Emotionally scarred by our experience facing heavy winds and opposing seas in the transition zone between the Pacific and Sea of Cortez, we were not looking forward to our next leg of the journey thru the Cerralvo Channel. Here, currents funnel and amplify between the Baja peninsula and Cerralvo Island, creating potentially heavy seas and slow progress if we did not choose our weather window well. To break the passage into more manageable portions, most people stop at Los Muertos. Our cruising guide does not mention Los Muertos as much more than a sheltered bay to be used as a place to wait out bad weather, but other cruisers that we had met praised its beauty, so we did not mind taking a short break from passage making here.
Entering the bay, our expectations were immediately surpassed when we dropped anchor into crystal clear water. We could see our anchor all the way; 22 feet, down to the sandy bottom, as fish swam placidly around our boat. The bay was so well protected that waves hardly broke against the beach, promising a gentle dinghy landing.
Walking along the beach the next morning, we saw a lot of coral washed up on the sand. Curious, we rowed our dinghy on the outside of the rocky point where we were, and I jumped into the water with my snorkel on. There, I was happy to find live coral heads sheltering tropical fishes. We had been disappointed by not being able to snorkel Cabo Pulmo, but here was an unexpected surprise in an unlikely spot under the ruins of an abandoned wharf. The water was warm and shallow and the waves gentle, making for a pleasant swim for an unexperienced snorkeler like myself.
To the south of the bay is the Centro de Trenes Restaurant, an establishment that has been very welcoming to and highly recommended by other cruisers. Looking for the restaurant earlier on, we had accidentally walked into someone’s seaside mansion; there were several of them lining the beach. I suppose that one way to tell that you are rich is if your house is mistaken for a hotel. Centro de Trenes is so named because of a huge model train set that they display on their second floor, along with a collection of vintage coin operated arcade games and jukeboxes. On their patio is a water slide and pool, with bar seating in the water. Their wide sliding doors open up to a ravine lined with coconut trees, framing a turquoise reef and white sand beach. Friendly staff serve guests excellent food in a dining area filled with an assortment of comfy furniture, billiard tables, artwork and wood and stone flooring.
We have been living outside of regular society for so long that we had forgotten about Thanksgiving. But through word of mouth from other cruisers, we signed up for a Thanksgiving buffet put on by the restaurant. Gathered at a long communal dining table, 20 or so of us cruisers from 8 boats sat down to a feast, exchanging sailing stories under a full moon, surrounded by burning tiki torches.