28 June 2011 | Bahia Algodones
(note, I'm now back in a marina, my first chance to be on the internet in a while, and i've logged into sailblogs to see that several of my posts via satellite did not get posted on the blog. I will try to do better...obviously my programming skills are, err, ummm...nonexistent.... meantime, I'll upload a few manually)
Since leaving the marina in San Carlos, we've had a few really fantastic days of adventuring. It's Sunday morning and I'm coming off of Saturday's high of sailing anchorage to anchorage (a first for us); being able to maintain sail at 30 degrees (amazing for the TugTub); catching my first fish in the Sea of Cortez (a tuna); and even dropping anchor under sail (another first for us).
On Thursday, we were really excited to hear the weather predictions for our sail from San Carlos up north to Bahia San Pedro. It's a short trip and the winds were predicted to be about 15 -20 from the South- Southeast We thought we'd have a fast flight. We got out past some really big waves and surge, only to find that within 30 minutes or so, the wind machine completely turned off. Wind died to less than 5 knots, and we ended up motoring.
Paul had talked with a guy in the marina who described having to use the stern anchor at this anchorage because the wind came from one direction while the swells came in from another. Sure enough, when we pulled into the Bay, the only other boat had two anchors out. This was our first chance to get the stern anchor dirty. We tried hailing the other boat to see what they knew, but there was no answer. We set out the bow anchor, then lowered the dinghy (and the motor) so that Paul could go ask the other boat what they had out and what their experience had been at this anchorage.
We ended up setting up bow and stern anchor twice until we got the boat secured at the right angle and sufficient distance from a rock wall. Very Good practice!
Later the folks in the other boat came by in their dinghy. In my last blog entry I had mentioned the variability of the winds here in the sea - case in point, our winds totally died on the way to this Bay, while this couple, coming south from a northern anchorage that was also about 15NM away, got totally hammered with 35 knots of wind!! I couldn't believe it...neither could they! Turns out they had been cruising all over the world for about 10 years. They got hit with this huge amount of wind, and then when they went to turn the motor on to anchor, they had a problem with the engine. They had to anchor with no motor, and had earlier had a problem with their lazy jacks in the high wind, so their sail kind of spilled all over and then they had to deal with putting it away properly in the heat of the anchorage.
That night we enjoyed a very calm spot, and brought the TV out to the cockpit for movie night under the stars. Bond. James Bond. The next day we had the anchorage to ourselves and explored via dinghy and snorkeling. It was a big beautiful bay. The high winds had kicked up a lot of sediment, so snorkeling wasn't great visibility, but the water was amazingly warm. We got rosy cheeks snorkeling the way God and nature intended.... Instead of shoving off for another destination, we decided to stay at the anchorage and relax. Enjoyed another movie night under the stars. Forrest. Forrest Gump.
On Saturday we left our anchorage to head back to Bahia Algodones. This time we lucked out, we sailed out toward an island enjoying at 15 knots at 70 - 90 degrees, and we thought that would be the only sailing we'd be able to do for the day. But, when we tacked south toward our destination, we were actually able to continue sailing the whole way, anchorage to anchorage - A First for us!!
To top it off, we were able to sail at about 30 degrees! We had thought the Tug Tub wouldn't sail that close to the wind, but voila! Even though the wind started dying, we were able to continue at good speed. And then.... I caught a fish! After hauling out our HUGE catch (see documentation attached of the colaaassssal catch) and re securing the decks, we cruised into the anchorage at a verrry broad reach. Winds had died to 5knots or so, but we hung in there....and then with Paul's encouragement - cajoling, we dropped anchor under sail. Another first! It has been a really wonderful few days.
Adios for now,