Sea Kayaking In San Carlos Bay, Sonora

The kayak is a noble craft with a lineage of at least 4000 years and is the concept of indigenous arctic hunters and fishermen. The kayak was traditionally built on a frame fashioned from driftwood or whalebones, it was sheathed with animal skins and waterproofed with seal fat. These hardy northern people hunted seals, walrus and occasionally whales from these sturdy vessels. Today the kayak comes in a variety of configurations and is used for recreational activities by people worldwide. They are propelled by two bladed paddles, come in one and two person models and are available with a cockpit or in a sealed, sit on top configuration.

If there were an ideal spot for ocean kayakers, San Carlos bay, Sonar Mexico may very well be it. The stark beauty of the Sonoran desert meets the magical waters of the Sea of Cortez and the warm sea is known for its profusion of marine life. Except at times of storms, the sea is often as glass calm as a placid pond and the gentle waters make traveling a delight. From San Carlos bay to Kino bay, about sixty miles, there are endless opportunities for exploration. Rocky headlands harbor sheltered coves that are adorned with white sand beaches and turquoise waters that break up the entire coastline. The reefs and rocks in these coves are alive with colorful tropical fish, octopus, moray eels, oysters, scallops and gamefish.

There is nothing like a good thrilling experience than river rafting to give you the euphoria that you are looking for in such a tension filled lifestyle where there is nothing but a boring job to keep you company. Kayakers play a huge role in helping to learn rafting quickly while scuba divers use a unique design of full face snorkel masks to make it look easy and entertaining.

Kayakers can put in anywhere that there is access to the water but Marina San Carlos has easy access boat ramps, stores, restaurants, gift shops and bars. Putting in at Marina San Carlos, the kayaker will paddle out between docks with slips filled with sailing vessels, sportfishing boats and luxurious yachts. At the mouth of the bay is a delightful little cove known by locals as Martini. A small island off the headland creates a shallow channel, between the island and the point, that is ideal for snorkeling. Paddling out from the cove and around Punta Doble, the kayaker will have access to the sea caves. Exploring the caves by kayak should only be attempted in calm seas without any surge and the reward is a trip into a twilight netherworld.

Traveling west through azure seas, the kayaker is often accompanied by pods of dolphins, occasionally the resident orcas appear and a myriad of seabirds fills the sky. Off the headlands, in the open sea, is a great place to unlimber the fishing rods. Mackerel, yellowtail, wahoo and dorado may be caught and during the warm water season, a marlin or sailfish hookup will produce a memorable Nantucket sleigh ride. Bottom fishing, on the reefs seldom fails to produce seabass, snapper, parrotfish and triggers.

Rounding San Antonio point, a big, beautiful, bay awaits. The tranquil water of the bay is framed by a mile of the powdery white sand of Playa Algodones on the east and three islands forming a headland on the west. The Soggy Peso bar is nestled on the beach in the shadow of the headland and for a liquid respite it’s hard to beat. The horseshoe bar is shaded by a palm frond palapa and it is a hangout for local expatriates and weekend revelers from Guaymas who come to sip margaritas and enjoy the beautiful view.

Departing the Soggy Peso bar the adventurous kayaker will leave the civilization of San Carlos behind and discover a playground of uninhabited coves and beaches. The coves have protection from the weather to varying degrees but all are ideal for swimming, snorkeling, fishing and beach combing. Only eight miles up the coast, from Algodones beach, is Ensenada Grande (Big cove) with its crescent white sand beach, calm, clear water and protected anchorage. Ensenada grande is an ideal camping spot for a night or for a month and it is seldom visited, giving it a castaway ambiance and cherished privacy.

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