Baja Haha day 7
04 November 2014 | Current location: Bahia Santa Maria
Baja Haha Day 7 Current location: anchored in Bahía Santa Maria
After my last update, Seán hooked a couple of fish, but they both got away. :( One was a large sailfish who gave us a real show (3 spectacular leaps out of the water), before continuing on with its life. Also in the wildlife department, Seán and I saw a pair of boobies. For those of you with questionable interpretations, these are BIRDS. For those of you who are birdwatchers: I couldn't tell whether these were blue-footed or red-footed boobies, as they had their landing gear up and stowed.
The weather continued to be rolly and windy for the rest of the day and evening, but the intrepid crew of SCOOTS had adjusted to life balanced on the surface of a beach ball, so we just rolled with it. So to speak.
As the sun set, we were still about 3 hours from crossing the finish line for this leg of the Haha. The sunset was absolutely gorgeous (I'm sorry I can't upload photos over the SSB radio. Just go with your best imagined sunset.) We spent the early evening following our course on the GPS and watching our position relative to the lighthouse on the point. It's fun, to get to use a lighthouse for its intended purpose, for a change, instead of just for a daytime photo op.
The moon was mostly obscured by clouds as we made our way toward the entrance to the bay. Some of the other cruisers had warned us that there might be some crab or lobster floats in the area, so Seán stood at the bow to keep an eye out for these prop-stoppers. There turned out not to be any near us, but it was reassuring to have Seán on bow-watch, just in case. He did get a good coating of saltwater spray in the process. Thank you, Seán.
On the way into the dark bay, Eric told us to look up at the top of the mast. A magnificent frigatebird (that's it's name, not my assessment of it) was soaring just above the top of the mast, looking like it wanted to find a perch there. For those of you who haven't seen one of these before, they're big, impressive birds; I think they look sort of like pterydactlys when they're flying.
We were the fourth sailboat arriving in the dark anchorage. Our night vision was firmly established; the moonlight, though diffused through clouds, gave us some light; and there were no underwater hazards to worry about, so it was a piece of cake. Figuring out distances to the other boats and to the shore by eye is more difficult at night, but we had our radar on, so we could tell their distances. We did have to walk back and forth on the deck to communicate each step from bow to helm, since the hand signals we usually use for anchoring aren't easy in the dark, but it was no big deal. Now we can add night anchoring to our growing list of experiences.
After we dropped anchor, Seán dropped into his bunk (who could blame him, after an hour in the wind and spray, keeping a watchful weather eye for dark crabpots floating in a dark, choppy ocean?) and Eric and I sat in the dark cockpit. About a dozen large, dark moths, about the size of my hand, floated into the cockpit one by one, and checked us out, landing on our hands and clothes, before fluttering away into the darkness.
The water in the bay was flat, and the winds were calm. It was going to be a great night for sleeping....