish. This is unusual as typically these fish hang out in caves and crevices and are most active at night.  They like to eat hard-shelled invertebrates like snails, crabs and sea urchins though, so the sandy bottom here must provide them a good buffet (not to mention whatever is stuck on the bottom of visiting sailboats!).  Porcupinefish are really cool; if they feel threatened, they can ingest water to inflate themselves like a balloon and they have needle-like scales that stick out like a porcupine.  In order to nail the point home to potential predators that you do not want to eat them, they also produce a neurotoxin. However, to snorkelers and divers, they are also really cute with big eyes and a shy smile.  Our porcupinefish are not shy at all though and have even attacked our camera and chased a few of us around. They have never inflated, so at least we know we are not stressing them out. I think they are trying to see if they can get us to inflate… :)

Here is the little guy that attacked us. Unfortunately he wouldn't stay still so he is not in focus.


See all those dark triangular shapes? Each one is a porcupinefish! I just took this sitting in our dinghy.

Saturday we had a relaxing day on the boat. I baked some bread, downloaded pictures and wrote blogs, while Chris worked on hooking up our solar panels. Later in the day we visited with one of the neighboring sailboats, Princess Del Mar. The Canadian owner, Werner, is originally from Switzerland and is also planning to sail to Australia. We enjoyed late afternoon tea together and swapping stories.

Hanging out with Princess del Mar.


This morning as we were on our way to shore in the dinghy, our friends from San Jose del Cabo on Sound Discovery came into the bay.  We let them get settled in and went for a hike up a nearby hill to get a view of the area.  Lots of huge saguaro cacti around here! Unfortunately we found the entire area is also divided up into lots for sale. I wonder if we were to return 10-20 years later if it would look more like Cabo and less like the nice secluded bay it is now.  

View of the Bay from the nearby hill.


A large, old saguaro.

Anyway, we finally have a good weather window to get to La Paz extending from now until Monday afternoon. We will hoist anchor in about an hour and catch the incoming tide through the Strait of Cerralvo, and hopefully make it to La Paz sometime tomorrow morning before the next weather system.  The four other boats in our anchorage (all of whom we know from our earlier stops) have the same plan, so it seems we will have a bit of a convoy going to La Paz.


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