Travels of Girl Four

03 December 2013 | The Sea of Cortez
30 November 2013 | La Paz, Baja California, Mexico
27 November 2013 | La Paz, Baja California, Mexico
26 November 2013 | La Paz, Baja California, Mexico
25 November 2013 | La Paz, Baja California, Mexico

Something You Don't Want to See

03 December 2013 | The Sea of Cortez
We finally escaped the gentle clutches of La Paz (which is something of a feat given the number of cruising sailors who end their voyaging there) and crossed, in an overnight sail, the Sea of Cortez to Topolobampo on the Mexican mainland. Strong winter season winds in the Sea had closed the window for quite some time, so we took off as soon as those winds abated. For our trouble we were rewarded with an absolutely placid sea for our night crossing. Only one problem: the night was dark, with no moon at all, and our AIS instrumentation showed something really big following exactly in our track - the ship/car ferry also heading to Topolobampo! Needless to say, we got out of his way as he powered by us with four times our speed!

Thanksgiving and Aftermath

30 November 2013 | La Paz, Baja California, Mexico
1014 mbr pressure, 11 kt north wind, 78 deg air, 77 deg water
Cruisers, as we have experienced it, need little excuse to have a get-together: coffee in the morning at the "clubhouse"; cards with the ladies in the afternoon; a stop for a beer along the malecon; dinner in the evening with friends; cocktails and long conversations in the cockpit at night. However the biggest get-together we've seen so far is Thanksgiving dinner on the porch of our marina. Somehow, someway, with all these people, a full Thanksgiving feast is served, with nothing missing. And many of the cruisers are not Americans. Two days later we are still full.

A Walk on the Malecon

27 November 2013 | La Paz, Baja California, Mexico
1010 mbr pressure, 12 kt north wind; 78 deg air, 78 deg water
I have been kept busy since we arrived here, with lists of investigations, repairs, and improvements on the boat. Today I took a break in the middle of the day and walked with Emily into town, where she was going to play cards. (Cruisers have an infinity of avocations when their boats are securely anchored or in the marina.) La Paz lies on a large natural harbor, marked by the malecon, which borders the harbor and features dozens of restaurants, bars, shops, and hotels. Of the bars and restaurants, we have our favorites; some establishments are nearly empty, others near to full. As the late afternoon and evening goes on, it seems as though the whole population of the town is out, to enjoy the cooling air, spend time with friends, and take a little walk.

Winds in the Sea

26 November 2013 | La Paz, Baja California, Mexico
1013 mbr pressure, 14 kts north wind, 77 deg air, 78 deg water
Today is a day for wind. The winds outside La Paz harbor have stirred the water to a sea of whitecaps and waves. Nobody is entering or exiting the channel, and boats anchored in the harbor are in danger of dragging. At night the whistling of the winds through the rigging of our boat reminds us how lucky we are to be in this place. We had planned to stay here at least through the Thanksgiving holiday, but beyond that the sea will dictate. We are now entering the season of "northers", strong lows from the western United States which are periodically funneled into the Gulf of California, with accompanying strong north winds. We watch the weather models and hear the forecasts on our radio, but the fact remains that we will be vulnerable for the time of our crossing the Sea of Cortez to mainland Mexico. Meanwhile we enjoy our cozy shelter.

Chillin' in La Paz

25 November 2013 | La Paz, Baja California, Mexico
1016 mbr pressure, 14 kts north wind, 80 deg air, 78 deg water
After we concluded the Baha Haha festivities in Cabo San Lucas, we went a short way up the coast to San Jose' del Cabo and its quiet marina. While there we collected ourselves and prepared for the next leg of our voyage - the sail to La Paz. On the day we left, the weatherman promised light winds and good conditions. However, once free of the marina and out in the open ocean it was anything but "light" and "good." Thankfuily at least, the winds were westerly, pushing us where we wanted to go. We sailed downwind with only a reduced main set. On the way we monitored the VHF and heard of many fellow cruisers turning around, seeking shelter, and trying to enter crowded anchorages or non-existent marinas.

As we turned the corner of the peninsula, gained ground up the coast, and entered the evening, the conditions abated and we were again dependent on our motor. There are only two good anchorages on the way to La Paz; the first was filled and the second came too late in the night to chance. So we kept on, standing watches, checking the chart plotter, and gaining ground to La Paz. By the time dawn began to arrive, we were well down the San Lorenzo Channel, with the steamship-size car ferry from mainland Mexico hot on our tail. In the end, we actually had to stay outside the approach to La Paz until the dawn lit the skies and we could enter the narrow access route. Thankfully Emily had reserved a slip in Marina Palmar for us (where we stayed last year), and nothing felt better to slide into it and tie up - concerns gone.
Vessel Name: Girl Four
Vessel Make/Model: 2002 Beneteau 473, 2-cabin, deep keel
Hailing Port: Seattle, Washington
Crew: Tom and Emily Martinez
About: Tom is a retired construction executive and consultant; Emily is a retired registered nurse. Our three grown children live in Seattle, Santa Monica and New York. Girl Four is our fourth girl!
We bought our boat in San Diego at the end of October 2012. Over the winter we concentrated on repairs, safety outfitting, and rigging for ease of handling - as well as making the boat our own. In the spring of 2013 we sailed Girl Four down the Baja coast to Cabo San Lucas, and continued into the [...]
Girl Four's Photos - Main
Los Mochis, El Fuerte, Copper Canyon, Creel and Chihuahua
No Photos
Created 24 December 2013
Albums of photos taken off and on Girl Four
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Created 25 November 2013