Staying overnight on the beach of Santa Ines with a few good friends in March of 2010, just ashore from the N27 W112 confluence, it was then when I decided to return some day to conduct the official confluence visit.
After studying the Baja Almanac and various Google Earth views, my wife Patricia and I planned this special confluence visit over a long weekend. We set the date for November 12, 2010.
Based in Woodland Hills, CA it was a long trip down the Baja California Peninsula. To start this adventure we left the house on Thursday morning (11/11/10) at 2:00AM with our trusted G-Wagen, a dependable German SUV loaded up to the gills. Not only with food, drinking water and extra gasoline but we had to pack a small inflatable 9' boat along with its propulsion system - a 5hp outboard motor, to be able to reach this degree confluence being located approximately 0.9 Mile offshore.
The night drive towards the San Ysidro border crossing into Mexico and further down Hwy 1 seemed rather fine and uneventful. Near San Quintin I managed to drive over some debris which was lying across the roadway. Trying to avoid it was impossible as I had other vehicles next to me in the opposing lane. The result of this incident appeared a few hundred Kilometers down the road, with a loud boom we blew out our left rear tire completely. A repair of the damaged tire was impossible so the spare wheel was needed. Unpacking almost the whole vehicle next to the road added to the fun, while all the semi trucks, we had just passed minutes before, were laboring by us again up the hill, waving in the utmost friendly manner.
This unexpected roadside exercise set us back at least an hour or so, before all our stuff was stowed away again - not as perfectly organized as before. Even our dog River, a German shorthaired pointer, had her travel pillow relocated to an entirely different spot.
Our first fuel stop in Mexico, in the town of El Rosario, next to the famous Mama Espinoza's restaurant was welcomed by the truck as well as our growling tummies. Continuing south, past the ever changing landscape, hurrying through beautiful Catavina, we made it to the town of Guerrero Negro at 2:37PM after 12.5 hours of driving time. Guerrero Negro is the gateway to Baja Sur which starts with latitude N28’.
Our next stop was the mission town of San Ignacio at 4:28PM, one of our favorite towns in the Baja, a quick WiFi/email update and back onto Hwy1 towards our destination, Playa Santa Inez. Descending the last mountain grades, near Santa Rosalia, the Sea of Cortez came in sights, but the sun light was now and fading rather quickly. We passed Santa Rosalia, San Bruno and the Aeropuerto Santa Rosalia in pitch black darkness. Shortly thereafter, we found our turn-off at Palo Verde, the dirt road leading to Punta Chivato. A few hundred feet into that road, we turned to the right following our plotted tracks hoping to reach our destination, the beach adjacent to the "chosen" confluence. To our dismay none of the tracks we followed lead us down to the beach, but ended in thick brush or into deep arroyos. Finally, an hour later, we back tracked and found a different access road to the beach.
After a lengthy driving day of 18 hours we got to our destination, the Playa Santa Ines, where we were welcomed by a fellow degree confluence visitor, Harald Pietschmann , a friend and mentor for years.
Spending the night under an amazing night sky on the fluorescent green plankton illuminated shoreline, prepared us for our task ahead the next morning.
The N27 W112 confluence is located within the Sea of Cortez, 0.9 Miles off-shore from Playa Santa Ines due East, and 7.5 Miles North of the town Mulege. The white sandy Playa Santa Ines is confined by the rocky point of Punta Chivato to the North and the Sierra Azteca mountain range to the South. The coastal waters are opening into the Gulf Of California (Sea of Cortez) towards the east.
We gazed at the beautiful sunrise over the Sea of Cortez for just a moment, before the little boat was quickly unpacked and inflated. The winds during the prior days had been blowing pretty steady, so we attempted an early bird departure, to get out to the confluence, while the sea was still nice and smooth.
Patricia was in charge of the two hand held GPS receivers and the two cameras - rather safe than sorry! The outboard motor sprang alive rather quickly and after some short test turns, she climbed onboard and off we went into the morning sun to find the confluence. I tried to steer the little boat directly towards it, but it was much easier in the end to intercept the N27 Latitude first and travel along that bearing to find the confluence point. Holding now one of the GPS receivers in my hand and inching the small craft ever so slowly forward, we finally saw the degree minutes & seconds dwindling down to 0.00 as we reached our goal and visited the N27 W112 degree confluence.
The required photos were taken at that time and just in case....I wanted to make it a second time to the zero-crossing, but the northerly wind was picking up rather swiftly. We did get another shot at the exact confluence, just to make the point.
With a big smile on our faces we turned towards the shore and a short while later celebrated with our late breakfast on the hood of our truck.
We both really enjoyed this adventurous trip to visit this degree confluence and returned back home on Nov 14, 2010 after driving a total of 2,673Km on this 4 day weekend.
The additional photos were taken by Harald Pietschmann.