HOW TO DO TURTLE BAY (BAHIA TORTUGAS)

By: Jodi Watson

There are few safe harbors and anchorages along the Pacific Ocean of the Baja, but Turtle Bay is definitely one of them. This isn’t a place that is likely reviewed on Trip Advisor.

Tucked into a wide bay, with the right protections from the wind, it’s easy to get to, even at night. We arrived around 4am – apparently we didn’t plan it that well – but even in the foggy, misty evening with barely a moon showing us the way, coming from the north, there are two easy-to-spot lights marking the entrance.

There really isn’t much to do or see here, but it’s a wild and simple place with a handful of stores and a couple of restaurants that have wifi. It seem like a place for migrating birds as well – they are in abundance in the bay.

Mushroom Risotto in the cockpit

Fuel – fuel is expensive here, and there are rumors that Enrique and his family are not the most honest people, but we found them friendly and helpful as well as eager to sell us a variety of services (and of course trinkets from abalone and coral which we politely declined). We paid around $33 (pesos) per liter of diesel, which is high, but we want to always be topped off (just in case), and there is no fuel for hundreds of miles, so they have the market cornered.  They drove up to the boat to ask us how much fuel we wanted, and then asked for an extension cord to run their pump. Pumped the diesel and were on their way – pretty great.

Enrique’s family owns a couple of the stores/restaurants in town and his sister will do laundry. They picked that up, along with a bag of trash from us, yesterday saying the laundry would be back in about 5 hours, but it’s the next day, and we just got it (a huge load for less than $10, with pick up and drop off at the boat via a panga). We are on Baja time here….you can’t expect punctuality or it will make you crazy.

We ate at Maria’s restaurant which has one of the loveliest views of the bay. Perched on the edge of the water, with wifi, and delicious if not simple food. We were pleased with our taco selection, chips/salsa (outstanding and spicy), and ice cold Tecate. We are here one more day, and we might take the tender in to try the other restaurant we see on the beach.

There is also a great hardware store – walk up the main road about 10 minutes (past a couple of grocery stores), past the Pemex station and it’s on the right where the road forks. just before the carneceria (butcher shop).

Today, it’s Sunday morning, the church bells are ringing, we had french toast for breakfast, the wind is howling, and we just got done inspecting the prop under the boat. We had some weird noises on the way down, so we wanted to check that there wasn’t anything wrapped around it, and it’s in perfect shape. We need to change the zincs when we get to Cabo as they are getting quite worn, but other than that, it all looks perfect. The water is COLD (even with a wetsuit). We have a hot water shower off the back, so when the inspection was complete, it was great to have a hot shower and rinse off the gear.

Tuesday we leave for Bahia Magdalena – we will time it so that we arrive at sunrise on Thursday morning*. The further south we get, the warmer it gets, and that is VERY exciting.

*Daylight savings time starts April 1st in Mexico (no fooling).

3 thoughts on “HOW TO DO TURTLE BAY (BAHIA TORTUGAS)

  1. rkortman

    It sure is fun to hear and see pics of places we have been and seen as well! Looking forward to hearing more!

  2. Sharon Stahlnecker

    Nice to get the info and knowing where you are is great!!! I tried looking up the map you mentioned and all I could find was info on Alaska and the Inside Passage. 🙁

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