05/07/2008, 2:00pm, at anchor in Bahia Santa Maria
We listened to the weather this morning on SSB/HAM and also read Cory's Dad's email weather report from Mexico weather websites. Although there's a lot of wind out here, there is a window starting at about midnight tonight until tomorrow. We're going to see if we can take advantage of this window where there is supposed to be less wind to get 100 miles farther north to San Juanico. San Juanico is the best windy weather anchorage between Mag Bay and Turtle Bay, so it's a good place to be if we've got to wait out some windy days. We just talked things over with Windblown and Zephryus, and we agreed we'd try to leave tonight so we'd get in tomorrow afternoon. The 11pm - 11am time slot is a good one to travel in where winds typically subside a bit, so that's what we'll do.
Also, instead of going back to Mag Bay to get fuel, I called a cruiser, Sherry, in Ansuncion (40 miles from Turtle Bay), and she is able to arrange for a panga to deliver diesel fuel to us at a reasonable price. She told me they have a reliable, clean source of diesel in Ansuncion, and she would give the fuel station a call to be sure they had some on reserve for us when we arrive. That saves us backtracking 35 miles or so to get some spare fuel.
So, what do we do all day in a deserted anchorage? Bahia Sta. Maria has nothing. It is a pretty and huge bay where a navy of boats could anchor. There's only 5 pleasure boats in here now, trying to get north and one tuna fishing boat. So..with all this time and nothing to do, we got together on the biggest boat last night. That boat is a 47 foot catamaran called Moontide. It was nice to get to meet everyone, and we made a lot of new friends. I tell you, cruisers are friendly people and people who have really unique experiences. When was the last time you met someone who has sailed around the world? In the past week, I've met two different people on two different boats. Everyone has great stories.
So, wish us safe passage. We will try to pull out tonight and make the next leg of our journey.
05/06/2008, 10:00am, at anchor in Bahia Santa Maria
We got a chance to listen to the weather on the SSB radio this morning. There's a large system in Northern California that is creating all sorts of wind down here. Until that system moves out, it will stay a windy 20-25 knots from the NW (the direction we're trying to go). We don't want to travel into that sort of wind. It's really tiresome (hard on us) and also hard on the boat. We're not on a time schedule, so why rush in nasty weather? The wind is supposed to continue until Sunday. Sunday it is predicted to clear up to 10-15 knots. So, our tentative leave day from this area will be Sunday. Of course, the forecast can change at any time, so those plans are written in sand at low tide. We also got some weather from Cory's Dad and he confirmed that there is a system out there and, it's creating these strong winds.
So with all this time on the boat and nothing much to do, we calculated our fuel economy last night. It looks like if we get the same fuel economy for the rest of the way to Turtle Bay, our 1/2 point, we can make it to Turtle with 7 gallons of fuel to spare. Yes, we know, that's not much fuel left. So, since we have the time, we may take the big boat over to Mag Bay which is 15 miles from here to get fuel from the port captain. He'll get it for us in San Carlos, which is a port of entry. It's 30 miles up a tricky channel to San Carlos, so we'd rather not take our boat in there. Also, the fuel docks large and are for commercial boats, so it's likely to scratch the hull (the boat itself), and the fuel pumps will probably flow at a higher rate than we can take on.
It's a chilly 65 degrees inside the boat this morning. We haven't had these sorts of low temperatures in quite sometime. Looks like we'll be bundling up from here on out. At least I should say, I will be bundling up from here on out. I'm already starting to feel signs of a sore throat coming on, and I don't want it to get any worse.
05/05/2008, 5:00pm, at anchor in Bahia Santa Maria
We just dropped anchor a few moments ago, and it feels nice to not be out in the wind and not have the engine running. Our 38 hour passage wasn't as calm as forecasted, but we did just fine. We motorsailed the whole way hugging the coast between Cabo San Lucas and Magdalena Bay. During the 184 mile journey we encountered a steady 20-25 knots on Sunday and Monday morning. The wind died down to 15 this afternoon and then built back to 20 by the time we put down our anchor. We noticed a big difference in our boat's performance between 15 knots of wind and 20+ knots of wind. When we have 20 knots+ of wind the boat bangs a bit though the waves. When this happens, the speed we've built up gets knocked back 20% or so...then we build boat speed back up and then the same thing happens all over again. It's also more stress on the boat than at 15 knots. With the 15 knots this morning and early afternoon, we glided though the water and the swells were much flatter. The Baja Bash is all what they describe.
We're anchored here with one other boat. We met him in Cabo, and he's headed to Newport Beach. Our friends on Zephyrus and Windblown were behind us by about 15 miles so they may not make the anchorage before dark. If they don't, they will probably tuck into Bahia Magdalena which is about 20 miles closer, and is an anchorage we passed up as Bahia Santa Maria was our intended destination.
It feels good to have one part of The Bash behind us. I think of this trip up Baja in four parts. The first part is between Cabo and Mag Bay. This is the trip we just completed. Part two is between Mag Bay and Turtle Bay. Part 3 is between Turtle Bay and San Quintin. Part 4 is between San Quintin and San Diego. Each section has its own challenges. In part one the challenges were rounding Cabo Falso and dealing with major headland Punta Tosca. Also, we had to get used to the steeper swell and motion of the boat caused by beating into the wind. Last but not least, after being in Mexico all winter, we'd forgotten quickly how COLD it is on the outside of Baja. We've officially left the tropics, so it's back to sweat shirts, pants, and foul weather gear at night....BRRR was it cold last night!
We're unsure of the weather the next few days. We're getting mixed weather reports. Originally, Tuesday was supposed to be a good day for traveling, but we're hearing otherwise now. We may stay put here until Friday when the weather is supposed to get better, but we'll listen to our HAM radio nets and weather forecasting and talk with our friends before deciding when to leave.