Thursday, October 29, 2015

Anchored in Bahia de Tortugas (Turtle Bay)

After four days and three nights at sea, we arrived and are snuggly anchored in Bahia de Tortugas with the rest of the Baja Ha-Ha fleet, minus a few stragglers and late starts. Last night's sail was 90% pleasantly uneventful, 10% a big unexpected bash.

I had planned our route based on the wind forecast which was for mostly light winds at night. I assumed we would be motoring, so routed us via the shortest distance without consideration for wind and waves. That route brought us to the east, leeward side of Cedros Island, the only boat in the Ha-Ha fleet I'm aware of that chose that side. However, instead of light winds, we had 20 knot winds which was no problem while we were in the shelter of the island but when passed out of the wind shadow...oh boy!

To make our way to Turtle Bay and avoid reported lobster traps and fish nets in the dark, we had to turn into the strong wind and considerable swell. To compound matters, there was a shallow bank along our path that amplified the wave height and steepness for a good 30 minutes of rough, tortuous motoring. Fortunately, we have motored through worse bashing up the Northern California coast, so we knew how to handle the boat and that it was just a noisy, bucking ride, not any real problem. During the worst of it, Renee asked me to check if the hatch was completely closed in the port head. I went below and looked up to check it, just as the bow of the boat crashed through one of the biggest waves of the night, and was immediately informed by a complete dousing that, no, the hatch was not completely closed! Renee thought that was funny.

Once we got past the shoal and in a position to turn downwind, everything calmed down substantially and we unfurled the jib for a steady sail until our morning arrival in the anchorage. We are anchored on the perimeter of the fleet, a 15 minute dinghy ride from the small town. The water is a nice warm 83 degrees,perfect for a refreshing swim to clear the sailing fatigue cobwebs. I celebrated our arrival with a post-swim beer, the earliest one so far at 10 a.m.. Following a watch schedule for the past three nights has made the time of day irrelevant to my biological clock, particularly when it comes to beer.

We'll hangout on the boat to rest for a while. Jeanne has made some poke from some of yesterday's tuna catch that we will enjoy on top of a salad for lunch. Then we'll head into town for the famous yachties vs townspeople baseball game. That should be fun and I imagine there might be more beer.

We are here until Halloween, when we depart on Leg 2 o the Ha-Ha to Bahia Santa Maria. Now we know that multi-night passages are not a Robles for us, although certainly tiring.