Cabo San Lucas to La Paz

 

December 9 – 11: Three of the four buddy boats departed Cabo early for a 9 hour run to Los Frailles, it was suppose to have been a light wind day according to passage weather reports. Hah! We bashed into 25 knots of northerly headwind and 6 foot seas on the nose, very wet and bouncy for about 7 hours. We tried falling off 20 degrees but it didn’t make any difference, the waves and wind followed us from point to point.
We watched Anjuli taking it across the nose, at times her bow disappeared downward into the waves and the stern rose skyward so we could nearly see into their cockpit. We were doing the same. I forgot to remove the espresso maker from the gimbaling stove and heard it crash onto the floor. It was  a silver bullet, flying through the cabin throwing coffee and grounds everywhere. What a mess that was to clean up! We dropped anchor in beautiful Los Frailles up against the 764′ tall mountain, a nice north wind shelter and had a wonderful peaceful evening.
We upped anchor the next day and with the forecast calling for nice easy winds, we decided it was probably lying and made the 24 hour run straight to LaPaz bypassing Los Muertos where Anjuli and Yare chose to anchor for another night.image

The forecast was correct, it was a long motor ride but worth the effort to go early. We caught a following 2.0 knot current through the 27 nm Cerralvo channel around 11:00 p.m. A moonless evening but very few fishing pangas to deal with.
Passing through Lorenzo Channel at 5:00 a.m. was very interesting. A narrow, shallow channel that is only 3/4 mile wide between the 2 buoys and 45′ deep with shoals and rocks too close for comfort in the very dark morning. A beam swell and 15 knot headwind made for another bouncy ride for about 2 hours as we waited for the sun to peek over the mountains so we could motor through LaPaz channel where a comfy marina was awaiting our arrival.

We are so happy to be here! Fast wifi, hot showers with real knobs. Mega grocery store to replenish our green foods. We were down to wilted celery, 5 carrots, a few potatoes and 6 eggs to go with 4 flour tortillas, all leftover purchases from November 28, Turtle Bay to accompany our fresh, 10 pound Dorado.  Feel sorry for us?image

I can see why cruisers get sucked into staying in the Sea of Cortez for years. It’s beautiful here with warm sunny days, cool evenings, cheap food and entertainment. We purchased juicy red strawberries from a street vendor, a real treat in December! Limons (baby limes) are 50 Cents for 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds), lots of wonderful cocktails.  There is a very large expat community about 45 minutes from here, mostly Hood River, Oregonians! Apparently they come here for the kite boarding.

John and I will be tied up in the marina through Christmas so if you have time, come on down and stay with us.  Our buddy boats are here, we’ll soon be going our separate ways though, we hope to anchor with them somewhere in the islands.
Not sure of our next destination or when, just North to the islands to snorkel and sightsee, anchor in bright blue water and white sand.

 

Hey Chuck, Shalline & Woodhouse!

Santa Maria Bay to Mag Bay – 20 NM, Dec 3rd
All four sailboats departed Santa Maria, sailing off the hook, easy day sail to Mag Bay dragging our hand fishing lines. Sailed for a couple of hours til the wind died. Started the motor giving us a better chance of hooking a fish. I stared at the line and rubbery squid thing with a big hook for nearly 2 hours. Right outside of Magdalena Bay entrance, I saw a blue-green flash near the hook. I couldn’t believe my eyes when sure enough it grabbed the plastic squid. “John, John, we got a fish!! Get the net, grab the line, stop the boat!” The poor fish was swimming behind us from right of the boat to far left trying to get away. I felt instant pity for him but I didn’t want to let him go either. The beautiful creature was like turquoise jewelry, bright blue and green, then turned a bright yellow back to green. Fascinating!
I radioed Anjuli and asked if we should drag it for a while to tire him out. They were watching the entrance and several fishing pangas in our path, giving us instructions on landing the fish. John slowly started to pull him in, little bit at a time. I grabbed the net and leaned over the railing to scoop him out of the water. I was not prepared for his weight and the strain on my back, Ugh! John helped me pull him into the boat. That’s when the poor fish went beserk! Thrashing about, flopping up and down, sending scales and slime everywhere – all over us, too. I was smart though, just before we pulled him in, I had stripped down to my underwear and t-shirt, John managed to get one tennis shoe off. So there we were; with a bleeding, thrashing giant fish in the cockpit,tangled in the net and line, bonking him on the head with a winch handle, trying to hand steer the boat through a maze of fishing pangas while cleaning the fish and keeping the chaos to a minimum. By the time we were done cleaning the fish, cockpit and ourselves, nearly 45 minutes had passed. In all the excitement, we forgot to weigh or measure it AND didn’t get a darn picture. We know it spanned the cockpit from the diagonal corner to the other, that’s 43 inches. Later after we anchored, Dan and Tammy from SV Anjuli came over to help fillet the fish and by their estimate we had a nice 15 – 20 pound Dorado. We had delicious fish tacos with all 10 people aboard Konami, huddled around our little dinette table. First, fantastic Dorado fish tale for our cruising journal! Thanks for the fishing gear, good friends!

Kick Ass Ride Out of Turtle Bay

Nov 21 – Dec 1. We were ready to blow out of Turtle Bay, 7 days was a little longer than we anticipated but 2 days recuperating from the flu bug and winds kept us anchored 5 of the 7 days. Good forecast for a 2 night 3 day passage to Magdalena Bay, 245 nautical miles (nm). Easy sail, nope. Four boats left out, slow sailing in light winds til noonish, set the drifter(large nylon sail-very sassy party dress) and headed west. By evening the winds picked up to a fresh breeze, dropped the drifter and sat back to enjoy a long easy tack. By 9:00 p.m., we were out in the lead right into 20 – 25 knots of wind, gusting 30 kts with 1 reef in the mail and full yankee, caught us totally off guard. Big square seas 8 X 8’s, white foamy waves spraying across the cockpit drenching us and the instrument panel, just pure joyous flying across the waves. 7.7 – 7.9 – 8.3 knots of sustained boat speed through the water! Wowow, Dave K., good job on the rudder fairing! No surfing, the trough disappeared, the waves became less than 5 seconds apart. Managed to get a 2nd reef in, furled the yankee to a small triangle and peeled off the miles to Mag Bay. By morning the other boats reported in with sick kids and crew, tired and done with the rough rolly seas. We weren’t, we were jazzed and hungry! We made good time, tried fishing the second night out in dead winds, reluctantly turned on the engine at 4:00 a.m., and we all headed to Santa Maria Bay, 10 miles short of Mag Bay but spectacularly rugged, warm and enjoyed gunkholing the Baja coastline. Only one large escapee avocado managed to turn itself into guacamole and proceeded to smear brown goo across the cabin sole. We just finished finding the last bits of it today (Dec 5)hiding in cracks and clothing. sailing hours: 47 hours 13 min (90% on one tack, – heading) engine hrs: 5 hrs 20 min.