Onward From Turtle Bay
Our job of resting and refueling in Turtle Bay was accomplished. It was, as we were told by numerous sailors, a peaceful place to regroup. Since we had no official documentation for our presence on land we decided to stay onboard Gypsy until we got to Cabo San Lucus. We planned on being on the boat non-stop for one month so we had plenty of food and could make water. The locals came to us with diesel for refueling. Gypsy is our traveling home and there was no essential need to go ashore. We read, did some cleaning, and waited for the next good weather window to travel.
The task of getting our permits to stay here in Mexico was now first and foremost on our minds. Paperwork to stay in Mexico legally, as with any visit to a foreign country, is a process. Bob thought about doing this before we left the States but in the end decided we probably wouldn’t need it. So much for probabilities. Cabo San Lucas was the closest port to accomplish this. It would be a three day trip there if we motored non-stop. We agreed it would be best to break the trip up into two legs. Magdelena Bay would be our stopover harbor.
Our two day trip to Magdelena Bay was fairly uneventful. We did spend some time one night navigating through thunder clouds but nothing too bad, just enough for us to practice the drill of putting all our electronics into Faraday-like cages - the oven and the microwave. This precaution is recommended in order to preserve their function if the boat is struck by lightening.
The lead up to the unstable sky that evening was seen as the day drew down. Billowy cumulous clouds were scattered throughout the sky and the Pacific was glassy flat, no wind waves but only a slight undulating roll from the periodic swell. The sun shimmered on surface ripples as it poked its rays through the intermittent but growing clouds. It looked like nothing was out there, like the Eastern plains of Montana. It was flat and wide open. At this particular time not much life was seen above the water but an occasional bird. Instead of deer and antelope wandering through the landscape, we had a few dolphins, jumping fish and spouting whales. Tiny islands of wandering kelp harbored seagulls, shearwaters and an albatross or two. The peacefulness and wonder of it, as in the prairie, was soul nourishing. The sunset was spectacular due to the cloud formations and included an amazing bright green flash right as the sun escaped below the horizon.
Magdelena Bay is home to the Gray Whale during its reproductive season. On our arrival into the Bay at dawn we were not alone. Numerous small, local, panga boats were moving about. With a closer look we could see they were whale watching boats clustered around several spouting whales. We navigated through the area enjoying a little whale watching ourselves while looking over our anchorage options. In the end, due to the predicted wind direction and our desire to not have to check in with the authorities just yet, we decided to go north to Santa Maria Bay. It would add a bit more time on the second leg of this trip to Cabo but we decided a good night sleep was worth it.
Santa Maria Bay gave us two protected and peaceful nights. This is another popular respite place for boaters traveling up and down the Pacific side of the Baja Peninsula. That being said there were only three boats, including Gypsy, anchored here at this time. There are no services. We would need a bit more fuel to get us the rest of the way. In between rain showers we transferred our 40 gallons of stored fuel from the jerry cans that had been strapped on the deck into the tanks. Good to go!
We departed just before sunrise and with the help of some very calm waters for most of the 30 hour trip we successfully made it to the tip of Baja at a reasonable hour for checking into Marina Cabo San Lucas. We left the Gray whales behind in Mag Bay but found the Humpback whales in full grandeur in the more southern waters outside of Cabo. They provided entertainment as we waited our turn to enter the harbor. Two large cruise ships passed us on the way along the coast. In the end only one entered the harbor. The other motored back out to sea. I wondered if health concerns were the reason for its turnabout. Over the next two days a couple cruise ships came and went and then there were none. They were the last to be seen here in Cabo.