13 Mar Isla San Benito to Bahia de Tortugas (Turtle Bay)
We are out here doing it! Currently, we are heading to Bahia Magdelena from Bahia de Tortugas (254 NM Nautical miles)
We spent two WINDY nights at Isla San Benito. A beautiful little bay, with a tiny town at the tip. We arrived mid-day on Sunday and shared the bay with a fishing boat and a bunch of pangas. We decided this would be an appropriate time to figure out the leak in dingy, since it was sitting on deck. Found about a one inch slit (that had been there since we bought the boat!) and decided to repair. Once the repair was almost complete, read that repair should sit 24 hours to completely dry!!! Bummer! We were looking forward to going to shore, checking out the village, stretching our legs and walking around a bit. We thought, no worries we could do that tomorrow even though we were expecting a storm.
Haha, apparently Mother Nature had other ideas for us, as the wind picked up and stayed around 25 knots with wind waves and whitecaps! Not a good time to lower the dingy from the deck into the water. Not a good time to lower the motor onto the stern of dingy. And it was too windy to row. Hmmm, looks like we will have to stay aboard until the wind mellows.
We had very little rain, but the wind continued to blow and blow. MAIA hung in well at anchor, but was sailing back and forth, the noises and action aboard felt like we were out at sea. At least, we got to try out our new flopper stopper (reduces the rocking motion while anchored). It really helped!
As the windy conditions continued, we decided to pull up anchor on Tuesday morning and head to Bahia de Tortugas (Turtle Bay). Disappointed that we were not able to go ashore, but we had a lovely sail and arrived in Turtle Bay after dark. We motored into the bay and anchored. It was a much calmer night and we got a good night’s rest.
Wednesday morning, we had a lovely breakfast and discussed our schedule for heading South. We decided Bahia de Magdelena would be the next major destination. We have options of stopping at several anchorages along the way (to break up the trip) or doing another couple day overnight. As always, our final decision will be made depending on wind and weather.
A panga came by to see if we wanted to purchase fuel. We asked what the price would be and estimated how much we needed. When they came back with the fuel the price was higher! Very frustrating as they are the only game in town.
Also decided that this would be a good spot to test the watermaker and get it working. So, after 2 days of adjusting this and that, we made our first batch of water! Now we are even more self-sufficient!
We explored the town of Bahia de Tortuga a couple times. We walked on the few paved streets as well as the dirt roads. We found a little market and were able to pick up eggs, a little fruit and a few veggies. We met some of the other Cruisers when we stopped into Maria’s. Unfortunately, the cantina was closed, although cruisers were hanging out there and using internet.
We also met our Turtle Bay anchorage neighbors, the Gilbert family (Kristin, John, Toby & Karis) on s/v Salt & Light. They have sailed down from the San Francisco area!
On Saturday evening just after Sunset and with the Full Moon rising we left Turtle Bay. We had good wind and the swell was a little bigger than expected, so I, Laura began the evening freaked out. But, after a while I was able to adjust and enjoy the beautiful evening with the full moon. It was so bright we could see land 10 miles away. It feels much safer to me, when you can see around you. The wind quieted down during the night and the afternoon. We motored for a while in the night, even though we are trying to sail as much as possible, to make the cruising kitty last longer.
The water is an Indigo blue, very different from the green we saw North of here. The swells have been between 4 and 6 feet. The winds max 15 knots. With the lighter winds we finally pulled out our Spindrifter (light wind Spinnaker sail). It has beautiful pink and blue stripes. We were happy with its performance, maybe giving us an extra knot of speed. Unfortunately, it hung really low off the side of the boat, so it was difficult to see. We will rig it differently next time to see if it will work a little better.
We are expecting to reach Magdelena Bay tomorrow and think we will stay a day or two before heading to Cabo! So exciting, we are so close to the Sea of Cortez! This is about the only place we both knew we wanted to spend time, as we read about other cruiser’s journey’s there. Stay tuned and we will let you know how it is!