Bahia Ballandra 

Posted:  March 29, 2024
👁 1470   6
Missa's Lost Boys in Bahia Ballandra

Reid, Peter, Marissa, Chris, Stephen – Wendy and her Lost Boys (and Ellie!)

After being blown out of Isla Coronados, we laid anchor in Bahia Ballandra, a new-to-us anchorage on Isla Carmen. Kessel had already been anchored for a few hours, but was hidden perfectly behind the 100+ foot yacht Expedition Infinity who had also followed us from the previous location. After setting our hook, I pulled out my laptop and got some work done while Chris, Peter and Stephen wakeboarding around the boats. It was a mellow first evening, and just as the sun began to set I’Mua joined the party. Ah, my lost boys all together again.

Isla Carmen is the largest of all the islands in the Loreto Bay Marine Park and seems to have a lot going for it. It is one of the few privately owned islands in the Sea of Cortes with rumors pointing to the island being owned by Carlos Salinas de Gortari. Mexico’s ex president from the early nineties who famously gave Carlos Slim the Telemex. Mexicos largest monopolistic telecommunications companies, thus making him one of the richest men in the world. 

When entering Ballandra be careful of the no-so-obvious but very shallow reef that lies just off the North point of the bay. When entering the bay it is best to stay slightly right of center. The calmest spot in this small protected port is on the north side of the bay where only the rarest of  south westerly winds might cause a slight swell. In a strong north westerly wind though the southern part of Ballandra will get rolly.

Chris’s Birthday

“And one for you, and one for you…” Peter was being the host with the most after making a huge breakfast scramble and coffee for Chris’s birthday brunch. I provided bacon and syrup while Reid brought the fluffiest pancakes I have ever had. Once absolutely full, we packed up our belongings and headed to shore to hike the nearby peak that overlooked the anchorage – even if hiking is *technically* prohibited unless you have paid tens of thousands of dollars to hunt desert bighorn sheep. However there is no official signage on the island claiming this (at least in Ballandra) so I think we will abide by the classic saying in Mexico: Es mejor pedir perdon que permiso, which basically states it is better to ask forgiveness than permission. Just be wary of hunters that may confuse you for a bighorn sheep!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

From the top of the peak we had a fantastic view of the anchorage and expansive Sea of Cortez, and even got to see a couple of sharks swimming in the shallows below! On the way down I kept my eyes peeled for bones, finding two big horned sheep skulls that had shrines around them. Back on the beach, brackish water rushed out of the estuary creating little rivers on both sides of the sand spit. Fellow cruisers Chris and Kell kicked back on the beach, Kell being the first woman I had seen in a month or so which was very exciting for me personally. 

Chris took the calm conditions upon himself to pull Avocet’s stern close to the beach using our stern hook, and blast music to set the tone for the afternoon. We pulled out the beach toys and the boys all took turns wakeboarding into the sunset. It was quite the party, and exactly how Chris wanted to spend his 26th birthday… surrounded by good friends on a beach in the Sea of Cortez, drinking Bohemia.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The sun had set which meant it was time to feed the lost boys. As tradition goes we pulled out our pasta roller and I began making pasta dough. I didn’t realize how badly my roller needed to be taken apart, so asked Chris if he could manage that… which was easier said than done. We almost starved that night, but with Chris, Stephen and Peter on the case they put my roller back together as good as new and assisted in the pasta-making-process. It was a BIG dinner, complete with a chocolate cake decorated with oreos and a big “happy birthday” candle for my birthday boy. 

Super Bowl Sunday

working remotely on a sailboat in ballandra bayThe sound of sports is the soundtrack of my childhood. Even today if you visit the Hushaw house in Santa Cruz, I would bet you good money that some iteration of sports will be playing on the TV. Even though I have separated from my sports-fan-roots, I couldn’t help but be excited for the 2024 Super Bowl since the 49ers would be playing against the Kansas City Chiefs. Peter and I had spent a week or so planning an epic super bowl party, and provisioning for the occasion in Loreto just to have him throw our plans to the wind and sail to Escondido with Stephen. 

Despite not having my only other sort-of-football fan present, I still made my moms chili queso dip and casually kept up with the score throughout the day while Chris chased down a water leak and kept occupied doing anything but watch sports. The wind howled outside, making us grateful to be in such a protected anchorage. It was another great sunset, complete with whales breaching off Chris and Kell’s beam. The Niners might have lost, but I felt like a winner nonetheless. 

Onwards to 27

The Norte wind left us with big sloppy swell and no wind to motor our way through to Puerto Escondido, where we would celebrate my birthday (Valentines Day!)Peter was already there waiting for us since he had to drop Stephen off at the airport to fly home, so it was nice to have a little help while snagging a mooring ball upon arrival. The three of us together again, and ready to make some more birthday memories. The next post is all about Peter’s birthday gift to me (which was really for all of us) and is a read you do NOT want to miss! Stay tuned

Fair winds,

Marissa (Chris and Cleo)



You May Also Like…

ApocEclipse in Mazatlán

ApocEclipse in Mazatlán

We sailed 200 miles for an event that lasted 4 minutes, but the memories we made will last a lifetime.

Fire and Farewells

Fire and Farewells

At the time of writing this, many of our friends are already halfway across the pacific ocean, while we are sitting...

The Banderas Bay Regatta

The Banderas Bay Regatta

After a few weeks anchored in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Chris felt the itch to do something new and exciting, prompting...


  1. Dana

    I follow your journey, and try to read the blogs (including this one) BUT the small grey font is simply too difficult to read 🙁

    • SV Avocet

      Hey Dana!

      not sure what small grey font you are talking about… everything is 12 point, black arial font on our end. Maybe press command then “+” to enlarge? This is the first we have heard of this issue, so hopefully that helps! Cheers


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *