We didn't get the wind much last night as we had hoped but the seas were surprisingly lumpy. Nowhere to be seen was the long period Pacific swell and all night and even now we are bouncing into lumpy and a bit confused seas. The nice thing about have a boat that weighs 55,000lbs is that we tend to plow through the slop a bit better than our traveling companions Hurrah and Sea Raven, being smaller and lighter boats.
According to the GPS, we are 3 hours away from the Turtle Bay entrance and unlike a weather forecast, it isn't known to lie as much. Unless our speed changes, which would cause the GPS to recalculate our arrival time, it's fairly safe to assume that we will have our anchor down in about 3.5-4 hours. Just like we did with our 7AM arrival in Bahia Asuncion, the crew will then go to sleep and nap for the remainder of the day to make up for last night. The fleet will take on Diesel fuel from Servicio Anabelle (Panga converted into a Floating Fuel Barge) and then after a trip or two into town we will start looking for the next weather window North.
17 Days could almost be long enough for some boats and crews to have made the Bash TWICE...but we are being a bit more picky about our weather windows. However, with the "flip a coin" nature of the weather forecasts...I'm not sure our slower pace has really mattered, but it has kept the crew well rested and helped minimize mutinous thoughts of a buss ride up the Baja!
When we left La Paz we had two engle freezers (ours and our friends on Just a Minute) filled to the brim with pre-prepared meals and meats. As we get closer to San Diego, the pre-prepared meals are about to run out. We need to start cooking our frozen meats so the friendly folks at the US Customs dock don't take away the dangerous contraband when we arrive back in the States. Unrefrigerated eggs, Mexican pork, and heavens forbid uncooked Carne Asada are a National Security threat and if found aboard are confiscated, treated as a biohazard and incinerated. It doesn't matter that the Costco Pork Loin has the USDA stamp on it, it was in Mexico is now the enemy. So rather than cry and our good meats go into a Yellow and Red Bio-hazard receptacle like they are carrying the Ebola Virus, we will eat well these next few days to clear them out.
|Baja Bash 2012||
We spent Day 16 of our Baja Bash exploring the great town of Bahia Asuncion. First we like the calm anchorage that was quite comfortable as we waited out the 20-25kts of wind behind Punta Asuncion. We felt the wind, but the point provided a nice break water protecting us from the swell and waves, letting the wind sing through the rigging as we thanked God that we were here and not out in it!
This morning 4 fishermen in a large panga stopped by the boat to say hello. Looking down in their panga we could see a pile of fish. Large male Sheep Head, big 3ft Halibut, Rock fish, and what looked like a 5ft shark of some type I couldn't make out. We chatted for a bit and then they held up a nice size halibut and asked me if I wanted it. The answer was OF COURSE and when I tried to pay or trade something for it, they refused and said it was their gift to us. More Mexican hospitality was found when we hit the beach. John on Sea Raven needed a new starting battery and in short order a local Mexican fisherman was telling us where to go, which then led to him saying he would drive us there. So all 8 of us piled into his Suziki Samari and as most of us stood up in the back we drove through town first getting a battery and then going to a great restaurant and we invited our guide to lunch with us.
After being stuffed with a great Chili Rellano we set off to explore town a bit and wouldn't you know it that Lori and Amy found a flea market. Amy and Lori both bought some clothes while Jason and I started checking out the local markets and were impressed with what they had in the way of provisions. Lots of fresh veggies and everything a cruiser would need to stock up on was readily available. The prices were a little higher than La Paz, but this place is off the main highway making it pretty much out in the middle of no where.
It's too bad that we don't have more time to spend here because I think we would really like it, but we appear to have a weather window to make the final 50 miles to Turtle Bay, so we will take it. The fleet will pull anchor tonight at 10PM and with any luck will have our anchors down in Turtle Bay by 1PM tomorrow afternoon. With bad luck, we will find ourselves back at anchor here again in Bahia Asuncion licking our wounds from a pounding into sea and wind.
A note about the weather forecasting we have been using for the trip. To start, this trip has sure reminded us of how much we miss Don Anderson. Don understood the weather on the outside of Baja and the Sea of Cortez I think better than anyone. Don's passing last April is being felt by the entire Mexican Cruising Community who came to count on his forecasting abilities that he would share twice a day with the fleet with a special flare and personality. Since we have had great access to the internet with the TelCel Banda Ancha card, we have been using PassageWeather.com, Buoyweather.com, and a few GRIB files along with listening to Gary on the Sonrisa Ham radio net each morning to help make our weather decisions. But in truth, I think we could have just flipped a coin - heads we leave the anchorage and tails we stay in the anchorage for another day. Today's coin toss was heads, so off we go. But seriously, both our observations and the weather sites are all calling for the afternoon peak wind between 4-6PM each day. So by planning the majority of this 50 mile run to be at night, when the winds should be at their calmest, we hope to avoid the bash and take an easy motor. Will it work? Well we are about to find out tonight. If it doesn't work, it will be my fault just like the rest of this trip, as Lori has been reminding me. And each time she does, I tell here I'll gladly turn around and head back to La Paz for the summer!
07/31/2012, Bahia Asuncion Resting and Waiting on the Weather
At 1715hrs yesterday afternoon the crew of SV THIRD DAY became New-bies once again when the GPS trip odometer that's been adding up our cruise mileage flipped from 9999 nautical miles back to 0000. In many ways it's fitting because the longer we have been out here and the more we do, the greener we feel and the more we have to learn. Listen cautiously to the second season cruising experts that know everything, because in a few more year they might figure out just in fact how little they know about Mexico, Cruising and life afloat in general.
In the last two weeks before we left La Paz, I was treated to some expert dissertations:
One on San Blas, Nayarit by someone who was there 3 days. (we have spent more than 6 months there) I didn't have the heart to tell them that I was once voted Mayor of San Blas, before the impeachment proceedings by Capt Norm...:)
Another on summering aboard in Mexico and the services up in the Bay of Los Angeles by a cruiser that spent his first summer plugged into a marina slip under two air conditioning units and has never BEEN to the Bay of Los Angeles. Buy hey, he knew all about it and before I could mention that I spent two summers there, he told me all I needed to decided, as he did, to never go there. "Why would I", he said, "there are no marina in the Bay of Los Angeles. (and lets hope there NEVER are or the place will be ruined)
And then for the grand finale, I was lectured on where I could find the best Tacos in Mexico...!@@#%%??! I do mean lectured because when I tried to question the expert about why they only went to sit down restaurants compared to Taco Carts, I knew I was better off to just shut up when I was told, "because the poor locals eat at those carts, they can't afford the good food in the sit down restaurants"! Oh, those "poor locals", what do they know about good Mexican food, why didn't I think of that.
I was thinking about all the experts last night as the bowsprit of our boat that stands 8ft above the water was completely buried under the oncoming wave. The experts told me everything I needed to know about how to do the Baja Bash, except for one thing...they haven't done one themselves or have taken the more "delivery approach" damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead due to a schedule. The bash is a different animal when you have time to wait out the weather....as we are doing now!
Speaking of Bash...yesterday had it all. Flat calm motor sailing followed by 25-30kts of kicking your rear end conditions right on the nose. Was it the worst conditions we have been in? No - but it also wasn't fun. Was it terrifying? No - not really we always felt safe, just uncomfortable. In fact, I slept through the worst of it last night down below in the lower salon. Amy and Jason shared the first evening watch, followed by Lori and by the time I came up on deck the weather had calmed....I missed all the "Fun" I was told.
Here's a photo of the Yellow Tail we landed yesterday that will be dinner tonight.
When the weather gets rough, Cortez heads to his favorite hide-e-hole.
We just pulled down the latest weather reports and the fleet voted to stay here for another day to rest. So unless something changes, we will stay here tomorrow and perhaps leave for Turtle Bay Wednesday night at 10PM. So tomorrow we will launch the dingy and go find a taco in town...and you know us...it will be at a Taco Cart where the "poor locals" eat..ha ha ha.
|Baja Bash 2012||