Sunday, June 16, 2024

Pacific Ocean, 50nm SW Bahía de Tortugas, Baja California

Tonight was the worst bashing so far on this Baja Bash, Bashing Level (BL) 3. Strong 20 knot-plus headwinds, steep seas, bows rising into the air, slamming into the sea, water crashing into the forward windows, streaming along the decks, foggy, less than a mile viz, cold, damp. You just want it to be over.

And it is. We’re motoring along on smooth seas,, nearly no wind, making over six knots. It is still very foggy and very damp. Intermezzo has pulled through the bashing well, a little water in an engine bilge, a squeak from a presently unknown source in the rigging, dripping wet outside, coated in dew inside. The little Yanmars are ticking over pleasantly, after muscling their way through wind, waves and a foul current.

We’ll make Turtle Bay early this afternoon, a patch of bashing still to go as we draw near. There we’ll take on fuel, dealing with the “turtle mafia” notorious for under-filling and over-charging for diesel. We’ll wait out weather, currently planning to depart just before midnight tomorrow. It’s one more gauntlet of bashing to run at the start and then it should be calmer conditions the rest of the way. We’re past the halfway mark, but the leg from Turtle Bay to Ensenada is the longest one of the Baja Bash, 290nm distance, over 50 hours underway. 

Arnstein has done a great job in weather analysis and passage planning, solid as a rock on the boat. Jimmy has remained cheerful and energetic, despite sleeping(?) in a levitation chamber at the pitching bows of the boat and dealing with mild bouts of seasickness. As tough as it’s been at times, these two guys have made it way better for me. Feeling grateful.