Leaving Mag Bay at Night
25 June 2006 | Mag Bay, Baja CA
After spending a few days in Bajia de Tortuga, I sailed further south to Bajia de Magdalena (such a beautiful name). On entering the Bay in the late afternoon, winds were running 22 knots out of the NNW and I anchored with good shelter at at Man of War Cove near the town of Magdalena, a tiny fishing village. After a day or two there and an afternoon spent drinking beer with the port captain, I left at midnight to arrive at Cabo San Lucas at dawn a day or so later, when the seas are typically less rough at the adjacent Cabo Falso. This photo is about finding the channel out of the large Bay in the black of night using a GPS chartplotter, paper charts, radar and nightvision binoculars -- believable in reverse order. Raw visual checks on just the two channel lights alone can be somewhat misleading because one is located too far back inland; the other, too far out toward the channel. You cannot always just split the difference and go that route with channels. You need to know more. Often, I just let another boat of noteworthy draft go first where that is possible. A few years back a cruiser died here when his boat ran a ground and he sustained a head injury killing him as he tried to free his vessel. The sea is harsh on people who err; problems compound quickly. But the sea is also free of human foibles as well, and that makes it a neutral challenge.