26 January 2016 | Cabo San Lucas
Chuck/the weather is beautiful and warm. We have stripped away out offshore jackets for shorts and short sleeve shirts.
Who takes a perfectly good boat and throws it at the sea? What were we thinking? This is impossible. Deb and I and our great friend Scott Henderson have started our sailing trip to see what we can see. After we made a perfect transit from San Diego to Ensenada Mexico the thought came to me is that this would change. Light winds, small rollers of 4-5 feet we could only hope for smooth days ahead. A few days later we are heading into Bahia San Quintin Mexico after having sailed for 30 consecutive hours. There is a point of certain where a vacation becomes an adventure. My thought here is that the only difference between a vacation and an adventure is when something goes wrong it becomes an adventure. Officially this is an adventure.
Pulling into Bahia San Quintin we do not have the electronic maps on our navigation screen nor do we have a depth meter reading. We try shutting off the depth meter switch, waiting and turning it on again. Brilliant! We now have a meter that will give us at least the depth below our sailboat. We did have the sense to purchase Captain Pat Rains book on Boating Mexico. In this book there are clear instructions on the best place to anchor. Which because we had left this cruising guide in San Diego. We now are relying on memory. All is well, we found a safe anchorage, had a great dinner, but soon head off to catch up on some sleep from the last transit.
In the morning we consult with the latest information we had available on the weather conditions and find that we would be heading out ahead of a big storm with big wind and huge rollers. As we are preparing to settle down for another day in Bahia San Quintin, a fisherman pulls up to the side of our boat and states it perfect English that there would soon be huge rollers that would cover this bay, the surfers were lining up on the beach and we should consider moving on. The anchorage we were in would not be safe for us. Our only choice it seemed at the time was to head out to sea. Which at first wasn’t that bad. The 15 foot rollers we were hearing about from the Coast Guard San Diego on our VHF did not show up where we were. Later we with huge winds and following seas that resembled a freight train I yearned for my warm thoughts about staying where we were. We are headed towards Bahia Tortuga. This was our least favorite transit. We did the best to make it a safe trip, but the weather, waves and wind required full concentration all the time. We did make a good decision to head out even though the seas looked nothing like our first day. To make up for the arduous sailing we spotted several whales, and dolphins and finally seals in the bay.
All of sudden we had all of the repairs that needed to be accomplished and we headed into the village to make new friends, have lunch and find a spot for wi-fi. This was our favorite afternoon to date. After a short walk we strolled into the village school to ask if they had knowledge of where we could plug into the internet. Several students found us sitting and were eager to speak English. They soon had to go to class, but we left having made a small difference to them. We asked for a good place for lunch and found Maria’s Restaurant on the beach of the bay. Simply lovely afternoon.
The thoughts of regrets of making this trip entered our minds. Nothing is perfect during a Pacific transit during an El Nino. The weather is “usually” benign in non El Nino years. In fact we worried more about the lack of wind than what we found making this voyage. Each of us has professed to doubts about whether we could make this trip. That we have had some trouble early with weather systems, the wind generator, navigation systems and gauges not working. It has complicated things for sure, but we are figuring it out.
Leaving Bahia Asuncion today we were excited for the transit to Laguna Ignacio. As we are leaving the bay in a moment of loss of concentration we picked up some fishing lines around out huge keel in the mouth of the bay. We returned to clear the remaining lines from our keel. A nap felt better any way and tomorrow we will be in Laguna Ignacio. Scott can never say again that he hasn’t anchored under sail without the engine running. The adventure continues.
We sailed into Laguna Ignacio today and found an anchorage in the dark. At the start of this leg I was excited to get closer to the whales in this whale winter park. I wanted to see the whales up close and personal and having a whale swim 30 feet off the side of our sailboat was the closest we have been to a whale. It would have been hard not to be excited. The anchorage was way less than satisfactory, but we made it in safely and returned to the Pacific the next morning. We are on our way to Magdalena Bay.
The sail from Laguna Ignacio to Magdalena Bay was long, but the anchorage was the best we have found to date. We anchored just outside of Magdalena Bay in Bahia Santa Maria. Although the wind pipped up during the night, we did not have the rollers that have been with us. After a few really rough days of sailing it was pleasant to find a soft pillow in a quiet bay. We awoke rested and ready to make the 200 mile transit to Cabo San Lucas.
This leg we strangely did not do much sailing. The winds and sea were light. I think it shows growth that we now missed the strong winds.
Tonight we are tied up to a slip in Cabo. We enjoyed an evening out. We had been on our boat for seven consecutive days. Walking on land seemed odd. We nixed the swimming pool for hot showers and off to bed early. Tomorrow morning we are heading to La Paz. We will stop along the way a few times. We are in the Sea of Cortez.
push off time
08 January 2016
We have planned to push off from our slip in San Diego in early January. We have busied our selves with the details in feeling prepared or at least some level preparedness. We had the freezer/fridg overhauled, several fresh coats of paint applied to the bottom of Camaraderie II, several coats of stain and sealer applied to the toe rail and teak seats in the cockpit and lastly we buffed in two coats of polish to the hull and topside. If nothing else we look good... dah dah dah dah duh. We are waiting for our liferaft to arrive in San Diego.
I knew we were getting serious when we sold our Audi Convertible, but has pushed us over the line was the day that Deb brought the Christmas Trees and her Santa jammies to the Salvation Army. A long time ago a friend of ours advised me to never get between Deb and her Christmas Trees. Although there was a short conversation about how to bring a tree with on our adventure, reality has now set in. We are doing this!
The first leg of our trip will be to sail from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas. We are planning layovers in Ensenada, Turtle Bay and Magdelena Bay along the way. This time of year a huge migration of whales occurs on the California side of the Pacific. We are looking forward to visiting the birthing grounds for whales of Southern Baja and initiating our voyage into the Sea of Cortez. The water will be warmer.
24 November 2015 | San Diego, California
Deb and I have been planning to buy a sailboat with the intent of pushing off for the Caribbean Sea for 14 years. We saved, sailed when we could and looked for the right time to pull the plug and move offshore. There have been some changes. We thought we would be on the East Coast and sail the island along the "Thorny Path" until we decided to stop. We ended up on the West Coast. On a vacation we found the boat of our dreams. I thought with retirement that I would find a boat and spend time fixing what needed to be done. Our home in Colorado was already sold. We had a closing date and were planning on moving from the mountains to Denver for a few more months. Deb and I have been very capable of making good decisions quickly. After all... What were we waiting for? We adjusted our plan. In five days we cancelled renting our apartment on a golf course and moved to San Diego. Our intent is to push off the first of January 2016.
Deb is an excellent sailor. She has been sailing for over 30 years. She owned a sailboat on Lake Superior and has more overnight experience than I do with trips from Duluth, Minnesota to Isle Royale, Michigan and the Apostle Islands, Wisconsin. What she had missed in sailing she has learned over the last two years living aboard Camaraderie II. Deb's defining moment was sailing through a gale wind of 50 mph on Lake Superior. She is very
I have been sailing for 50 years. My college roommate told me he was taking a college course in sailing and I decided to take the same course. I sailed Hobie Cats and a NACRA for over 30 years on lakes in Minnesota and Colorado. I have chartered boats on Lake Superior and the BVI. I have had a couple of defining moments but the one I remember the most is sailing out of straight line winds on a lake in Minnesota. Twenty minutes after landing on shore a Tornado hit that same lake.
After moving aboard we have taken time to get to know our Beneteau 423. It is comfortable as well as a fine boat to sail. Deb and I have taken our boat out in 35 knots of wind on the Pacific Ocean and landed without incident and marriage intact.
At present we are preparing our boat for passage through the Panama Canal. We have a healthy respect for the Pacific Ocean and the weather that moves through the West Coast. Although our intent is to make Panama and pass through the Canal. We are planning on taking our time. Bad things happen on an ocean when sailors are in a hurry.
Our intent is to post pictures of our next great adventure on this blog. Enjoy!