The trip from Magdalena Bay to Cabo was a good representation of sailing in Mexico so far. Maybe it’s because the water is soooo warm or the wind gods are drinking but sailing can be hard work. The trip goes something like this.
Leave with coffee in hand, watching the sun rise in a 10 knot breeze on our beam, this is dreamy .
Life is so good!
Does this last long, well about 5 miles along the breeze picks up, and up, and up to 27+ knots. Quick reef the main and genoa , whew thats better. Not 15 minuets later wind drops back to 10 knots, shake out the reef and let out the genoa. This is only good for another 1/2 hour and wind disappears ( 2 knots ) , start the engine pull in the genoa. We have one more short sailing round in 15 knots then end up motoring for 4 to 5 hours. Here Josh settles into his favourite task , fishing.
Here fishy fishy!!!
As night falls wind returns and we have most of the evening with 20 knots on the beam, Adesso was flying at 8 to 9 knots until just before sunrise when, yes, the wind disappears and we motor into Cabo. Sail changing has been so regular we are staring to get good at it, Josh and I can raise and douse the gennaker in short order. I never thought I would regularly break a sweat cruising but I have many times on the trip down the Baja.
Once anchored in Cabo we hoped to settle in and rest. Ha, good luck on that, what seemed like hundreds of jets skis suddenly appear; like mosquitos in the evening, massive cruise ships arrive and start shuttling the throngs to the bars. We decide to escape into town for lunch hopping that the evening will be mellower, you can’t jet ski in the dark. Well peace and relaxation is not a Cabo sentiment, 5 pm Happy our starts with music on the beach. This gets louder and louder, then suddenly a stream of at least 6 floating disco boats head out of the harbour to party in the bay, (where we are anchored) until I don’t know when, we just went to bed. When the sun rose the next morning the anchor came up and Adesso high tailed it out of there.
Well again we learn that all things are but fleeting experiences in a “dream”. Before leaving we had collected a rather large music library and many movies, all being stored on a small hard drive. Did I have a backup? – no, the drive was new and I would have to buy another to back up on to; which just didn’t happen. So as you might now realize, the drive failed and all that was on it vanished into thin air. We are so busy with life it has not been missed much except for some of the music. My guess is we will start collecting all over again, around and around goes the cycle of life!
The culprit, they just don’t make them like they used to.
Hola! First a word about our slow blogging progress. We are either in passage, away from internet access, or very very busy having an excellent time! We feel the pressure from our readers to get the lead out, and are excited that we actually have a wee following of family and friends, but as you can see we have some very serious complications to overcome. So….gracias por su paciencia!
First stop on our hop down the Baja was to Turtle Bay, Bahia de Tortugas, about a 300 NM. Turtle Bay is a small fishing village, very poor. It caters to the Baja Ha ha cruising rally, which for about 3 days brings a lot of commerce to the small town. A very rough dilapitated palapa bar sits on the beach front waiting to open for the next three days a year when the Baja Haha rally comes through again in 2015. Turtle Bay did not seem like such a happy place, we gathered ourselves after our 2 day passage, walked around the town, stayed 2 nights then pushed on.
Next stop was to Asuncion, a quick jump 50 nm south. Just slightly larger than Turtle Bay, but a much happier place. We met an elderly American couple in the town fixing a home and enjoyed chatting with them. They have owned their second modest Baja home in Asuncion for about 5 years (otherwise they live in La Paz in their first Baja home which they have done for many years). They were a wealth of knowledge, explaining that what made Asuncion work as a community was that there was a very healthy fishing cooperative. There were just a few mercado’s, one or two tiny lunch spots, a church, a school, a few shops and one hotel run by a Canadian woman. Supposedly there is a quite a number of Canadians who have made Asuncion home due to its wonderful year round climate which resembles that of San Diego: sunny most of the time, very temperate, rarely too hot (over 80 F), rarely too cold.
180 nm further on brought us to Bahia Santa Maria. We’ve been mostly able to sail on these passages ( 65% sail – 35% motor) doing long beam reaches with the wind on our starboard stern quarter. Sounds ideal and it truly is for at least a few hours everyday! But the longer passages always seem to get quite lumpy. We seem to be past getting seasick now, but as a precaution we don’t drink anything but water and eat only a few crackers, hoping that the mild nauseousness doesn’t turn for the worse. Ugh. You get tired for lack of sleep and a couple of crew members have been known to get downright grumpy from being rolled about in their beds when trying to catch a little sleep after a night shift. Thank goodness to Neptune for sending a couple of beautiful Mahi Mahi to bite on Josh’s hook and thank goodness for destinations like Santa Maria!
Josh with one of his Mahi Mahi, yummmmmm
No town here, just a big wild beautiful bay! The topography is transforming as we head south, still desert, but it seems a little greener, the beaches very wide (200m at low tide) and long. We headed into shore for long beach walks, swam in warm waters, walked over beautiful white sand dunes, Josh mastered standing up surfing – hurray!, we met 2 hilarious Polish-Canadian guys from Vancouver who entertained us with stories…. We ate fresh fish tacos. Okay! We’re rejuvenated and ready for the next hop!
Beach at Bahia Santa Maria
Looking from Magdalena Bay out to Bahai Santa Maria
Just around the corner, about 30 nm is Magdalena Bay. Very similar to Santa Maria: expansive sandy beaches and dunes covered in a mixture of desert flora. We did a short hike from inside the protected anchorage across the dunes to the outside to check out potential surfing for our next days adventures. Definitely looks promising and we were looking forward to settling into a wild place for a while. But as nature would have it, the wind blew so hard the next day that we were confined to our boat for the day. We made the most of it and did a great big cook up: bread baking, Baja baked black beans, brownies, and Deadly Tedly mastered flour/corn tortillas! We feasted, we drank, we rested, played cards, then… we listened to the forecast and realized that if we wanted to get south under sail and avoid consuming our diminishing supply of feul, then we needed to get going again. After a couple days of wind, the forecast showed no wind for a long stretch. Off we go again.
While nature is a ‘scape’ hard to rival, the other scape that has become surprisingly dear to us has been the people-scapes we’ve traversed. When we set off on our adventure, I imagined solitude on the ocean, swimming, wave-playing, hiking, being in nature, and having close-knitting experiences with Ted and Josh. So far, we’ve spent far more time in cities & towns than anticipated. I recall after arriving in the San Francisco Bay area that after about 3 days, I felt ready to head out again. It was just a bunch of buildings, touristas, shops, fast catamaran ferries, hustledy-bustledy. Then we met Bart on a dock in Sausalito. A concept designer who recently spent time in Vancouver, living temporarily on a sailboat, who filled in lots of interesting history and local stories. Bart was one of our first people connections that made the SF Bay go from a faceless anonymous place to one of greater depth and texture. You could read more stories and experiences into the place you were in allowing a sense of affection for the place. Unexpected, but wonderfully found in a cityscape. Several dear characters have shown up in our travels: Liddy and Bill in Tiburon: which we especially appreciate for telling Josh about the Five Year Plan (which involves leaving his parents blissfully ignorant of any errant questionable activities for 5 years) and for being super generous; Frank in San Diego who found us on the dock and saved us hours of time getting ready to head into Mexico, but best of all entertaining us with his funny stories and ‘casual’ driving style. Love you! What a great feeling to head off into Mexico with many happy memories of what open, generous, happy spirited neighbours we have!
Not that we planned it, but arrival in Ensenada was the day before the Baja 1000 was to start. This is considered a holiday in the town and it was a carnival of people, noise and partying. The great thing about Ensenada is that cruiser community is here, we have met may travellers all headed south, a great cross section of people that are all very helpful and generous. Josh and couldn’t resist taking in some of the Baja 1000 starts, which resulted in the following vid which does a better job than words explaining the whole scene.
Another day of getting a few food supplies then we are off south, winds look good for a few days so we will take advantage. We are still immersed in a constant flow of change , every day is new moving the mind closer to “Adesso” ( the now ). Now I know this is the true gift of cruising.
On arrival in Mission Bay where we anchored for a couple of days before heading to Southwest Yacht Club, I noticed a blot on the deck. Hum- where could that have come from, we the boom vang attachment to the boom right above was coming loose. In fact two bolts were missing (on the deck) and others were loose. This needed repair which involved new bolts and epoxy metal. As usual this caused me to inspect the area a little closer, the results were rebuilding the cheek blocks for my main reefing and the main traveller shackle was bending and stretched. A little help from Downwind Marine and the rigger across the street resulted in all the parts needed. I feel MUCH better about having these parts refreshed.
We enjoyed the nature, hiking and swimming offered by the Channel Islands (Santa Cruz & Catalina) with Yellow Banks anchorage on Santa Cruz being our favourite. It was an almost empty anchorage which offered a little surf for Josh to play in, a good hike over to the next bay where we explored an old out-station that had an olive grove, and we picked fresh limes and oranges.
Josh enjoying the beach.
Amongst the olive trees. Beautiful!
Hiking over desert hills and around valleys to the olive grove.
Next to Catalina Islands, where we really enjoyed the snorkelling, hiking, and swimming in beautiful clear turquoise waters.
Great views are offered at the top of the Catalina Island.
Ahhhh, a beautiful flower amongst the thorns! This is a prickly pear; no metaphors here!
After dragging Ted on another hilly hike, I forced him to throw his arms up in celebration! A long suffering man….
Avalon at sunset.
On to San Diego!
We so appreciated the reciprocal moorage offered to cruisers who hold memberships at yacht clubs near their own home ports. Southwestern Yacht club was simply wonderful to stay at! Frank, who found us at SWYC, was a fantastic host. He saved us hours and hours of time in San Diego helping us get ready to head into Mexico. He provided us with great information, entertaining stories, entertaining driving (lots of driving!), San Diego history, and he showed us where to get a great beer. He and his wife joined us on Adesso for dinner. Good memories!
As we head south from San Francisco we start to hear these critters scurrying, clicking and scratching on our hull. The further south we get, the louder they become. Maybe, as we head into warmer water, they get bigger. Or, perhaps they have infiltrated to the bilge. Checking the bilge, or retrieving stores from the bilge has been avoided lately…
Yes they are every where!!
My number one cruising phobia is a cockroach infestation. Those indestructible hard shelled-prehistorics give me a serious case of the heebie jeebies! Whatever is making that clickety-clack ruckus seems to be particularly active at 1am when my internal clock has decided to provide me with a wake-up call ….and when the mind likes to run amuck. The clacking seems deafening; definitely coming from the bilge now with numbers surely doubling since falling asleep. Multitudes are crunching our bilge veggies, pooping, breeding and spreading some kind of horrid prehistoric disease. Stomach curdling!
Righto! Action! Call up Yachtworld, we’re selling the boat!
Okay, that was a 1 am thought. Regaining some objectiveness after coffee, a few seriously tentative inquiries are made (hate to have phobias confirmed).
What? A very common little 9mm swimmy thing? Making all that noise? Called a Snap-shrimp? Yep… that’s what I thought all along!
Very cool dude, snapping those fingers to the tune of life!
We are in San Diego and yes we have had some amazing adventures in the Channel Islands and Catalina Island; more on that later. The locals were commenting on the heat wave we are experiencing, temps in the high 80’s near the water!! My long hair was HOT, very HOT not to mention the issue with salt water which resulted major hair loss every time i tried to comb it. Akkk this was crazy making, so we hit “Franks” favourite barber Lynn who did the trim job in about 7 minutes.
Before the cut.
Lynn doing the “trim”
Short hair does have it’s advantages, no fuss no muss, coooooool, and a spash of H2O in the morning and I almost look presentable. Josh leapt into action as well. Sue still recognizes me but I can tell she is wondering if I am the same guy she married!
As most of you know we do like great food. For great food you need great ingredients, so when we started this trip we wondered how easy it would be to find them. As it turns out the great storage capacity of the fridge and freezer has helped greatly and with Trader Joe’s, the occasional Safeway, and the big surprise Costco, with many organic choices in every food category; we do extremely well! On occasion we have to be extra creative when the fridge gets a little empty, but necessity is the mother of invention. Now to the food.
My favourite dinner so far are our Albacore Tuna (caught by Josh) burgers. Here is a quick recipe incase you catch some back home.
Slice tuna loin into 3/4” thick steak.
Marinate the tuna for about an hour.
BBQ on a hot grill for MAX 2 minuets a side
Serve with wasabi mayo, avocado, tomato, lettuce
My favourite breakfast is only available when Sue is inspired to bake. She makes the best cinnamons buns on the pacific ocean, just add a little coffee and life is divine.