What a ride!
24 April 2013 | Ensenada, Baja, MX
It was anchor up at 5:45 AM and we where committed. We where also the only boat leaving Turtle Bay... We reached the Navidad and Cedros Islands just after sunrise and the winds started to pick up. Our decision to stay on the east side of the island was correct. We had a few hours of nice warm motor sailing along the Cedros coast. As our nose poked out from the tip we got nailed. In 500 yards the winds went from 8 to 23 knots and we were sailing at 7.5 knots with no engine assist. Unfortunately the wind clocked around to the nose and we spend the next 18 hours in miserable conditions We dropped of a couple of waves so hard that light bulbs came out of sockets or just broke and a 20 foot section of rub rail separated from the boat. We also discovered, to our amazement, that we where not alone.
It is said that if you can the San Francisco Bay you can sail anywhere. I don't know if that is true or not, but I do know that SF Bay sailors look at weather and grib files with a different set of criteria. This day illustrated this point. The other boat 'out there' was Crissy from South Beach Yacht Club in San Francisco, all of the SO Cal boats stayed put. For the next 2 days we stayed within 5 miles of each other. Fortunately by noon the next day things smoothed out and we where motor sailing at 6.5 knots. This is more like it, although still no fish and it was still in the 50's.
The last 30 hours moved so well that we pulled into Ensenada with time to handle our Mexican check-out. We heard it was easy, but you truly don't comprehend until you do it. If you are deciding if you should check in/out here or at Cabo, do it here. For a Mexican port town I found that I really liked Ensenada. The downtown area is fun to walk around and the roads and public spaces are all very well maintained. We met some new friends heading south and had a great dinner chatting about destinations and life in general. If any of our cruising friends see Carpe Iam please introduce yourselves. We decided that since we accomplished the 'major' checkout that we could rush everything into the next day and get moving north.
Today was a cram day that included laundry, bulb repairs, cleaning, etc and we even managed to find some fresh Oysters and huge clams. We pushed the oil change off till San Diego since the only Delo 400 I could find was 35 US per gallon. I was not out for engine work today though. Our dock neighbor Jim has a Columbia 41 with the same Perkins 4-107 we have. He was having trouble getting some high pressure lines fitted to his new fuel pump so i spun some wrenches for a bit. To return the favor he drove us and our 10 bags of laundry to the lavandaria, BONUS! I am going to miss the cruising community down here.
For our final dinner in Mexico it was steamed shellfish with sautéed garlic in a butter drizzle with fried rice served at Chateau La Ducky. A nice finish to our trek up the Baja coast. It occurs to all of us as we finish the day the adventure is winding down and we are all ready to be home...