The Pacific Coast of Baja, April 6th through 19th 2001.

Most people who paddle kayaks in Baja go to the Sea of Cortez. Here there is protection from the swell of the Pacific Ocean, although there are other dangers from the weather. Konstantin Gortinsky would like to paddle all of the Pacific coast of Baja instead. He had two weeks of vacation during spring break and we planned to do a section of this coast together. At one time there were seven people interested in doing this trip, but when it came down to making definite plans, only three of us remained. Konstantin, Sid Taylor, and myself. Konstantin and I drove down to Berkeley together and met Sid who drove down from Trinity County. We packed all our gear in my Toyota 4Runner, three kayaks on top, and three of us in the remaining space. We drove down to San Diego in one day, then drove into Baja on the second day and made it to our put-in spot by 2:00 PM on Saturday April 7th. We decided to pack up and launch the kayaks immediately for a short evening paddle and our first night camping.

We left the truck behind the Old Mill Restaurant and launched into San Quintin Bay. On previous trips I have noticed a difficult period of time, when you get to the put-in for an expedition but you can’t launch until the next day. During this time you can’t pack your boat because you need some of the camping equipment for the last evening before the launch. I call this the “neither fish nor fowl” period when you aren’t quite a car camper any more but you aren’t a kayak camper yet. Jumping from the truck into the kayak and launching in the evening like this solved the problem very nicely in my opinion. . Loading the boats and arranging to have someone watch the truck took three hours and we didn’t start paddling until 5:00 PM. Now we are fish!

The evening paddle was beautiful but clouds came up and blocked the sun early. The same clouds blocked the moonrise that we had planned on for paddling into the dusk! We landed behind the spit near the opening of San Quintin Bay. From here we could see a tall navigation light out on the end of the spit and a fleet of fishing boats anchored nearby. The sand on this spit is made of 20% mineral sand and 80% bleached dry eel grass. It was soft and comfortable to sleep on for our first night camping. During the night the dark clouds rained on us and my old lightweight tent leaked a little bit. I had assumed I would be camping in dry sunny dessert Baja and that this tent wouldn’t be put to this much of a test!

All text and images Copyright © 2001 by Mike Higgins / contact