Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Passage Planning

Santa Rosalía, Baja California Sur

Planned route from Santa Rosalía to Bahía San Francisquito

Tomorrow morning we set sail from Santa Rosalía to Bahía San Francisquito, the longest leg of the trip to Puerto Peñasco at 76nm. It's an annoying distance because it will take around 15 hours to get there at our average cruising speed of 5 knots. That means that we cannot leave in daylight and arrive in daylight. Some night sailing is required.

I usually try to avoid arriving in an anchorage after sunset. To arrive in San Francisquito before 7pm, I would need to leave the marina here no later than 4am. I'm squeezed in tight next to another boat, so I need some help to get out of the slip. I can't count on that until around 8am. Alternatively, to arrive in San Frncisquito after sunrise at 6am, I could leave the marina around 3pm and sail through the night.

What I've decided to do is leave here around 8am and anchor in San Francisquito in the dark around 11pm.  The anchorage is large with no navigational hazards, easy to get into. The only possible problem is that strong westerly winds are suggested by some of the wind models. If the winds are blowing too hard for my liking, I will just heave-to and wait for them to subside or for the sun to come up. This worked well for us outside Morro Bay waiting for sunrise before entering the harbor back in 2015.

Most of the weather models are suggesting westerly winds around 10 knots during the day shifting to easterly winds in the evening around 5 knots and then back to westerly between 5 and 10 knots at night. Two of the higher resolution models are suggesting higher winds around 15 knots with 20 knot gusts right around the time we would be anchoring.

We shall see.

PS: Just noticed at 9:30pm that the moon is nearly full, high in the sky. That will be helpful tomorrow night for anchoring. The moon is my friend.