06/12/2012, Bahia Asuncion'
June 10, 2012: The morning came early due to our 6 am departure. We wanted to take advantage of the calm morning waters and no wind. Sunrise was quite beautiful thru the marine layer of light fog. At least a dozen fishing pangas were out pulling in their lines/nets. But we made a safe passage thru and enjoyed a faster speed thru the water.
Our bliss only lasted a short period as we started picking up a contrary current and pushed up against it for the entire day. It took us 12.5 hours to travel 54 miles and we averaged 4.3 knots. Normally we could knock out this distance in 8-9 hours.
Once again as we pulled in the bay to anchor, the winds kicked up to 25-28 knots. Talk about a wind hole but during the night hours it did settle back down to no wind and calm waters. We hit the sack early this evening too.
Bahia Asuncion' 27 08.032N 114 17.378W
06/12/2012, Santa Maria to Abreojos
June 8 - 9, 2012: This leg of the journey takes about 31.5 hours to travel 145 nautical miles. We averaged 4.6 knots and had a pretty rough journey plowing thru very unruly seas. There didn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to the direction of the wind waves and swell. I don't mind so much the long passages but I sure don't like the rough seas. Time seems to pass at a snail's pace.
The winds were consistent at around 15-20 knots but right on the nose. We pulled the main sail out part way and motor sailed just a few degrees off of the wind. The shorten sail helps drive the boat thru the waves and easier to keep full.
I got the easy night shift of 9-midnight while Bob & Dick handled the midnight thru 6 am watches. Wow, 6 hours of sleep, what a treat. All of us were very glad to anchor up in Abreojos, even if the winds had piped up to 25-30 knots. By the middle of night all was calm and we got a decent night's sleep for our next day's passage.
Abreojos 26 44.090N 113 32.199W
06/07/2012, Magdalena Bay to Bahia Santa Maria
June 7, 2012: We weighed anchor and moved around to the outside to Santa Maria Bay to stage ourselves for the passage to Abreojos on Friday morning. We actually managed to sail about two thirds of the way north before turning on the engine to finish our journey of 30 miles by dinner time. Friday will bring us a 24 hour passage so we need some good rest prior to leaving.
Dick, our extra crewmate, managed the helm for most of the day. He was pretty happy to be sailing and all of us were happy to moving once again. Waiting for weather to pass is like watching grass grow, tiring and boring. The sun did shine all day and I can happily say it felt good since the wind was quite chilly. Our temperatures are now running 65-70 degrees; just right for me!
Bahia Santa Maria 24°46.502N 112°15.263W
June 4 - 6, 2012: This waiting for a weather window has its blessings and curses. We got caught up on our sleep but chomping on the bit to get going too. It has been very windy all three days so we are glad to be tucked inside the protected waters of Magdalena Bay. It is hard to describe our daily activities but suffice it to say it hasn't been much. I think the boys have told and retold every hunting camp story including each elk bagged and missed. And let's not forget the surveying stories, fishing stories, boating stories and people stories to fill in the gaps of the conversation. I was tempted to use the ear plugs to block some of the B.S. I was glad for a couple hours of peace when they took a dinghy ride to another boat for some fresh fish.
Speaking of other boats, about 8 vessels are hanging out in the anchorage with several others scattered about in different areas but close enough to have the same weather conditions. We all listen to the Amigo and Southbound nets each morning and afternoon and then converse with each other afterwards about weather and travel schedules. It's nice to have a flotilla of boats traveling together in case of an emergency . Along with our daily naps we have movie night and I have been preparing more meals to eat while underway. It is so nice to pop a meal in the oven and not fret about being below too long. So not much more to report, we are hoping to leave tomorrow.
06/03/2012, Cabo San Lucas to Magdalene Bay
June 2 - 3, 2012: Time to start the Baja Bash! We left around 7 am and started around the tip of Cabo. Our weather called for 9-13 knots of wind and 1-3 ft seas - perfect! While in reality we had 20 kts true with gusts to 24-26 kts and the seas were 3-6 ft. Oh yeah, the wind was right on our nose. Fast forward to about noon and conditions settled down to an easy passage. "LeRoy" our autopilot was in charge which made our watches pretty easy.
Having an extra crew member sure makes a difference as to our sleep patterns - wow, what an incredible amount of help. We can each sleep 6 hours before our next watch. Sure beats the hell out of only 3 hours between watches. We are currently in Man of War Cove inside of Magdalena Bay where we will wait for some weather for the next several days. All is well so far with no grand stories to tell. That's good!
Man of War Cove, Magdalena Bay 24°38.585N 112°08.061W
June 1, 2012: What a difference a day makes, the air temp has dropped significantly! We are now heading towards Cabo and preparing ourselves for the masses of humanity and craziness. As we gaze along the shoreline, the empty desert hills are now lined with huge mansions, mega condos and hotels. Today we managed to get some sailing in which was a nice change but like all good things it comes to an end.
As we approached the entrance to Cabo, the bay was alive with pangas, sport fishing boats, tour boats and parasailing. What a zoo! I sucked it up and proceeded thru the entrance and made a beeline for the fuel dock since was space available. Good thing we had our extra crew member aboard so he could relay the number of liters going into the tank to Bob as I as standing 60-70 feet away monitoring the fuel gage. Then it was onward to our slip assignment where lots of hands were available to help us in and expect a few pesos for their trouble. It's no big deal as we are now used to this way of life. I can now walk by all the street vendors, be gracious in a greeting but walk on by and not get too irritated on their persistence. The marina is very nice but totally surrounded by restaurants and shopping. For the most part it was quieted down at night but the morning brought all the fishermen out and the place turned into a beehive. One night was enough!
05/31/2012, Los Muertos & Los Frailes
05/31/2012, Costa Baja at La Paz
May 22 - May 29, 2012: The Costa Baja Resort lured us in with all the ambience of 5 star resort, golf course and lovely marina. Hey why not, it was our last hurrah in La Paz. Actually the marina rates were quite reasonable, about $30/night or $.65/ft for an eight night stay. The place was very enjoyable although the restaurants were a little expensive. It would have been cheaper if I forgave the couple glasses of wine. The best part was the shuttle to town and the grocery stores. It traveled numerous times thru the day and if you timed it right you could grocery shop, run errands and then hitch a ride back to the marina.
As soon as we arrived, we managed to hit one of the hottest days; about 100°. Sure did not need that temperate as we could barely get the boat tied up, turned on the air conditioner and crashed down below. The air conditioner worked very hard trying to cool down the boat. You know when you don't have a car, simple life projects get harder to manage and you are lucky to accomplish 1 or 2 things in a day. Besides with this heat, I am lucky to manage at all. We did however enjoy dinners out with friends to say our goodbyes. On Tuesday, we picked up our new crew member, Dick Althaus who was crazy enough to say yes to bashing up the coast with us to San Diego. I do fret though that he is going from Montana to Seattle to La Paz and probably will see a 50 degree weather change.
Bob & Dick accomplished installing our new GPS and getting the anchor chain painted. It was not a simple feat considering the temperatures. I managed three trips to the grocery store to provision and stock up on comfort food to see us thru the next couple of weeks. The tonic part of a gin and tonic is damn near an impossible task to find but successfully completed. I wouldn't want my newest crew member to suffer after a long day on the water without the appropriate reward of grog, 21st century style.