Man of War


~ March 5-7, 2019~

Man of War Cove or Caleta del Acorazado in Spanish which translates to (Battleship Cove). We are not sure how the bay got it name. Some people report that there where artefacts from an unidentified warship reportedly were found nearly a century ago. The American Navy anchored in the Bay in 1908 with 16 battleships on their world tour.

We got into the bay late in the afternoon. We could see that there were a lot of pangas on the shore so after circling in the boat to check depth we anchored towards the southern end of the bay, just at the end of the buildings where the last of the pangas were pulled up on the shore.

With the water like glass and fresh lobster in the fridge we fired up the barbie and got to prepping dinner. We pulled out the lobsters we had battered for in the last bay. We cut the lobster tails in half, and marinated them: Garlic and butter, Lime, salt and chilli and just plain.

After BBQing them and some corn, dinner was served.

The following day we went ashore to check out the little town of Puerto Magdalena. The town is small, about 50 houses. Although the streets are dirt, the is no garbage to be seen. The Locals take pride in this.

There were quite a few local fishermen about working on theirs days catch. Outside the local restaurant there where some huge rib bones from a grey whale.

We went into the local restaurant and had a great conversation with Jose, in the little spanish we could speak. He was super nice, most of his business came from whale watching tour boats that would stop in at lunchtime.

He showed us some pictures on the wall of how they got the trucks to the island. The trucks were driven onto a platform suspended between 2 pangas in San Carlos about 7 miles away and then carefully brought to the town and unloaded.

He also introduced us to the preschool teacher who has 6 students. When the students are ready for about grade 5 they have to leave the town and go to San Carlos for the rest of school.

After a little salsa and chips and coffee, we explored further around the bay.

The beach was mostly rock and the hillside was definitely desert. Really scrubby and looked pretty uninviting. There were these cool cactus trees though. I have never seen anything quite like it.

Part way along the beach we found our first signs of turtles. Unfortunately it was a shell from one that had probably been hit by a boat propellor. It did give us great hope for a place we wanted to explore later in a visit to Bahia Magdalena, a place called Laguna Tortuga.

There was at the far end of the beach a very small eco resort with a few Yurts setup on the hillside and some impressive grey whale skeletons erected on the hillside. You can see the size of them in the picture on the right - Ashley is standing below one.

Later in the afternoon, two boats arrived in the bay. One vessel, the Alaskan's Donna and Grant on Vagabondos. We decided that the following day we would go and explore our first mangrove at the north end of the bay.

We set out to enter the little lagoon at the hightide. We weren't shore if there was enough depth to make it in. It certainly was shallow. After having to paddle for a short while at the Entrance we made it in and it deepend quickly. It was exciting to make it in. We could already see a bunch of birds in the shallows and edges of the trees.

The lagoon got pretty narrow and shallow pretty quickly, we took the first left and were able to motor around. The mangroves on our left were only a few trees deep, after that there were the sand dunes of the beach. We kept pushing along and the path got narrower and when we through we had gone as far as we could and would have to turn back, a narrow channel opened up and we were able to reconnect with the main lagoon.

We were off, pushing deeper into the mangroves. The water was only a couple of feet deep and we could see little rays shooting along the bottom of the glassy water.

Grant and Donna turned back, I think they were worried about the depth, their new outboard and the tide had already started to drop.

So were were down to 2 boats. We kept pushing on. Stopping to look for animals in the mangroves or to watch birds fishing.

The channel was getting narrower and narrower, but the exploring was fun. The outflow current was getting stronger, after squeezing our inflatable through a few to many narrow spaces we found a little spot to turn. It seemed impossible to us that the mangrove was so long, but we must have pushed at least a mile and a half into the sand dunes when we finally turned around.

We turned and slowly motored out. The current was with us, and again we saw a bunch of rays shooting around the bottom. When we made it back to the beach entrance the tide must have dropped at least 2 feet. We were able to work out the main channel out of the Lagoon and whilst we were traveling away from our boat, the way we had come in was dry now.

Somehow the Mercury internal tank had enough fuel in it to make it back. We were gone 3 hours by the time we made it back. But it was great to be out exploring. Tomorrow we will move the boat close to San Carlos to try and get a little better phone coverage.