08 May 2012 | Bahia Magdelena
It was a bitter sweet day departing the warm, clear waters of Cabo San Lucas and heading up the outside of Baja California Sur towards home. Although we’ve enjoyed this nomadic life that includes soaking in the sunshine and exploring new areas, both of us have missed home and are looking forward to the conveniences of living on land again and being with family and friends.
The winds were forecast to be in the teens from the Northwest with waves from the Southwest or in other words a bit topsy-turvy but typical for this time of year. We’ve heard over and over to expect the first 10-15 miles of the trip to be hard going but once past Cape Falso things tend to smooth out some. Okay then, I can psych myself up for that—10-15 miles bashing into waves for us can mean going an average of 3 knots which means that portion of the trip might take us up to 5 hours, not pleasant to look forward to but doable. We rounded the cape in fairly flat seas and for the first 20 miles things were not hard at all so I breathed a sigh of relief…bad move! We hit a rough patch with a little squall and winds increasing at times with gusts up to 30 knots and although not pleasant, it still wasn’t as bad as the trip we had from Cabo to Los Frailes so I sighed in relief again….again, bad move because then the lightning started. Now, ordinarily I love lightning storms, of course that is when I am on land all cozy on the front porch enjoying the show and am nowhere near being the tallest point within a yard let alone 20 or more miles. None of the websites we monitor for weather had any predication of storms so this was definitely unexpected and unfortunately this leg of the trip has no options for ducking out of a storm for 170 miles so you grin and bear it or in my case curl up in the corner of the cockpit and go silent. As the storm got closer and lightning was both behind and in front of us, Kevin took our electronics and put them in the oven…a tip we’d read may help save them if the boat is ever struck. Luckily, we only saw a few strikes in front of us and then watched as the activity moved further away to the south and west but this time we knew better than to sigh at all!
Other than the lightning storm everything else was fairly easy and we made it into Bahia Magdelena in good time at an average of 5+ knots, not bad for bashing.
As we entered the bay, we noticed the smell of what we thought was fish; the shore seemed to be red and the waters brackish which wasn’t the case when we were here in November. As we were anchoring Kevin noticed what he thought was shrimp in the water and we wondered if that was what we saw on shore as well and sure enough when we took the dinghy to shore we saw the critters washed up on the beach most dead and the cause of the smell, some were still moving, and there must have been millions of them…yuk. One of the locals told us they are langusta (not sure about the spelling) and appear annually in April and May. He said they are not good for human consumption but that fish love them. I don’t think they love them enough though or there aren’t enough fish to eat them as there is a whole lot of fish food wasted on the beach.
Because the predominate winds are still coming from the northwest and there are some protected anchorages for winds from that direction in the next 250 or so miles we get to day hop for the next week to ten days. That will be a welcome change from the trip down in which we made the trip from San Diego to Cabo in three long passages.