The guidebook had several paged dedicated to Carmen Island. We could not wait to explore it. There were three distinct areas on the island that we wanted to see but we were very limited on time. We decided to do a three-cove tour in one day.
This is going to be a big post with lots of pictures; but hang in there -- this one is worth it!
We left early with the goal of visiting 4 places on the island.
Puerto La Lancha -- a small cove where the miners were dropped off and picked up at the island.
El Refugio (V-Cove) A very tight cove that was not offer good protection.
Painted Cliffs along the backside of the island.
Bahia Salinas -- An abandoned colony and mine.
La Lancha was covered with rocks and points jutting out. It offered little protection from the prevailing north winds but it was very pretty.
There was a beach there, but we decided to pull in close, but we did not stop. The sights were just amazing.
Just around the corner was El-Refugio. Interesting name, I guess in a south wind it would be a very protected anchorage, but the northerlies we had experienced lately would have ripped through this cove. We anchored there.
We launched the dinghy and explored the caves and the white sand beach.
Many Caves were there. The white sand bottom and crystal clear water made them glow green inside on the moss and alge that grew on the walls. Fish were abundant in these caves. Many were big enough to drive the dinghy directly into them.
The ripples in the sand bottom were beautiful.
There were many caves and life to explore.
We have been listening to Steinbeck's "Logs from the Sea of Cortez" as we cruise. He speaks of the Sally Lightfoot crabs that are beautiful and very quick. We happened to see hundreds of them around the caves.
They are amazing to see. The colors are just amazing.
We walked the beach and were in awe. Then we took the dinghy out to explore more caves and rugged cliffs.
I really wish we had more time here; this area was amazing. Time to move on. We pulled anchor and headed to the painted cliffs.
Around the east side of the island are cliffs that climb to hundreds of feet out of the water. We did not stop here, but here are some photos of the cliffs:
Finally we pulled into Bahia Salina when a freak snow storm dropped quite a good load of snow on the beach. We had a snowball fight!
Actually, this is a salt pond. The island was used as a salt mine and we hiked back to the pond where the salt was dried from the sea.
The salt pond was beautiful in its own way.
There was an abandoned town where the workers stayed with lots of old buildings and equipment.
An area of the abandoned city had been turned into an event location for weddings and such. It was crazy to see a beautiful building with set tables and sub zero fridges humming away here.
There was even a church.
We went in and said a prayer for Donna!
After all this we returned to the boat. Another blow was coming in so we had to escape to Coronado Island. We high tailed it over there for better protection.
Sorry for being so long winded but that day was the most spectacular since we arrived in the Sea of Cortez.
Time: 4 h 26 m ( 07:28 to 11:55 ) Distance: 22.16 nm
Fuel: 4.33 Gallons Fuel Rate: 0.97 GPH Fuel Economy: 5.12 NM/G
Avg Speed: 5.64 kn Max Speed: 7.95 kn
Engine Runtime Start: 3358.80 Hours Runtime End: 3362.35 Hours Fuel: 4.33 Gallons Fuel Rate: 0.97 GPH Fuel Rate Max: 3.72 GPH Avg RPM: 1056.71 Max RPM: 1265.50 Avg Oil Pressure: 48.22 Low Oil Pressure: 1.16 Avg Temperature: 185.66 Max Temperature: 192.20
Time: 3 h 37 m ( 13:40 to 17:17 ) Distance: 25.32 nm
Fuel: 6.57 Gallons Fuel Rate: 1.81 GPH Fuel Economy: 3.86 NM/G
Avg Speed: 6.84 kn Max Speed: 8.40 kn
Engine Runtime Start: 3362.35 Hours Runtime End: 3366.00 Hours Fuel: 6.57 Gallons Fuel Rate: 1.81 GPH Fuel Rate Max: 4.25 GPH Avg RPM: 1168.28 Max RPM: 1252.75 Avg Oil Pressure: 51.35 Low Oil Pressure: 31.33 Avg Temperature: 188.66 Max Temperature: 192.20