Aug 3, 2012

Bahia La Mona – Monkey Bay, Towering Cardons, Life Filled Lagoons

Some people may decide to hate you for no reason,
Simply because your confidence reminds them of their insecurities.
Ali B. Moe 

Cardons 30' up against blue sky
We are in a general area where we are supposed to run into whale-sharks (named this way for their size - up to 45 feet in length - and for the fact that they only eat plankton, and other small items, not humans!) but we haven't had the chance to see one yet.
When we first entered the bay and saw a long line of red buoys crossing the entrance of the bay we wondered if that meant that we weren't allowed to anchor past them but did anyway since we saw one other boat already anchored beyond. Speaking to people who have visited here since 1995 and now live here full time, we learned that this line of buoys indicates the main route the majority of whale-sharks use when feeding. We had also wondered why pangas who generally go zooming by at high speed only drive slow near that area, they are careful of the whale-sharks as they bring good tourism money. They love to watch or swim with these docile creatures.

White granite rock formation
We are also in an area where the famous Humbolt squids can be found. Thankfully they only come up at night to feed and spend their daytime in the deepest parts of the Sea so our chances of ever seeing one are near nil. They are huge squids that could easily take you down if you met with one of them.

Locals here fish for bass, chocolate and butter clams, octopus, mussels, and more. We are told the diversity is quite rich. Speaking with locals we learn that coyotes love to catch rays buried in the sand, play with them a while, then eat them. We haven't witnessed that yet but it answers one of the questions we had as to what composes some of the coyotes' diet. Rays would be an easy tasty target.  Coyotes will also 'steal' anything that smells of food so it's best not to leave anything unattended that has or had vittles inside.

Bahia La Mona has approximately 60 homes or trailers along its coastline. No one has electricity or water; they use generators, solar panels, and have water trucked in so it keeps things very quiet. There are no stores or businesses around and at this time of the year, only two of the homes have occupants. Only one family lives here year-round. We met them; they are ex-cruisers who fell in love with Mexico as many others. They let us use their internet to check emails, quite a luxury in this part of the Sea where internet or phone connections are rare, if they work at all. The nearest town with basic supplies is 10 miles away and it takes 1 hour to drive there as the road is not kept up but again, it keeps this place 'remote' and calm.

Whale bones in well landscaped yard
Here, bat-rays (the ones that love to do aerial acrobatics and flop on their bellies) are so numerous that we are often paddling over what looks like clouds of them. Their varying shades of gray and white make them look like clouds floating under water until one or two of them detaches themselves from the group (usually about 20 of them at a time) and does a mid-air trick and you can distinguish them more clearly.

Someone built a small salt water pond for turtles in front of their homes. It is no longer used but it would've been interesting to see how they worked with the turtles. We are told however that it probably wasn't 'legal' to do so… Who's to know?

Green lagoon and mountains
Reflection of mountains in lagoon waters at low tide
On each end of the small bay there are large lagoons teaming with life: various birds, clams, crabs, shrimps, lizards, hares, coyotes, etc. At low tide is a good time to dig for clams and hike around to watch the busy wildlife. Sometimes, people enter the lagoons with floatation devices as the tide comes up and effortlessly flow out of the lagoons when the tide goes out - simple fun… 

Huge lagoon/estuary at the end of the bay

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