Up the Baja I
Here are the emails I sent to my kids as we went up the Baja
It is 5:30 pm on Sunday the 6th and we are about 50 miles north of Cabo San Lucas having traveled just over 60 miles since we left at 5:30Am this morning.
We are heading to Magdalena Bay and expect to anchor there at Man of War Cove around mid-day tomorrow. We will assess our fuel situation there and see if we need to acquire more or if we can get to Turtle Bay with what we have.
We left last night at 8:30 PM and got creamed near Cabo Falso with apparent winds above 30 knots. We turned back and spent the night at a purloined slip inside the harbor.
Conditions today have been nice for an upwind passage. We were very slow early in the day, only 3 to 4.5 knots, with headwinds and large seas. By mid-day the winds had come down to about 12 to 15 knots true, the seas flattened a bit and our speeds increased to about 5.5 knots with occasional bursts of over 6 knots.
I will email you from Man of War Cove.
Up the Baja II
We are in Man of War Cove, in Bahia de Magdalena, 24 38 N 112 08 W
Just refueled and will leave here ASAP for Turtle Bay. Have an excellent weather window, so gotta get goin'.
Hugs to all.
Up the Baja III
It is a splendid day on the Pacific, light winds and almost flat seas. Current time is 1PM and position is 25 58N, 113 21W. We are 130 miles from Turtle Bay and our ETA is mid-day tomorrow if conditions hold, much sooner than expected. We figured to average about five knots per hour and so far we have averaged around 5.9, which is REALLY good.
This excellent weather window is supposed to close on Thursday, so we may be hanging out in Turtle Bay for awhile before the next big leap to Ensenada. Turtle Bay is a bit past half way.
My crew are two exceptional people, excellent sailors, fabulous cooks "y muy buenos companeros!"
Love you all.
Up the Baja IV
It is Wed. at 11:05 AM. We are 6.5 miles from the Turtle Bay Entrance, 27 34N, 114 49W. Weather window is still open, so we will anchor in Turtle Bay, refuel, re-provision, shower and get out of Dodge ASAP.
Lots of fog last night and this morning. Radar is great.
Lots of dolphins on this passage and a few whales too.
Thanks for all the messages.
PS I was not able to connect earlier. We are now in Turtle Bay having accomplished all of our missions and will depart for Ensendada within 1/2 hour. Weather update wsa good.
Up the Baja V
Thursday morning, 10AM. Overcast, cool and lumpy with 19 knots of wind on the nose, but not bad. A bit of a Baja Bash but nothing furious about it. Current position is 28 57N, 115 24 W. We are 143 miles from Ensenada, and if all goes well should be there mid-day tomorrow.
A few notes on the last couple of days. Had a wonderful whale sighting yesterday morning. A pair were heading south off our port beam. They put on a nice show, surfacing, diving and waving their flukes at us. One of them did a kind of sideways dive and smacked his tale hard into the water with an enormous splash.
I think I mentioned that we had had numerous encounters with dolphins playing with us in large, speedy packs.
Yesterday, we had our first heavy fog, right down to the water. Turtle B ay has a navigable entrance of only about 3/4's of a mile, with a reef protruding out from the south point of the entrance. It is important to find the middle and stay in it.
Our chart plotter interfaces with the radar, and we are able to lay the radar images over the chart. This is especially useful in Mexico as the charts are from 1895 and inaccurate, some times by a mile or two. With this feature, we were able to enter the bay with absolutely no visibility. We had Jose on the bow as our spotter, Juergen on the wheel while I remained at the navigation system barking minute course changes to Juergen. We ghosted in slowly until were suddenly in amongst the boats at anchor. It was just like blind flying. It was lots of fun.
Last night passing up the lee side of Cedros Island, we entered into another low fog situation and used the same feature to navigate safely. We only encountered one other boat, a small fishing vessel.
A gorgeous sight this morning was the moonrise at 2:45AM. It was about a quarter moon, and as Juergen rhapsodized looked like a delicious slice of orange, with a deep orange rind and a paler orange flesh.
These are some of the reasons people go to sea.
Love you all.
Up the Baja VI
We arrived in Ensenada yesterday at about 8:30 AM. After an easy early trip, the last two days got a bit nasty. Thursday afternoon was very windy and the seas began to build. We had to slow the boat down to reduce the impacts of the large waves. Thursday night the winds diminished and we went back tom full speed. Friday afternoon it got very windy and we slowed down again. At nightfall it just kept blowing and when I went off watch at midnight it was still in the 30 knot range.
During the wee hours it finally went down getting to about 11 knots by dawn. All of this slowed us
down. We figured we would be in about 2AM and missed that by over six hours.
We managed to call ahead and get a slip at the Criuiseport Marina which is close to downtown. Jose and I went out for a great breakfast and he left us to go back to La Paz.
The trip from Cabo on the whole was excellent and fast. We left Cabo San Lucas at 5:30AM on Sunday and made only two quick stops for fuel and some provisions. We stopped for three hours at Man of War Cove on Magdalena Bay and about 4 and a half hours at Turtle Bay. Each stop was like an Indy pit stop. We were able to get refueled quickly and in the case of Turtle Bay even buy some groceries and get a welcome shower at the El Morocco hotel and bar. For six days we were on the move except for those 7 1/2 hours on shore.
Juergen and I had a wonderful dinner last night at Mariscos Bahia (if you come to Ensenada put it on your must do list) and managed to attend 7PM mass and grieve for Nellie.
We are just hanging out today and will leave here about midnight for San Diego, a trip of about 12
hours. We have a reservation for the boat at the Southwestern Yacht Club of which Juergen is a
Hugs to all,
Up the Baja VII
> Just a short message to let you know that Juergen
> and I nosed Athena out of Ensenada last night at
> 9:30 PM and we arrived at the customs dock in San
> Diego at 9:30 A M, breezed through customs, refueled
> and parked at the guest dock of the posh
> Southwestern Yacht Cub, of which Juergen is a
> We had a smooth ride up the coast, big swells but
> almost no wind.
> The entire trip, more than 750 uphill sea miles,
> consumed only eight days, one of which was a rest
> day in Ensenada. I think we were VERY lucky with
> the conditions.
> I expect to stay here about a week. Need to
> service the engine and deal with a few other issues.
> Hugs to all,