REMOTE BAJA CAMPING TRIP ON ISLA ANGEL
DE LA GUARDA IN THE SEA OF CORTEZ
Jan. 16, 2006, Graham Mackintosh, Isla Angel de la Guarda, Sea of Cortez, Baja California, Mexico:
Position: 29 degrees 15.568 North, 113 degrees 25.933 West.
I’m just getting a quick note out of Isla Angel de la Guarda with a Canadian kayaker. His name is Gary. Real nice guy. He paddled into my bay 2 days ago, and we’ve been hiking and exploring together the last two days.
Yesterday, we reached a point in the middle of Isla Angel de la Guarda offering a fantastic view of the other coast. I’ll try to reach it before I leave here. Weather has been generally warm with some lovely days perfect for kayaking, but yesterday and especially today have been real blasters, with Pacific-size surf in places. I’ll need to get the sand and grit from my tent when it stops.
Generally I’ve been out of radio range, but in the mountains I made contact with presumably a boater south of the Bay of LA, in Puerto Don Juan. So if I climb high enough I can probably make contact with someone.
I have plenty of everything and all’s well. I’ve lost a pound or two already. There are lots of animal tracks, and scat with fur inside. Probably not coyotes. Might be feral cats? If so, there are a lot of them. Otherwise, not sure what they are.
I’m camped at the north end of this bay within Humbug Bay. There’s an abandoned panga there which has been incorporated into my campsite. Driftwood abounds in the bay so fires will be no problem. It was wonderful to have a week of bright moonlit nights, but now I’ll be doing more star gazing. The beach combing is great, and I’m always finding a crate or a plank to add to my comforts.
Gary is camped a mile away at the south end of the bay and I’ll be heading over there with this letter just before dark. Then I’ll come back by flashlight. He has agreed to let me download my pictures so far to his iPod.
There’s a resident hawk on this point and it’s killing a lot of birds. I saw it flying off with the blooded carcass of a webbed-foot bird, probably a duck. Also I’ve found the remains of a duck on the beach and a barn owl in a little canyon above my campsite. Every day, for companions, I have sea lions, oyster catchers and ospreys. Great bird watching here, and looking at the seashore creatures is wonderful.
Crows are the only nuisance so far. They love to poke around my camp when I’m gone, and check everything out with their sharp beaks. The fishermen who brought me over warned me about them. So I need to “crow-proof” my camp when I’m away.
So all’s well and I’m very content among all this beauty and peace, but I did get a surprise, actually quite a shock on the first night. About 1:30 a.m. I heard a motor, a panga came in after the moon had set and began shining a powerful light on my tent. I thought it best not to emerge so they wouldn’t know it was just me inside. Besides, I was sleeping naked in my sleeping bag. So I was frantically getting dressed and shining my light back so they knew I was inside. Luckily they went elsewhere. Not sure who they were, but I doubt that they were fishing! After that, I’ve slept dressed every night.
I’m going to head over to give this to Gary. So no more for now. I’ll keep this campsite for a week or two more, maybe longer as I’m getting so cozy and settled. It’s sheltered from all but the worst weather like today. Moving will be difficult as I have so much food and water and equipment. Only regret I didn’t bring more beer. Such a super way to salute the sunset. Miss you all.