Posted by: Sailing Camelot | September 11, 2011

Aug 13th to 17th – Bahia de Los Angeles – La Mona Beach

We were the last boat to leave Ensenada Quemado. I’d have liked to stay longer, but this time we need to be somewhere at a specific time: an actual commitment, I can barely believe it! Somewhat reluctantly we head to a new place. Bahia de Los Angeles – a short hop, really just around the corner- welcomes us with heavy winds and a gorgeous view. Oh, my! There are sixteen sailboats and a power boat already anchored here. Quite a shock, after weeks of almost total seclusion!

La Mona Beach

Beach Houses

Morning Visitors

Bahia de Los Angeles is very large and there are many beaches and coves. Right now we are anchored at La Mona Beach.

Warning to my Italian friends: STOP SNICKERING!

Explanation to everyone else: the name La Mona, in the dialect spoken in the Venetian region, is associated with a very intimate part of the female anatomy. In the colorful Italian custom (at least in the Veneto region), when you want to tell someone to get lost in quite a rude way, you send them to –you guessed it- La Mona!

Well, here I finally am! I hope you’re happy, for I certainly am… I hope you enjoyed this little insight on Venetian folklore, but let’s get back on track.

Why are we here? For starters, it’s another spectacular spot on the Sea of Cortez; it’s also home to Whale Sharks, present here in higher numbers than anywhere else in the world.

The main reason, however, is a party that Tom has been looking forward to attending for a long time.

The Full Moon Party is held annually in Bahia de Los Angeles, specifically at La Mona Beach, to celebrate the adventurous (and foolish?) cruisers that venture this far out in the Sea of Cortez, braving the extreme heat and taking their chances with the sporadic presence of various windstorms bearing curious names. The Elephantes, the Chubascos and others are very strong winds that whip out of nowhere, usually at night, and howl at anywhere between 25 and 50 knots. Each windstorm has peculiar characteristics and origins, so individual to warranty a specific name. So far we’ve been lucky, but it’s only a matter of time…

Dolphins!!!

Flipper!

The Full Moon Party is held this year on August 15th.

It’s a very simple and very pleasant gathering. At around 6:30 pm we all converge on the beach, our dinghies parked in a colorful row at the waterline.

Each participant has prepared some special dish to share for the Potluck Dinner, and what a treat that was! An overturned canoe serves as a makeshift buffet table loaded with containers of gourmet foods, from entrees to desserts, all equally delicious.

We all sit around, cheerfully chomping on some delicacy, little groups forming here and there. Some sing, some tell stories, some gather around a pit fire roasting S’Mores, everyone having a blast. We all catch up with each other, sharing itineraries and information, hugs and future plans.

This year, we lucky participants also got to see the International Space Station crossing the sky right after sunset, at about 8:30 pm. Truly a great party to remember for a long time!

The next day the occupancy rate at La Mona Cove goes from 16 to 4 boats, most everyone resuming their travels. But not us! This place is too peaceful and wonderful to leave just yet, and we need to go see some Whale Sharks.

By 10 in the morning we’re in our trusted dinghy armed with water, camera, straw hats, snorkeling gear, and a wide, expectant grin. There have been frequent and daily sightings of the gentle giants, so we’re hopeful .

We cross the wide bay for a long time, enjoying the sight of big groups of silver fish with a neon-blue tail, a big sea turtle, dolphins cavorting, Devil Rays jumping, but no Whale Sharks. We continue combing the bay for about another hour, still no luck. Oh, well. It’s getting really hot, so we decide to return to Camelot and go for a refreshing swim. And what do you know; right there, swimming lazy circles between us and another boat is a very young Whale Shark! Buddy, we’ve been looking for you everywhere for about two hours!

Whale Shark looming...

Tom dives in, determined to go swim with the kid. He (or she) is only about 15 feet long and is full of energy, swimming much faster than its older relatives, plainly enjoying life. By the time I get ready to join the party, he (or she) is gone. Bummer, this is the second time Tom gets to play with them while I get left behind… Surely there will be a next time! I’ve got a few more weeks, my time will come…

Adios, La Mona!

What a glorious place it was!

 

 

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