Definitely not a passage you would want to do at night, the voyage to Bahia de Tortugas (Turtle Bay) was choppy and the seas were confused and FULL of lobster pots. The entire Keller Channel was littered with lobster pots. So much that all three of us had to be on the lookout and we had some close calls along the way. The problem is the lobster pots go completely underneath the waves in the swell peaks and then pop up in the troughs in between so they are very hard to spot. The channel entering Tortugas was also strewn with lobster pots, so the majority of our journey was not a very relaxing one with the constant threat of wrapping a lobster pot around our prop. No bueno.
We arrived at Turtle Bay in the early afternoon and were greeted by several other cruisers and invited to Thanksgiving dinner at Maria’s restaurant. One of the cruiser’s had baked an apple pie and everything. Amazing. The panga taxi picked us up at 6pm for dinner and off we went. We were greeted by Pedro, who took our trash and took us to Maria’s. The twinkling patio lights that illuminated the quaint deck at Maria’s were a beautiful contrast to the dark night sky surrounding us. Maria and here family greeted us and welcomed us to Bahia De Tortugas. Gypsy Kings blared from speakers set outside and several people were dancing and enjoying the warm evening. All of the restaurant’s tables had been pushed together into one big, long table and was set with candles. The smell of food wafted from inside Maria’s kitchen while several other cruisers were sitting around conversing about their journeys and where they had sailed from. It was a wonderful evening and a welcome break to the rough sail we had over.
The next morning was amazing- there was a fishing boat coming in with its net hanging in the water, completely swarmed with a massive amount of pelicans and gulls as well as dozens of sea lions and dolphins leaping all around them. They were so close to our boat, we were really enjoying the show and the marine life was enjoying the buffet! We had dolphins and sea lions right beside Bloom at anchor for at least an hour. It was the most incredible experience- especially for Carson! I gave him a haircut in the cockpit that morning and he claimed it was “The best haircut ever!” because he got to watch the amazing dolphin show all around us at the same time. Pretty cool.
Enrique (Maria’s brother) and Adrian run the panga taxi, as well as the fuel and water service here. We ordered some diesel fuel and water and made arrangements to receive it the next day. They were prompt and very helpful getting us topped up and ready to continue our journey. The fuel and water are pricey here, around $5.00/Gallon USD for the diesel.
Carson and Jason were able to get a few provisions here for our next leg with a quick trip into the little village and we made plans to leave on November 29th, as a great weather window opened up.
Adios Bahia De Tortugas!