Long Strange Trip its been
29 October 2012 | Rounding Cape Baja
No wind, following sea
Left Ensenada this morning at 9:30am under full sail and a beam reach doing 6 to 7 knots. Winds are increasing and as we turned south we dropped the headsail and put 2 reefs in the main. It's blowing 35 with gusts to 40. We are still moving at 8 to 9 knots and surfing 20 footers at 13 knots. Seas are angry and Otis can't handle the sometimes 15 to 18 foot following seas. The waves have no real direction and steering is difficult. Gonna be a long night. Finally had to drop the main and put up the staysail. Winds are blowing too hard and we need to slow the boat down. Even with the staysail up we are doing 7 knots. We have been pooped at least a dozen times. Usually on the aft quarter but sometimes right off the stern. Mike noticed that the bilge was full of water. Can't see were the water is coming from. I checked all the seacocks and made sure none were broke and the ones that are supposed to be closed are closed. Checked the prop shaft and all is well there too. The bilge pump was switched off so I turned it on and pumped the water out. Since then we haven't been taking on any water. We have decided to turn into shore and anchor at Punta San Carlos about 25 miles away. We got there just before dark and the wind in the cove is only 10 or so knots. Dropped anchor in a depth of 25 feet and about 1000 yards off the little fishing village. We need a hot meal and some rest. Steering in 2 hour shifts under those conditions has made us both sore and tired. Mike fixed hotdogs and heated up the old mac and cheese.
Slept good until 4:00am when the wind shifted and started blowing hard. It's now 9:30am and it's been blowing a steady 50 knots from the southeast. Broke the anchor snubber and had to jimmy rig a new one so we don't pull the windlass and the whole bow off the boat. The delta is holding and we just need to wait the wind out. I am glad we are so far from shore. We got some scattered weather reports on the SSB that says the wind will die tonight and tomorrow. No coverage with cell phones or air card. We plan to get out of here if the wind dies to 30 knot or less. It's now 10:30 and it's still blowing 50 knots with gusts to 60 knots. Got the satellite radio going with the Bose. Got the San Diego weather report that says the high pressure system is moving in with Santa Ana conditions. We may be stuck here for another day unless it settles down this evening. In the last hour the barometer has changes from 1015 to 1010 and the temp is 85 degrees.
Winds finally died to about 15 knots at 1:30pm. Left as soon as we could. Conditions only improved from there. We finally had 10 to 15 knots on a broad reach doing about 7 knots. This lasted most of the night. The moon was almost full and we were able to split the watches 3 hour on 3 hours off.
The course was to Cedros Island about 70 miles away. Isla Cedros rose in the night and we were splitting the passage way between Cedros and Isla Natividad by dawn on Saturday. We continued to have fair winds and a nice following sea. I caught my first fish (skip Jack I think) just outside of Turtle bay. Todays plan is to continue along the coast past Mag bay, past Cabo San Lucas and on to Los Frelies. We added two cans of gas today and straightened up the boat. Busy work to pass the time away. Mike's duffel bag bumped the Engel cooler and everything is frozen. Temperature outside is 77 degrees and inside 84. Wind is from the southeast at 11 knots. Beautiful day. Just had a nice shower (works great). Saw our second whale outside of the entrance to Turtle bay. This evening Mikie made black beans and trice for dinner at about 6:00pm. Caught my first sport fish, a 5 or 6 pound Mahi Mahi. I got it on go-pro and released it as it was too small. We set up the computer on the companion way and watched a set of "Big Bang Theory". Mike took the first watch from 9:00pm to 1:00AM. The seas are flat and there is no wind at all. We are moving at the speed of life, about 4.5 knots.
I took my shift at 1:00am to find another Mahi Mahi on the hand-line. This one was a lot bigger, about 4 feet long and somewhere around 15 to 20 lbs. I bleed it for about a half hour and cut it into filets. I got about 5 lbs of meat and we will try it out tomorrow. The rest of the night was quiet and lonely. I miss my Julie.
Sunrise came around the same time as it always does. Flat seas, no wind. Just as Mike got up we caught another small Mahi Mahi and let it go. We are cruising at 4.5 knot on our way to Mag Bay. We are a day behind schedule because of the Santa Anna's. We hope to make Cabo Wednesday sometime. I have decided to get a slip at Marina San Jose Del Cabo for a couple of days to rest up for the 40 hour sail to Mazatlan. Mike may decide to go home from Baja. I think he has had enough sailing for a while.
Mikie let me sleep an extra hour today. It's now 2:00am on Monday, I think. The days and nights blend together when they go from 12 hour days to 24 hour days. It was/is a full moon this Tuesday
It is my shift and somewhere around 2:am. I am the master of my destiny and the captain of my soul. Mag Bay rose and fell with the tides. As I have read in many books, it takes somewhere between 48 and 72 hours to really get your sea legs. It's one thing to sail 70 miles to Catalina never going below for very long, and another to sail 700 plus miles. It is now natural to go below for long periods of time without ill feelings. Under any conditions you get used to moving around the boat. Seems like second nature. Last night we watched Masters and Commanders and Cutthroat Island from the companion way. I went to bed around 9:30pm and awoke to the quiet sound of sailing. The wind had picked up and Mikie shut the motor off. This is just the second time we have sailed under just wind power in 650 miles. Now at 3:10am I am still under wind power sailing at almost 7 knots. We have about 96 miles to go before we are in cell phone range. Can't wait to talk to Julie. Mikie took over at 6:30 am and I went back to bed. I awoke around 9:00am. Later that morning I caught another Mahi Mahi, about a 30 pounder. I fileted it and kept about 5 lbs of meat. Mikie cooked the last of the first fish and we had hot dogs for dinner. I polished the wenches and scrubbed the decks down. Just waiting now to round the tip of Baja and head for a marina for some rest before the 40 hour crossing to Mazatlan. We hope to be in communication as we round the tip and get close to Cabo San Lucas. Can't wait to hear from Julie.
morning. Flat seas and the winds are aft. We are speeding along at 4.5 knots with 53 miles to Mag Bay. After that we turn a little further east and sail another 165 miles to the marina at San Jose Del Cabo. We should be in cell range sometime within the next 40 hours. It's really hard to be out of communications with everyone, especially my Julie. I was having bouts of stir-crazy last night and a bit today. It is a small boat on a huge pond. I get a feeling that I need to run as fast as I can. It's a little hard to do on a 38 foot boat. I have to keep myself busy in order to subdue the feelings. Lots to do on a boat. Not much happened the rest of the day. Dozed, fished, snacked, Mike made tuna sandwiches for dinner. Most of the day we motor-sailed at around 5 knots. It was hot, somewhere in the 80s.