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Calou's Blog
Cruising with the crew of CALOU on the Baja Ha-ha and Pacific Puddle Jump
Sailing from Turtle Bay to Mag Bay
Bruce
11/02/2013

We had a nice time at the beach party in Turtle Bay. The cruiser all got together on the beach for a potluck dinner, volleyball and tug of war games.

We departed Turtle Bay this morning and are now sailing south to the next stop, Bahia de Magdalena (Mag Bay). This sail should be one overnight plus a day, though depending on our speed and the winds, it could take two nights to get there.

We had nearly perfect sailing conditions today, with 12 knots of breeze coming on the rear quarter. We've been making 6 to 8 knots all day.

We caught a tuna and had fresh tuna for lunch today, cooked with garlic and butter.

At one point we had a situation where it appeared we were on a collision course with another sailboat. The thing is, there appeared to be no one on watch on the other sailboat; we could see no one in the cockpit. So we altered our course slightly to pass astern of the other boat. Right after we did that, we noticed the entire crew came scrambling out from belowdecks and looking over their stern. It seemed that they had a fishing line out that we ran over.

I also noticed at that moment that our knot meter stopped working. I guessed that their fishing line had gotten caught up in our knot meter paddle wheel.

The skipper from the other boat came on the radio and seemed angry that we had run over his fishing line. I pointed out that there was no one on watch and we changed course to his stern to avoid a collision, and no one warmed us that they were trailing a fishing line. After several minutes he came on the radio again and sounded apologetic, and offered to dive on our boat to remove the fishing line. So we rendezvoused in the middle of the ocean, and I hove to so that their crew member could dive under our boat. Sure enough there was 300 feet of monofilament line (and a lure) wrapped around our keel, which she removed. And, yes, after that our knot meter worked again.

Later on as the sun was setting we did a little ceremony for our crew member Johanna whose dad passed away recently. She read a poem about her dad, while Antoine played Amazing Grace on our piano and Pascale sang. Then right at sunset Johanna scattered her father's ashes onto the blue Pacific. It was beautiful and deeply moving.

So now we're sailing at night, dinner is cooking (chicken Tikka Masala with onions and new potatoes). We'll continue sailing all night, taking 3 to 4 hour watches, a routine that we are getting used to.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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Hallowe'en at Turtle Bay
Bruce
10/31/2013

We finally arrived at Turtle Bay (officially, Bahia de San Bartomoleo) around 9 a.m.

This was our longest passage from San Diego to this point, the previous two trips were two overnights, but this one was three, due to very light winds after leaving San Diego.

We dropped anchor in the bay, and opened a bottle of champagne. Time to celebrate! We had completed what was a pretty difficult passage.

Looking back on it, as we rounded Isla Cedros, it was not the first time that we had huge swells. The swells seem to come from behind like huge mountains, and then suddenly the boat is tossed aside like a toy, first hard to the left, then hard to the right. And then repeat. All the while this port/starboard action is going on, the boat is doing this roller coaster thing, dropping off a precipice which is the top of a swell, then surfing impossibly fast down the face of the swell, until it hits bottom. When you're sitting at the helm, it can look downright scary, but when you're looking aft, or are inside the boat, you don't notice it as much.

So anyway, we opened the champagne to celebrate that the previous miserable 24 hours were over and we had survived it. Not that it was so bad, but we were glad to be in a calm harbor to be sure.

We inflated the dinghy and made our way to shore, where we visited the dusty Mexican village where there are no paved roads. We enjoyed cerveza and chips and salsa at a few establishments, and visited the few tiny stores for provisions that we could use (scoring sliced ham, sliced cheese, and UHBT milk)

After that, we attended a baseball game (the Mexicans call it "beisbol") where it was basically cruising gringos against 12 year old Mexican baseball pros. You can guess the outcome. Actually, our son Antoine hit a ball out of the park and ran all the way to home base. wooo hooo!

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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11/02/2013 | Judy Armstrong
Hurray for Antoine!
11/02/2013 | Lisa Jarrell-Wear
Hola amigos! Steven and I head out toward you Monday. Will email you with resort details while we await your arrival. Will be on email and FB for contact. Looking forward to some Pacifico and laughs with you soon!
11/02/2013 | Judy Armstrong
I see from your SPOT page that you're moving south again this morning. Hope this leg is easier sailing.
Windy passage to Turtle Bay
Bruce
10/30/2013

Our third day on the passage to Turtle Bay is very windy, with winds 25 to 30 knots and steep, 12 to 16 foot swells close together with breaking tops. We are sailing at about 160 degrees to the wind and the boat rocks about 20 to 30 degrees to port and starboard while at the same time surfing down the face of the swells at 10 knots. We have a double reef in the mainsail and are averaging 8 to 9 knots.

We had a few rogue waves come over the side and enter the cockpit, fortunately I had previously asked our crew members to close the hatches from their aft cabins opening into the cockpit, otherwise their bedding would have been soaked.

Our next waypoint is just off Cedros Island, which would should make around midnight tonight. The forecast is for lighter winds in the evening which will hopefully make for a more comfortable ride.

After Cedros Island it's about another 6 hours before we will arrive at the anchorage at Turtle Bay, so I expect an arrival around daybreak.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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10/31/2013 | Judy Armstrong
What a change in weather day-to-day! I see you are now offshore of Baja Sud this morning. Hope you have easier conditions today.
11/01/2013 | John Thompson
I guess you made it all the way to Turtle Bay under sail after all? I was following your track very closely on SPOT, and I could tell you were sailing, but didn't think it was that windy. Wow.
11/03/2013 | Ken & Lori
Sounds like 2009 all over again! Fun times...
Heading South along Baja
Bruce
10/29/2013

After this morning's windy squalls, the sun came out and the wind lightened; we sailed along as best we could in the light airs. We are hoping to make it to Turtle Bay without using the engine. In the afternoon we raised the spinnaker and we have been sailing on the spinnaker all afternoon and now into the evening. We are making good speed now, around 6 knots.

We had ham sandwiches with melted cheese for lunch, then around 5 o'clock brought out bread and pate and some nice white wine. For dinner I made a beef stew with mushrooms, onions and marsala wine sauce. Now it's dark and we're sailing at 6.3 knots with the spinnaker but watching the wind speed, ready to douse it if the winds get too strong.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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Pacific Squall
Bruce
10/29/2013

I was on watch from 2AM until now, under partly cloudy skies and a thin crescent moon. We saw a little bit of every type of weather this morning, and our boat speed varied from 2 knots to 8.7. The wind shifted from South-East, to South-West, which really helps our speed since we can now sail directly to our waypoint. We had a steady 9 knots of breeze most of the night, but suddenly at around 0600 we came upon a squall on the radar and winds suddenly doubled to 18 knots True and things quickly got exciting. We quickly put a double reef in both sails and surfed the swells at 9 knots.

Now that we're on the other side of the squall the True wind has tapered off to 7 knots so we will take the reefs back out. ##

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Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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Leg 1 of the Baja Ha-ha: Sailing to Turtle Bay
Bruce
10/28/2013

We departed San Diego at 9:10 AM along with about 160 other boats on this 20th Baja Ha-ha. This is a rally from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas. Our first leg takes us to Bahia de Los Tortugas, or Turtle Bay, a distance of about 300 nautical miles.

Sailing today started out with light winds and overcast skies, with the wind coming from the South at about 12 knots. So we're tacking as we sail against the wind and making about 5 to 6 knots speed.

We just had dinner, I prepared salmon filets with a basil cream sauce over bulgur. Johanna provided a nice bottle of Napa Valley Chardonnay. Now it's night time and I'm preparing to get some sleep before I get up at 1 AM to do my 1-4 AM watch.

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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getting ready in San Diego
Bruce
10/26/2013, san diego

S The last few days have been a whirlwind. I have been working nonstop to fix things that are broken and getting other preparations for our trip south.

First thing, was we discovered our anchor windlass was dead a week before departing Tiburon. I ordered a new one (along with 160 feet of new anchor chain rode) and we took it along with us so that it could be installed when we got to San Diego. So now is the time when I did the installation. As anyone who's installed a windlass can tell you, this is no small task. I finally got this installation done today!

Next, Antoine's PC died a few days ago. I ordered a new one, and it arrived today.

Next, last night AC breaker kept flipping off so we had no AC power. I thought I might need a new Xantrex charger/inverter, but later eliminated that possibility. I finally found that the AC Circuit breaker was defective. I went to West Marine and got a new circuit breaker. All is good now.

Next, our on-board WIFI repeater wasn't working. This unit lets us pick up WIFI networks from a few miles away if they're unsecured. I got that system working again.

Next, our SAILMAIL wasn't working. We could connect to stations but not send or receive email using the SSB radio. I got a tech out here to check it out and he discovered that we needed a new PACTOR modem. Now everything is good.

Next, we laid out the anchor chain and rode on the dock on 40 ft. lengths and painted the rode every 20 feet. I also painted the inside of the anchor locker.

Next, I installed a new remote control for our sound system so we can control it from within the cockpit.

Tomorrow, we have the skipper's meeting, and we'll provision (go grocery shopping) afterwards.

cheers Bruce

---------- radio email processed by SailMail for information see: http://www.sailmail.com

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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10/31/2013 | Judy Armstrong
Real glad you're an engineer when I read about all the things you need to fix yourself.
getting ready in San Diego
Bruce
10/26/2013, san diego

S The last few days have been a whirlwind. I have been working nonstop to fix things that are broken and getting other preparations for our trip south.

First thing, was we discovered our anchor windlass was dead a week before departing Tiburon. I ordered a new one (along with 160 feet of new anchor chain rode) and we took it along with us so that it could be installed when we got to San Diego. So now is the time when I did the installation. As anyone who's installed a windlass can tell you, this is no small task. I finally got this installation done today!

Next, Antoine's PC died a few days ago. I ordered a new one, and it arrived today.

Next, last night AC breaker kept flipping off so we had no AC power. I thought I might need a new Xantrex charger/inverter, but later eliminated that possibility. I finally found that the AC Circuit breaker was defective. I went to West Marine and got a new circuit breaker. All is good now.

Next, our on-board WIFI repeater wasn't working. This unit lets us pick up WIFI networks from a few miles away if they're unsecured. I got that system working again.

Next, our SAILMAIL wasn't working. We could connect to stations but not send or receive email using the SSB radio. I got a tech out here to check it out and he discovered that we needed a new PACTOR modem. Now everything is good.

Next, we laid out the anchor chain and rode on the dock on 40 ft. lengths and painted the rode every 20 feet. I also painted the inside of the anchor locker.

Next, I installed a new remote control for our sound system so we can control it from within the cockpit.

Tomorrow, we have the skipper's meeting, and we'll provision (go grocery shopping) afterwards.

cheers Bruce

---------- radio email processed by SailMail for information see: http://www.sailmail.com

Pacific Puddle Jump 2011
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10/27/2013 | Ron
Sounds like a lot of work for a vacation! Better all this stuff now then when in MX!
You'll have a new boat when you're done.
Have fun on your adventure!
keep smiling, Ron
10/28/2013 | Jd de Haseth
Sounds like a marvelous trip! I'm so envious.
Be safe. Happy travels!

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