13 February 2024 | LaCruz Marina
01 February 2024 | San Juanico
20 January 2024 | San Quintin (no not the prison!)
16 January 2024 | ensenada
29 November 2023 | Back at Das Boat!
05 November 2023 | Back at the shop!
08 October 2023 | Chula Vista Marina
25 September 2023 | Bodega Bay
23 September 2023 | Turtle Bay, Baja!
23 September 2023 | Bodega Bay, CA
23 August 2023 | Anacortes, WA
27 December 2011 | la cruz Hunacasxle
31 January 2011 | Cockroach Hotel
Bahia Santa Maria BLISS!!!
13 February 2024 | LaCruz Marina
Hello sports fans & thank you for being patient! I finally have WIFI at a friends house...more on that later.
Since I left you last...it has been absolutely EPIC sailing conditions...ON this passage I only motored for 2 hrs the rest was epic sailing in ocean conditions of groovy big rolling waves, sea birds, dolphins, and yes…TUNA! I guess what I read in the guide was true, fishing is always good outside of Magdalena bay…and let me tell you…one after another! BZZZZZZ…reel in, BZZZZZZ another one?!?? Serious?…BZZZZZ another one….world record fishing let me tell you! Caught 3 Bonito, all returned to the depths to keep feeding, one Mahi Mahi, which I lost right at the boat…and then this Tuna you see in the pic…what a fighter! Had that bitch filleted & bagged up and in my freezer in 20 min!…(keep in mind I’m in sea conditions that you cannot set down anything without losing it!…and learnt that an old towel (wet with sea water) layer out on top of my propane locker made for a perfect fillet table!!
It was also a world record sailing day as I logged 141 nm (remember people…nm = nautical miles!) in 24 hours! Amazing! MUCH to celebrate (sans lack of sleep due to conditions). And then, the next day….buzz kill man…the high is over…reality bites. you must read on to next installment, dont want to ruin the surprise!!
Ciao for now!
freed prop, free BBQ, Happy Sailorboy!
01 February 2024
Pic is of what was caught in my prop!
As I arrived (thankfully just before dark) there are LOBSTER POTS EVERYWHERE coming in to this place…It’s like a nightmare! I’m on high alert at the helm…dodging port to starboard, even slamming into neutral several times just in case I was too close to the floats…I’m talking like 100 pots at least…It is lobster season here…go figure…god has a sick sense of humor but had me attention! 36 hours with no sleep at this point, I didn’t see the humor in it…all I can think of is anchor down, big ol drink, some food, a hot shower and BED!!! Anchor isn’t even down yet and I hear…..
“Wades Aweigh, Wades Aweigh….this is Karma…over?”
no way, the only other boat is the “kids” Heather & Liam…calling me from shore…at a big BBQ…saying “hurry up man, its a full on beach BBQ and you are now the guest of honor…GET IN HERE!” Shit…this was not part of my plan….BUT…I shake it off…take a quick shower and launch the dingy…head to shore in pitch black, land with a headlamp…Liam & some other dude in a car pick me up and drive back up to the house on the hill….it begins…
Very nice hosts, they own the restaurant I am sitting at right now, we had fish tacos, wine etc…there were some surfer dudes from the bay area, mostly all locals otherwise who none spoke english except the host…about 9pm I tapped out with eyes crossed, towed Karma in their dingy back to their boat and finished out my night with two fingers of Pendleton (neat) laying in the cockpit looking up at a fiery sky filled with the most brilliant stars you have ever seen….magic. In fact this whole trip is like a magic carpet ride. Incredible.
Next day I meet “Arturo” owner of the beer store…He shows me how to properly prepare a Tecate with lime & salt, sells me a case, 3 Indio beers and 3 cans of smoked yellowtail tuna (if I can’t catch the damn thing may as well but it) and shows me several videos on his IPHONE of his band…he plays with his 2 sons & nephew. He offers to drive me back to the beach with all my heavy cans of beer & fish, I immediately accept…4 beers and a margarita later, yes, I’m pretty happy…we sing mexican songs loudly with the windows down…of course i have no stinking idea what I’m singing but he is laughing…hard…says “Senior! I haz no ideas you are di Michael Buble! I Immediately tell him I love him and thanks for the sentiment….another carbon copy of a beautiful exciting unpredictable day!! Gotta love Mexico!
I head out tomorrow for Mag Bay, an overnighted, winds are supposed to build so I hope to sail the entire way…after all it is a SAILBOAT, not a motorboat! Under full sail, moving along, it is always like the first time, exciting, fun and magical, I will never get tired of that!
Thanks for following along!
It’s a shitstorm!!!
01 February 2024
Ok, wow, what a great breakfast! Gotta love eating outside and being warm!!
Back to the trip. I pass Hipolito, big rollers crashing in to beach, and as u just read, I’ve had just about enough of big waves and rolling for now so it was a hard pass….default #2 Abriejos (open your eyes) due to 8 different rocks and reefs that can easily fool you as the charts are not accurate here…It is said DO NOT attempt this bay in the dark!!! I took heed. Under sail all day and towards dark winds are dying again. As I’m looking to my left I suddenly see breaking waves, MILES offshore!..What the?!?? Get the image stabilizing binoc’s out…yep…that’s a freaking ROCK! SHIT! Wind is almost totally gone now, so I decide to start up ol’ trusty Kubby 2.0 and hear “THUMP THUMP THUMP!”. OMG! DRIFTING TOWARDS ROCKS, NO WIND AND NOW WHAT IN THE HELL IS IN MY PROP??? Turn on underwater lights & see I’m towing a freaking lobster pot line! Jesus! No wonder I was going so slow!
Now, imagine, drifting ever closer to rocks, no wind, no engine…300’ of water, cant anchor….what now? Well, all us offshore sailors are is problem solvers pretty much…so, I start blowing on the sail…hoping it will help a `13 ton boat move! (sarcasm). I lift up line with boat pole….pull it up as far as I can…grab my knife and cut it loose with a “TWAAAAANG!” was that a C Major 7th or B flat? Humor helps to keep from freaking right the hell out! It was just enough momentum to help me tack the boat out to sea at .75 knots…(not even 1 mph) but I was now going away, not towards danger….I got several miles of westing in before turning south again…moving along at like 1-2 knots all night…I hear bump bump bump against the hull, the floats and line that was wrapped tightly up in my prop….nothing I can do about it now but just ignore the racket…no sleep was had.
Next day, about 11am wind dies a altogether. Time to man up….been thinking about how to do it all night….I gotta go overboard and fix this problem. After rigging up several trailing lines with loops to grab just in case…and a line around my waist…Over I go (sails down of course) with all snorkel gear, wet suit, thick hood (to protect my noggin against getting crushed by the pitching boat) Knife strapped to my leg and several hail mary’s later…I see the problem…in 500’ of crystal clear Pacific Ocean there it is…3 floats and 10’ of line wrapped up tighter than a 7-11 burrito. Shit. 6 dives down later (wishing i had been practicing my breath holds months ago) it was clear….threw up on deck for a kodak moment & donated back to Davey Jones when I got moving again…gotta tell you it was a sweet sound hearing my engine run smoothly again….Thank the good lord no damage was done to the boat!! I celebrated with a cold Beer, some steak strips from last nights dinner & a huge sigh of relief!
Arrive just as sun setting once again…at San Juanico…oh, the fun is just starting!!!
chillin’ in San Juanico!!!
01 February 2024 | San Juanico
Brian Wade | Stellar!!
Before i get into where I am now, there have been 2 posts that went into the abyss over HF radio upload from boat…I am NOT going to re write them a 3rd time! So, lets get you caught up!…
Left Bonito headed to Asunción at 0600. Winds howling…I mean breakers over the bow type rough, which makes getting anchor up problematic at best…run back, power forward with engine…run forward bring in chain, flake it out in anchor locker…all while using ultimate core and balance not losing step and ending up overboard with a wave….that would just suck on any level! Half an hour later…job done and I’m out of this Hell I’ve been in for past day & half….open ocean is much safer in big winds, I immediately felt back at home…reefed mainsail and full headsail I was off the the races!…I mean pounding waves racing! It was an incredible 6 hours of sailing…We even picked up a playful juvenile seal…darting all over from side to back of the boat in my wake..got some cool vid, but cant share that here :(. winds abated mid day so I tried deploying my big asymmetrical spinnaker “Otter” which I have been (shamefully) afraid to deploy since the last time I got is so bound up I thought is was busted and took it to a rigger in Sad Diego….embarrassed, I was told it was fine….I just buggered it up when furling it back in, heavy winds…wrong angle…lesson learnt!
this time, I did it textbook…when that baby filled in I took off like a rocket! WOW! what a rush!….then….as per normal…wind dies and I crank up ol’ reliable, “kubby 2.0” and off we go to the anchorage. As a special treat, I catch TWO more Bonito, with the goodness in my heart, let them live to bite another day! (read: freezer already full and not too fond of the fish anyway).
Anchor down just at dark…sigh of relief, calm, lots of room, boy am I gonna sleep good tonight!!!!
Next day do 11,500 steps, hike to top of hill where cross is, get pics…download weather, buy a beer for the walk back, cook a steak dinner, catch up with fam & friends..call it a night. Next morning sights are set for a short 20 mile jaunt downwind to Hipolito!
My morning omelette just arrived!…Fresh dark Mexican coffee and crema…YUM! next installment in a few!!!
Crushin the seas!!!!
25 January 2024
My mighty little ship has earned her salt…what an adventurous past few days! I last left you on the way from San Quintin (no not the prison LOL!) preparing to leave for Isla Bonito…via Ranger Bank for hopefully a Dorado or Yellowfin…spoiler alert….never happened.
Left at 0600 from Quintin in route to the bank, winds favorable, timed it just right! Nice sporty 15-20 kts out of the NW by W….kinda sleigh ride, bordering on shitty unkept roller coaster ready to fall apart….off we went…forget cooking anything, leaving anything out…it will always find it’s way to the deck…usually broken or causing damage on its way to breaking. 8.5 hours later I reach the outer Ranger Bank, to rods out…cedar plug for tuna & mexican flag jig for dorado!….about 2/3 the way to end of the bank…I’m feeling like a chump….then….
BZZZZZZZZ!!! PLUS A SECOND BBBBZZZZZZZZ!!! WHAT ?
2 fish at once? well after all the drama slowing Wades Aweigh down and reeling my ass off….I landed two (tangled up with lines) Bonita….kinda looks like a barracuda, big teeth, long stealth like body…turned little one back, filleted and released the big one! No, not a Tuna or Dorado but I’ll take it! Have you ever tried to fillet a fish in big seas, on your hands an knees, slimy bloody scales while trying not to cut yourself with the knife, filling a bucket with salt water for the fillets…steering a boat and having fun all the while?.. check that box!
now that fish is on board, time to focus on running the water between the Bonita Islands, and find the anchorage….blowing 20, big swells, and oh, turned the corner and found a less than desirable unprotected anchorage (small!) but, it’s all I had. Note to self, never trust a guide that says, “good anchorage in NW winds” If you dont mind putting your hook down in ocean like conditions and praying non stop for 20 hrs for safety against meeting the rocks up close and personal during the night…I would NOT recommend!!!
SO!. go anchor down in 25’ of water and good ol’ “Greg” bit right in …..thank GOD!….I payed out another 150’ of chain to be safe & put on the snubber (a large diameter line that attaches to the chain to relieve the pressure of chain from the anchor windlass….the best of the best!)
Conditions continued to deteriorate as night fell….but, my mighty ship held fast, thanks to the “ULTRA” anchor and my badass ground tackle…sorry Howard, never gonna give up my 3/8” chain!!
I decide after watching and praying to poseidon for hours on end….it’s time to pretend to get some rest…I have been up for 32 hours without sleep!….I have an intimate talk with Wades….claiming I’ve taken care of her for 20+ years now, it’s her turn to take care of me, I strip down and climb into my bunk….all safety gear laid out at the ready….it is now 8 pm (2000 hrs)…not less than 20 min later….KABOOM!!! sounded like a friggin bomb went off, frightening….threw on all my deck lights, flew up on deck in my birthday suit and found my bridle blown to bits….are you F*7#ing kidding me?!?? so, i go into focus mode, problem solving 101…get dressed, put on shoes, you are not dragging dip shit so dont panic!!! I was incredibly calm, almost like…”i got this” attitude…with no clue what I was going to do to mitigate this shit show as chain was paying out of my locker with every breaking wave over my bow!….I run back forward with a line and chain hook, jam my foot down on the chain gypsie and tie a quick hitch on the chain….. let out the slack, not perfect but took the strain off my poor windlass.
Of course…I had to micro manage my handi work for an hour, make sure we were good, big greenies crashing over the bow, had that talk a second time with the boat, stripped off my salt encrusted rain gear and went to bed a second time…waking up every 20 min…(assuming i slept at all) to check for drag…..it was a long ass night let me tell you….OH! after the fire drill I hear my VHF chime off…”Velero en Bahia de Bonito..(repeated 3x) it was the mexican fisherman in the village calling me! wanted to know if I was ok…if I needed water or supplies…I laughed saying….I”m OK! have all I need, I am safe…thanks for checking in with me….they reply no problemo!”. then follow up with…”do you have starlink? we need to tap into your internet!”. of course that was a hard no, all I got is Iridium Sat Phone and no way I was gonna give them that password!!!
Rise at 0500, boat is right where I left her! get dressed and deal with anchor chain stuck under a big rock, took 45 min to retrieve 225’ of chain and my anchor….we both survived the mayhem…winds now a manageable 18 knots…time to fly to Turtle Bay!
San Quintin to San Islas San Benitos
20 January 2024 | San Quintin (no not the prison!)
Brian Wade | 70 during day 55 overnight
Well I was an amazing dreamy magic carpet ride down here…winds 15+ NW, both sails flying and making 6-7 knots boat speed all the way here! I actually had to tune down the boat as I was going TOO FAST (when does a sailor ever say that?) and would arrive before sun up…no bueno. So under Main alone I made 4.5 kts for the rest of trip and got here and anchor down at 1000. It’s a big open bay but calm and great holding for anchor. Past 2 days were nothing more than small boat projects, reading, weather updates, chatting up family & friends (2 bar cell signal here!!) and making great dinners!
Today I do a 128nm leg to Benitos, also…a stop along the way at Ranger Bank (Banco Ranger in espaniol) for hopefully a strike from yellow tail or dorado…need me some FISH! Will anchor in small cove by a fishing village for the night and then head to Turtle Bay on Monday…stay tuned for more interesting writing….just not much to tell as yet :)
off to the new anchorage!!!