Baja, Punta San Juan Bautista to Playa la Palmita, March 29th 2002.


In the morning after we had packed up and launched, we stopped for a few minutes in front of the yellow fields. Joe wanted to land and take pictures of an osprey nest in a cardon cactus. Most of us hung out in the water waiting for him. Then we paddled around two large points called Punta San Carlos and Punta Gorda. Once past these points the shoreline became very interesting with white sandy beaches and small coves with rocky points between them. One little cove, unnamed on the map, was so gorgeous that we wished we had camped there. We took a long lunch break so Joe could go snorkeling and John could catch cabrilla for dinner. The south end of the cove had a flat rocky shelf above the waterline with pools of salt dried up on it and tall flat topped spires of rock standing above it.

After lunch we continued along a tall berm looking for another “estero” behind Punta La Salina. We landed at one point to look over the berm and found another long-dried-out salt flat. It had been disconnected from the ocean so long that mature Cardon Cacti grew everywhere. The estero was long gone. Next we found a large bay with several small flat points in it created by water washing down arroyos during storms. One of them was called Playa la Palmita and actually had several palm trees growing there to verify the name! I landed before the point to look in an arroyo for a camping spot but it didn’t look very good. Then we saw wild horses at the point where there was a pool of presumably fresh water under the palm trees. (We didn’t taste it to verify this). We landed on the next sandy beach but decided to move our boats 100 meters back near the point where a sand dune came closer to the beach. I cooked dinner so I did not have time to set up my tent until after dark.

While landing on the other side of the point earlier in the day, a dolphin vertebrae I was keeping under my deck bungees had slipped off and disappeared. Then while unloading my boat later I sat on and broke another “treasure” on my deck, a sand dollar I had collected days earlier. I felt like I had lost all of my treasures. So before going to bed I went for a long walk by moonlight back to see if my dolphin vertebrae was washed up at low tide. It was not, but I picked up a polished shell. It is incredibly dense and heavy like a rock, shaped like a clam shell, only 4 or 5 centimeters in diameter but over a centimeter thick in the middle. Smooth and heavy it felt like a good worry-stone in my pocket. Probably some relative of the rock scallop had made it. This mollified my feeling of having lost all my treasures.


All text and images Copyright © 2002 by Mike Higgins / contact