Baja, Sunday April 12th 1998.

We had to launch at low tide over the slippery cobble beach this morning. I pulled my boat down into the green zone and filled it there, then pulled it out into the water between two natural stone jetties. Just as I got in the seat two large waves broke over the outer jetty and almost surfed me back over the inner one. It was the closest thing to a rough launch I had all week! Everyone else apparently had a very rough time launching over the cobble stones a few meters away.

At lunch time, I tried fishing again while everyone else was resting. The wind was milder on this day, and the spotted sea bass started biting immediately. I would not have time to drop the lure all the way to the bottom before another fish would bite! I pulled in three fish, each one bigger than the last one. But then everyone else launched their boats and I quit fishing to get ready to continue south. That evening I filleted all three fish and put them in a marinade of soy sauce and rice vinegar. The vinegar chemically cooked the fish like the lemon did the other day. I had time to re-hydrate some rice, roll it into balls, and decorate it with pickled cucumber, pickled ginger, fish, and sesame seeds. So we had sushi appetizers before dinner! I kept one filet aside for someone to cook for dinner, but as usual there was too much food and they didn’t get to the fish. So I left it cooking in the marinade and had it for lunch the next day.

This was a reasonably short day, only fourteen kilometers on the water, with lots of rock gardening in the mild water close to the cliffs. Our goal was to stop at a “fishing camp” village on the map which we correctly assumed had a good place to land. This village does not have road access and is only reachable by boat. The topographic map shows several buildings on this site but all we found was one lean-to on the beach. It had cardboard boxes tacked to it for wall materials, farther evidence that it does not rain here much. A rickety chair was propped against one corner of the house with a basket of limes hung over it. The lean-to was surrounded on all sides with trash, except for the ocean direction where the waves take it away. Lying in the sand next to a crab trap was a strangely shaped piece of brass. Closer examination showed this to be a geographic benchmark for the village, which had been dug out of its concrete pad. It positively identified our location as Punta El Muertito. The beach had drag marks in the sand where a boat had recently landed here. We felt like we were invading someone’s home, so we paddled down to the other end of the beach to set up our camp.

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All text and images Copyright © 1998 by Mike Higgins / contact