Posted by: bearcruzer | May 17, 2010

Caja del Muertos

May 2nd,2010

Michael and I pulled up anchor and followed the fishing boats out of the harbor and east 7 miles to Caja del Muertos, Coffin Island.    It is also a favored spot for families to take a ferry on the weekends and hang out in the water along the beaches.     We arrived at the same time as the ferry from the mainland and found a mooring near the ferry dock just off the beach in about 8 feet of water.    It was a coast guard post that is now a nature reserve.    There is a lighthouse on the top of the island that was built by the Spanish in 1887.   We watched a small local sailboat come into the anchorage and drop sail and anchor in one smooth movement,  stern to the beach,  opposite the wind.  Within minutes a BBQ off the back end of the boat was fired up and the men aboard were dropping fishing lines into the water and catching fish for the grill.  It wasn’t just confidence that they would catch fish….they had a system.  One man would swim around the boat with a mask and snorkel and then tell the guy with the pole where to drop the bait.  If that wasn’t impressive enough, we then watched as he came up with a fish in his bare hands.    Wow!   Since we are only staying one day we opted to leave Mighty Mouse on the davits and swam to shore to explore.   We hiked the trail up to the lighthouse encountering many drought resistant plants and organ pipe cactus that was prolific and up to 30ft tall.   Iguanas and Lizards scurried beneath the scrub and cacti.   We found a monument that was erected by the Masons who used the island in the 1800’s for their clandestine meetings when the Spanish had forbid them to meet openly.     The lighthouse was closed and locked so we explored around the grounds and took pictures from the observation platform back down at DD.    Frigates and Pelicans rode the thermals around the Island and after our hike we sat in the shade and watched their aerobatics.   We swam back to DD and at 3:30 the Ferry took their passengers back to the mainland and the other families on small boats who had come for the day also returned home.    By 5:00pm Dancing Dolphin had the Island to herself.

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