by San Diego, hello Turtle Bay
17 November 2012 | Bahia de Tortugas
Michael / Sunny
We had a wonderful stay in San Diego of about 3 weeks. Lots of car rides were generously offered for our provisioning and great meals off the boat. So many people have been so supportive in assisting us on our way. But the ones that compel me to make special note of, are my sister and brother in law Sharon and Glenn from Oregon, who helped us from the planning stage two years ago with this entire journey and at the end, traveled considerable distances to see us off both at the Oregon coast and in San Diego. Also are the Robertson Textiles Girls, Gini, Jane, Peggy, and Pat, also Greg and River now living in San Diego. The list of blessings are numerous but it will have to suffice for now to say that Gini threw us a fabulous fair well party at the Wine Lovers Bar in the Hillcrest area of San Diego which is owned by her two handsome sons.
We were excited to see our crew arrive, Harry and Linda, our experienced sailing friends from Portland. So we pulled away from the dock to join a flotilla parade of a hundred and thirty or so other sail boats. We motored under sail out toward the starting line past camera crews and a fire boat shooting several geysers of water into the sky. The start began and the ocean was covered with sails for several hours.
By darkness at the end of the first day out, the sail boats were spread far and wide. By dark at the end of the third day there were only a few in eye sight and a few more on radar. We and caught and filleted our first Yellow Fin Tuna (29") which made a great dinner at sea that night. The rest went into the freezer.
The morning of the fourth day we crossed the finish line for the first leg of the race at 3:00AM and by daylight we were more than a little pleased to see our first sighting of land since San Diego. The highlight for all of us was when Desert Vision ran along with many hundreds of Dolphins surrounding her and playing under her bow for about an hour. There is something very spiritual about so much attention from these highly intelligent and playful mammals.
We pulled into Turtle Bay by 10:00 am and though we were exhausted we completed showers, chores and hailed a Panga to take us ashore to explore the town. The sights were awesome and portrayed a rather simple and poor but happy and lovely people. This sailboat race is a big event and a source of income for the small village and an annual celebration that most of them have grown up with and looked forward to each year over the last 20 years. We slept like the dead that night for eleven and a half hours.
The second and last day in Turtle Bay was the beach party for the Ha Ha'ers, also attended by the locals who both drove and walked around the bay from town to a beach with simple structures built from Ha Ha funds. Candy and prizes were handed out to adorable wide eyed children while their parents displayed and sold their crafts and food from makeshift stands and observed the craziness of the party.
It is our last night of sound sleep before we begin the second leg of the race at 7:00 am tomorrow so I am saying good night to all of you until the next anchorage.