BLOG #4 – 5-9 MAR 2012
5 MAR 2012 - Puerto Escondido, passing Agua Verde and on to Los Gatos
After a great night’s sleep in a now- glassy bay, we got up by 7 and made preps to depart. There is NO wind, the bay quiet and other boats also preparing to depart – such as JUCE and Shannon. Once in the bay, heading south with a goal of Los Gatos and 39 miles, we found a little ambient wind and put both the main and a jib up – just mostly to look like a sail boat. Passing through Los Candaleros, we had a little more wind to head us south.
We fell off our faithful ball at 0740 and had a nice motor-sail, doing the 39 miles to Los Gatos and anchored several other boats we did not recognize at 1815 – with the sunset directly at us as we anchored. I was a little blinded but we got the hook in the sand. It was a long day, a long ride and a fairly calm anchorage – so we finally got some sleep without WIND! Los Gatos is very pretty, the bay surrounded by red rocks that look a lot like Sedona’s Red Rocks.
6 MAR 2012 - Los Gatos to Isla San Francisco
After a good rest, we pulled the anchor up at about 0745 AM with a destination of a southern island, another long run of about 36 miles. We arrived at 1800 and were able to anchor away from the sun this time – much easier! This is quite a pretty little island and bay area. We had several other boats in the anchorage with us. That said, we did have wind worries and kept a watch on the anchor.
Feeling like we need to beat an incoming, predicted “Norther”, we decided to try for La Paz by Thursday, unless the winds hit harder and earlier. So we were up early the next day to cross the 4 miles and make Espiritu Santo – with options there to stop. Of course, the winds picked up in the middle of the night, having us take turns on anchor watch – yet again. When will I get a full night’s sleep again?
7-8 MAR 2012 Isla San Francisco to Espiritu Santo/Partida
The morning weather was not great, continued winds. We left at 0630 in hopes to leave the winds behind and pas Espiritu Santo and settle into a slip in La Paz. Our goal was thwarted by – you guessed it – too much wind! We left in a 15 knot wind and throughout the day, saw 30 several times…on our nose and bouncy, hobby-horsing seas. Ugh. This is getting not fun.
But a day of crossing the Channel and slogging through wind and waves made us decide to make a stop on the island – so we pulled into Partida about 1430 to rest up, hoping to get into La Paz the next day. Fighting the wind is tiring and Bill does most of the hard parts. When the winds are just all over and opposing waves, we do not use Otto because HE gets tired and cranky! So it’s hand steering all day.
In Partida were 7-8 boats at anchor and it was fairly calm as we set the anchor and rested with a cold beer and a snack. At dusk, a big power boat of local partiers rolled in with many lights (sort of ruined the moonscape we had – with a full moon!). Bill discovered they must have driven over our little yellow anchor ball we toss out. It was gone after they anchored. Oh well. The ball lets us (and other smart boaters) know where our anchor is - usually about 100 feet off from the boat – as the chain/rode goes to hold us in place. And to prevent another boat from dropping their anchor on top our anchor.
Surprise, surprise. Soon after dusk, the wind started again. Not having current weather – just the prediction we were trying to avoid, we think the “Norther” has hit earlier than expected. So…back on anchor watch but we each took some rest time. The winds whipped fiercely all night, gusting and jerking at the anchor. Not a fun thing.
Not wanting to leave in 30+ knots and white caps, we opted to sit tight yet another night in hopes the Norther will blow away. Another boat we recognized in the bay (after the Power Boat left) and called (s/v Poco Loco Dos) had a three-day old weather report and said it looked like it might die off tonight and give us an easier ride south to lap Paz. We have another channel to pass across…the infamous San Lorenzo Channel, about a 4-5 mile run between Espiritu Santos and the La Paz peninsula. The good news – La Paz is just 21 miles away! Who would have thought 21 miles would be so hard?
9 MAR 2012 Partida to La Paz – finally!!!
Hoping for less wind, we woke to semi-quiet. We had actually slept! A slight breeze purred through the anchorage. We gathered the things aboard that spill and put them where they wouldn’t, turned on instruments and warmed up the engine. The big power boat had returned late the prior evening but seemed further away from our anchor. Using the electric windlass, Bill slowly pulled the anchor up and found the anchor ball still attached! I guess it is just getting old and tired and….sank!
Driving around the power boat, we exited the bay and headed for La Paz. The channel had some swells and a little rolling- but the seas were following us so we sort of “surfed” south. With 8-10 knots of wind, we just put the Genoa (jib) up and actually got a few knots of speed from it as the wind was off our port quarter. It was a fairly pleasant run, had a few minutes of sail and no engine. The Lorenzo Channel was even tame today. We were passed by the Baja ferry and two tankers heading into La Paz. And we noted 4-5 sailboats heading north, as well.
We arrived Marina Palmira at 2 PM, found our slip and the arranged marina staff who were to meet us were ….not there, of course. Luckily, a neighbor boater came over and took our dock lines. Bill made a perfect entry into our slip, we tied her up and put the girl to bed. Grabbed our documents and went to the office to “check in”…that is, drop off our legal boat paperwork, copies of passports, etc…and celebrated at La Panga, one of the marina restaurants, with a Negra Modelo and lunch.
Tomorrow is clean the boat day. It’s salty and dusty and gritty from three weeks blows and sprays.
NEXT: The Social Life of La Paz. We have dates already!