250 n.m. south of Turtle bay is Magdalena Bay. We anchored in Man of War Cove for a few days rest and to wait out a predicted tropical weather depression, later named Raymond. Magdalena Bay is huge, 25 miles NW to SE and 13 miles E-W. The bay is rimmed by 2 elongated islands, Isla Magdalena and Isla Santa Margarita. Our anchorage was inside Isla Magdalena and the village of Puerto Magdalena, founded in 1871.
The town of Puerto Magdalena consists of around 50 buildings and dirt roads. Prominent in the village is the desalinization plant, church, preschool, Port Captain’s office and Harbor Light, a restaurant Mira Mar, and large 3-sided concrete frames, perhaps hurricane remnants.
Our first night at anchor we were invited on Gitana N55 for Dorado, freshly caught on the cruise from Turtle Bay. The Nordhavn Taco Runners had temporarily split up; those that preferred to travel only during the day and those who preferred to travel all night with the weather and arrive at the new anchorage in the mornings. We traveled with Red Rover and Gitana as the overnight cruisers. The fish was delicious!
The weather had been sunny and in the 70s. By Tuesday afternoon (we departed Turtle Bay on Sunday), the Taco Runners were reunited with the arrival of Partida, Last Arrow and Igloo. Not only did all the Taco Runners arrive in the bay but so did about 130 Baja Ha Ha sailboats! The Baja Ha Ha is a two-week cruisers rally from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico that takes place every fall. The lights on the sailboat masts in the evening were brighter than the village of Puerto Magdalena.
The restuarant Mira Mar is only open on Wednesdays so we inquired about “reservations”. They were planning fish tacos, served as a buffet with rice, slaw and a couple of toppings at 4pm. There were so many cruisers at the restaurant and it was fun to meet and talk with the Baja Ha Ha rally sailors.
Interesting, the Baja Ha Ha leaves from San Diego and do not check into Mexico until Cabo San Lucas, 183 n.m. south of here at the end of the rally. To leave Mexico, you must first check into Mexico as we did in Ensenada. It appeared (from radio communications) to be a bit of a problem for some Baja Ha Ha cruisers who were needing to return home. The Baja Ha Ha schedule was delayed and some crew were planning a panga lift to Puerto San Carlos to check in, then a bus to Cabo San Lucas to catch flights. Sounded like quite an adventure, considering our location and the language! Two of our Taco Runners, Gitana and Last Arrow also headed out early to Cabo San Lucas.
The five remaining Taco Runners spent 6 more days in Magdalena Bay waiting out the storm which arrived Sunday morning, very early. Epoch pitched with the other boats in the bay for the next 32 hours, bow and stern, up and down. The anchor held through sustained winds of 20 knots with gusts over 30 knots and rain. We had discussed a storm party on Red Rover for Sunday afternoon; however, it was too rough in the bay to travel in the dinghies. Scott and I entertained ourselves watching movies and reading.
While at Magdalena Bay, we enjoyed the beach, collecting shells and watching the puppies play.
We shared another dinner at the Mira Mar with the Baja Ha Ha left-behinds (around 20 sailboaters that decided to stay in Magdalena Bay). They renamed themselves the Baja Yee Ha!
And we celebrated Mike’s birthday (Partida) on Red Rover with caribou tacos made by our Alaska friends on Igloo, “Beat’s me” black bean salad, fixings and a delicious fruit crumble.
Our last night in the bay, I was anxious to get traveling again!