06/16/2012, Turtle Bay to San Diego
June 15 -16, 2012: An early morning departure was in order again Â... yuck! But at least Dick & Bob let me go back to bed after we got safely underway. Once I can get over my early morning stomach woes, I usually can do reasonably well at sea. This passage was 169 nautical miles and we did it in 28 hours averaging 6 knots. What a nice change from our bashing earlier on this trip. By going to San Benitos we had a nice angle to cut across the large span of water as we worked our way to Ensenada.
Our watches have been 3 hours on and 6 hours off which allowed for good sleep time. Dick has been a great help to have along. It makes a big difference on the fatigue factor. We have several days of good weather so we want make tracks.
We stopped at Bahia Colnett for about six hours to shower, eat and rest for awhile. We decided to bypass Ensenada and continue on to San Diego, about 120 miles from Colnett. We can get there in 20 hours and arrive mid-day on Sunday. That gets us ahead of the anticipated weather change.
Bahia Colnett 30Â° 57.814N 116Â° 16.813W
June 14, 2012: The Baja Bash fleet was leaving at first light this morning to move north. Three boats decided to pass Cedros Island on the east side and anchor to position themselves for the next jump across a large bight of water. We took west side of Cedros and worked our way up to San Benito's Island 56 miles to the north for our jump off point.
It was another long day pushing against large swells, wind waves and wind on our nose. Once we arrived I was not pleased with the looks of the anchorage. Large kelps beds lay across the entire area and you could see the swells rolling in. We did have a whale greet us, along with a large colony of sea lions barking away to their heart's content.
I couldn't believe there was an actual fishing community located on this desolate island out in the middle of nowhere. The citizens of Mexico have a very hard life Â... and the fishermen are amazing.
San Benitos Island 28Â° 17.909N 115Â° 34.592W
June 12 - 13, 2012: The weather wasn't looking so hot and neither were the seas so we decided to hang out a couple more days here in Turtle Bay. We were invited along with the rest of the cruisers in the anchorage for a yellow fin dinner prepared by Ruben & his wife Anabelle, one of the local fuel providers. He really enjoys the cruisers and has built a nice restaurant overlooking the bay. Couldn't ask for a better deal, he provided transportation to and from his place, gave us a bottle of wine to take home and the meal was only $150 pesos including food & liquor. We enjoyed the company of 12 other cruisers while dining family style; it was a fantastic evening showing Dick some Mexican hospitality.
Wednesday I booted the boys off the boat to make a garbage run and stretch their legs. Beside I wanted them out of my hair while I prepared a couple more dinners and breakfasts. I got no argument out of either one since they knew it was a way to keep their bellies happy while underway.
We have been watching the Horatio Hornblower British Naval series which has added some entertainment to our evening hours. One night we had the benefit of our boat rocking in the waves and the wind howling outside just at the same time the sailboat in the movie was experiencing the same conditions. It quite eerie!
06/12/2012, Turtle Bay
June 11, 2012: Today was another 54 mile day, the last leg to Turtle Bay where we could refuel the boal and rejuvenate our bodies. This was a real pleasant day with reasonable seas, sunshine and good speed. Today we averaged 5.8 knots and made the passage in 9 hours.
We were greeted by the fuel panga drivers eager to sell us fuel. In December 2010, when we first arrived here, we were very wary of these guys and didn't know what to expect. Now, we feel like veterans and welcomed their offer. Fuel is brought by a panga and they use a portable generator to activate the pump. Interesting operation Mexican style but very effective.
Time to kick back for a day or so, watch the weather and catch up on a couple of chores. Bob is changing the engine oil, Dick is hand washing laundry and I am preparing meals for our next stint of passages.
Turtle Bay 27 41.016N 114 53.354W
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 24Â°46.502N 112Â°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 24Â°38.585N 112Â°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!