07/08/2011, And into La Paz
The first 24 hours of our crossing from Mazatlan to La Paz had all the hallmarks of a bad crossing: wind on the nose, confused and lumpy seas, and a sea sick crew. It was during this first 24 hours that after 3 years of cruising we finally admitting to ourselves that we love living on a boat in Mexico, but we don't care to passages unless a 15kt breeze is on our beam with flat calm seas. When you are holding onto the boat to keep from being flung around, it's just hard to say: Wow?.I love this?.this is why we are out here!
On the evening of the second day out, we had that perfect experience. The wind was 15kts on our beam and the seas were calm, as we enjoyed the sun setting directly on our bow. Once the sun went down we all watched 3 episodes of Battle Star Galactia on the laptop out in the cockpit and all thoughts of the misery just 24 hours earlier were gone. I call this the 18th hole tease. I've never been that good at Golf and after a miserable round of losing balls, playing in the wrong fairways and swearing to myself I would sell my clubs at the next yard sale, miraculously I would score a birdie on the 18th hole. Unfortunately, this was all it would take to trick my feeble mind into thinking that I really liked the game of golf and to get me to shell out another $40 for my next round or torture. Making an uncomfortable crossing isn't like a bad game of gold, no, it is much worse. Because during a game of golf you can quit, you can drive the cart to the club house and have a beer without having to play out the remaining holes. But on a crossing, no matter how bad it is going you have no choice but to continue playing. As wave after wave knocks your boat speed down to 0.9kts you have to plow forward. As you watch your bow sprit that extends 8ft over the water surface plunge into the next wave, all you can really do is hold on and brace yourself. You could turn around, but then you would have to give back every hard earned mile, so you plow forward.
When I relinquished the helm to Lori at about 2AM, we were still flying on that beam reach at 6kts on our dream sail and surprisingly when I awoke at dawn nothing had changed except our miles and time to our destination shown on the GPS had booth shrunk considerably. Shortly after down this morning, the wind died and we are now motoring on flat calm seas towards La Paz with an ETA of about 3-5PM this afternoon. So unless something bad happens to us today before we get to La Paz (ha ha?it's a boat trip?50 possible things could go wrong) we won't be having a yard sale in La Paz!
07/06/2011, heading for La Paz
The last time we tried this crossing it resulted in 3 months in Mazatlan making transmission repairs and then two work trips to the States, so as we prepare to pull anchor at Deer Island we are hoping for a little better luck. The weather report looks ok, with only a storm system in Southern Mexico having just a 20% chance of hurricane formation. We would like to use our new found sailing skills to save on diesel costs, but I've always said I would take a flat motor trip over a rolly and uncomfortable sail any time and that still holds true.
It's been over a year since we last visited La Paz and we are really looking forward to spending some time there anchored in the Bay and exploring all the great Taco stands that people have been emailing me about. What we will like most during this time or year will be the absence of the cruising hoards. Most sane people have their boats tucked away in storage during this time of year. The La Paz morning net won't take an hour, the VHF radio won't constantly barking, and the Magote anchorage won't be crowded with boats all seeing how close they can anchor to the Marina de La Paz dingy dock or worse, how close than can anchor to you.
At this time of year the Dorado are think in the warm waters, so we hope to be sick of eating the fresh fish by the time we reach La Paz.
The above photo is the view of the Mazatlan Malacon from the anchorage of Deer Island. I'm sure we will see this view again....
|Summer in the Sea of Cortez 2011||
07/03/2011, 1 hour and I’ve seen enough
I remember those 14 days we spent in Mazatlan last August and in those brief two weeks I knew summering in Mazatlan wasn't an option for the crew of THIRD DAY. Having grown up in Bakersfield, the heat doesn't bother me but unlike the dry heat of Baja, the Humidity of mainland Mexico make you appreciate the definition of "Heat Index". After spending 30 hours in La Paz, when I stepped off the air conditioned bus and into the heat/humidity of Mazatlan, I nearly threw-up. I was hungry, but the heat/humidity kept me from wanting a taco...and that was the last straw. It was then and there I made it my single minded goal to get out of here and over to La Paz as soon as possible. Within 10 minutes of being back on the boat, I sent Lori and Amy out for a quick last provisioning run and tomorrow we will head out to the Deer Island anchorage to make water, clean the boat bottom and propeller, hank on the mizzen sail, and ready the boat to cross the Sea. When we get hot, we will be able to just jump over the side of the boat and cool off and then get back to work. Poor Cortez is lying on the marble table tops trying to stay cool and if there was room for me, I would join him.
All in all the overnight ferry ride and bus trips to Mazatlan were easy and classic Mexico. Families and lots of young kids were all sleeping in the halls and floors of the lounge area in a scene much more familiar in Europe than in the United States. Just as I finally dozed off to sleep I was jolted awake by the body vibrating sounds of 1AM Mexican Karaoke. Beer was flowing and it was then that I realized my chances of getting any sleep in the middle of the Disco was zero, so I walked around and found myself a nice quite unused hallway corner and went to sleep using my sweatshirt as a pillow. I'll most likely be sleeping tonight out on deck even if it rains, in fact, I may like a little rain to wash off the salt sweat from my sticky body. Did I mention that I have an AC unit waiting for me in our car parked in La Paz?
|Summer in the Sea of Cortez 2011||