Ensenada de los Muertos y Bahia de los Suenos?
The Cove of the Dead or the Bay of Dreams? I laughed when I read that…really? Local land developers have been hard at work over the past few years trying to eradicate the name of this desolate little fishing village in hopes of attracting more clients to their high-priced resort. Marketing dollars hard at work, even in Mexico. The bay hosts several rather imposing homes perched up on cliffs overlooking the Sea of Cortez and an exclusive resort with individual infinity pools for each bungalow, horseback riding trails and a golf course. Even the menus at the local restaurant (attached to the very expensive golf course and resort) read the “Bay of Dreams”. They make really awesome nachos, by the way, we highly recommend them.
We arrived in Ensenada de los Muertos after one failed attempt at leaving Los Frailes two days prior. During the winter months there are wind storms, called Northers, that race down from Colorado and Arizona and kick up some serious steep seas and increased velocity as they make their 600 mile journey down the Sea of Cortez. The day we left Los Frailes, Deep Playa and her crew would experience their first Norther. We had weighed anchor early in the morning to make some good headway up north after listening to weather reports that the Northers would start blowing later in the afternoon. We figured we could easily make it almost to Los Muertos before the full brunt of the Norther took hold. After rounding Cabo Los Frailes well before dawn the seas and winds were calm enough that Patrick went down below to catch up on some much needed sleep. I was just settling into enjoying the hint of a sunrise when I noticed the seas and wind start building…10 knots (that’s nothing), 15 knots (boat speed is slowing a bit now), 18, 20, 22, 25 and gusts up to 30 knots. I thought, well, let’s see if we make it around this next point, perhaps the winds will shift and we won’t be beating so hard. That was not to be the case and I watched the knot meter drop from 5 knots to 3 knots and then to 1.5 knots! For those not familiar with what that actually means when applied to speed on land, let’s just say your Grandma using her walker would have made it to Los Muertos well before Deep Playa showed up. I finally had to wake up Patrick to reassess the situation and make an executive decision to turn around and head 3 hours back or try to beat it the rest of the way to Los Muertos. After the boat literally drove off the top of some of the steep waves and the towers located on the land weren’t moving south any longer we decided to pack it in and turn around. With the wind and seas on our stern, we wound up making great time back to Los Frailes! :-/
The second attempt to leave Los Frailes behind was much more successful and we had a pleasant motor-sail. Along the way up to Los Muertos we were boarded by the Mexican Navy. Yes Mexico has a Navy! The officer was maybe pushing 18 years of age. All they wanted was to review our paperwork and ensure that it was in order. The officers were very polite and respectful. He even became uncomfortable when he was asking for my age. What a humbling experience it was for the two of us. Their uniforms were ill-fitting and well-worn, they wore dress shoes (no boots), their guns were rusted, and the zodiac that transported them from the mother ship to ours was, to put it nicely, well-loved. He politely thanked us for cooperating and asked us to sign a piece of paper that stated that we did not have pay a bribe nor were we abused by them in any way. We happily obliged.
We finally reached our destination later that afternoon and proceeded to quickly pass out after a long day’s sail. The next morning I got up early and rowed the dinghy ashore to do some exploring and go for a long run along the out-stretched white sand beach. I also really wanted to check out this exclusive resort for myself. I had the most wonderful run along the shore. The beaches were riddled with fenced off areas where mamma sea turtles had come ashore to lay their eggs some days prior. I was hoping to catch some scrappy little ones making an escape, but no luck. I ran around to the south end of the bay until I could run no further and decided to check out the resort. I casually pretended as if I belonged there as to not attract attention to myself. I wandered around for a while amazed at the luxury before me, while not quite grasping the fact that we were in the middle of NOWHERE in a DESERT! I am not sure how that place stayed open while staffing, from what I counted on my short walk, four groundskeepers, two receptionists and several people who groomed the sand on the beach. Crazy. I went on my merry way after a couple groundskeepers began eyeballing my activities. I had a challenging row back to the boat which took a little longer as the winds had picked up while I was exploring onshore. After putting the dinghy away and working up a good sweat from the exercise, I proceeded to jump into the crystal clear blue 80 degree water to cool off. Now that was my kinda luxury.