We can’t claim to be the first to anchor here, as we saw some other boats tucked into this spot while sailing by, and it piqued our curiosity. What we found is a large, dreamy spot with super clear water in Summer 2020, a fair amount of current, good snorkeling and excellent protection from the South and SE. It is, however, open to anything North, and the periodic westerlies blowing out from Loreto, 11 miles away.
The main obstacle here is the reef/ridge the extends from the NW corner of Isla Carmen, including Isla Choya and its offlying rock. This ridge extends another half mile or more to the NW, with some rock tops at just 15 feet depth. So… be careful and give this point a WIDE berth. We have a danger mark posted at 26° 3.013 N, 111° 11.191 W, and most would do well to stay outside that. once around, you can make a gentle curve into the open bay. If coming from the East, you need only clear Punta Tintorera point that projects north from the middle of the north shore of Carmen. In any case, keep a close eye on your sounder on final approach, as much of this area is not well charted.
Cruise the length of the bay and choose your location based on topography ashore (whether you want to hide from, or welcome the SE breeze through the gaps, your proximity to Isla Cholla (sometimes “Choya”) for snorkeling, and the bottom composition. Mostly sand with large sections of rock/reef. Good water visibility is critical for your first time here to see where you want to drop.
This is a long bay with cliff sections, tall bluffs and a few lovely beaches. One COULD venture ashore for some nice hiking up the arroyos and along the ridges, but alas, this area is part of the private hunting preserve, and closed to interlopers.
There might not be a better first time snorkeling area for the younger ones in your crew, or newbies. Depending on where you drop the hook, right from the boat you can find excellent variety of fish, eels and coral. If the water is clear, don’t forget the camera!