Archive for January, 2013

San Bruno

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

In 1684, even before the first successful California mission was built at Loreto, the Jesuits for a time had a toehold on the peninsula, at San Bruno, a dozen miles to the north.  A settlement still exists there.

From the military checkpoint on Highway 1, a road best suited to 4-wheel drive vehicles heads down to a wide beach in a little bay with a fish camp.  John had space atop his car for my kayak, so he and I and Leif and Susan set out from there today to have a look at the shoreline to the north.

Turning left out of the little bay, one first encounters the mouth of a river that leaves shallow sediment a good distance out to sea.  Then there are several pretty little sandy beaches and some warm-up cliffs, and then a sizeable bay just south of Punta El Mangle.

The beach here is remarkable for having had a hotel built on it, and maybe a private house in addition. Word is that it was active for a time in the 1960s, but now it’s just an architectural curiosity.  Another point of curiosity is, where does the road end up that leads uphill from the hotel?  Because this would be another excellent place to launch, the reason being the proximity to the cliffs and sea caves to the north.One of the big sea caves north of Punta Mangle

The cliffs stretch from there to Punta Mercenarios, at the south end of Ensenada San Juanico, toward which we paddled.  After about two and a half hours  we turned around, the breeze having picked up a bit, and went back to the ex-hotel and ate lunch on the ruined steps.  Another party was lodged on a little beach to the north, at the mouth of a ravine that also looks very interesting on the map.

While we ate, a small troupe of dolphins performed, leaping for a while in the middle of the bay maybe half a mile off shore.  We would actually pass them again later on our trip south, but by then they were even further out to sea.

Wind was never much of a factor on the way back, but there were swells to a couple feet, serving to clean my foredeck thoroughly.  At least these were organized and not from an inconvenient direction.  The trip back seemed much longer, and I was glad to see our little cove again, much shallower now at low tide.  Fishermen returned just as we landed, and had to work to get their panga across a prominent bar.  They had red snapper and John bought one and had it filleted to take home.Our departure beach as we found it in the morning

The fishermen brought a lot of pelicans back with them too, and we had seen several Blue-footed Boobies during our trip.  And just as we landed, I saw a little brown turtle embarking, as though turning the beach over to us..