Thursday, March 27, 2008

24 March 08: At anchor - Bahia de Ballenas

We have decided that we should see what we could of this coast now that we have the time since we will probably never be back this way. With Dove and Michael gone we are on our own schedule now and that is to get the boat to San Carlos by the end of April for summer storage. We anchored off the remote fishing village of Bahia de Ballenas just before noon after a 19-hour passage from Turtle Bay, some 100 miles to the north. We don't plan to stay here long as there isn't much to see and the surf makes
a beach dinghy landing an exercise we aren't willing to chance. Our next planned destination is Bahia San Juanico, 70 miles along the coast where Charlie's Charts indicates a protected anchorage off another desolate Baja fishing village.

Conditions have improved over the past few days. The cold north wind that had persisted since San Diego has given way to the more seasonable westerly and the cold humid weather has turned markedly warmer and drier. Soon we will be complaining about the heat. After departing Turtle Bay last night we were able to sail on and off in wind conditions that varied from light to near gale. By midnight the wind had died completely and we were forced to use the "iron spinnaker". The repairs done by J-G and
Mike have held firm. Although it vibrates a bit more than it should, the pulley is behaving and Fran's spatula is holding firm.

We bid farewell to Dove and Mike early Sunday morning. They left for their connection to the main Ensenada to Cabo San Lucas bus line by a small local van service. The 3-hour ride along a dusty Baja road must have been an adventure in itself. They will be missed as we continue south, especially Dove's hoard of chocolate and Mike's culinary expertise with fresh tuna. Undoubtedly they will have lots of stories to tell about their time in Gosling; about leaking holding tanks (now fixed), a propane
regulator that needs persuasion with a winch handle to turn on (on the shopping list) and carting 60 lb jugs of drinking water to the boat to supplement the foul tasting (but clean and safe) domestic water we filled the tanks with in San Diego. Bottled water and purification systems are necessary commodities in San Diego as their water is very hard and heavily chlorinated. The outboard we bought had been used exclusively in Southern Californian fresh water lakes and the mineral deposit coating the
lower leg was so thick it took several applications of CLR just to make a dent in it.

26 March 08: At Anchor - Bahia Santa Maria

We made good time towards San Juanico but, just as we were approaching the bay we overheard a couple of cruisers on VHF discussing high wind and sea warnings arriving in our area the following afternoon. We decided to bypass San Juanico and head directly to Bahia Santa Maria, which offers good shelter from the northerlies. The wind was light and sea calm for most of the day so we made good time under power. By the end of the afternoon we had caught 2 more small (3 lb) tuna and J-G got a good head
start on cleaning and waxing the cockpit. We arrived just before midnight, another blind pilotage entry, and tucked into the lee of the headland between two other boats. The temperature is still cool at night but it is the damp that gets you the most. The rigging gets dripping with water.

Oh, hold on!! a panga just pulled up with the offer of langousta. 2 - 4 packs of AA batteries and a colouring book with crayons just got us 2 decent sized lobsters for lunch. Life is tough!

We have made contact with 2 other boats that we had met on the morning net in San Diego, Mischief and K-N-T. Both are in Mag Bay so we are looking to make face-to-face contact when we get there.

Later the same day:

We left Bahia Santa Maria later in the day without setting foot ashore. Without a suitable place to beach a dinghy it was no longer as attractive a spot. Besides, the nasty weather has been delayed by 12 hours so it was time to head for the relative shelter of Man of War Cove in Magdalena Bay.

Enroute we had the best sail of the trip so far and by supper time we were anchored off the village of Magdalena Bay. Supper was tuna - again! (We caught another small one on the way in). We are in the company of several other boats here, including a big trimaran sporting a Dutch flag. San Carlos (the Baja version) is within sight. The last time I was there was in 1984 when we stopped for fuel with Oriole on our way to Quebec City and the Tall Ships event. Hopefully this foul weather will pass quickly
and we'll have a chance to do some exploring before we leave. We'll have to check in with the Port captain here tomorrow and see what the local tiendas have in fresh veg and fruit.

1 comment:

  1. Got your e-mail tonight. Sounds like you are getting the hang of this cruising. We lifted the main ramp to the docks today in a blinding sleet and hail storm and placed eight additional sections of flotation under the float to hold up the new ramp. We put the old ramp back in place and hope to fit the new ramp next month.
    VIA RAIL is offering CF and retired CF members free economy class train travel for the month of July anywhere they travel and as often as you like. Dependants can accompany members for half price. We're thinking of going to Jasper and back to see Gerry's grandfathers hotel he built in the 1920s.

    Fair winds, talk soon

    Ray and Gerry