This is our second time in Puerto Los Gatos. A 30 mile trek from San Evaristo, it makes for a long day of traveling. So by the time we arrive, no one has the energy to go ashore. I love the red rock geology here so much I made Brian stay a full day this trip so we can explore the center portion of the bay tomorrow.
That afternoon, a local panga fisherman drives by, asking if we want to buy any fish. Si! I purchase a fresh Cabrillo, he fillets it right there in his boat and places it in my container. I make ceviche: combine diced fish, 1 jalapeno, ½ cucumber, 1 tomato, red onion, juice of 2 limes, salt, pepper, chili powder. I let it “cook” in the juice in the fridge overnight. It’s a great lunch with tortilla chips or crackers.
Ceviche is much better with cilantro, actually everything is better with cilantro… but I don’t have any. Why? Because everything is better with cilantro…and the entire past year I always had cilantro on board… it’s cheap here and I used it in everything…so much so that I made Brian so sick of it he won’t even allow me to buy it anymore! And now he mentally equates fresh parsley with cilantro too, even though they taste completely different. SO, I can no longer have anything remotely leafy and green aboard the boat. Sigh. Soooo sad. There’s only one good thing about my lack of fresh herbs: they took up a ton of room in my teeny fridge. I guess there’s that.
Red Rocks and Snorkeling
The next morning, I made a big breakfast (since we weren’t sailing anywhere) and had a great time exploring all day. We hiked among the gigantic and mysteriously-shaped red rocks lining the waterfront, scampered along the pink sandstone shelf worn smooth away by eons of wind and water, and climbed a unique gully comprised of slippery, sand dune on one side and rocky ravine on the other, meeting together in a V-shape.
Among the waterfront rocks, there’s a perfect, pink sand beach…just right for donning snorkel gear and entering its shallow, sandy water with fins. Snorkeling along the center reef we observed quite a few small fish, but most notably, some beautiful purple sea fans flowing gracefully in the “breeze”.
It’s all Downhill from Here…
Later, we kayaked over to a nearby catamaran to say hello. They were a Swiss couple and had been cruising around the globe for over 15 years. From Europe to the Caribbean, through the Panama Canal to the South Pacific, back up to Alaska and down the California and Mexican coast. When asked which was their favorite place - The Sea of Cortez! Well, I guess everything is downhill from here…
When he mentioned the reason, it struck me as thought-provoking - most everywhere else has trees. In the Sea, there are no trees to hide the geology and he thinks that’s why he likes it here best. It made me ponder… Trees are like clothing, outright hiding the underlying landscape; buildings of course destroy and cover the ground they stand upon; grasses and leaves are akin to makeup, further obscuring any unique geology. Most of Baja has no trees, grass or buildings, nothing to hide its wondrous variations in landscape.
The stark nakedness of the land here in Baja California is truly awe-inspiring. There is peacefulness in such pure, undisturbed desert. Each anchorage freely supplies a bounty of unique shapes and colors and textures …raw geology. You can still feel the cataclysm of lava spewing and sizzling into the ocean, the massive upheaval of shifting tectonic plates shaping these incredible hundred-mile-long, mile-high mountain ranges, the force of wind on a smoothed-out sandstone slope, the relentless pounding of surf into perfect white sand beaches, the eons it took to petrify a shell fossil, the compression required to embed giant boulders into cement, the roiling action of the sea hollowing out a reef system, the power of ancient glaciers that scraped out rock-strewn valleys and sliced off sheer cliffs and carved out the picturesque bays in which we are now anchored. Because there IS nothing else to distract you. No trees, no buildings, no cars, no freeways, no people, no cell phones, no internet. Just raw geology… in all its un-manicured glory.