Way back in Monterey, we signed up for the Baja-Ha-Ha rally. It is a bunch of boats that leave San Diego together, travel down the coast of Baja Mexico, and then it ends in Cabo San Lucas. We joined primarily to meet other kid boats, and we were not disappointed.
Surprisingly to me there were a ton of teenage girls. Maybe eight? They were know as the "gaggle of girls", and often at an anchorage you would here them hail the group on the VHF radio as such.
"Gaggle of girls, gaggle of girls, this is Me Too, over."
"Me Too, Empyrean"
"Me Too, Ankyriaus"
"Me Too, Mango"
"Yeah we are going to have a movie night on Me Too at 6:30, so please come!"
And then that boat would be taken over for two hours by a bunch of girls.
The younger boys were not so social, perhaps as expected with younger kids.
The sail down the Baja coast is broken into three legs. The first is San Diego to Turtle Bay, a three day sail, the second down to Bahia Santa Maria, a two day sail, and the third to Cabo, an over night sail. The first leg was exciting, winds between 15-25 knots on the stern. Fantastic! The second leg was lighter wind, but still a great ride. The third was motoring except for three hours of spinnaker work. Oh well. We sailed the entire first and second legs, and surprisingly few boats did likewise. Most boats motorsailed at least part of the way.
Unfortunately our auto pilot gave up during the second leg, so we had to hand steer. Fortunately our friends Paul and Karen that accompanied us for the Seattle to Half Moon Bay trip joined us for this trip too, so we had a lot of hands steering the boat.
We spent two nights in both Turtle Bay and Bahia Santa Maria. Turtle bay has a little town, I think the population is about 1,200. Lots of kids were around to help you with your dinghy for a buck, flag a water taxi, or whatever. You'd come in on your dinghy, really requiring no help at all, but three kids would end up holding the boat, half way help you haul it up the beach, and then you give each kid a buck. I doubt there is much opportunity to make a little money as a kid in that town, so it was all right with me.
We explored the town a bit, enjoyed a beach party, let the dogs romp around on the beach, and generally had a good time. We did have one little surprise on the beach while the dogs were running around.
E: "Dad, there's a truck coming down the beach, we should call the dogs."
Me: "Nah, dogs run wild in Mexico, the driver knows what he is doing."
As the truck passed us, we waved to the three guys in the cab, they smile and wave back, and Annie darts out in front of the truck at gets hit. Holy crap! Fortunately the front wheel just clipped her hip, she rolled out of the way, then turned and barked at the truck, as if to say "truck driver dude, I will destroy you!" Good old Annie. She was fine.
Cabo, as described by one of the panga drivers serving as a water taxi, called it the Vegas of Mexico. Lots of expensive restaurants and bars, and seemingly little else. We stayed for three nights in the anchorage, mostly to attend the various HaHa events. The anchorage was very rolly, so we were delighted to hit a marina 17 miles away in San Jose Del Cabo. There were a lot of HaHa boats there, escaping the anchorage.
Kristen and E were still recovering from stomach bugs, so we stayed four nights resting, doing laundry, boat chores, and a little visiting with friends.
On Thursday we left and half sailed, half motored to Bahia Los Frailes, The Friars. This is just a little tuck in the land that offers protection from northerlies, but is wide open from the south. It has been calm, happily.
There were a bazillion little fish in the water at night, all around the boat, being eaten by fish in the 12-16 inch range, jumping all over the place. It was like hanging out in your own aquarium during feeding time.
Today, Friday, we tried to leave towards La Paz. The winds were from the north on the nose, ~20 knots. Waves being waves, they didn't help our forward progress either, and we ended up averaging about 2 knots to the north. Not very spectacular. After three hours we gave up on reaching our destination 45 miles to the north, and headed back to Frailes.
Tomorrow we will try again, but this time the winds are forecast to be a little lighter from the east. If true, that is a much better angle for us, and we should get to our next anchorage, Ensenada Del Muertos, by nightfall.
After Muertos we will hit one of the little anchorages near La Paz, and then come into La Paz in the morning when we have plenty of light.
We had a great time with familia de Koles. They were excellent hosts, and generous with their washing machine.
Halloween party with the HaHa fleet, ~400 of our new besties.
Tucking a reef into the main. I look cold!
The ball field in Tuetle Bay had big bleachers, artificial turf and $2 beers. Nice.
Paul spinning a yarn while doing the dishes.
Hiking in Bahia Santa Maria.
The HaHa fleet at anchor in Bahia Santa Maria. That's a lot of boats!
And that is what a lot of boats looks like when leaving the anchorage on the chart plotter. Probably half the boats were broadcasting AIS, which is the technology that lets us see boats on the chart plotter.
This beautiful boat is a C&C 40, a decidedly faster boat than ours. More of a racer/cruiser. Under Paul's excellent instructions, we were able to keep up with them and pass them when we tried hard enough. Not bad for a Mango, a big heavy cruising boat!
How I feel in the morning.
Adam rocking the helm.
Paul and Kristen, with Karen at the helm, flying the spin.
It was windy at anchor!
November 18th, 2016