Woke up: Off the coast of Baja California Sur
Went to sleep: Bahia Tortugas
We had absolutely no idea how long it would take to sail from San Diego to Turtle Bay. We left San Diego Monday, October 27th. The distance is 360 miles. If our average speed had been 3 knots, it would have taken 120 hours. If our average speed had been 5 knots, it would have taken 72 hours. If we motored all the way it would have taken approximately 58 hours. The initial light wind leaving San Diego had us a little concerned we might end up sailing at 2 knots all the way and not arrive until November 2nd.
By Wednesday we knew we would most likely arrive in Turtle Bay some time on Thursday. Crew morale improves when the duration of our discomfort is defined. We all now knew we would most likely have one more night at sea. The knowing makes everything easier.
We had the anchor down in Turtle Bay approximately 74 hours after our departure from San Diego.
Turtle Bay is unlike any place I’ve ever been. With a local population of about 5,000 people, the small town is surrounded by barren, brown, dusty hills. The infinite hues of light and dark brown, splashed with rare patches of hearty green, are surprisingly pretty. The yellow, red, orange, and purple colors of the late afternoon sky add to the backdrop.
Only one or two of the roads is paved, leaving the majority of the city’s streets dirt. The dirt streets have tree roots and potholes everywhere making walking along the street a walking hazard. This hazard is somewhat exacerbated when you’ve been out to sea for 72 hours and tend to sway from side to side, anyway. Only a handful of the streets have sidewalk and those tend to be misaligned. There are lots of late model vehicles, particularly Toyota, but all are covered with a thick layer of dust.
By anyone’s description, 99% of the homes are little more than plywood shacks. Many are painted bright colors and some have decorative concrete walls surrounding small, dirt yards. The dogs, mostly Chihuahuas, freely roam the streets.
One of the few modern features in Turtle Bay is a regulation size astro turf baseball field. At 3:00 pm, the locals took on the Baja fleet. Participants were allowed to take beer to their outfield positions. At one point I inquired about the score. I was told no one was keeping score, or counting outs and strikes. Everyone lined up to take a turn batting and when an outfielder was tired, he/she lined up to bat. I believe the locals defeated the Baja team 846 to 7.
After the game, we dinghied back to the boat. Alex and Peter barbecued Mahi Mahi on the grill. We had pesto pasta, sautéed mushrooms and steamed carrots with the fish.