6th November Bahia Santa Maria to Los Frailes
Another early morning take off, and out of the crowds. We managed to time it to have NO wind again, and after 3 hours or so even considered changing directions and waiting in another bay for the wind that had been forecast to arrive in a few days time, but when we looked again, and figured out how long it would take us to turn the corner at the bottom of the Baja peninsula, it was hinting at being a nightmare to get up into the Sea of Cortez so we figured another few days of motor sailing was better than getting beaten up when we got there.
And once again an uneventful leg got under way, the only thing interesting floated by just before sunset… I could see something coming up just off to our side for a while, and soon figured out it was a bird, but he seemed to be just standing in the ocean, so I guessed he was on a clump of seaweed or something, nothing weird there… when he got closer though, it turned out he was hitching a ride on the back of a sea-turtle! the turtle happily swimming away on the surface, while the bird stood there and watched us cruise by about 2m away… can you tell it was pretty boring out there!
The next night we rounded the bottom of the cape and passed about a mile off shore of Cabo San Lucas, originally we were planning on stopping for a day or two to refuel and stock up on fresh food, but with the lights of the Ha-Ha fleet already on the horizon behind us, and Cabo being their last stop and home of the big final party, we decided to give it a miss and carry on up.
Around sunrise the fishing boats started showing up, not the usual local fishermen, in their wooded pangas (lil boat) fishing with hand lines, but the big sport-fishing charter boats, loaded up with tourists who wanna catch the big one! There were at least 50 of them heading out to some not-so-secret fishing spots just off the coast, and it sounded like we were being followed by a herd of mosquitos on steroids…
Of course a little ways down the road, or up the sea depending how you look at it, when I had FINALLY gotten the sails trimmed to gain and extra knot or two on top of the engine that was running, there they were…. all in a bunch bobbing around over a sea mound, or trawling back and forth around it… I could have played the right of way card, having my sails up and all, but decided to change course and at one point had to fire up the second engine to maneuver around some tool who seemed to think that all boats are as super mobile as his half a million dollar fishing boat, happily heading straight over our course dragging who knows how many fishing lines behind him…. ahhh, power boaters, you’ve got to love em…
At around lunch time we arrived at our destination for the day, Bahia Los Frailes, where we dropped the hook in 30′ of super clear water with 2 other boats in the bay, now this is what we were waiting for!
Our first day here we did nothing! Well unless you count swimming, sleeping and reading as doing something, both boats left early in the morning, and we had the bay to ourselves for a while!
The next morning we woke up and went for a hike up the hill that gave us our shelter, about half way, Sabi turned back, it was about already about 30C and with no breeze, it wasn’t really hike up a hill day, I looked at the top, and couldn’t not go for it! As I came up over the “last” rise, and found another one waiting for me in all its shade-less glory, I hid under a scraggly tree for a second to get my breath and turned back towards the beach too! Swimming is a far more civilised way of getting exercise anyways….
10th November Frailes to Bahia Los Muertos.
The now familiar 6am kick off into flat seas and we were on the way. It carried on that way for a couple of hours, then the wind started, seeing as it was coming from right where we were going and not really wanting to sail either straight at the shore, or at the shore of mainland Mexico a couple of hundred miles the other way, we figured we’d just keep going under power, with only a 40 mile day ahead, we were just wanted to get there.
And the wind kept coming, and coming….
It got to the point where we had between 20 and 25 kts right on the nose, which may not be so bad if it weren’t for the short steep wind waves it bought with it! They were only 4-5 ft waves but about 6 ft apart, so for the first time since just out of San Francisco, the pounding began! Not as bad as that first night out, but bad enough, and the first time my trusty co-pirate had had to experience the noise and vibrations that come with pounding into a messy sea, and needless to say, she wasn’t impressed!
We toyed around with the sails again, but with the waves building it was pointless if we wanted to keep going forward, so it was quickly back to diesel power and trying to minimize the noise and slamming as the bows and anchor buried into the water every other wave…
There was no where nearby to hide on the charts, and an angry looking sky ahead of us, so I let the crew know that we had 4-5 more hours to get to our destination, and it could well get worse before it got better.
Timing the gap between the waves I turned us around and headed back to where we came from! No sense in beating up Sea Raven any more than we have to, and the reality was, we didn’t have to this time. It had taken us nearly 5 hours to get to where we were when I turned us around, and a little over half of that to get back to the bay! Unfortunately the crew were still a little shaken-not-stirred, so getting the sails up to run back wasn’t an option, but we were both glad to pull back into Los Frailes, tuck in somewhat out of the wind, let out a whole lotta chain and wait it out….