The ocean front of Bahia de Tortugas
Well we have managed to lazily lounge away a week here in Bahia de Tortugas. Neat little town, but I think a few days would have been plenty had we not got caught up in the little storm here. We have seen some great sunsets, found the coldest beer cooler in all of Mexico, and learned a little bit more spanish. We have been surprised at how many cruisers we have met who speak absolutely zero spanish, we have found ourselves acting as translators and helping others find where to fix there broken parts as most of them could not speak with the locals, smiles are great but it doesnt ask how to find a diver to find your overboard outboard, ( they dont work well under water). At the resteruant we had to help others order food as they couldnt ask the waitress for what they wanted, really our spanish is pretty bad, but apparently bad spanish is alot better than NO spanish.
We are heading off here in about an hour as soon as the fog layer lifts, I would like to be able to see where I am going at least a little bit. We will be headed towards Bahia Santa Maria / MagBay around 250 miles, we have been told that Santa Maria has more sanddollars on the beach than anywhere else, and Mag bay is the nursing grounds for the gray whales and their newborn calves on the migration route, really hope to see a few whales along the way as long as they are not too close.
We have been asked to post more photos so we will put togethor an album attached to the blog, and as far as an RSS feed I believe their is an icon in the corner of the page to subscribe to the feed ( I think).
We will be out of internet range for probably a week as we dont think we will get it in Santa Maria, so dont worry we are still here, just out of cyber- reach. The pic is is last nights sunset, not the best but not to shabby.
Have a very festive and beautiful New Year, be safe and we will talk again next year. Lots of love Doc and DD
12/25/2011, Turtle Bay
Hola and Merry Xmas y Feliz Navidad,
Still in Bahia de Tortugas, riding out several days of wind, been blowing a Steady 20Knts with frequent gusts to 25Knt and occasional to gusts 30+. Better in the bay than out in the sea but still not very comfy and obviously haven't slept very soundly, constantly scanning the horizon to confirm bearings havent changed and the anchor is still in the earth. We did make it to land our first day before the wind came and wandered around the empty little village, we found only a couple little tiendas open and only one resteraunt open in the entire town. However can't complain about 2 cheeseburgers & fries along with 3 Pacificos and a Coke( oh so cold) at a sit down resteraunt for less than $16.00.
It is very obvious that this little town once thrived and was much more full of life, however it now shows barely a breath more than a ghost town. Still you have to like the shelter the bay provides and there is something about this town that appeals as more than just rustic rugged nature.
Managed to hitch a ride in to the pier with a panga driver"El Gordo"who had arranged for some transportation for us to haul our jerry jugs in to town to the only gas station and get 20 gals. of gasolina. They will deliver diesel to your boat but not gasolina.The kid in the car spoke zero english so we laughed at my spanish as I tried to talk to him on the way to pemex. I gave him 50 pesos and he was more than happy to drive his car right down the beach to the base of the pier and help me carry the jerry jugs to the awaiting panga, the panga driver however charged me 100 pesos but also drove me back in to shore, so I could make a trip to the tienda and buy some xmas dinner fixins.
Made a beautiful xmas breakfast and we are expecting the winds to diminish later in the day( its still pushing 20 knts) and should be calm tomorrow..... MAYBE.
Need to go up the mast once the winds eases, probably Monday morning, our flag halyard broke in a wind gust, and we need to run a new line through the pulley, at least its only up to the spreaders. Hmmm.. big guy up the mast can't wait for that fun. Everythings better on a stick right?
We plan to sail out Tues. morning for Bahia Santa Maria/ Mag Bay, have to admit that as interesting as this little town is, I am ready to move on, I want some warm, clear water allready.
p.s. keep sending the emails and facebooking w/DD we are loving hearing from everyone. lots of love.
12/22/2011, Bahia de Tortugas
Sorry for the delay everyone, after 5 days at sea.... just tired. So we arrived at beautiful Bahia de Tortuga yesterday morning , and were anchored about 9:30 am in 20 feet of water. We havent been ashore yet as our first day was spent puting the boat back in order and resting, you just dont realize how tired you really are until you stop and sit down, and dont have to get back out on deck for watch, you get to just sit and sit some more.
It took us 5 days to make almost 400 miles, once again we went way offshore, not really by choice this time. We had the best point of sail heading out so out we headed planning on tacking back in and making for San Quitin, but mother nature she has other plans. Sailing out we were clipping along about 9 knots for half the day, perfect sailing really perfect. As the wind builds and builds some more along with the seas. It is now blowing a solid 20knts. we have dropped the mainsail and have reduced the headsail and are still making 8 knts. at this point the seas have built to a nice 8 ft rollers not breaking but bigger. Next thing ya know head sail is reduced to only about 1/3 sail and we are flying along at 6 knts. the seas have built to 8-10 and our now cresting and falling off, whooo hoo this is frickin sailing baby. Only one problem we are heading towards Hawaii, San Quitin is way out of the picture as we left is somewhere behind in our seaspray. What to do? Cant turn around this will be painful and beat us bad if we try to head into it, so what the hell lets ride this.
Next morning the wind is gone,completely gone, the seas are feeding us leftover 6-8 footers, and we are about 100 miles offshore and only kinda the direction we are suppose to be. By far the best day of sailing yet for miles, just not towards our next stop. Fire up the motor and make for land??? umm no, that is kinda like cheating. We hove to so the boat would ride the swell comfy and not beat us up and floated nicely south, letting the current and swell push us along for the whole next day, and well the next night too, no wind no problem lets make lunch.
So the next few days we had fairly light nice winds and we sailed towards turtle bay, we hit another weather burst but it was all rain, rain for the whole day.( see picture of wet captain) By the way Bruce , why the hell would I want an auto pilot or a hard dodger? Seriously look what I would have missed out on. Ok Bruce your right My next purchase will be an auto pilot.
We pulled in to Turtle bay and did have to finally motor the last 12 hours as there was no wind and we wanted to make a daytime landing. We had to play slolem course through the 100 or so fisherman trap floats that splatter themselves across almost the entire opening to Turtle bay, I think the locals get a kick out of watching gringos in a maze. We anchored about 1/4 mile from the pier in about 20 ft of water, the rain stopped and the sun came blasting through , its 80degs. by the way. Water is still cold and we will not be jumping in yet.
We plan on staying here through Xmas and heading south a day or two afterwards. We are going to head ashore today, and check out the little town and maybe find some local eats.
We will write again a little later. Love you all.
p.s. just got weather report from our weather router back home, looks like we need to stay put for a bit, there's a big blow a comin.
Ok so We know check-in is supposed to be a serious affair, with all its govt. officialdom and so on....but looking around at all the other cruisers we saw in the room struggling and some of them quite abit, we had allready prepared ourselves for the frustration we had been warned about and laughed immediately. And well laughing was to be the theme of the rest of the day, but little did we know they would be laughing with us as we all enjoyed our attempt at remaining calm and relaxed. To check-in at ensenada it takes a total of 8 trips to the window to either explain yourself or pay the fee, and that is 8 window trips if you do it correctly and smoothly. You can hire a agent from your marina to make this all go very smooth and all you have to do is sign and smile and look helpless and pathetic, but $ 50.00 dollars? and some local gets my fun? Ha no way. The chance to learn on your own maybe even painfully is to much to miss, life is to be experienced, not payed for and observed as a spectator.
So we proceed to the immigration office where we know what to do and what to get stamped and payed at the other window and return for a stamping and tourista card, but alas as we hand down both passports to the round little man with the serious demeanor, he looks and throws Docs passport back at him saying YOUR Passport NO good, He looked very serious and I actually thought I was screwed ( so much for the happy laughing attitude). Who knew that the happy little mexican immigration man had a sense of humor? Both DD and he started laughing as the look on my face looked a little shocked. I had forgotten to sign my new passport... easily fixed( unlike my now stopped heart). But who knew that this little joke would make this mans day or maybe month , he didnt stop laughing at me the whole time we were there, and when we returned a few days later to check out, he said Hola and laughed some more. But I was not the only joke of the day, no after more stamping and laughing and honestly smooth sailing,we hit a small snag, we are finishing the Temporary Import Permit and need copies of all the STAMPED and PAID papers, the copy place closed just minutes before ( they cant afford a copy machine at the port office I guess???). Doc runs down the street and begs with the cruiseship lady and Voila.... COPIES! As I return running back to the office having left DD in line without papers at the mercy of flirty old Port captains, I find her trying to breath with her face red and maybe on fire.?. The Customs man ( the next window to go see) couldnt wait to meet the lauging couple enjoying the torture, so he sauntered over to flirt with DD alone at the other window and offered her some tastey little Fuego snacky poof. Really DD thinks water is spicey if it doesnt have ice. As you can all imagine DD with her head on fire from a little cheesey poof was actually really funny, and well they all thought so to. We had the easiest trip through customs in history as the man just laughed and said sign this and push the button, of course it was green, there was no more red left in the building as DD's flaming mouth used it all.
Ensenada was a great first stop, B-day at Hussongs with Jesus buying drinks, Crazy bus ride with locals, haggling for silver and more tacos than you could shake your lips at. ooh it was goood.
But we sail on the tide in the morning, heading south for Bahia De Tortuga, with a small chance of stopping in San Quintin( the bay not the prison). Looking at about 300-350 miles depending on our route so we will be at sea for a few days and nights. We will post when we make land. Looking forward to the quieter Mexico where they dont have cruise ships. Love you all. Doc and DD
So after 33 hours of sailing about 160 miles(We went way outside) we arrived in Ensenada at about 4:30pm Sunday afternoon, and well a funny thing happened on the way to BajaNaval( where we had a reservation), no one answered our call, no VHF, no telephono, nada. What to do? Pull in anyway? Well we should have done that but..... the only person who saw us come in was Chuepe at Marina de Ensenada, who did his best mexico salesman act to talk us into taking an empty slip at his place. Well we laughed and said "it could have been worse" but really kinda a dump, and maybe a little scarey for your first night, but hey he was open and very friendly, so we parked it and went ashore for a bite, what the hell? why not? As soon as we sat down we realized we couldnt stop swaying back and forth and perhaps should have just stayed on the boat and gone to sleep.
So Monday morning comes, and hey BajaNaval is open and we go say hello, they appologize for missing us and promptly assign us a slip all of 150' from where we spent the previous night. Sometimes 150' can mean the a world of difference.
It has rained for 2 days now and I think the ads and stories about SUNNY Mexico are all lies. Stay tuned for coming next.... We go to do the paperwork shuffle, and probably have more fun than your suppose to have doing check-in. Ta Ta
Pic is of dolphins as we were leaving Catalina( apparently not easy to photograph, best pic out of about 50)