Laguna Tortuga

~ February 9-10, 2019~

So we set off for the lagoon fairly early, as we wanted to be there while the tide was high. We new that the bays surounding the lagoon were fairly shallow and we didn't hav any way of knowing how deep the Lagoon was going to be.

It was about 3 miles around the 2 points to the Lagoon. There was no wind this early, so we mad it in about 45 mins, the little 3.5 hp is certainly not fast. At the entrance for the inlet there is a town, but we continued pass it and landed on the beach.

We stretched our legs for a few minutes and then climbed back into the dinghy. Intitially the lagoon was large but quite shallow, and after 3 bays it we found a waterway that continued a little further.

We motored along and notice a slight current helping us. There were plenty of birds around these first few bays, but they started to thin out. It was less than 100ft wide and appeared to be getting narrow and still no Turtles to be seen. The Mangrove appeared fairly thick on both sides but it wasn't long before we were coming around the corner to a high bank with cactuses on it.

At this point we thought our journey would soon becoming to an end. A little further on we saw a little gap to our right so we set off exploring. It got very shallow very quickly so that was definitely not the right way. We managed to get the dinghy back out into the channel we were on.

Along the banks we started to notice hundred os little things moving, as we came in closer we saw them. Crabs, they had one large claw and one tiny claw. They were skurring about on the exposed mud bank.

Once we slowed down we relized that the tide was starting to fall. Never the less we pushed on around a few more turns and a few more mud banks with crabs. The channel was only about 50 ft across now. We were wondering if this might be the kind of place we would one day be hiding from a cyclone in. Ashely had had friends in Cairns that took thier boats hidden thier boats in the Mangroves when a cyclone was due to make land near them. I We wondered if it would eben be possible to get Roy Vebture this far in. We had no idea how deep the water was, we dcound't touch the bottown wtih a paddle where we were.

The birds had completely left us and still no turtles.

We came across another little channel off to the right. This was very narrow, but looked deeper, so we took the detour and once through it opened up into a much wider channel. After a few bends we found the desert again. This time we tied up for an explore. We were literarliy standing in the middle of the desert, catus and spiny scrub around us. There was a track mostly used by horses by the looks of it and some super cool catuses. Since Bahia Tortuga we are where of dogs and it appeared that they frequented this area as well. On the walk back to the boat we noticed these strange imprints in the sand. We are still not sure what they were, Iguana's are one possibility.

It was nice to get off the boat to stretch our legs, but we had more to explore.

After sliding down the bank we were back in the dinghy. This little chanel only went 2 more turns so we had to head back to the main chanel.

Pushing on we found the main channel also had a few more turns before we came to the end. A good place to have lunch though. It is amazing to think how far the Mangroves can push into such a dry dessert. It appeared to us that given time and a flat area the mangroves would just continue to replace the dessert will lush green trees.

Now for the long trek back. We had been gone severals hours now and water was definitely leaving the mangroves. Being thrifty of fuel we decided that we would attempt to row down the channels. Being that we broke the oars in canada, we attempted to use the paddle board paddles. They worked well. We ended up rowing down the channels with the wind behind, so probably about a two third of the way out.

When we reached the entrance to the Lagoon the tide was much lower. We were just able to motor all the way out, so the water was only about a foot and a half deep, but when we landed on the shore we had stopped at eariler in the day it was evident how shallow the whole bay was.

The area we motored through was now dry, the channel to the mangrove now extended a mile out to the west. It seemed like the prefect time to try out our new dinghy wheels, so we paddled across to the sand bank and locked the wheels in place.

Oh yeah there was one minor problem, we were yet to resolve with the wheels. Because the dinghy was so small, we had only one place we could mount the wheels and unfortunately that meant we had to tie the Starboard wheel in place because the dinghy drain meant it wouldn't lock.

As we found out, it was going to take some practice to get this worked out. The wheel in question would slowly fall behind the rest of the procession as we made our way through sand and shallow pull of water, and would adjusting.

I was bare foot, the old flip flops are not well designed for this type of terrain. Ashley in her crock faired much better. Ater we had traveled several hundred metres we found a channel that would just float the dinghy so rather than going back up onto the beach which would be the shortest route, we decided to follow it out to sea. It was shallow, the dinghy skimmed along the bottom but we were making better progress than we were before.

We came across this creature lurking in the depths, well it would be more accurate to say in the shallows.

The blue crab, which famous author John Stienbeck says would make for a tasty dinner was more interested in trying to eat my toes.


We kept going and the channel worked well. We still had a long way to go out to sea if we wanted to motor.

We decided to attempt another short cut. There was water, but it was only ankle deep. The wheels were locked back into place and we headed off. We then decided that this was not the best option. We went to plan B, well more likely plan C or D.

If I pushed the dinghy fast enough it would get on the plane and skim along in the ankle deep water. This method was surprisingly effective and we eventually made it an area of sufficient depth.


Engine down and we were off. We only had about a 5 minute motor and we were at the point where we could see Royal Venture, definitily a welcome sight at this time of the day. When we tied up we had plenty of fuel left, probably something to do with dragging the dingy 2 miles over the shallows. The sun was setting, we had not found our turtle but we had had another amazing adventure in Bahia Magdalena.