22 June 2011 | Bash Leg 2 – this sucks
After a few hours of rest in Bahia Santa Maria we left at 1900 for Turtle Bay some 225 miles north. The air is COLD and the water has dropped to 58 (on Friday in the Sea of Cortez it was 84). The wind was blowing 15 to 20 and the sea was 4 to 6 – on the nose of course. Through the night both wind and sea continued to build and soon we were taking big waves over the bow – this technique helps to identify any leaks you might have on the boat. Did I mention arriving Santa Maria with a wet bed (come on now – I was over that years ago for the most part….). Well I discovered a clogged drain in one of the aft lockers which caused about 40 gallons of water to accumulate (325 pounds) resulting in two LPG tanks floating around along with other things stored there. And, as luck would have it, there are a dozen unsealed screw holes in the locker allowing the water to enter the inside of the boat– fixed now. But there are other places water can enter the boat – like the open companion way. Just before sunset on day two of this leg, in howling wind and big boy seas, we spot a pod of blue whales off our starboard side. Soon, with diminishing light, we are surrounded by these huge creatures some closed enough you could have jumped aboard for a ride. As we do our best to dodge these formally beautiful beasts my thoughts are on the sailboat Luffin that was struck by a whale a few months ago off Tenacitia. Doing a series of quick tacks and 360’s to avoid the whales results in us plowing into a 10 to 12 foot breaking wave about ½ up – about 1/3 of the boat goes into the side of the wave thus water, lots of it, comes over and under the dodger and down the companion way. The worse part of this was that during the clean-up one of us accidentally hit the control knob for the Engel refrigerator turning it into a freezer. This is where we keep our beer – you know the rest of that tale… So on we went in just awful conditions for the next 18 hours. At 0400, as predicted, somebody turned off the fan and we were in calm conditions. Arrived Turtle Bay in 41 hours riding the rhumbline – good pace given the sea state. We plan to refuel, get a weather update, rest and leave tonight for Ensenada if the forecasts matches with what we know presently. So far we are very much “paying our dues” for the wonderful time we had in Mexico on this edition of the Baja Bash…..