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!
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!
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.