Most boats skip right over Bahia San Marte, favoring the more popular Agua Verde to the north or Los Gatos to the south. Last year we had to forego anchoring here when we passed by as it is open to south and east winds and not great for strong northerly winds either. This time we got lucky…yet another blessedly calm evening. How long can we maintain this splendid weather pattern?
We arrived late afternoon, hopped in the ’yak and paddled over to chat with a newly-arrived boat who we met previously while at Marina Palmira. While kayaking around the anchorage, we witnessed for the first time, strange fish that swam at the surface of the water. Their sharp, silvery dorsal and tail fins stuck up in the air like mini-sharks. We could never get close enough with the kayak to see what they looked like other than seeing their fins and that they seemed to be 1-2 ft long. Hundreds of them darted around erratically, not sitting still for good photos. It was too late in the day for snorkeling, but I’m not sure I wanted to get in the water with quite so many of whatever they were anyway!
An hour before the sun set, we beached and walked a craggy, volcanic reef comprising toothy, stone shafts thrusting out of the water at a severe angle. It almost hurt your feet to tip-toe on these rows of blunt, up-ended denture-like rock shelves, even wearing good-soled water shoes. Reaching the opposite beach, we scrambled up a steep incline of sharp rock and petrified shell shards to get a good view of the bay (so steep we nearly caused a small shell-slide making our way back down). Sharp, ankle-twisting reef rocks and challenging cliff-top access made this shore visit not so friendly. But WORTH it….
Mobula Ray Shuffle
As we took in the spectacular view of Indigo from above, all comfy-cozy and nestled on her hook in calm waters, we got an unexpected private performance! With the sun behind me, I caught the best photos yet of mobula rays doing their famous ‘jump and splat’. For several minutes, I just stood there in awe and kept clicking as ray after ray took flight. I took so many pics, (36 to be exact) it was impossible to decide which ones to show here. So I didn’t decide, I just included anything that came out decent. Call it a “Study in Rays”. Later on, back on the boat, I caught a video of the rays poking their little wingtips up out of the flat water at sunset. It never gets old.
We did not stay an extra day, but I would have snorkeled if we had…San Marte, with its extensive reef, is just begging to be snorkeled. Next time…
From there we traveled up to Isla Carmen, anchoring in Punta Perico for the night. During that long, 30-mile day, we observed dolphins, a couple turtles and a whale that spouted once but never saw again. Here and there, we’d notice a sea lion basking in the water on its back, arm fins straight up towards the sky and feet flippers too, like some dogs do when they sleep… they were just floating along, taking a nap.
In the morning, we got up early and kayaked along a sheer wall, striated with multiple layers of various rock and sediment. We even caught a glimpse of a pod of dolphins swimming around in the anchorage while kayaking! We’ve witnessed so much fantastic sealife this trip… more than last year…but the best is yet to come! Tomorrow, actually!