Woke up: Bahia Santa Maria, Baja California Sur, Mexico
Went to sleep: Underway
We were two nights out from Cabo San Lucas to Bahia Santa Maria. In 55 hours we covered about 200 miles. It is a slow process but we have a lot of patience.
We “parked” two nights in Bahia Santa Maria. There is nothing closer to heaven than to be still and quiet for a couple of days after a long passage. We are the only boat in the bay. We were unable to go to shore due to the intense sea break on the beach.
Bahia Santa Maria to Turtle Bay
Peter finished his first pot of coffee just as I opened my eyes, 6:15 am. Already the sail covers are off, the dodger is down and the instruments are on. He’s been studying the weather, waiting for daylight since 4:00 am.
The second tropical storm of the year is developing just south of us and is projected to be where we are now in 6 days. No wonder the engine is running as I stumble to the cockpit to steer while he pulls anchor.
Two hundred forty miles north to Bahia Turtoga (Turtle Bay). We should arrive sometime on Wednesday. We will both feel relief when we arrive north of latitude 27 degrees where our yacht insurance will cover us against a named tropical storm. El Nino (global warming?) is causing storms to develop early this year. The first of June is not too early to be north.
The Baja Bash, Crash, Bang, Clang, Slam
We haven’t been in conditions this rough since the Oregon coast. From noon yesterday to 5 am this morning, poor little Penelope and her occupants were tossed around like tennis shoes in a dryer. The noise was deafening as thousands of pounds of ocean water pummeled her hull. Items that usually stay in place were on the floor. Peter’s socks and underpants are stuffed in all the cupboards, between the dishes, to keep them from clanging.
They write books about the “Baja Bash.” How-to manuals on how to protect your boat, your marriage and your sanity. Numerous boats are available for sail in Cabo, La Paz, Puerto Vallarta. Due the wind direction and current, you can pretty much travel south from San Diego to Cabo in a 55 gallon barrel but no one wants to sail north – ever.
It’s not so bad, really. I am sensationalizing for literary effect.
People ask, “Are you afraid?” The truth is, I have not once been afraid while on the ocean. But, I have not been in REALLY bad conditions to date, thank God. Penelope is one of the safest boats out here, certainly the heaviest and most well equipped.
The real danger is falling down. If you aren’t holding on with one hand you could easily find yourself falling on your face and perhaps breaking your nose, or collar bone or worse. The first rule is, ALWAYS hold on. They say, “One hand for the boat.” This means you always have one hand holding tight to the boat.
The other danger is falling OUT. Neither one of us ever leaves from down below without our life jacket on. At night, while in the cockpit, we are both tied to the boat. A nylon “jack line” is connected to the boat and to a “D” ring on our life jacket. If Peter has to leave the cockpit for any reason he will wake me to tell me he is going up on deck. I come out into the cockpit to watch while he is on deck incase he were to be bounced over board.
While I am on watch, I have a portable EPIRB in my pocket. In the event I would go into the water, the EPIRB would automatically contact the Mexican Navy with a distress call via satellite.
While in the cockpit at night we have a mega flash light which would light up the ocean all the way to Hawaii if I needed to look for something in the dark. We have a man overboard (MOB) button on the GPS. If pushed, it would record a way point of the location a person had fallen in. We have floatation life rings hanging off the hand rail to throw overboard. Then we have a MOB pole with a strobe light. If the pole is thrown into the water the stobe light would automatically come on to illuminate the way back to the pole.
Peter has tried so hard to think of every possible thing to protect us and keep us safe on this adventure. Thank you Pedro!
It goes without saying, “Turtle Bay looked like the most beautiful village on the Baja Peninsula when we arrived here at 2:00 pm on Wednesday, June 3, 2015.