Jun 18 2010

Cabo San Lucas to Bahia Magdelena: The Longest Leg of the trip

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Out of the two storms, one of them faded, and the other has turned into a tropical storm (Tropical Storm Blas). Although it is moving at roughly 3 knots, it is heading towards Cabo San Lucas. Perhaps the water temperature in Cabo is cold enough to not have it turn into anything . . . which is exactly what I wish for my friends there.

As I was getting out of Dodge, so to speak, I had a rough start. The anchor was buried in over a foot of sand. We had been seeing some pretty amazing currents over the last few weeks, and well, I guess they decided to leave a ton of sand on top of the anchor.

The original plan was for me to pull anchor around 8am, get fuel and water, and set off to sea. It turned out that the anchor was stuck fast. So, I dove down to see if I had hooked some surprise (maybe another anchor? 😉 ) and to clear the problem. And, well, the problem was sand. Over the next 1.5 hours, I repeated the following as much as my body would allow: freedive down to the anchor in 25 feet of water, dig as much sand away as possible, and return to the top for air. It got a little frustrating because there were large southerly swells coming in to shore, and the current would send the sand right back to the neat little hole I had just carved out around the anchor. Finally, I dug out the sand enough to where I could muscle the anchor back up to the surface. This was about 2pm.

After the anchor was up, I pulled into the fuel dock, topped off the tank, filled 6 5-gallon jerry cans with diesel, hosed the boat down, and then filled every water-carrying vessel on-board. Oh, and I bought an ice cream to reward myself for diving and digging the anchor out of the sand.

It was now about 4:30pm–and, I was pretty exhausted. Instead of setting out for a 30-hour sail in this state, I reset the anchor in the far, southern end of the bay (as far from the jetskis as I could get), rechecked the weather, and slept–ready to get a good start in the morning.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

I was up early–around 5am. Changed the engine oil first thing, and was sailing past the arch around 8:30am.

By the time I approached Cabo Falso, the winds were blowing 25 – 30 knots, and freshening by the minute. This area is a pinch point where the land meets many miles of open sea. Rather than bothering to put a 2nd reef in the mainsail, I simply dropped the sail altogether and lashed it to the boom.

Once safely around the point, I headed inland to follow the coastline for some protection from the wind and current, and the seas dropped nicely over the course of the day until reaching a cool 10 knots in the early evening.

This is the longest stretch of the trip at 152 Nm until the next protected anchorage, so I kept myself well rested, very hydrated, and eating small, healthy portions are regular intervals. Which was a good thing . . . because as the night progressed, the seas built to some nasty sailing. By 3am, the winds were back up to a steady 25 knots and the waves were a consistent 2 meters. It is what sailors call–lumpy conditions. 😉

Thursday, 17 June 2010

With the sunrise, the seas and wind laid back down, I was greeted by a spritely pod of dolphins (almost 30 of them came RACING towards the boat to greet me), and I pulled into Bahia Magdelena and set the anchor just south of Punta Belcher around 11am. I set everything out to dry, ate a little food, and slept.

Bahia Magdelena is very similar to San Francisco–without the bridge and the people, of course. Geographically, however, they are nearly identical. Punta Belcher also has a bit of history–in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, it was a processing station for the whaling industry–Mag Bay is where the humpbacks come annually to give birth. Fortunately, the station has been closed for many, many years–but, the ruins are definitely interesting . . . .

The anchorage here is absolutely tranquil. One fishing trawler and a powerboat pulled into the anchorage to join myself and the other sailboat–and, other than a few pangas with fishermen, we are the only humans here. I didn’t realize how much noise and ruckus I lived around–with party boats, para-sailers, dozens of pangas, etc.–until, I heard a single bird cawing in the air. That was when I realized how quiet it is here . . . .

More later . . . .

24°34.408′ N
112°03.980′ W

PS. I have a lot of new pictures and video, but currently I could barely scrape together enough bandwidth to download the weather info. I’ll have better access in a few days.

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Jun 14 2010

Potential Hurricanes in Mexico: Not One, but TWO

Two potential hurricanes in southern Mexico--according to NOAA I was waiting happily for crew to arrive, and for the right weather window, and planning for everything to be just right.  But, with TWO potential tropical storms (according to NOAA) brewing in the south of Mexico, it is time to go.

The first storm is brewing off the coast of Acapulco, and the second one a bit further down.  The first has a 20% chance of turning into a hurricane, and it is traveling West, North-West–basically, towards Hawaii.  The second storm went from a 10% chance to a 20% chance, and is traveling North, North-West.  Neither of them currently are pointed towards the Baja . . . but, that could always change, and I am not taking any chances.

Marishanna sets sail tomorrow in the early morning hours.  Yesterday, I provisioned the boat.  Today is diesel, water and all the last little bits that need to happen, and tomorrow before dawn, we set sail for California.  The goal is to be above latitude 27 in roughly three days (approximately 300nm).  Fortunately, the weather looks decent – to good, and even more fortunately, I will be buddy-boating with some neighbors from Alameda (literally, other liveaboards from the same dock, even) and, I think they are sharing one of their crew with me for at least the first part of the trip.

More updates soon . . . .

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Jun 13 2010

Video: Day Sail Cabo–Luxury Yacht Sailing in Cabo San Lucas, MX

Published by under Beneteau,Mexico

This is a short promo video I made for Captain Bob of L’Atitiude 32. It is a gorgeous boat, and Bob provides an amazing sailing experience. So, if you ever get down to Cabo San Lucas, save a day and go sailing with Day Sail Cabo. (www.daysailcabo.com)

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Jun 10 2010

The Simple Things in Life

Published by under Mexico,The Adventure

I have been in Mexico for a bit longer than seven months–arriving at the beginning of November. While here, I missed a few holidays to say the least.

My job at the family holidays, over the past 5 years or so, has been to bring apple pies. Of course, my mother does the majority of the rest of the work, but apple pies, from scratch, is my thing . . . .

Around Thanksgiving of last year, I naturally had a craving for apple pie. And, well . . . It never went away. And, well . . . basically, I have been craving apple pie for almost 7 months (it is not an easy item to obtain down here, and CNG for the oven on-board is non-existent in Baja).

One day, two cruisers sailed into town. Ryan and Kristina have been on a grand adventure, and we have enjoyed the sites of Cabo San Lucas together, and we got to talking–about cravings. Of course, I related my 7-month obsession with apple pie, and we all laughed . . . until yesterday . . . When they brought me one.

Thank you, Ryan and Kristina. (Adventures of Ryan and Kristina Blog)

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Jun 07 2010

Calling All Sailors: Crew Wanted

I am looking for a few good sailors for the return trip. The details of the boat are on this blog, and I will provision the boat–you must simply cover your flight expenses to Cabo San Lucas, and return transportation to your home town.

Sunset vista offshore in the Pacific with swell The trip from Cabo San Lucas to San Diego has no place to get off, although we will be stopping in Bahia Santa Maria, Turtle Bay, and Ensenada for our final check-out of the country–with the possibility of other stops along the way to avoid bad weather. Your help on this stretch of the trip would be for the duration of the Cabo to San Diego leg. Of course, you will have to suffer vistas like this . . . but, you will have your share of watches, too. 4-hour watches during the daylight, and 2-hour watches at night–and, we will be fishing the entire trip.

If we were to sail straight through without stopping, and with perfect weather, it could take optimistically 6 days to get to San Diego. Realistically, it will be more like 10 – 12 days–and, if we have to wait out bad weather, or mechanical problems, it could be another 3 – 5 days on top of that.

Once in San Diego, we will be there for a few days to visit friends, re-provision the boat, and check into the country. The legs are much shorter once we are back in the US–San Diego to Morro Bay (with the possibility of stops at Catalina, and Point Conception between), Morro Bay to Monterey, and Monterey to SF.

If you are interested in getting some sea miles under your belt, please contact me through the website, or email me directly at: timothy@isailaway.net

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Jun 01 2010

Mission Control, We are in a holding pattern . . . .

Published by under Mexico,The Adventure

My cousin was down to be my crew member for the return trip, and after more than a few delays, he ran out of time. Rather than taking the trip solo, I am still here in Cabo–waiting for additional crew. Perhaps another two weeks for me down here until departure time . . . .

More later!

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May 27 2010



This unassuming storefront may not look like much, but this is Mario’s. And, they just saved me $20 US on the bilge pump. They also had great prices on a new zinc, a replacement lure for the one that was attached to a huge fish, and other bottom cleaning goodies!

Thanks Mario!!!

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May 26 2010

More delays

As I was completing my final check of the boat, I discovered that the bilge pump is not functioning properly and must be replaced.

Fortunately, the local chandlery has a replacement bilge pump.

I should have the repairs completed tomorrow and have my eye on a new window of mild winds that begins on Saturday . . . .

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May 16 2010

Big Winds and a Weather Delay

Weather Grib from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas The GRIB files for weather have just worsened.  A high pressure system is bringing some big winds off of San Diego that will extend all the way down to Cabo San Lucas . . . and, so we sit for another few days.

One response so far

May 09 2010

Thinking of You (I swear)

Published by under Mexico,The Adventure

Thinking of You (I Swear) at El Cerritos, Mexico Final preparation, and provisioning for the return trip are underway . . . and, my cousin arrives tomorrow and will be sailing back with me to San Deigo.  The weather looks good and we are scheduled to leave early on Wednesday morning for San Francisco.  I am certainly looking forward to seeing the Golden Gate Bridge again.

In the meantime, here is a parting shot of what I am leaving behind.  (The beach is El Cerritos, and the rest is well, pretty self-explanatory.)

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