Monday, March 31, 2008

Magdalena Bay - Cabo San Lucas

Saturday, 29 Mar 08

The other boats in the bay proved, once again, that cruisers are a breed apart. There are 2 large trimarans, Sunday, a couple from California and Stravaig (UK with a Dutch spouse). Jeff just happens to be one of the developers of the Autohelm wind vane that I have and gave me a few pointers on using this infernal instrument.. The other boats are Mischief (Victoria) being single-handed by a chap with great electronic and refrigeration skills, Gale Force with a couple from Oregon and Ka-Em-Te (Kiss My Transom) also from Oregon with Doug, a plumber and Trish, an electrician who also bakes bread and assorted buns. Needless to say, she was a very popular person after we discovered that the only bread available was Bimbo bread made with so many preservatives it will last weeks without refrigeration but tastes like soap. All of these boats are headed South. The last boat, Wizard another Californian couple is headed back to San Diego in, what will surely be a long hard slog according to the weather information we are getting on the SSB morning nets. They left the following day.

The next few days were spent beachcombing, attending to some of the items on the task list and socializing with the other boats. Fran had to come up with some interesting appy dishes for the impromptu get togethers. The tuna sashimi went over well for the first few days but freshness is all-important and it soon was past its “sell by date”. It is amazing how people can bond so quickly and how talents and resources can be shared so freely amongst a group such as this.

We also went for a wild ride to San Carlos in the Port Captain’s panga. San Carlos had a few small shops where we were able to get fresh veggies, fruit and meat but their hardware store was very well stocked. Last time I was here I only saw the dilapidated fishing dock which has had a substantial addition to accommodate small and mid-sized tankers and freighters.

With the prospect of a weather window opening up for the leg to Los Cabos most of the boats headed for an anchorage closer to the mouth of the bay at Point Belcher, the site of ruins of a long abandoned Japanese whale processing plant where whale bones still poke out of the sand. The weather predictions for the next few days promise 15-20 kt northerly winds from here to Cabo, increasing as you get 25-30 mile offshore and light and variable winds in the Southern Sea of Cortez, changing to strong northerlies by Thursday of next week. With that in mind, all boats except Mischief departed on Sunday all but one under
sail for the 175-mile leg.

1400,Monday, 31 March
We are within sight of Cabo Falso at the southern tip of the Baja. We expect to reach the harbour at Cabo San Lucas by early evening if all goes well. Conditions have changed considerably over the past few hours. For most of the trip we had 20-25 kt northerly winds with 8-10 ft seas giving us a bumpy but comfortable ride at speeds reaching almost 7 kts under genoa alone. I would not have liked going the opposite way. As we closed the coast the winds and seas have lightened considerably. We are motoring to ensure that we arrive at the port in daylight. We don’t intend to stay very long as we want to get as far north towards La Paz before the northerlies develop in the Sea of Cortez. By Thursday they are expected to be in the 25-30 kt range. So, fuel, water, shower and a quick trip to COSTCO and we’ll be off.
Later - !700
After dodging jet-skis and tour boats for the last few miles we are finally alongside a small marina at the entrance to the harbour. We have decided to splurge the $110 moorage fee just to have a shower and “free” Internet for the night. We will check the latest forecast and decide where and when from here. It is Spring break and it is loud and crowded, the complete opposite of Mag Bay so we won’t linger in Cabo. Next stops will be Los Frailles and/or Los Muertos on our way to La Paz.

By the way; Tuna again on the menu. We caught a 10 lb yellowtail this morning. What a fight! But then again we were going 6 kts under sail and I wasn't reducing sail for a fish. We got him aboard and have pictures to prove it.

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