This could be a dangerous anchorage on the basis that the bottom is rocky and the holding ground is not poor,
it is very poor! When the photo in the foreground was taken in January of 2001, there was a power boat on the
south seawall rocks or the remains thereof since this boat had been there since about October of 1990 when it
drug onto the rocks during a high wind. The author had arrived a few weeks after the event and had anchored
but was awakened during the night by the same Santa Ana type wind of about 35 to 40 kts and on checking of
conditions noted that the boat was dragging anchor to the seawall as described above. It was a mad scramble
as the single hander started the engine, hauled anchor and reset. This routine was repeated twice until a patch
of suitable sand was found up near the pier as depicted and the anchor held for the rest of the night. Conditions
were surreal, the wind was howling, dust was blowing through the village situated on the hillside above, church
bells were ringing, the locals had driven to the harbor and were displaying their auto lights on the water in order
to see the Gringos on the rocks but we all held for the night. While in attendance at the Giggling Marlin happy
hour in Cabo San Lucas later on, The author was discussing this matter with another participant, it appears that
the owner of the wrecked boat had managed to get down to CSL and later took passage home by Mexicana
less his boat which is still there.
Normally there would be no stop at the village after Turtle Bay but due to the wind and sea state it was decided
to anchor in the open road stead outside and below the south seawall but due to rough conditions, the anchor
was hauled and anchorage was taken on the inside. The author prefers the open road stead anchorage as a
next stop southbound from San Carlos since it is a tedious business getting into Cedros North End at night, the
usual arrival time, so its best to spend another two hours or so and auger another 16 miles to the village, the
outside anchorage is usually habitable on arrival, about 10:00 P.M.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ISLAND
Cedros Island, 134 square miles in area, lies in the Pacific Ocean, 14 miles off the west coast of Baja
California. It is 265 miles south of Ensenada and 340 miles south of San Diego. It is one of the few Mexican
islands that is inhabited, with the fishing village of Puerto Cedros having a population of 400. Salt from the salt
ponds of Guerrero Negro on the Baja peninsula is taken, by barge, to a deep water salt dock at the south end of
Cedros Island, where it is loaded onto ships. Puerto Cedros is as indicated above.
Cedros Island rises to 3,949 feet at Monte Cedros. The lower elevation receives very little rainfall, and desert
vegetation prevails. At higher elevations, there are oaks, junipers, and pines. The island is often shrouded in
fog, so that some plants have adapted to receiving moisture from fog. The west side of the island is wind swept
and subject to heavy surf, and was a scene of cattle ranching at one time. Large seal (sea lion) colonies are
found on the rocks on the west side as well as the anchorage on the north end. Springs on the island are
usually marked by groves of palm trees. Once every few years, Cedros Island is hit by Pacific hurricanes that
wreak havoc and dump a lot of rain. Wrecked boats and ships on the rocky shoreline testify to the severity of
some storms and density of some
fogs. There is irregularly scheduled
air service to the island, landing at an airstrip at the south end, where a six mile road leads to the fishing village,
the harbor is as depicted in the photo above. Prospecting is done on foot and by boat. There are a number of
pocket beaches where landings can be made in calm weather. The normal tidal range is about six feet.
Visitors must have the necessary documents in that there is a port capitan in the village of Puerto Cedros.
Spaniards landed on Cedros Island in 1539, and found it to be inhabited by Indians. Some 300 to 350 years
ago, pirates, based at La Palmita attacked treasure laden Manila galleons en route from the Philippines to
Spain. Finding it difficult to reach the Indians on the island, Dominican fathers brought them all to the Baja
Mainland in 1732. Hunters seeking seals and sea otters worked out the island between 1790 and 1850. Gold
and copper mining took place near Punta Norte between 1890 and 1917. The fishing village and cannery at
Puerto Cedros were established in 1920, and the deep water salt dock at the south end of the island was built
in 1966. The island was mapped in detail by American and Mexican geologists during the 1970s.
View of anchorage in the open road stead below the harbor rock wall. Care must be taken
on a night arrival, at the time this photo was taken, there were fish nets with floats to port of
the photo, entanglements would not be welcomed at about 11:30 P.M. when rest and
refreshments were expected. When the author arrived at about the above time, a local flashed
a light on the net floats permitting anchorage without entanglements and with refreshments.