The Blessed Bays of Turtle & Scorpion


We felt like sea cowboys who had just robbed a bank. We left Bahia Tortuga fast and furious, bombing south by 6pm in a hurry. We were thirsty for waves!

Our friend Matt had jumped ship after 10 days and 4 islands. He took the 3am bus to the highway, which would then be followed by a 10hr bus to Tijuana, and a shuttle back to San Diego. Farewell brave Matt!


Turtle Bay, as the cruisers call it, is a dusty remote town, the furthest major village from Baja’s “interpeninsular” highway, but everything works flawlessly.  The comfort of the calm Bay waters was tantalizing… one of the cruisers said he was staying there for a month. It is a perfect bay in the middle of the rugged, raw Baja peninsula.


Alas, there is no rest in calm waters for the adventure-lovers. Team Green Coconut Run was back at sea within 24hrs. We had places to go, and an ambitious schedule to keep.  “Whatever you do, don’t keep a schedule!” we were told by other cruisers. Three factors made us break this time-tested wisdom:

1- Hurricane season. We left late March and want to get past southern Mexico before middle of June. El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica are less exposed to tropical storms.

2- Aldebaran’s Cooperative model. We funded the voyage collectively with friends and plan on meeting them along different legs. Our friends Brian and Eric already had flights purchased to meet us in Cabo San Lucas in a week!

3- Ending in Panama. By late October we hope to be in Panama, to do more boatwork before setting off for the Galapagos and French Polynesia during January 2016.

Would the schedule be fool-hardy, impossible to keep, or would we succeed?  We would find out.

Either case, it is good to be on the move again! Outside, the fresh Pacific breeze greeted us…. as did our reels as they sung with a fresh catch of bonito.


We were heading to Scorpion Bay, and the overnight 100nm passage was immaculate. Wing-in-wing, or with headsail alone, we slid down the wave crests averaging 6knots, riding the windline 20nm offshore.


Oil pressure crisis!  Motoring in the smooth water just 2nm from our anchorage, I saw the oil pressure gauge was down to 20psi from the regular 60psi. Oh no!!  Instantly I stopped the Isuzu diesel engine, our faithful “iron wind”.

Anxious, I discovered Mr. Isuzu had lost 2 quarts of oil through the new oil pressure hose, which had been a little short and rubbed against metal until it chafed. I wrapped it in self-amalgamating rigging tape, pumped the black sludge with our 12v oil pump, and reduced the flow to a very minor leak, until we could repair it properly.


Bonito sashimi kept the morale high during oil leak crises

Finally, we arrived. Scorpion Bay had chest high waves zipping along the cliff edge. Longboards and fish shapes were a blast. A few old timers paddled out during low tide, but we had several hours to ourselves, including an absolutely magic evening glass-off.


Sabrina was besides herself with joy riding these perfect little peelers. We gorged ourselves for two days, an all-you-can-eat buffet of waves. It made the rush to get here worthwhile.

Meanwhile, we had run out of fish. It seems whenever that happens we catch a tuna. But at Scorpion, a fisherman came by in his panga and offered us octopus. I traded him for sunglasses. Fishermen are in open pangas all day and sunglasses we discovered are a big need. Luis el pescador was terribly happy about his Kind Bar sunglasses!


The octupus pasta, octupus ceviche, octupus ramen flowed… the latter being the only truly successful meal. Somewhere along this octupus experimentation, we hoisted the big blue reacher for another overnight sail: destination Bahia Magdalena, one of the most famous bays in Baja.




Central Baja: from Turtle Bay (Bahia Tortuga) to Scorpion Bay (Bahia San Juanico) about 100nm, with a pitstop in Punta Abreojos.

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