Nov 21 (playing catch up)
03 December 2011 | Turtle Bay
Another long journey on the quest for sunshine, this one from Ensenada to Port San Bartolome, also known as Bahia de Tortugas or Turtle Bay. Evidently at one time the bay was filled with turtles but due to over harvesting but now sadly it could be called No Bahia de Tortugas.
This leg was about 300 miles which meant that to arrive in the daylight we needed to leave Ensenada at noon on Saturday, Nov 19. The skies were cloudy but cleared as the sun went down. Due to little wind we wound up motoring through the night. As day broke the clouds returned. Where is that sunshine we’ve heard so much about? We have yet to find it for any length of time! We were making good progress motoring so when the winds picked up Sunday evening we decided to go ahead and sail even though it meant going slower than motoring. The clouds disappeared and the evening stars were bright. By far this wound up being the longest sailing during a leg we’ve had—it was also the first time I’ve sailed by myself for any length of time with Kevin down below trying to get some sleep. It is no secret to him that although I love being on the water and enjoy sailing I am not overly confident when it comes to being the one, and only one sailing. The times that I might be considered a bit ‘testy’ are when I’m not comfortable which makes it hard to put myself into uncomfortable situations… for both of us. I think he may have been as nervous about it as I was given that he popped his head up about every hour to check on me. I was doing fine ;-). It is hard enough to get enough sleep during the overnight trips but poor Kevin really didn’t get much sleep that night.
When he came up for his shift at 6:00am I suggested he get his rain gear on as I was watching some squalls on the radar moving close to us from both sides. It looked like it was pouring all around us but somehow we managed to avoid too much of a drenching. After a few minutes the sun peaked out and there was a nice full rainbow off our stern (above picture). The waves became steep and coming from every which way, nothing dangerous just uncomfortable. I kept thinking of the jingle for toddler toys ‘Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down’ and pictured us in a great big bathtub bobbing all over the place. I was confident that nothing would happen but if it did just like the weebles we’d always pop back up.
As we got closer to land dolphins came out to greet us. It is interesting to watch as it seems as if one of them spies the boat and then calls his friends and says, ‘Come on everyone, KIST is here, let’s see if she wants to play’ and of course we do! They dart around the boat and seem to love to race just ahead of the bow playing in the wake. It is always a favorite part of my day when they join us.
Turtle Bay is supposed to be protected from the north winds but was blowing 15-18 knots. We anchored at about 1:00pm but left exploring the town for the next day. We were tired, the bay was choppy which would have meant a wet dinghy ride, and we wanted to make sure we were anchored securely. It was an early dinner and to bed by 6:00pm. You may be wondering what the fun is in overnight trips, bone tired when you arrive so you go to bed by 6:00—at about this point we were wondering the same thing.
The following morning we were greeted by Miguel who ventured out in the wind on his kayak to enquire if we had any garbage to go ashore. He also asked if we had any coffee which I thought he meant for trade but it became obvious he meant to come aboard and have a cup of joe with us. After bartering (not very well probably) for the price for the garbage pickup I invited him on board. Wow, was he skilled at knowing what cruisers are suckers for; he mentioned it was his birthday, he mentioned his kids, he mentioned he is a chef, he mentioned he can be a kayak guide, and he mentioned the school. After about an hour of trying to talk—he in fairly good English, me in very bad Spanish—I wasn’t sure how to conclude. I told him we were getting ready to go into town for breakfast and needed to get going. At that point he asked if we had a birthday present for him, if we had some small items for his kids, tinned meat, magazines for the school, the only thing he left out was whether we needed a chef or kayak guide but as luck would have it, he would show us where the restaurant is. I told him we would find it just fine and thought that was that. When we got into shore and started walking up the beach Miguel appeared. Kevin helped him move his kayak up the beach and he proceeded to walk with us to show us where the restaurant was. I thought he was just going to point it out and continue about his day but evidently we were his day. He walked into the restaurant and sat down at the table with us. I’m sure this is common as the waitress brought just two menus and table settings and it seemed like Miguel was waiting for us to invite him to eat with us. I’m fairly certain if we had breakfast would have been on us. After about 10 minutes he decided he needed to go home and that was the last we saw of Miguel. I’m not trying to paint a bad picture, all of this was with a smile, and at some point I wondered if it was his birthday everyday that sucker cruisers are there but decided it was ok. He earned some money and we had got a good Spanish lesson! After walking through the dusty town, it was clear how little money these people have. I’m sure that cruisers are a big part of their livelihood and we were happy to contribute.