Baja California Sur- Turtle Bay, Asuncion, Hipilito and the start of Abreojos

Turtle Bay, Asuncion, Hipolito, and the first day at Abreojos:
We stayed in Turtle bay for a little over a week, the first 3 days of which were spent hiding down below out of the heavy winds and choking sand. By the time the winds died down and the sun came out again PRISM looked brown, not white, it took a whole day to wash her down clean again.  When we arrived 3 days earlier, there where about 15 other cursing boats in the bay with us, some heading north doing the BASH and most others heading south like us. When we awoke on the first nice day of our stay we were one of only 3 boats left in the bay….. uhhh what did they know that we don’t?!?
Our first trip to shore we quickly noticed how bad we are at spanish and that once again we really need to practice. :/ We scouted the different markets to check the prices of each one to see who had the beat deals. Its funny how half of the markets don’t even have prices on the items, I think they do that in these areas for when the greengos come they can charge higher prices.  We found our selves at a little restaurant  with one other fellow cruiser Scott, drinking ice cold beer and ordering amazing fresh shrimp tacos.  We were laughing with our attempts to speak spanish with the locals. Carlos who owned the restaurant was very friendly, and even offered to drive us up to the markets that sold liquor, and then back to to the tackle shop that was closed when we first stopped by Carlos knew the owner of the tackle shop and asked him to open for us. SCORE. We walked back to another market and stocked up on little things like fresh tortillas, tomatoes, avocados… you know the essentials.

 

The big brother ignoring the little sister
We wanted to eat a feast of fresh fish for Thanksgiving, but were having no luck fishing in the bay, so we were very excited when Scott came over with his very cute puppy and a whole lot of fresh fish that he just speared. WHOOP WHOOP! Fish tacos Baja style for everyone! Another cruiser, John who was on his way back up to SD after 2 years cursing Mexico on his Island Packet 27’ also joined us for drinks aboard prism, the only Americans in the area, singing and drinking and giving thanks. It was a great way to spend our first thanksgiving away from our land biased homes.
This beer should last us at least a week

 

trying to find out how to say tackle shop in spanish.

 

Turtle Bay
this ship didn’t make it

 

Fresh Shrimp Tacos
The next few days in the bay we spent fishing with Scott, walking around the small town, fished off the small reef loosing half of the stuff we just bought on the rocks, sun bathing, and swimming. We found ourselves hanging with Scott most nights as he would catch “too much fish” for himself, he would bring us the catch and we would all eat dinner together on PRISM, even his pup Atrox gets to partake in the fresh fish feasts every night… what a lucky dog.
Scott and his pup Atrox
We left Turtle Bay with a 5 am departure to make sure we would make it to Asuncion (the next safe anchorage) 60 miles south before night fall. Scott was rafted up to us as he was planning on leaving with us.. however he needed to do some more things before he left. So he casted off and anchored again as we motored our way out of Turtle bay. As dawn neared and the sun started to rise so did the wind. Jon and I hoisted the sails and killed the engine. HELL YES! We are going to get to sail the whole way, whoop whoop! Yeea……. that lasted for about 2 hours. and then wind died… damn. We bobbed, and maybe moved along at about .5knts, we were getting nowhere and the current was grabbing ahold of us, so we fired her up and motored for about 4 hours. By the afternoon we had amazing wind again, up the sails went and we made our way for the last 6 hours sailing down wind under the main alone. We jibed to round Asuncion Island and raised the drifter to sail a beam reach for the last 30 min into the anchorage. There were about 4 other boats  here, one of which we had been passed by (a 50ish foot catamaran) that caught a dolphin (dorado) to big for just them and offered us some of the filets. They came by to drop the fish off and grab the photos Jon snapped of them as they sailed by us earlier that day. ( Jon hailed them on the radio when they were passing and asked if they wanted some pictures.. they quickly took the towels that were drying off the rails, unfurled the jib and made their way to the bow of their ship… picture ready and picture perfect). Sean, Jon and I feasted on fresh sashimi, dipped in soy sauce and a creamy Sriracha sauce. YUM!!  We ate like kings that night… well its not like we haven’t been eating like kings every night.
Raft-up Baja Style
The little dinghy anchor= AWESOME

 

this is by far one of the more funny things I have ever seen

 

rowing to shore
We stayed in Asuncion for a few days, as the town was way bigger than Turtle Bay and had a lot more options to buy food. The fishing, water, and snorkeling was also more enjoyable. Once again we spent our nights eating with Scott and his abundance of fresh fish. Damn that guy can hunt. Eating like KINGS we are!!
Scott and a lobster
Sean is still in the search of surf, as he has only surfed once this whole trip. I hope we anchor someplace soon where there is surf.
We had our first rain of our trip as well in Asuncion, well it was more like a very light drizzle, but still… RAIN. Ha nothing like what the Bay Area has been getting for the last week or so…. Sorry guys up there 🙂
Asuncion we feel a way better stop than Turtle bay, for all of those who are heading south… the markets are cheaper and the town is nicer.
The first of the tropical looking reef fish!!

 

and another one!!! Look at the colors!  BAH
The next big stop is Abreojos about 50 miles south, but we decide to split up the trip and head to Hipolito, which we all call “hipp-hop-alot-amus”… say it quick.. hehe. Ok sorry back to our stop Hipolito… it is only 20 miles south, most cruisers pass by it as it does not have any services in the small village.
Our sail down was a good one, we got to sail almost the whole way, we left Asuncion around 7:30 ish in the morning, giving us pretty much all day to sail the 20 miles. We had wind in the morning then it died, we just bobbed though the current taking us in the right direction. We caught some bonitos along the way, and then something really big that when i went to get to rod and reel off its holder it reached the end of the line, snapped and the rod hit me square in the head. Ouch. We got a good laugh out of that… beside the fact that we lost another lure.
The wind picked up in the afternoon, making for a great sail the rest of the way to the anchorage, as we jibed around the point  to make our way to the anchorage we threw the hand line in, just incase the fish were biting. Sure enough!!! whoop whoop fish on! It was my turn to bring the bad boy in sense the last fish on took our line and some of my dignity with the smack to the head. Of corse as we start to pull the fish in, the wind picks up and we are now doing about 6 knots. Luckily the hand line is so easy it doesn’t even feel like you have a fish on half of the time. As the fish got closer to the boat we could see that it was not the normal bonita we have been catching but in fact a yellow tail! SCORE! Once again we ate like kings! No cooking needed we  just cut the filets and dipped in sauce. Oh and made some fresh ceviche that we ate for lunch, dinner and breakfast! BAH!! Does life get any better?!?!
bonito on!= Dinner

 

The GoPro shot- The fight to get the fish on.

 

it is a learning process to filet fish
Thanks again to fellow cruiser John who we met in Turtle Bay on his Island Packet 27’ for the Hand line you gave us! Its working way better than the one we lost due to a bad tie off job, that is either sitting on the bottom of the ocean near Isla Cedros or sadly is being towed around by some poor fish.
Sean Catch of the Day- Bonito
Jons catch- Bonito

 

Shannon’s Catch- Our 1st YELLOWTAIL!

 

yellow tail
We happen to LOVE this anchorage! Sand bottom, clear warm water, FISH!!! LOBSTER!!! ABALONE!!!!! BAH and we have the whole place to our selfs…. well Scott is with us too, but we are the only cruisers here. The locals have come up to us asking if we have candy… which does not make sense to us as we saw they sell a lot of candy in the markets.  When we got in the water ready to go get us fresh lobster for dinner, we were stopped by the locals who didn’t speak english and were telling up not to take ant abalone or lobsters as this area is a protected co-op. We agreed and told them it was no problem. I don’t think they believed us cause about 15 mins laters as we were swimming and making our way to the reef they were back, with the head of the “Co-op” who did speak some english. He kept asking what we were doing and once again for us not to take lobster or abalone. We could fish for fish but that was it. OK we get it! WE WONT TAKE ANY!  Once we showed them the cameras and told them in broken spanish that we were just filming and would follow their request they left us alone.
This reef is by far the most exciting! Horn sharks everywhere, bat rays, fish, stingrays, shovelnose guitar shark, and the LOBSTER! OMG they must be over 100,000 lobsters. So many that they are not enough hiding places for them, each crevasse had 15-100 lobsters all piled up on each other. We all kept thinking.. will they really notice if we take 5 or 6 for dinner? Karma is the only thing that stopped us.
Look at all the LOBSTER!

 

HORN SHARK!

 

Now thats a big Stingray

 

the damn puffer fish that eats all our lures

 

Buddy the Batray
We were all going to hang on the beach for a little while and have a beer that Scott had brought over on his kayak. Making our way though the sandy surf we were talking about the stingrays and that we need to be doing the “Baja shuffle”. Just as we were taking about it and almost to the beach, WHAP Jon is down. He was the only one of the group who was wearing booties , sure enough the puncturing stinger of the ray sent Jon down to his knees with in seconds. Jon and I made a dash to the boat to get his foot clean and stop the venom. Good thing we didn’t waste any time. I had to rescue swim Jon back to the boat about 200 yards away as his leg started to cramp and he was in so much pain that I told him to just relax on his back and to keep breathing. We made it back to the boat, Jon quickly took off his gear, and rinsed his foot with fresh water as i got the medical guide to find out the correct ways to deal with this injury. Hot water is the key. We soaked Jon’s ankle in 110 degree fresh water for over an hour. Each time the water got below 100 degrees the pain would spike again. We hailed over a local fisherman and once again in broken spanish, we asked  if he had any tips for dealing with this and if he had any antibiotics. He smiled and said he would be right back.
We watched him beach his panga, get in a truck, drive off, then come back. He brought us some kind of liquid concoction that has no name, and some antibiotics. He showed us how to use the liquid yellow stuff and apply it right on the wound. Jon said it stung for a little, but then started to feel very good. Almost all pain was fading. Not sure if it was all to the liquid gold the locals brought us, or the anti-inflammatory pills, or the 2 rounds of Dark and stormies that had Jon feeling so good. The locals did tell us that because Jon had already had something to drink that he should wait till the following day to take the antibiotics, and only too if he was still in pain. The first local we flagged down made almost 5 runs out to us with different people, one of which I think was a Doctor from a fishing boat near by, and the last person was someone who spoke a little more english than the rest, and told us that if Jon was still in pain in the morning and if the wound looked pink or really swollen that they would let him see the town doctor. They were so helpful, Jon and I gave them a nice bottle of Wiskey ( that we are not sure he really wanted or not) as a thank you.
towing Jon back to the boat

 

It was a long swim back to PRISM with Jon in tow
Jon working with one foot
By the time we had dinner the pain in Jon’s foot was almost gone… HES GOING TO LIVE!.. WE DONT HAVE TO CHOP OFF HIS FOOT!  We were all giving him a hard time, but all out of love. We felt bad for him but at the same time, glad it didn’t happen to us. 🙂 I mean I was walking right next to him… bare foot!  We think that will not be the last time this happens to us on this trip as all 3 of us LOVE the water, and well just because there are stingrays…. well its not going to stop us.
Looks like he is in pain
Drink in hand makes everything better

 

Using the local yellow liquid stuff
(Jon Witing) The Following day the locals that helped us with the ointment came out to the boat to check on me. My foot had healed nicely overnight and had almost no pain. It now felt just like something sharp had stabbed me and it had swelled a little from just the trauma of that. There was no sign of infection and I had full movement. I felt lucky and was glad we took the necessary precautions the first day. This bay was by far my favorite so far. Desolate on land but full of life in the water. Best water visibility so far as well. We relaxed for the day but decided to head out the following. The next morning I got everyone up and we had the anchor up but 7:30. Steady 10-13knts from the east carried us for the first 4 hrs. Shannon had her turn on the reel shortly after we left and fought a bonita on board, he was not the largest we have caught and so we decided to throw him back and wait for a bigger better fish. The wind continued to die and by 12:30 we where becalmed . Having all day to go 30 miles we decided to just drift with the current and not start the engine. We ghosted at .7 knts for about an hour until the light but steady west winds came in. We hoisted every bit of canvas for the 5knts of wind and where making 3.5-4knts. During this time Sean saw a fish trailing us but not biting our lures. We all had a look and sure enough the was a 3 foot Dorado trailing 10 feet off our stern. Shannon and Sean did everything to catch him but he was just hanging out. Im kinda glad we didn’t catch him because when he shined his sides in the sun and you got to see how incredible his colors where, I wouldn’t want to kill him. He was just checking us out so we could check him out. The winds stayed light and we ghosted all the way to Abreojos. The approach is a little sketch. You must navigate between Baja mainland and Whale Rock. Sounds like  good time but there a literally hundreds of lobster pots to navigate around, you can take the outside approach and I would defiantly recommend that if the swell was big at all. Luckily with the way our boat is made with its rudder attached to the keel so there is really no place for a lobster pot line to snag. We have not ran over one that we know about yet so I can’t fully comment if this also protects the prop if we where motoring, Im guessing it would unless we hit it perfectly. There are so many pots here be prepared to jump in if you have spade rudders and plan on hopping down the coast like us. Every Cruiser we have an into that has a spade rudder has gone swimming to cut themselves loose. One cruiser on a 50foot cat caught 3 pots in just one passage (turtle bay to Asuncion).
Salt water shower

 

Salt water showers

 

small system passing over head.

 

(Back to Shannon) We are anchored out, and it is a bit rolly here but it is beautiful. We watched another cruising boat flip their dinghy on the shore break this morning… we have noted not to land our dinghy where they did, (it seems to be the biggest breaks.. why they did it there, we don’t know) and we will have our dry bags at the ready and not bring our outboard.
Another cruiser anchored close to us to say hi and to warn us about about a low pressure that is on its way. So we are going to head to shore, look for internet and upload the blog and check the weather. If there is a system coming, we might be in Abreojos for a week or so….
As of right now, I am sitting in an Internet Cafe, waiting for the pictures to upload to the blog at dial up speed, the boys got bored so they are off in search of food and beer, while i stay here and blog. 1 hour of internet for 21.00 pesos. ITS TAKING FOREVER! Id like to use the internet for other things, but I think it would slow it down even further…. what to do what to do….
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4 thoughts on “Baja California Sur- Turtle Bay, Asuncion, Hipilito and the start of Abreojos

  1. Great Blog Kids! I have a few comments
    SB – Finally a decent fish! Where are the Tuna. How could you pass Cedros and not be full of yellowtail?
    Spooled – use at least 100# test on trollers, and put a bungee cord on the hand lines to absorb shock of big fish.
    Fish get bigger as you head south. Plan ahead.

    Jon – Eat the Dorado, there are plenty more and they are the best eating you will see on the trip cept Wahoo
    Shuffle your feet in the sand Dude

    Shannon – Your doing great skipper! Be real careful in Cabo and remember that thieves swim better than you do.

    Bless all!

    Steve

    Like

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