La Paz to Mazatlan01/01/2011
I had planned on getting up at 5 am for the crossing to Mazatlan but, when in Mexico, one must be flexible. The Mexican people are a wonderful gregarious lot who love to socialize - especially into the early hours. By 3:30 am it became obvious that sleep was not in the picture. I got up, ate, and started heading out. I cleared the channel under motor and was sailing by 4:45. The forecast had been for light winds but, once again, it was wrong. I had a great sail in 15 knots with all sails up until I hit the San Lorenzo Channel. I put away the jib and screacher and sailed as deep as I could through the channel. I passed a ferry coming the other way and was glad I only had to deal with the mainsail. Once out of the channel it was all sails up again and a glorious sail between Isla Cerralvo and the Baja. The attached shot is of the sunrise while 'Otto' drove at 12 to 14 knots. The wind continued to blow until I was about 20 miles out into the sea and then died. I motored for about six hours then sailed for about 6 then motored for another 8 then sailed....you get the picture. I arrived at Mazatlan around 10 pm local time. It was too late to get into a marina so I anchored off Bird Island. It isn't very well protected but there was little wind so it wasn't too bad. As I had a Don Pedro before calling it a night, the New Year's fireworks started going off. It was a nice way to bring in the Ano Nuevo!
Well I'm leaving the Baja in the morning so I'd better update the blog before I forget everything. As I left Puerto Ballandra I thought I would sail around Isla Carmen on the way back to Puerto Escondido. The winds built to around 30 knots as I got to the NE corner and it was very lumpy so I turned around to head back on the inside. It was much smoother and the wind lessened a bit so it made for a good chance to practice with the screacher some more. I had a great sail back and dropped the hook in the harbour next to Bill on the Barnacle. A couple of days later I left early in the morning for a long slow motor with a bit of sailing to Amortada on Isla San Jose. It was dark when I arrived and only just light when I left in the morning. After doing some calculations and looking at the weather forecast I wondered if I had enough fuel to make it to La Paz. I should not have worried. The wind built to about 28 knots. Unfortunately it was right on the nose. I went on the outside of Partida/Espiritu Santo and got treated to a great high speed sail with very small waves. 20 knots with all sails up and I was grinning ear to ear. The wind died just before I go to La Paz harbour so I dropped all sail and motored in. I spent a couple of days relaxing and meeting old friend again and then checked in Marina Palmira to do a little maintenance. With that done I headed back out to Bahia San Gabriel on Espritu Santo for Christmas Eve. San Gabriel usually has internet coverage via the 3G card but not this time. After many futile efforts to contact family back home I sailed to Caleta Partida where I met up with George, Janet, and Anita on Susie. We had some Tara Misou, (sp?), and a couple of drinks before I headed back to the boat for an early night. I hung out the next day reading and left early the morning after that to head back to La Paz. I've been in the Virtual Marina for a few days and I'm getting antsy so I'll head to Mazatlan in the morning. The weather is supposed to be quite benign but I'm a stubborn guy and I'll do my best to sail the whole way. With any luck I'll catch New Year's Eve there. That's it for now. Luego.
Well, as usual, time slips by when you are cruising in Mexico. It has been a couple of weeks since my last post so we'll see what I can remember. I left Isla Coronados and had a very relaxed sail to Puerto Escondido. I spent a couple of days lounging on the boat doing a little maintenance and seeing friends from the last two winters. I caught a ride to Loreto to get my Telcel 3G account updated and had the usual communication problems with those in charge. I ended up being told to come back in two days and paying for an extra 30 days that I really did not want. Ah Mexico; everything is an adventure. Two days later I sailed to Loreto and got the service renewed so everything turned out okay. While there I stopped into see Ginni Callahan of Sea Kayak Baha. Ginni gives leasons and leads excursions on the Sea in the winter and operates Columbia River Kayaking in the summers. I took a lesson from her last winter and she greatly improved my techniique and hence my enjoyment of kayaking. I highly recommend her. I then sailed to Puerto Ballandra on Isla Carmen to spend the night. While there I met Alan and Chris from the Beverly J who invited me over for a drink. One turned into two and then a fantastic crab dinner. I left full after a very nice night and I had a bag of crab with me for the next day. Great fun!
We got away early from Caleta San Juanico and had a relaxed sail to Isla Coronados. It is a beautiful island that started life as a now extinct volcano. The Valkyrie showed up later and we had a good visit in her cockpit before I turned in.
On to Caleta San Juanico12/04/2010
After slowly sailing out of Bahia Conception the wind pick up and we had a great sail to Caleta San Juanico. The forecast had called for light winds but it blew a steady 12 to 20 knots with gusst to 28. I can't remember a better day and I got in a lot of practice with the new screacher.
Time for an update12/04/2010
Well it's been a couple of weeks now since my first post so it's time for an update. I spent a week in Santa Rosalia visiting the gang from the Santa Rosalia Marina. They are a great group of people and I recommend the Marina if you get to Santa Rosalia. It's rustic but very welcoming and the price is right. Unfortunately I was under the weather most of the time I was there. Despite a gracious invitation to a Thanksgiving dinner, I decided the thing to do was to go sailing and take my mind off how I was feeling.