We also decided to take the snorkeling trip out to Coronado island since I've heard such great things about it and have seen all the beautiful pictures of the beach and water on various websites. I promised the kids a day of sun, snorkeling and a picnic lunch, so we hired a panga to take us out bright and early Sunday morning. The sky was a bit overcast, but that's not real unusual at this time of the year. The clouds either burn off or we have a bit of a shower in the afternoon. No big deal. The panga boat ride takes about 30-40 minutes to get to Coronado Island from the hotel beach and as we neared the southern end of the island, I could hear the sqawks of the seal lions before actually seeing them visually. But more amazing to me, was the rock formations on that side of the island. Rather than being just rock, dirt and desertscape, the rock was large looming lava formations. It was amazing! The patterns were varied and flowing and even circular in spots just as if it were bubbling up from inside. The lava formations on that side of the island were beautiful. The lava had created layer upon layer of black shiny rock that were too detailed to truly capture it on film. I was still looking over my shoulder at the rocks in awe when we came around the north side of the island and the water become clear, turquoise, with a broad white sandy beach. It was paradise!
We beached the panga, laid out our towels and jumped into the water. Because it was August, the water was about 85 degrees and felt like we were paddling around in a swimming pool. Fish were swimming up around our feet, in about a foot of water, just like little curious domesticated pets. We saw several little pufferfish and they were very docile and not at all aggressive as I might have imagined after seeing their spiny covered bodies. After about two hours of swimming and walking the beach line, the skies started to darken and the clouds were moving in from the west at an alarming rate. And then.......the skies exploded and rain started pelting us from a 45 degree angle. It was raining so hard, we could barely see out to the edge of the bay. The skies were black by then and fishing pangas were coming in to beach and weather out the storm. There are only two palapa shelters on the beach and all of us: tourists, panga captains and fisherman were standing shoulder to shoulder waiting out the worst of the storm. After approximately 45 minutes, the rain lightened up and the captains started bailing out the boats to ready them for the rough bumpy ride back to the marina and the hotel beach. We were soaked by the time we beached the boat safely back at Loreto Bay and took a miserably short walk back to the house. It was at that time, that we noticed the Tropical Storm Julio warning posted on our door for the next 24 hours.
We made a quick trip into town for groceries and water and had just made it back to the house before the rain started again. Jacob and I worked like crazy bringing in the cushions from the outdoor furniture and making sure that all outdoor items were "storm secure". It rained steadily throughout the evening, but nothing dramatic, so we hunkered down to videos and dinner at home.
The eye of the storm went through Loreto at approximately 1:30am Monday morning. I awoke with a start to a loud boom of thunder and the sky lighting up with a network of lightning strands. The rain was heavy at times and the thunder and lighting was fierce , but there was very little wind as the eye of the storm passed over us. We were awake through most of the storm, reading and doing crossword puzzles because the thunder was so incredibly loud. Around 3:30, the storm had moved far enough north that we were able to settle down and go back to sleep. Although the sky was still grey with the remnant storm clouds the next morning, the town and development was still very accessible and other than a few small leaks in the plaster and pools of water in the low spots on the walkways and roadways throughout the village, the area was pretty much untouched.
I thought it was a great trip! We enjoyed the beach, sun and water for days and just when we were getting ready for a change, the baja offered up Tropical Storm Julio. The desert certainly is full of surprises!