Worrall Travel R's

Worrall Travel R's
Roz and Russ

Worrall Travel R's - Kicking the Bucket List

My photo

We are the Worrall Travel R's Roz and Russ Worrall. Our goal before we "kick the bucket" is to see as much of the world as we are able, learn about world cultures, experience making friends around the world, and share goodwill and what we learn with others. WE HOPE YOU JOIN US VIA THE BLOG ON OUR TRAVELS.

We started our world travels in 1969 in VW camper van in the USA, Canada, and Europe, but didn't actively blog about our travels until 2009 aboard our sailing vessel SV Worrall Wind, a 44 ft Nauticat Ketch.  On September 5, 2009 we left San Francisco and took a left at the Golden Gate to Explore the World.

From to Sea to Land
After almost 4 years of cruising Mexico and the South Pacific, we sold our beloved boat in Australia, 2013. The Worrall Travel R's are continuing our travels around by many other means of conveyance -boats,trains, planes, sometimes camels, elephants, rickshaws, and hot air balloons.. 

Russ is a retired engineer, optometrist, professor from U.C. Berkeley. Roz is a retired computer programmer/analyst, educator, (teacher, administrator, professional developer). 

Our Mantra:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
~ Mark Twain

Monday, November 30, 2009

Across the Sea of Cortez

Hello everyone!  We are currently in Mazatlan, enjoying a wet, rainy day and catching up on little tasks.  Here is a recap of our last week and sail across the Sea of Cortez:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and we debated about staying in La Paz until after Thanksgiving so that we could celebrate with the other cruisers here.  The call of the sea won.  We left CostaBaja marina after saying goodbye to dock mates.  I am sure some of them we will meet up with again, and others we will never see again.  Kind of sad really when you think about all of the nice people in the world that could easily become friends and yet everyone is on their own journey.  These journeys  may intersect or not at some point in time.  I think about those intersections a lot and how some are fleeting and others are enduring. 

Russ and I for instance when we were young, lived parallel journeys attending the same high school, not knowing one another or even seeing one another,  but our paths intersected one day over a hundred miles away.  The rest you might say is history.  What if we hadn’t met that day?  Would we be on this sailboat traveling around the world?  What would we be doing?  I guess as we approach tomorrow, we are ever so thankful to have met, had a wonderful family, and an opportunity to live our dreams together.

When we left La Paz, the wind was right on our nose along with a 3-4 foot fetch.  We had commented on the rocking horse boats leaving La Paz when we had entered a week previous.  Now we were beating our way out with salty waves spraying over the bow.  There was a dark overcast. 

Had we been in the San Francisco Bay it would have been pretty miserable, but in 78 degrees in Mexico…not so much.  We had gotten a late start and decided that sailing all the way to Ensenada de los Muertos would have made for a night landfall.  We entered Ballandras Bay only about 15 miles from La Paz and anchored close to the north east bluffs to get out of the wind.  Even with the flopper stopper (gismo that hangs off our spinnaker pole into the water that moderates the sidewise rock), we rocked around most of the night.  We were the only boat in the bay.  We think everyone else was in port getting their turkeys ready.  We watched a DVD called The Trouble with Angels with Rosalind Russell and Haley Mills.  This is the DVD from which Julia Sweeny in her one woman monolog, Letting Go of God, quotes Haley Mills in saying, “I have a scathingly brilliant idea!”  Julia’s performance was brilliant, the DVD was not.

Thursday, November 26, 2009 - Happy Thanksgiving

We got an early start on Thanksgiving morning.  The wind and sea had died down considerably.  We motor sailed north/northeast during the morning.  As we looked northward ,we counted an armada of power boats strung out across the horizon, motoring south to La Paz, FUBAR survivors! (I previously spelled this as FooBar and got an anonymous tip on the correct spelling and acronym.  See comments for this blog.) The FUBAR  is an equivalent rally to the Baja Ha Ha for power boaters.  The FUBAR left San Diego around the time we were arriving in Cabo San Lucas.  By noon we had passed at least 25 power boats.  When we were clear of the power boats and the wind was on our quarter, we put up the sails and headed south.

We arrived once again in Ensenada de los Muertos, determined this time to eat in the little open air restaurant 1535 (the year Cortez discovered this bay), but not tonight.  Russ had been waiting all day for turkey and the trimmings.  Once we anchored about 3:00 I got dinner under way.  Instead of trimming a turkey, I gave Russ a  hair trim while we waited for the sweet potato pie to bake.  The only thing we missed was family and pumpkin pie.  But we did raise our wine glasses and wished you all a happy Thanksgiving.  Did you hear us?

After dinner, we watched  yet another DVD - Jack Nicholson in Anger Management.  I think I know now why I got such a deal on these DVDs.  After the DVD we went outside and shined the lights in the water to see if we could replicate the red-eye special we had seen the last time we were in this bay.  We couldn’t.  We did see occasional amber eyes, but no red-eyes in the water.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Originally, we were going to head down to Frailles to stage our trip across the Sea of Cortez.
However, after studying our charts, wind and wave angles, we decided to jump off from Muertos where we would have a quartering fetch instead of a beam fetch.  Since leaving from Muertos lengthens the time across the sea, we also decided to leave on Friday afternoon which would give us plenty of time to sail and get to Mazatlan some time early Sunday.  We heard from Dave and Marcia and Juniata and they have decided to sit tight for a day or two because of conflicting forecast model that indicated a possible tropical depression near Mazatlan causing some strong winds on Sunday night.  Their journey is from farther north and their boat a little slower.

We spent the morning doing some chores (laundry, deck cleaning, window washing).  I decided to review marine weather forecasting.  I had taken a course over a year ago and have a nice computer trainer, so I spent time doing that.  Then we got the boat ready to pull up anchor at 4:00.

At 2:30 p.m. we went ashore for our chili rellanos and enchilada dinner.   We enjoyed the sun in the western sky and the gentle breeze.  We returned to the boat, hoisted the dinghy, attached the rudder for the hydro vane, and weighed anchor.  We were under way on a 095 degree magnetic heading across the Sea of Cortez.  This two night passage will mark our first duo passage.  In previous overnights, we have always had crew aboard.  We set all three sails and were clipping along at 5 knots with hydro happily at the helm.

I had first night watch from 8 to midnight or 1:00 if I wasn’t too tired.  After we were underway, I tried unsuccessfully to take a nap.  At 8:00 p.m. everything looked good we were still sailing along at a nice clip with a northeast wind right on our line.  The waxing moon was brilliant.  We had made arrangements to connect Juniata on the same HAM frequency as the Sonrisa Net at 2000 hrs.  But alas, there were several other folks using the same frequency, so we gave up on that idea.

Russ got into bed.  At 8:30 p.m. the wind suddenly died and started to clock around.  The jib flogged, the mizzen boom gibed  and the main boom was jumping all around.  Russ, who had been reading, and not sleeping, got out of bed and we reset the sails for a northeastern wind.  The wind was so light that hydro was doing no good. 

We took down the jib and the mizzen, leaving only the main.  Our speed over ground now was reading zero knots.  We decided to put hydro to rest, start the motor, and get Ado the autopilot up and running  The wind had died but the fetch had not.  It took Ado nearly a half hour to find itself with the sea state, arcing 45 degrees on either side of our course line. Good thing we don’t get sea sick.  By the time Ado finally settled down, it was 10 p.m.  Russ finally went to bed and I restarted my watch.  We motored along at 6 knots, with absolutely no other boats anywhere on the horizon or radar screen.  I stayed on watch, recording and charting our position, adjusting the auto pilot, scanning the horizon for lights, listening to pod casts, exercising to the Mama Mia sound track, and playing solitaire on the computer.  At 2:30 a.m., Russ and I changed watch.

Russ ramped up the engine speed to make water, and I drifted off to sleep.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

At dawn while I was still asleep, a pod of dolphins ushered Worrall Wind into the sunrise.  Russ said they were not the big bottle nose dolphins but gray and about 4 feet long.  I looked on our sea mammal identifier, and we think it was a Vaquita o Cochito, resident dolphin found in the Sea of Cortez.  By 7:15 a.m., Russ woke me up with a steaming cup of coffee.  Clark, the coffee guru, had me well spoiled and Russ jumped in to pick up the slack.   The wind had picked up to about 8 knots, so we shut down the motor and pulled up the sails.  By the time we checked into the Sonrisa net at 7:40 we were up to 4 knots.  Marcia was the net control on the Sonrisa net this morning.  She does a great job.  It was fun listening to her direct traffic.  Sounds like she and Dave are still hanging tight and may not leave for a few more days.  There are some northers expected to blow beginning on Monday, further narrowing their travel window.  I am glad we are underway and will be in Mazatlan before the brisk winds on Sunday night and the northers on Monday.

The sky is pale blue, the sea deep blue.  There are a few wispy clouds, the temperature is in the upper seventies and the wind is blowing about 12 knots from the northeast.  We are sailing on a close reach.   The conditions are about as perfect as they can be.

We spent the entire day lopping along between 3.5-5 knots.  By 3:00 p.m., the wind had shifted from close reach to beam reach.  Russ took a nap from 3:00 to 5:30.  While Russ was napping, I was on the lido deck keeping hydro adjusted as the wind was shifting.  I noticed a brown sea bird flying around the boat.  It circled the boat three times, swooping down and passing closely over the bow sprint.  On the fourth swoop, the bird thread under the billowing sail and through the safety lines to land on the bow sprint.  I took a few pictures and was surprisingly able to get  pretty close to the bird without spooking it.  I couldn’t find an exact match on my bird identifier and was guessing that he russet color was juvenile plumage of a brown booby.  

Me a Booby?

 About an hour later, the bird took off and joined another bird that I did identify as a mature brown booby.  The mature bird circled the boat a couple of times, eyeing the spreader on the port side.  He apparently had a few more brains than the pelican that killed itself on our spreader in 2001 and passed up the chance to hitchhike.  The younger booby, however, was now a pro at threading the needle and landed once again on the bow sprint.  It is now well into Saturday night as I am on watch, and the booby is still with us.  Other than the dolphins this morning and the boobies this afternoon, Russ and I are the only visible beings on the sea.

Our watch schedule this evening has been, Roz 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. with Russ sleeping. Russ from 6:00-10:00 p.m. with Roz sleeping.  Roz from 10:00 - 2:00 a.m. 11/29 with Russ sleeping.  Russ from 2:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. with  Roz sleeping.  We think we have timed our arrival in Mazatlan between 8-9:00 in the morning as long as we keep a relatively slowed pace between 3-4 knots.  The winds have been light but fairly constant, not necessitating any motoring.  The gentle movement of the boat and light breeze has made sleeping and watching a peaceful experience.

The sun rose about 6:30 a.m. and land was in in sight about 20 miles east.    The wind had nearly died out and the sea was fairly calm with a 1 foot northeast swell.  We started  the motor about 7:30 a.m. and hoped to have everything rolling quickly  so we could  listen to the Sonrisa net and check in.   Our friend the Booby, who had been hitching a rid to Mazatlan throughout the night, decided it was time to take one more Booby poop on the bow and bid us adios.  Russ had strapped down the hydrovane in preparation for turning on the motor, but the prop wash had loosened hydro’s bolts just enough that the bottom part of hydro’s vertical shaft popped off the horizontal shaft attached to the stern when I put the boat in forward motion. 

So much for getting everything ready by the morning net.  Our mantra when things go wrong is why we are sailing, and we keep repeating. “It’s about the journey, not the destination.”  “It’s about the journey, not the destination!”

We turned off  the motor, lowered the dinghy and prepared to lift hydro’s rudder out of the water and try to remount the shaft.  Because there was no wind, the boat gradually turned sideways and we were taking sea swell on the side.  The dinghy, usually protected in the lee of a forward facing boat, bobbed up and down  and occasionally wildly as we tried to reposition the shaft.  During the process of raising the rudder, the dinghy did a wild dance, and while nothing major was lost overboard, Russ did lose his socket wrench and the pin that holds the rudder on to the shaft.  “It’s about the journey, not the destination.”  We’re going to need to get a stockpile of those pins, and it’s another trip to a hardware store.  Once these little maneuvers were completed.  We raised the dinghy and got underway.  Of course we missed the morning net completely and our timetable of an early arrival was delayed a bit.  Our almost hapless journey across the sea had a little ding or more positively another challenge!  

We found our way to Marina Mazatlan and were in our slip with the help of dock mates by 11:00 a.m., a little later than we anticipated.  By this time the sky had a high overcast.  It was 84 degrees, 67 percent humidity, and not a promise of a breeze.  The marina office is closed on Sundays, so we had the afternoon to reorganize, orient ourselves to the marina facilities, and meet our neighbors.  The nightly cocktail hour on dock 6 started at 4:30.  During the afternoon, we lowered the dinghy to make final repairs on the hydro shaft.  Russ and I rigged a pulley hoist off the mizzen boom to lift and realign the vertical shaft of the hydrovane and tighten down all of the bolts.  The sun was low on the stern and we were both glistening with sweat from the effort.  We needed to have the stern sunscreens raised to accomplish the work off the stern.   As soon as we finished this task, we dropped the shades, hosed ourselves down to cool off, grabbed a beer and headed for the cocktail party.  The evening was beautiful once the sun went down.  There is a 40 percent chance of rain tomorrow.

Dave and Marcia on Juniata left this morning to come across the Sea of Cortez.  We hope they have an uneventful journey.  Now that we are in the marina, our radio reception and transmission are dismal, so we cannot  connect with them.  We’ll need to connect with our sail mail (radio e-mail) program and see how they are doing.

Monday, November 30, 2009 

It’s raining! Raining hard and almost straight down with only a slight breeze  It’s 70 degrees and 95 percent humidity.  Wonder what it takes to register 100 percent humidity?  It feels like Hawaii.  Our sun  cover is now a rain cover, but it is still pretty wet on the lido deck.  We are enjoying the rain and catching up on inside chores. Russ is discouraged because several of the intensive seal repairs on hatches and dorads to stop leaks didn’t work.  We still are leaking.  I guess it takes an intensive rain to find this out.    As I write this log, Russ dug out our foul weather gear (which I just deeply stowed in La Paz), and limped up to the marina office in his shorts, sandals, and windbreaker with hood pulled over his head to sign us in. 

The night before last, while he was on watch, he stubbed his little toe on the threshold from the saloon to the galley.  His toe is  purple and swollen.  He may have broken it.  He never said anything about the stub until I asked him why he was limping yesterday while we were taking a stroll…macho man.  He slept with his foot elevated last night and the toe looks less swollen.  I think it will be a few days though before he can wear anything other than sandals.  As soon as he returns from the office with our WiFi password, I hope to get this blog posted.

We may be in Mazatlan for a week or more before leaving for Puerto Vallarta and meeting up with Abby and Neal who are flying down to spend the holidays with us.  If you have anything for us, if you get it to Abby and it's not too large, she may be able to bring it down with her.

We are looking forward to meeting up with Dave and Marcia who are due to arrive tomorrow (Tuesday) morning, exploring the city, and taking a trip out to the Copper Canyon which is supposed to be seven times bigger than the Grand Canyon.  The trip to the Copper Canyon may take six days via buses, trains, and sights along the way.  Apparently, it’s not just about the destination, but the journey along the way.  Makes sense to us!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Adios La Paz

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

We are leaving La Paz today after spending a wonderful week here and heading to Mazatlan.  When we arrived in La Paz last Tuesday, we were unable to stay in Marina De La Paz because it was booked with Baja Ha Ha boats.  Instead we came to a lesser known, brand new Marina called the CostaBaja just outside of La Paz.  It turned out to be a serendipitous alternative to the hustle and bustle of the downtown Marina.

View from the top of the mast.

The new Marina is beautiful, clean, and secure.  Cruisers here can take advantage of hotel amenities such as pool, workout center, pure potable dock water made from a desalination plant, lovely Marina restaurants and other facilities. Each berth has its own pump out.  The wide concrete docks were made in Davis, California.   A free marina shuttle bus leaves almost every hour for the downtown area.  In a short period, we have met several wonderful fellow cruisers that now consider this their home or are in transit as we are.

When we leave, we will make our way south to Frailles, which was our first stop heading north when we left Cabo San Lucas.  From there we will jump off to cross the Sea of Cortez and the Mexican mainland on Saturday, arriving in Mazatlan on Sunday, November 29, We should have a waxing moon for our night passage.  We plan to stay at Marina Mazatlan where we will meet up with Colfax friends and veteran cruisers, Dave and Marcia Meyer on Juniata. 

Here is a brief recap of our week:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009 – Checked into Marina and enjoyed being on terra firma.  We especially appreciated the Cruiser’s air-conditioned lounge with high speed Internet.  Clark and Nina made homebound arrangements online.  We’ll wash the boat Manana.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009Secured our temporary import permit for the boat.  Went into town of La Paz to look around.  Strolled up and down the malacon enjoying the views and bronze sculptures.

Met up with friends.  Ordered custom lycra full-body swim suits from local seamstress, did some grocery shopping, purchased a new anchor light at local marine shop, and purchased some fish and bird identification cards and books.  Guess we’ll wash the boat Manana.

Thursday, November 19, 2009Spent the morning in the Cruiser’s lounge catching up on email, doing a few chores, then heading off to La Paz for the Baja Ha Ha Welcome to La Paz party sponsored by the three marinas, office of Tourism and city of La Paz.  It was a great party with free food and drinks for first 25 Baja Ha Ha couples to sign in (we were in the first 25).  We had Margaritas, abalone, smoked marlin, and shrimp tacos.  We were treated to several groups of Mexican folk dancers, Mariachi band, and dance band.  It was a wonderful welcome and great fun!
Still haven’t washed the boat – manana!

Friday, November 20, 2009 – Well we were going to wash the boat today, but decided not to miss the fiesta celebrating Mexico’s independence from a dictatorship.  Went into town and had a great time watching the parade of children and young people that went on for nearly 3 hours.  Maybe we’ll get the boat washed tomorrow.  Photos of festival below:

 Toy vendor gets ready for the fiesta crowd.

The crowd barely leaves room for the parade participants.

These boys had the right idea for enjoying a good perch in the shade to watch the parade.

Saturday, November 21, 2009 - We bade adios to Clark and Nina, our friends and crew.  We enjoyed having them on aboard. 

After we said our goodbyes, we finally tore into the boat for a long overdue cleanup.  I worked the inside.  Russ took care of the outside with a borrowed pressure washer.  I took six loads of sheets, towels, and clothes up to the laundry mat at 9:00 a.m. and turned them over to a couple of very capable ladies who had the clothes washed, dried, folded and pressed by 1:00 p.m. for less than $40.00.  By 7:00, we were cleaned up inside and out.  We met up with some other folks from the Marina and went out to dinner at one of the Marina’s restaurants.

Sunday, November 22, 2009 – Now that the boat was cleaned up, we worked on some long overdue projects.  Russ climbed the mast to install new anchor light.  I worked on net screens for portholes.  We invited neighbors over for wine on the lido deck when the sun went down.

Monday, November 23, 2009Russ and I got up early and took the shuttle bus into town to pick up our full body swimsuits and to do some major re-provisioning.  After a full morning of shopping at the super mercado called CCC, we hired a taxi to bring us back to the marina where we spent the early part of the afternoon washing and repacking food for the refrigerator and freezer. And then…yes!  I took my first SIESTA!  One of our neighbors invited us over for Monday Night Football and a tailgate party on his sailboat.  There were four couples, and Boomer the host.  We had a fine evening.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009 – Today was our last full day at the Marina.  Russ did some waxing and polishing of the boat.  I continued the net screen project completing the screens with Russ’s help in the master stateroom.  We pumped out the head, filled up the water tanks, and went to the Marina office to get a new crew list, absent Clark and Nina, for our exit on Wednesday. 

We are leaving today after a very busy week.  We have enjoyed La Paz as a city and its very lovely citizens and fellow cruisers who have been warm and friendly.  Some of our observations:

1.     Even though there are many streets.  There are very few street signs.  We navigated by counting blocks and looking for landmarks.

2.     Taxi drivers and bus drivers view stop signs as suggestions.  This is the birthplace of the rolling stop.  Pedestrians have to be very careful.

3.     Sidewalks are a patchwork of designs and disasters.  Every building and merchant seems to be responsible for the creation, construction and maintenance of their little piece of walk with no standardization of elevation, texture, steps, half steps, no steps, ramps, or drop offs.  Great pride is taken in keeping the sidewalks clean.  Everywhere employees are sweeping, sweeping, sweeping.

4.     We observed many babies, and very few baby strollers….probably because the sidewalks would be too hazardous.  Babies and toddlers are carried by their parents.  We also noticed tricycles in the baby stores that have attached umbrellas to keep the sun off the children.

5.     All school children wear uniforms.  They are very neat and tidy.  Free education only goes up to the sixth grade.  After that, parents must pay to send their children to school.  The local cruising club raises funds for scholarships for families so that their children can continue their education.

6.     Grocery stores and pharmacies are well stocked.  La Paz has a Sears, Price Club, and Wal-Mart.  Home Depot is opening a store here next week.  Many stores seem to be doing well.  There are also many vacant stores and restaurants.

7.     The sea around La Paz is peaceful – blue green water, no waves.  The malacon (beach promenade) is beautiful and the people are rightfully proud of their city.

8.     The independence festival marked the beginning of the Christmas season.  On Monday, Christmas music was in every store along with all the trappings of the season including pine boughs and trees, which are very foreign in the desert.  The La Paz community caters to the many American cruisers here and we found lots of Thanksgiving grocery items in the store including pumpkin pie mix, dressing, cranberries, turkeys, etc.

9.     Very few people have dogs or at least take them out on leashes.  The only dogs we saw were with Americans or strays in the streets.

The next blog post will most likely be from Mazatlan.  In the meantime, we will be thinking of all of you eating turkey and celebrating Thanksgiving.  We are certainly thankful for being able to live our dream.  Health and Happiness to you.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Beyond the Ha Ha in Baja - On Our Way to La Paz

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Russ and Clark were up early and continuing to try and track down the reason for an energy leak.  Russ had been puzzling over it for a couple of days.   We were losing 6 amps an hour to something and it wasn’t our refrigerators or freezer causing the draw.  They finally discovered that the generator was the culprit, and came up with a solution to fix the problem.

We fueled up taking in 131 gallons of diesel, said our goodbyes on the radio to the Baja Ha Ha fleet, and headed north about 10:00 a.m.  Clark threw in a hand line with our pink lure  no success.  After a couple of hours, he changed it to a green and yellow lure and within a few minutes, a fish hit the line.  I hauled it in easily so we knew it wouldn’t be big.  It was a beautiful yellow green fish with blue dots.  We really need a fish identifier and are guessing that it was a small Dorado.  The fish weighed in at 7 lbs and after filleting, we got enough meat for dinner.  Russ and I cleaned and filleted the fish ourselves with Clark’s verbal instructions.  We had watched him do it twice and explain it.  I think we did a pretty good job.  Russ took care of the gutting and gross filleting.  I took it into the galley for the final de-boning and finish work.  I don’t like the fish eyes staring at me! 

After provisioning, the frig and freezer are pretty full so we will need to hold off for a bit before doing more fishing.  We arrived at Frailles (The Friars) bay around 5:00 p.m., anchored, had cocktails, and ate dinner.  There were probably 15 or more Baja Ha Ha cruisers in the Bay with us.  By 6:30 p.m. it was pitch dark.  Our anchor light didn’t want to go on….another  puzzle to work on.  We hung a hand-crank lantern off our boom.  We were all yawning and ready for bed, but it was only 6:45.  We drug out the dominoes and played three rounds of Mexican train before finally calling it a night and dragging ourselves to bed a 9:00 p.m.  It’s a hard life!

Monday, November 9, 2009

We left Frailles about 8:15 in the morning and motored into a northerly headwind .  I forgot to turn on our Spot tracker for several miles, but finally remembered.  Our track will have a pretty big gap in it, but we are on the move again today to Ensenada de Los Muertos (Cove of the Dead).  Now that’s a happy name!  Muertos is reportedly smaller than the bay we were in last night.  We hope we left early enough to get there while there is still some space.

I was at the helm about 10:00 a.m. when I saw a huge “fish” swim under the boat, maybe 10 feet long.  Turned out not to be a fish but a bottle nose dolphin.  Within in minutes we were pushing several of these huge dolphins through the water on our bow wake.  What a thrill.

By 3:30 in the afternoon we reached Muertos. The bay was larger than we anticipated and there was plenty of room to drop the hook,  Several other Ha Ha boats were in the bay with us heading up to LaPaz.  Russ and I went ashore in the dinghy and took a look around while Clark and Nina siested on the boat.   As we had approached the bay we could see a planned community development on the eastern shore and a golf course that had been built in a valley.  There was a lovely restaurant, bar and sales office for The Bay of Dreams.  Guess Bay of Dreams has more appeal than Bay of the Dead.

We took some pictures and had an ice cold beer in the open air restaurant before going back out to the boat.  After the sun went down we could hear fishing jumping and slapping against the water.  We brought out a large flash light and shone it in the water hoping to attract the fish to the light.  Soon krill and little shrimp were circling in the light, followed by fry (small silver fish).  Just beyond the light we could see larger fish about 12-18 inches circling, but staying out of the light.  We didn’t want to move the light we had to a different location because we now had quite an illuminated gathering of small fish.

Russ pulled out this incredibly strong spotlight that we plugged into the battery and cast its light on the perimeter waters of the boat.  The beam from this light reflected off the larger fishes retinas.  While we still couldn’t see the fish, the water all around the boat was filled with hundreds of red eyes.  The water was teaming with fish that now looked like scarlet fireflies flitting through the black sea.  It was spectacular and gave a new meaning to the red eye special.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

We weighed anchor at 8:30 Tuesday morning and continued our trip northward towards La Paz.  La Paz is situated  in a bay that has a long north south peninsula, requiring cruisers to change their course nearly 180degrees on approach.  Before the course change however, we had to head directly into the wind and current through the straight between Baja and the Isla Cerralvo, with a small to moderate north sea swell, unfortunately just enough to make it uncomfortable for Nina who is prone to seasickness.  Our plan was to head around the corner of Punta Coyote in the Canal de San Lorenzo going to LaPaz and tuck in for the night in a place called Peurto Ballandra in Bahia de La Paz, jumping off the following morning for the islands north east of La Paz, Isla Espiritu Santo and IslaPartida.

We cast out our fishing line, but apparently weren’t attentive enough.  Within the hour we checked and checked again, something had grabbed the hook and snapped the line.  We lost our hooch, the teaser, and the clip that connects the leader to the teaser..  No fish tonight or until we get to La Paz where we can get some more fishing supplies.  The islands we are going to are off limits to fishing anyway.

Ballandra Bay had some rocky reefs which were havens for fish, fishing birds, and snorkelers.  We anchored about 2:30 p.m.  Moondance, another Baja Ha Ha boat was also anchored in this bay.  Russ and I took a little ride around the bay taking photos of Mushroom rock and some of the birds.  It was an early night to bed.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Before weighing anchor on Wednesday morning.  Russ and I got in the dinghy and motored over to a buoy marking the edge of the reef and tied up.  We jumped over board with snorkel gear on and enjoyed 45 minutes of snorkeling.  The water clarity  wasn’t terrific because of the winds we had had the day before, but we saw at least a dozen different types of brightly color reef fish, only a few of which we could positively identify…parrots, tangs, shrimp, urchins.  We’ll have to get a reef fish identifier as well.

We returned to Worrall Wind, took a fresh water shower, and pulled up the anchor about 10:00 a.m.  We only had about 12 miles to get from Ballandra to the bay between Espiritu and Partida where we planned to anchor and spend several days relaxing.  The bay is in an ancient sunken caldera.  The cliffs of Espiritu are beautiful, etched by wind and water.

The sea was relatively flat and the winds calm so it made for an easy motor.

Worrall Wind joined two other sailboats anchored in Caleta Partida, the Julia Morgan being one of the Baja Ha Ha fleet.  The cove is very well protected.   The winds shift from the western entrance of the caleta (cove)  to the eastern entrance to the caleta.  Consequently the boat swings back and forth with the sun shining on different parts of the boat during the swing.   We attached all of the sun screens to our bimini in the back.  We are now calling this our lido deck or the veranda.  The screens block enough of the sunlight  from any direction and still allows a fresh breeze to blow through.  It is my new office.

The western entrance of Caleta Partida is about ½ mile wide into the ancient caldera.  On the eastern shore there is a white sandy beach that opens out to the Sea of Cortez and only a small water way that runs between the two islands of Espiritu and Partida.  The waterway cannot be seen from a distance and is too shallow for anything other than a dinghy or a panga.  The cove is home to many types of birds. 

We discovered a reef off a point that we plan to explore with snorkels tomorrow. After lunch on the lido deck, we all took a swim.  Our rubber ducky indicated that the water temperature around the boat was 85 degrees, not much different than the ambient air temperature.

After our swim, Russ and I took the dinghy out to explore once again.  The water clarity degraded the closer we got to shore and what looked like light aqua water near the beach.  There was so much fine sand silt in the water, that the aqua really looked more like the milky waters of glacier snowmelt.  The incoming tide was bubbling up with each little wave that inched its way on shore.  Little sand crabs scrabbled about and hid as we cam , leaving only their holes and little balls of sand. 

We beached the dinghy and took a short little walk up a little canyon that had its own little micro-environment with a salt-flat delta and enough unseen water to spring forth wild flowers and lush vegetation.  The shore line was filled with pelicans, herons, frigates, buzzards, and we heard and saw at least one osprey.  Occasionally a seal head would pop out of the water, and the shore line was constantly being bombarded by the ungraceful cannon ball dives of the pelicans.

By night fall, two other boats had joined us in the anchorage, a large private fishing rig and a trimaran also on the Baja Ha Ha had anchored.  On the lido deck, we finished up our dominoes game, Clark winning by a landslide and played Boggle for a while The night sky was spectacular, filled with stars and a very visible milky way.  The wind was negligible.  Russ had installed a fan in our stateroom during the afternoon, so we could at least have some air movement during the night.  It worked well and we slept great.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Clark and Nina, who are usually the beneficiaries of the forward hatch wind scoop, didn’t experience much air movement and were not as comfortable as usual.  That will be Russ’s project for today, is installing some lower saloon fans.

As Clark was preparing salmon and spinach omelets for breakfast, a Mexican fisherman in a panga came alongside our boat.  We thought he wanted to sell us some fish.  It turned out the rudder handle to his big outboard had snapped off and  he couldn’t maneuver his panga.  He was from LaPaz about 20 miles away.  Russ made a ski patrol type of a splint out of some wood stripping we had on board.  By placing the wide wood strips on either side of the broken rudder arm, and fastening with some industrial tape wrapped around it like a gauze bandage, the fisherman had at least an operable boat.  He thanked us and was on his way.

When the morning winds subsided and the sea was flattening, Clark and Nina took the dinghy for a ride and to investigate some of the places we had told them about from our little expedition the day before.  Around noon, the caleta was like a flat pond.  Russ and I took the dinghy out of the caleta toward a reef on the northwest corner of the cove’s opening.  Russ tied the dinghy to his dive belt so that we could snorkel around the reef and have the inflatable close at hand. We put up the dive flag and jumped in with our snorkel gear.  He water clarity was far better out at the reef than in the caleta.   We saw thousands of sargeant-majors, grey fish with a yellow topsides and grey black horizonatl stripes running down their sides from the spine to its belly, blue tang, puffer fish, some large clam shells and a few coral heads. We spent nearly two hours exploring.

By the time we returned to the boat it was 3:00 p.m. and a slight southwesterly wind was starting to blow, rippling  the water ever so slightly. Our cove was beginning to fill with sailboats.  This anchorage is supposed  to be the most protected and there was a report this morning that the winds were going to build through the night.  Indeed, they did.  When we retired for the night, the winds were blowing about 15 knots and the boat was directly into the wind, bucking up and down on the anchor chain.  We had our bow poked out a little too far, but our anchor was dug in, so we stayed put.  It was a fairly rocking horse night.  With the wind waves directly on our bow, the flopper stopper, which is intended for swells on the beam would have been useless.  The good new was our wind generator was happily spinning producing amps.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The anchor alarm didn’t go off at all during the night.  We held fast, but it was a restless night for everyone.  A power boat had pulled in late and anchored right in front of us.  We were pretty confident about our anchor, but could only hope that the big power boat was well anchored as well and would not drag back and hit us.  As it turned out, all went well, but in the dark of a windy night, you just never know.

By the time we awoke, the wind was still blowing about 14 knots and there were white caps.  It would be a good day to do some laundry and hang it out to dry.  Fortunately, we are in our bathing suits most of the time, so the clothes I had to wash were few.  Nevertheless, I pulled out the buckets and strung clothes line this way and that across the lido deck.  The fresh smell of drying laundry is wafting in the wind as I catchup on this log.  It is now about 10:00 a,m. in the morning and the wind is starting to subside a little,

Russ and Clark just assembled the porta bote, made a sling, and dropped it into the water.  Both dinghies are floating behind Worrall Wind.  We look like a two “car” family.  Russ is looking forward to rowing the porta bote and getting some exercise.  The inflatable is not a good rowing boat.  Clark and Nina went out to the reef in the early afternoon to do some snorkeling.

Both Russ and Clark took the porte bote out for a row.  Later Russ and I took the porte bote down the  east coast of Partida about 2 miles to the caves.  We were able to get the bote to plane and skim along really well.  The water was really dark and a little choppy so we couldn’t read the bottom well enough  to venture too close to the caves.  It was a nice ride and the scenery on the east side is  quite different as it is the the volcanic side that has lifted and created some dramatic cliffs.  We are really enjoying the geology of the area.

We noticed that one of the sailboats in Caleta Partida had a Seven Seas Sailing Association Commodore flag flying.  Russ and I went over to introduce ourselves.  We belong to Seven Seas as associate members.  Someday we hope to apply for commodore status which has a requirement of 1 year live aboard and 1000 miles of cruising.  The boat was Jacaranda with Chuck and Linda.  They are well acquainted with Dave and Marcia on Juniata and claim that Dave gives the best haircuts in the Sea of Cortez.  Both were very helpful in sharing local knowledge, helping us identify fish, providing us with single side band and HAM nets and weather forecast information, and recounting what they observed regarding pelican behavior.  Ever since we snagged a pelican in our rigging on our first trip up the coast of California in Worrall Wind, I’ve been very interested in these birds and am always delighted to hear about them from people who have observed their behaviors.

What’s a net?

A controlled net is a schedule time on a specific frequency on the radio, where  a volunteer net controller (moderator) opens the frequency for boats to check in, give their locations, provide local weather, report medical and other emergencies, listen to the weather forecast so cruisers can plan their routes, share incidents and stories, hail other boats, etc.  It usually lasts about ½ hour or more depending on questions and the number of boats checking in.  Marcia on Juniata is one of the controllers for the Sonrisa Net. Since Marcia is back in the states, we have not heard her yet.  It’s been educational listening to the net and we look forward to it each morning.  We understand from today’s weather forecast that there are going to be some strong northerly winds beginning to blow on Saturday afternoon and continuing through Monday night.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

On the net this morning, cruisers have been advised to get where they want to go or hunker down for a couple of days of strong north winds.  Caleta Partida’s northern rim is a tall mountain.  We think we will be protected well enough from the northerlies where we are.  Our anchor has been holding well and we are all looking forward to staying put for a few days.  Other boats in the anchorage, particularly those with children, are packing up and heading out, probably back to La Paz to a marina where the kids can get off the boat a bit more.  By noon, there are only a few other boats in the anchorage and the wind shifts from the west and southwest to the north.  It’s still pretty mild. 

We are little anxious not knowing what to expect.  We take down the forward and aft sun screens so that when the boat is into the wind it can blow right over the top of the boat and through the back deck.  Russ takes advantage of the mild winds to climb the mast and pull down the problematic anchor light to see if he can fix it.  I spend the time doing some bird watching.  The pelicans, frigate birds, and seagulls make for amusing entertainment.  We have also seen in this cove a sea turtle (Nina) and a baby seal.

 Russ and Clark play with the anchor light quite awhile.  It is a multi function light with starboard and port running lights as well as a strobe.  Parts of it seem to work and other parts don’t.  Long story short, we probably will need to buy another unit.  We just had this one installed in August when we had the running rigging replaced.  Aggravating.

Russ plans to get in the water before it gets too choppy and try out the hooka (no, not the one with the long pipe!), but it is an assisted snorkel unit that generates compressed air.  With this unit, we can dive under the boat and clean the bottom without having to surface for air every minute.  Russ opens the hooka bag and discovers that while the unit looked fine from the top down, one of the casted feet had broken off on the underside.  We don’t know whether it was like this when we bought it or whether it bumped on something during the rough passage down the coast.  It’s the first time we had taken it completely out of the bag.   Anyway, Russ thinks he can mend it with some liquid weld material, but it will take time to dry, so that eliminates using the hooka today or for the next couple of days.

Clark pulled out the Yamaha keyboard that I have had stored in the V-berth and is going to show me how to hook it up to the Mac so that we can compose music and record tracks on the Mac’s Garage Band Application.  We are having a lot of fun playing with all the toys while we are at anchor.  By the time the sun goes down, the wind is consistently blowing from the north 14-16 knots with gusts ups to 22 or 23.  Fortunately the mountain is slowing some of the wind down and we are close enough in that not too much fetch (wind swell) is building.  Several boats have come into the cove to anchor.  One of them is AllyMar, another Baja Ha Ha boat.  Ken is from the Pacific Northwest and is friends with Clark and Nina.  Clark and Nina buzz over to visit, but Ken is not feeling well and in his bunk.  He thinks he got some bad food in La Paz.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The wind gusted hard last night in between relatively quieter times.  We could hear the chain pulling, but the anchor alarm remained quiet, and we stayed tethered at the end of the chain.  When we would reach the end of the chain, the wind would catch our high freeboard and swing us broadside.  Then when the wind back down and the chain slackened we would swing back to facing the wind.  It is a bit dizzying to look out the windows or up at the stars when the boat is swinging back and forth.

We spent the day napping, reading, listening to the Ipod, playing with Garage Band, practicing the keyboard, and playing dominoes. 

Early afternoon, Russ got restless and wanted to go hiking up the little canyon where we had seen all of the vegetation, but no real trail.  I took a look out the port at the white caps and declined a ride to shore.  Even in calmer seas, the passenger seat can be a wet one.  We attached “Little John” our small Johnson outboard to the inflatable.  With our handheld radio unit, camera, and hiking shoes in hand, Russ set out for a hike.  I followed his progress as he got close to shore and noticed that he was getting out of the boat in the shallowing area and walking it into shore from quite a distance out.  It wasn’t long before he got on the radio and\told us that Little John’s propeller hit a rock and sheered off.  He was going to go for his hike, but he might need some assistance returning  to the boat.

Fortunately, a couple of the Baja Ha Ha boats heard the radio transmission and offered to give him a tow back once he was in deep enough water.  I was glad not to have to go after him the porta boat.  Ken from AllyMar, went to his rescue later in the afternoon and towed Russ back,just about tea time.    We had peppermint tea and gingersnaps, good for any and all stomach ailments. 

We spent the evening playing dominoes.  The table had turned, and I was the lucky player.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The wind howled again off and on all night long.  When we awoke on Monday, the temperature was about 75 degrees and there were dark clouds in the sky which the sun played peek-a-boo with.  It was instructive to see how our solar panels reacted to clouds.  While they still produced some amps, their productivity dropped from about 14 amps per hour  to 4 amps when the clouds passed in front of the sun.  Our wind generator on the other hand has really be closing the energy gap, particularly at night.  With all of our energy generators, we have been able to make water, keep two refrigerators and freezer operable, computers, keyboards, stereo, gps, use the fans and whatever else we have needed.  We have only had to turn on the motor and generator a few times when we have wanted to make a lot of water.  One of  the side benefits to turning on the motor, is hot water for showers.

Today will probably be a lot like yesterday.  By tomorrow afternoon, according to the weather forcast on the net, the wind will die down.  We are thinking we will leave Caleta Partida late Tuesday morning and take advantage of some moderate wind going to La Paz.   Should be a good beam reach.  It’s time for Clark and Nina to start making transportation arrangements back to the states and for us to do some grocery shopping, garbage dumping, and laundry..

Ken, Dean (Ken’s friend), and Russ are going ashore in Ken’s dinghy this time.  Hopefully, nothing will happen to Ken’s engine.  The other Baja Ha Ha boats have left, so we will be the rescue crew this time around……The guys returned safe and sound after spending the afternoon boulder hopping.  They got some good photos from the ridge.  Ken and Dean joined us later in the afternoon for cocktails and very hearty hors d’ouerves which served as dinner too.  After another game of dominoes, we all turned in and had a fairly peaceful night as the wind died down.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

We awoke to clear sky, and a calm water.  After breakfast, we weighed anchor and left Caleta Partida at 9:15, arriving in La Paz about 1:00 p.m. where we checked into the Costa Baja Marina Resort.  It’s a lovely facility that has just being built and is still under construction.  We will be staying here for a week or more.  Looks like this might be where we celebrate Thanksgiving.  We have access to a beautiful beach, swimming pool, tennis courts, exercise room, and sauna.  The temperature is about 78 degrees.  It is very pleasant..  Clark and Nina made arrangements to fly home on Saturday.  Tomorrow the four of us will go into town and do some exploration.  I am posting these blogs without photos and hope to add some color  to them now that we have access to a fast Internet.  We'll be checking our email accounts, so we would love to hear from you.  Let us know what's been going on.

Baja Ha Ha - Bye Bye!

Thursday November 5, 2009

We anchored out about a mile north of the harbor. There were three large cruise ships from Carnival and Princess lines anchored just outside the harbor.    It would mean a dinghy ride in and out, but would save us  about $500.00 in slip fees and the air was fresher and cleaner.  Clark and Nina opted to stay on the boat while Russ and I went ashore to get the check in paperwork started, have dinner, and go to Squid Roe in the evening for the survivor party.  We went to a small office near the dinghy dock that was a check-in agency.  Some cruisers  run around and do their own paperwork (port captain fees, immigration fees, etc.) which takes a ½ day or more and a lot of waiting in line.  Since we were saving dollars by anchoring out, $50.00 to pay an agent to do the work so we could do other things seemed pretty reasonable. 

While walking around, two ladies approached us and wanted to know where they could buy shirts like our -  bright coral with a large green chili pepper that say “Some like it hot! - Baja Ha Ha”.  We explained they would have to sail from San Diego to Cabo to get one because they weren’t for sale.  They were disappointed, but there were lots of other vendors on the wharf anxious for their business.  Every two steps, there were small children selling chicklets for a peso, and whistles.  Adults were busy trying to hawk silver bracelets, hats, bathing suit covers, dresses, sunglasses.  It was exhausting saying “no gracias” multiple times every minute depending on how fast we were walking.

The sun was beginning to get low in the sky when we rescued our dingy from the unsecured public dock and motored over to Galatea’s side tie on J dock where we tied up for the evening. Along with Doug, Catherine, Dick, and Dave, we went to dinner at the Baja Cantina along the wharf, returned to Galatea for some concertina music, courtesy of Catherine, and walked a couple of blocks to Squid Roe.  Squid Rod is a funky three story bar with open air roof.  The balconies look down on the dance floor.  By 9:00 p.m. the place was rocking with Baja Ha Ha fleet drinking beers, Margaritas, and dancing body to body on the small dance floor . Waiters with steaming, sizzling plates of food high over their heads maneuvered through the throngs of dancers.  Everyone was happy to have completed the trip and many stories were being told and retold about the fish, the broken boat parts, the boat bites (bruised ribs, knees, arms), the sometimes mutinous crew.  All and all it was great fun. 

We returned to the dinghy, then out to Worrall Wind.  Our friend the moon that had helped us through our watches was absent, as were the huge cruise ships.  The stars were beautiful, but the water was inky as we made our back to the boat.  Clark and Nina were fast a sleep.  All of the doors, hatches, and ports were wide open and a lovely breeze blew through the boat.  We hoisted the motor off of the dinghy and tethered the dinghy behind the boat.  We didn’t think anyone would come out and take the dinghy especially without the motor attached. 

Friday, November 6, 2009

It was nice to get up and not have to sail anywhere.  We had a leisurely breakfast, then all went into town where we did some provisioning at City Club, which was like a Costco, but within walking distance of the wharf.  The produce didn’t look to good, so we decided we have to go elsewhere for the rest of the supplies, but not on Friday. 

There was a 12:30 Baja Ha Ha beach party we wanted to attend.  Russ and Clark took the dinghy with groceries to the boat while Nina and I walked along the beach to the Cantina where the cruisers were meeting.  The day was warm and shade was a premium.  Nina held down a place in the shade amidst all of the cruisers and I went outside the designated area to flag down Russ and Clark as they returned from Worrall Wind.  I stood in the sun for a while, then noticed a beach umbrella with no one under it.  I squatted under the umbrella for nearly a half hour, no one objected.  A beach umbrella is now on the have to get list.  We enjoyed lunch, beer, and music, then returned to the boat for chores, siestas, and cold showers.  During the day, we had gone back to the agency to collect our paperwork but it wasn’t ready…..something about the immigration department running out of paper.  Manana!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Today, was another shopping adventure.  We caught a local bus to go to a grocery store, called CCC, pronounced say say say, but along the route was a Costco, so our contingent of cruisers got off there.  Yes! Beach umbrellas.  The Mexican Costco, looks just like the Costco’s in America, but most of the product labeling is in Spanish.  We loaded up on some nice looking produce, got a big jar of peanut butter, and a bag of coffee beans which we ground before we left.  The only things we couldn’t fine were cauliflower and milk in small ½ gallon containers.  By this time however, we were maxed out in terms of filling our bags.  We bargained with some of our other cruiser friends to get what we needed in exchange for us hauling their Costco groceries back to their boat so they could continue on to CCC without hauling so much.  This worked out well for both of us.  We got our groceries and they were free to buy and carry gobs more back to their boat.

It was time to cool off, so we went  to Starbucks for iced lattes and some quality Internet time.  Clark and Nina made their plane reservations back to Sacramento and I finally got a chance to post a blog, but only the text as the photos took forever.  Russ finally was able   to pick up our finished check-in paperwork.  We  spent the late afternoon walking around the older section of La Paz and visited the museum in the town square.  A street artist was chalking in some lovely pictures in the squares outside of the museum.

We returned to the Puerto Paradisio at 6:00 p.m. where the Baja Ha Ha fleet was assembling for the last time before splitting off and going their ways.

The awards party  went on much longer than we anticipated, well after 9:00 p.m.  We received a third place award in our division, but so did about 10 other boats.  No one comes in last in the Baja Ha Ha!  Thank goodness, I think we were spared some embarrassment!  Awards were given out for oldest cruiser (turning 80 next month) and youngest  cruiser (2 years old).  There were probably 10-12 children ranging from 2-16 on the rally.  There were boat bite awards, best imitations of crew snoring, naked sailors, biggest fish, and most chatty on the net.  It was an amusing evening.  The captain from the J-boat “J World” whose boat was hit by a whale, sank, and crew rescued by USCG and been flown into Cabo to give us an account of what happened.

On Wednesday October 28, when the seas were at their largest 18-30 feet, their boat was surfing down a large wave and while doing so smacked into a  whale.  Both the whale and boat were damaged. The injured whale may have retaliated a bit by ramming  the boat a couple of times.   Blood gushed from the whale, and a large hole appeared where the rudder should have been. J boats are made for racing and the hull and fin keel and rudder are not meant for whale bashing.  It was obvious to the captain, that there was no way to repair a huge opening or keep the boat afloat by bailing.  She  set off her epirb (emergency beacon with coordinates) and they got into the life raft hoping, but not knowing for sure that their epirb was working.  The boat was sinking so fast that the SSB radio was underwater before they could transmit a Mayday signal.

The captain reported to us they were in the life raft for about 4 hours.  It was dark, the seas were rolling them around uncontrollably. It was like being in a washing machine Three of the five crew members were vomiting because of sea sickness.  It was very scary not knowing whether they would be rescued.  A US Coast Guard helicopter and diver were a welcome sound in the darkness.  Each member was hoisted into the helicopter and taken to San Diego.  The skipper of J World was given the Spirit of Baja Ha Ha award for taking all of the appropriate measures in an emergency and saving her crew.   A full account of their adventure will be in the next edition of Latitude 38.  Somebody, please get one for us and save it.  (It will either be the November or December issue).  We’d like to have a copy of it.  Abby can bring it to us when she visits us as Christmas in Puerto Vallarta.

The Baja Ha Ha was now officially over. Folks shared where they were going next and bade their farewells.  We had a lot of fun, met some very nice people, and developed a community of recognizable cruising boats that we will undoubtedly see in many places.  We didn’t need assistance during the Baja Ha Ha, but it was nice to know there were cruisers close by that could be called on if we needed help.  Several boats received parts, assistance, and tows from fellow cruisers.   Now we would be on our own. The routine morning check-in on the radio net could now be replaced by one of the operating cruise HAM nets.  We haven’t yet gotten our Mexican HAM license.  So for the time being we are just listening to the nets and have yet to check in.  We will get this taken care of in La Paz when we arrive on November 17.

The schedules we make now will be our own.  After the final  party, we returned to the boat quite hungry but also tired.  We ate some eggs and sandwiches and went to bed. Tomorrow we would strike out on our own.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Baja Ha Ha - San Diego to Cabo San Lucas

Monday, October 26, 2009 - San Diego

After a late Sunday night of last-gasp connectivity, we finally turned off the computer and went to bed.  The snap, crackle, pop we  had heard around the hull of the boat all week were, as we were told, the sound of shrimp feeding and the air bubbles popping inside their shells.  We drifted off to sleep dreaming of  being in a sea of rice krispies.

¨Worrall Wind’s crew was up at the crack of dawn on Monday morning, preparing ourselves and the boat for the beginning of our cruise to Margaritaville aka Cabo San Lucas.  We lashed down the outside gear, stowed the inside stuff, returned the marina gate keys, received bon voyage calls, then disconnected our shore power, marina water, and two of our wireless devices, Russ’s cell phone and (sniff, sniff) our air card to the Internet.   Abby and Neal came at 8:30 with some last minute purchase requests: distilled water, sleeping pills, and ketchup!  Russ couldn’t leave without the ketchup.

We cast off the bowlines at 9:00 a.m. on a beautiful clear-sky morning waving good-bye and joining the fleet of Baja Ha Ha fleet as we headed out of the harbor into the main channel towards the start of the parade route.  The parade started with the gun used for the America Cup races with a 3 minute warning shot, ¨spraying fire boat, and a 10:00 start blast.  Numerous local media channels were on hand to video the departure of 195 sailing yachts in full regalia departing San Diego in mass¨.  Some crew was in costume….we wore our Naughty Cat ears, others were dancing, and hoola hooping on the decks of their boats.  It was all very festive and very exciting.

Beyond the channel and in open waters, leg one of our journey to Turtle Bay began at 11:00 with a rolling start.  There was so little wind, all boats were allowed with no penalty points to motor at 6 knots until instructed  to cut their motors when the wind picked up. About 11:10 sails were up, wind was up, boats were spread out, and motors were turned off.  Roll call which began at 9:30 and was periodically interrupted for parade, start, instructions, and announcements was finally completed by 11:30.  Each boat had to check in with name and number on board, “Worrall Wind, 4 on board”. 

We knew from looking at our grib files (weather details) and from the announcements, that late Tuesday and Wednesday would  present some challenge.  A northern storm would be sending sea swells of 15-17 feet which by itself is a little challenging, but there is some disagreement whether the swells will be 13 seconds apart or 6 seconds apart.  The closer the swells are together the more challenging the course particularly for those who get seasick.  The grand Pooh-Bah of the rally will give us an update tomorrow but is recommending that instead of two nights running, we should duck into a bay along the way and anchor Tuesday night.  The winds will pick up on Wednesday morning and then subside quickly on Wednesday afternoon.  We will get more  on tomorrow that will help us determine our course of action.

By noon we were in beautiful blue Mexican water; the wind was blowing about 10 knots, we had all our sails up and were moving about 5 knots.  As the winds increased to 15 knots, our speed varied between 6.5 and 7.3 knots per hour. 

Sea swells were getting larger as the day progressed.  Most of them were 2-4 feet with sets of 6 foot swells approximately 10 minutes apart.  We counted about 6 seconds between the big swells which rocked the boat wildly from side to side.  Fortunately, there were only about 3 big swells in each set.  Russ and Clark got the Hydrovane (auto wind steering) working¨.  It held our course very well without us touching the wheel.  We will need to learn its full capabilities in challenging conditions and know if  and how much to take over when we are being rolled from side to side.

We purchased a hand fishing line, lures, club, gaff, net, lidded plastic tub, and Mexican fishing licenses in San Diego.  After lunch we cleated off the hand line and threw it in off the windward side of the boat.  Someone in the fleet caught the first skip jack within just a few minutes of entering Mexican water.  Our line dragged sadly behind us all day.  As the sun started to dip down close to the horizon and we were heading indoors and cleaning up the fantail helm, Russ started to pull in the line and as he did so a skip jack  (tuna family) snapped at it and just like that we had our first fish!  Of course neither of us being fisherman, I went downstairs and relieved Clark in the galley who came up to help Russ land the fish.  Nina took some video.  The fish was yellow with stripes, about 18 inches long and about 10 lbs.  I didn’t come out of the galley until “Skippy” was contained in the plastic fish box, with the lid on still flopping around. but not without splattering blood around the back deck.  Clark put “Skippy” out of his misery, and  after setting the sails (reefed main, and motor running to make as much forward progress to duck in anchorage) for the night and eating dinner,  showed us how to filet a fish on a wildly swinging fantail in the dark!  Quite a feat.  Clark and I did final cut and wrap in the galley while Russ washed down the fish box and deck.  Looks like we will get a couple of meals out of “Skippy”.  Our refrigerator and freezer are so full, we won’t be fishing for a couple of days now until we can deplete some of the stores.

Clark and Nina were going to hold the first four hour watch from 8:00 p.m. midnight  while Russ and I slept; and Russ and I were going to hold second watch midnight to 4:00 a.m., but our “Skippy” adventure rearranged the schedule a bit.  Russ and I didn’t bed down until 9:00.  Clark and Nina let us sleep until 1:00 a.m. and had freshly brewed coffee waiting for us.  The  pilothouse doors were open and a pleasant breeze was blowing through.  The wind was negligible and the sky was filled with stars.  We could see a smattering of running lights in far distances.  The tightly packed fleet that started the parade in the morning had spread across the seas. 

Our 4 hour watch went quickly.  Thanks to the coffee, I decided to stay up for as long as I could hold out and let everyone else sleep.  I’ll catch up later.  I’d like to see the first Mexican sunrise.  As I close out this entry, I have just recorded our 6:00 a.m. location for roll call.  We are at N 31 00.343; W 116 49.555.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009
The Baja Ha Poo-Bah announced this morning on our single side band radio that the sea conditions  going to deteriorate by Tuesday night and said they themselves would be tucking into San Quentin
Bay and suggested slower boats duck in with them…of course we are one of the slower boats.  Profligate, the name of the Poobah’s boat is a fast moving multi-hull, they were rounding up the rear.  San Quentin is a large open anchorage on the Baja coast and would accommodate quite a few if not all of the Baja fleet.

Having worked our way about 30 miles offshore, going east would add considerable time and distance, but the crew were unanimous that  a good night sleep in  a safe anchorage would be the wiser of e  choices, so we decided to go in.  Going in, meant we would need to fire up the engine and move eastward fairly quickly if we were to reach our goal of anchoring before dark. 

During our motor sail in we saw a whale off of our starboard side.  Seconds later it crossed across our bow and blew on the port side.  Although we were not close enough to ID the whale type, we were close enough that it was a little scary to have him disappear from our sight in front of our bow.  For lunch we had sautéed skipjack on lettuce.  It was excellent! We arrived at San Quentin around 4:30 in the afternoon and had a sunset cocktail.  The bay was wind protected, but still got some swells during the night.  It seemed so calm when we anchored, that we failed to put up our “flopper stopper”.  This is a device that hangs off the bow orJib pole to the side of the boat.  When the boat leans down into the trough of a swell the device, dips under the water.  As the next swells lifts the boat up and to the other side, the device opens up under water and pulls the boat downward on the side that is being lifted thereby stabilizing the roll.  It’s very clever.  It would have been even more clever if we had had it up.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Most of the boats left San Quentin by 9:00 a.m. after hearing conflicting weather reports.  Some of the boats that had stayed out all night had traveled south without too much difficulty.  One of the boats was already in Turtle Bay (a serious racer).  Commander weather was predicting winds of 18 -20 knots and high seas.  Other information from other nets indicated that the winds and waves would continue to grow and that the faster boats got south the better.  We left the protection of the bay and immediately decided to double reef our main and use our self-tending staysail.  It was windy and seas were lumpy.  We had a brisk sail most of the day with “Hydro” our nickname for our hydrovane steering system doing most of the work. The weather that we had ducked into San Quentin for the night before, decided to present itself.  We had sustained winds of 25 knots with gusts to 30.00.  Wind waves were six to eight feet and the northwest swell was 18 feet every 6-10 seconds.  Some boats reported waves ups to 30 feet.  We think we had waves of 20 feet pass under us and around us.

It’s an amazing sight to see a wall of water as tall as the boat and bimini come toward the boat swell up to the side or rear, then disappear underneath and if you catch it just right you can surf down the side a little ways.  We recorded one surf as high as 13.5 knots. Hi Ho Silver!    For the most part we were sailing somewhat diagonal to the waves to stay on course which was not comfortable for anyone, although the boat was doing well.  The boat pitched from side to side wildly when the swells were closer together 6-8 seconds a part.  Hydro did a remarkable job holding the course, but had some difficulty recovering quickly when the swells were so close together and we needed to give it hand held assistance. It was wild and wet outside, but even worse inside.

Everything that was not lashed down was flying and rolling around.  Even the sure grip on the bottom of cups and dishes with sure grip on their bottom sides were leaping about.  My coffee cup which I had just taken my hand from when I reached for my glasses, flew across the nav desk about 3:30 and catastrophe struck.  It spilled onto the computer keyboard, chair, and floor.   The computer died and instant death and just like that we were without a screen for our navigation software, gps heading, and radar.  We had contemplated going as far south as possible through the night to get further south and out of the swell, but without our navigation software in those conditions was unthinkable.  We had already gotten reports from other Baja boats that had blown sails, broken booms, broken goose necks, and gotten fishing lines caught on their keels.  One boat sank!  It had gotten into a pod of whales, and an aggressive male charged it.  Within seven minutes the boat was going under.  The crew all got into the life raft and were saved two hours later by the U.S. Coast Guard.  This was the first Baja Ha Ha boat lost in 16 years since the Ha Ha started.

Again we looked for a place to duck in.  We were exhausted by sailing on the edge most of the day and disheartened by the loss of our electronic charting  and capability.  Everyone was very quiet.  I’m sure if there was a plank, it would have been set up for me.

With our “Geepers”, nickname for our gps, the moonlight, hand plotted paper charts, and four pair of eyes we made our way into a bay behind Punta San Carlos.  We were one of five sailboats that ducked into this bay.  Three of us were in the Baja fleet.  Two were on their own.  All were glad to have the hook set!  Again
We were too tired to set up the flopper stopper before we tumbled into bed and later wished we had.  Our night was not extremely restful as the wind and the waves caught us from every angle and pushed the boat to the outer limits of its anchor alarm, setting it off 4 or 5 times during the night, we lost count.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The morning report seemed to indicate that about half the boats were now in Turtle Bay (supposedly our first stop, but it would now be our third). About a quarter of the boats were expected on Thursday.  Others like us were still out.  We were still 150 miles away which would require about 20 hours of 7+ knots per hour which would take us into the night with a night approach to Turtle Bay.  We decided to leave around 1400 hours after lunch so that we would reach the south end of  Isla Cedros at dawn.  We had heard that the waters around Cedros, Navidad, and Turtle Bay were filled with fishing lines and pots and we wanted to approach during daylight hours so that we could navigate successfully through them.  We had a beautiful sunset and believe we saw the Green Flash! just as the sunset.

We spent the morning cleaning up some of the mess from the day before. Hydro, our wind vane steering system, had sheered a pin and the rudder had cranked itself sideways and needed to be fixed. Back deck needed scrubbing, wind vane had a wrapped wire, and we hoped that when we plugged in the nav computer it would work after a mop up and dry, but to no avail.  We pulled out my Mac with dual processor and a Windows Parallel interface and were successful in installing all of the software we needed with the exception of the connection to our single side band to print weather charts and to send emails, but didn’t want to push the Windows system beyond what we absolutely needed. 

The mood lifted considerably with our technology back on line.  We left San Carlos at 1430, put up a double reefed main and pulled out the full jib. The seas had subsided significantly and the winds were 15-18 knots.  The sailing was fabulous.  We had some dolphins escort us out to sea.  We sailed like this until long after sundown and moonrise.  We reached Isla Cedros just before 0130.  The wind was dying.  We tried for a couple of hours to sail and finally decided to turn on the motor about 0500  and motor sail.  We reached the end of Cedros about  0800 and were still about 30 miles out of Turtle Bay and will probably get there just about the time the beach party kicks off.

We arrived at Turtle Bay and anchored by 12:15, 15 minutes before the start of the beach party.  The wind in is very broad bay was roaring about 20 knots.  We raised the riding sail on the mizzen and experienced very little swing. We weren’t the last boat to arrive, but pretty close to it.  One other boat arrived at 1:00 a.m. the following morning.   As we approached Turtle Bay, Nina and I prepared our beach party dishes and assembled the necessary picnic ware.  Within half hour of anchoring, we were in  dinghy heading for a tucked away cove that was reportedly not in the sand storm on the south eastern shore where we were headed.  According to the Poohbah, this Baja Ha Ha was experiencing a lot of firsts…the first heavy seas, the first boat sinking, and the first three inch surf ride onto the beach in our dinghy.  Yeah, things are looking up!
Baja Ha Ha Survivors!

What a funny feeling to put our feet on the ground.  For the first half hour my legs felt rubbery and the land seemed to be moving underneath me.  We quickly shed our windbreakers and zipped on pant legs of our sailing gear.  The Ha Ha sailors drank wine and beer, ate, played games, found friends and shared stories of broken things, sea sickness, and the tinge of fear that we felt but  tried to keep in check while experiencing 18 foot seas.  The wind continued to blow and a fine grain sand filled our wine glasses, coated our food, and lodged in our ears.  About 3:00 car loads of Mexicans  drove through the sand and dust with the front ends of their cars pointed in our direction.  It looked like a drive-in movie theater and we were the screen or the entertainment.  They watched the partying gringos with fascination.  At one point when we were having a tug a war, we motioned them to come and join us, some of the kids did, but most stayed in their cars.

As the sun dropped low in the sky, we scooted Clark and Nina back to the boat to take showers, and Russ and I went into town to walk around before the sun went down. 

The town had some cantinas, a laundry, little markets, and an Internet café.  Most of the shops were closed by the time we were there.  The sand was blowing across the town and unpaved roads.  Russ said it reminded him of walking through the ruins of Pompeii. These people are certainly survivors in this stark and sandblasted environment.  We returned to the boat, took showers, and slept well.  The anchor alarm didn’t go off all night.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

We all slept in until 7:00 a.m.  We busied ourselves with some cleanup chores, ate a late breakfast of an oven omelet filled with cheese and vegetables that were beginning to wilt.  I transferred the Airmail files from my netbook to the Mac and installed it.  We will work on getting the single sideband radio installed on the Mac, then everything will be up and running.  I backed up the Mac.  Russ put in the waypoints in the navigation software and on Geepers.  Today’s rally start was 11:00.  We didn’t quite make the start line at 11:00, but did cross it around 11:45.

The second leg of the trip is to Bahia Santa Maria just before Magdalena Bay, about 220 miles or 40 hours at 6 knots.  We anticipate arriving Monday afternoon after a two night passage.  The first day of this leg couldn’t have been more perfect.  With the bad weather behind us, we had a fairly smooth seas with occasional six foot swells and a 15 knot wind blowing off our starboard stern, 30 degrees off due south.  The temperature was pleasant even with a nice breeze… no jackets or long pants today.  As on of the cruisers crooned over the VHF radio, “It couldn’t be more mellow!”. 

We maintained a  5.5 to 7 knot course over ground until after sunset, then the wind started to die down.  Clark and Nina had first watch and eventually rolled in the flogging mizzen and jib. 

Sunday, November 1, 2009

By the time our watch started at 0100, we were traveling about 3.5 knots and several boats that had turned on their motors earlier had passed us by.  Russ turned on our engine to make up some time, bring us back on course (we had to tack off to capture the wind and still keep the Hydrovane working), generate some electricity, and desalinate some water. The Halloween full moon is lighting  up the sky.  About 1350 I saw a bright yellow meteor that was traveling horizontally in the southern sky for a couple of seconds before it vanished,  The doors and hatch of the pilot house are opening and we are still without jackets.  In the distance to our starboard side we see red running lights, and on our port side green running lights. 

We have been on watch for over an hour and as I write this, the clock on the computer still shows 1354 as it is program to reflect the change from daylight saving to standard time.  Looks like our watch will be a little longer than we anticipated.  We’ll leave our ship’s clock as it is because until we arrive in Cabo, we are all to remain on Baja Ha Ha time.  That’s it for now.  Will catch up again tomorrow night on our 1300-0600 watch. We have found that a five hour watch shift from 8:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m. and 1:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. works best for the four of us.  A five hour sleep with a few catnaps during the day seems to be working fine.

We tossed in a hand line and let it drag all day, changing the lure 4 or 5 times.  I think the fish were on holiday.  Actually, we were under sail most of the day in light winds, and I think our forward motion was too slow to  seriously interest any biting fish.  We spent most of the day lounging around on casual watch, alternating with catnaps and sunbathing.  The wind was only about 12 knots and we were moving between 4.7 and 5.8 knots.  By dusk,  the wind was steadily dropping.  We have over 100 miles to finish this leg of the trip so couldn’t dawned at 3.0 knots over ground.  So, we pulled in the lure, ate dinner, dropped all sails with the exception the main, and started the engine.  Clark and Nina assumed their watch duties and we went to bed.  We weren’t sure how well we would sleep with the engine noise in our stateroom, but  it is amazing how ear plugs and a sleeping pill knocks me out.  We both slept really well.  Clark woke us at 1:00 with some fresh coffee.  All was well.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Several southbound cruise ships passed us by on their way to Cabo presumably.  They are quite impressive the way they are lit up.  They are certainly not hard to distinguish.  We should be in Bahia Santa Maria just after lunch today. By dawn we were slipping between the east side of Cedros Island and the coast of Baja.  We passed the imaginary finish line for the second leg around 0812 motor sailing. Within 3 minutes of passing the finish, I went out to check our fishing line which I had thrown out at dawn.  Clark had switched out a green and yellow hooch for a sparkly pink and white about 20 minutes previous.  and as I was checking, an 8 lb. Skipjack hit the line.  Fish cleaning and filleting went much smoother this time around.  I cut the fish into chunks and put on a skewer for the bar-b-que later in the day.

We entered Bahia Santa Maria and anchored by 10:45.  There was a strong offshore wind coming in over the dunes that separate the open bay of Maria and the enclosed bay of Magdalena.  We spent the rest of the morning giving Worrall Wind’s outside a saltwater wash down and the inside a vacuum and dusting.  She was carrying a thick layer of fine sand from Turtle Bay.  Bahia Santa Maria had been recently hit by Hurricane Jimenez.  The people of the community were hard hit.  They are poor to begin with. Cruisers were asked to give any donations to a man named Victor in the fishing camp.  I dug into my supplies and put together a bag of school supplies (writing paper, pencils, pencil sharpeners, crayons, construction paper and stickers.  We also put a 4 pairs of reading glasses and a few toys).

The upside of the storm was the greening of the barren mountains were greening from the storm. Wild flowers were not waiting for spring.  We spent the first day in Santa Maria close to the boat.  Russ installed an outdoor, fresh water shower so that we could all go swimming and not bring salt and sand back into the boat.  We caught up on some laundry, sleep, emailing (Sailmail via our single side band radio is back up and running on our old Dell) and socializing with other yachties. Steve and Rita on Lady J invited us over for a glass of wine as we took a dinghy ride around the Bay. We used the little rubber ducky thermometer that Ted and Marian had given us as a bon voyage gift.  The temperature outside was in the mid to low 80’s.  The water temperature was 80 degrees.  We heard there is a low in central California.  We are imagining maybe a storm or first snow fall.  It is difficult to wrap our heads around this weather, but we are enjoying it. Catherine and Doug from  Galatea invited us over after dinner to play some games, but we were all in bed and fast asleep by 8:30.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009
After a leisurely morning, the four us got in the dinghy to go ashore for some exploration and beach party.  This was going to be our first surf landing.  As we closer to we realized the tide was going out and the rollers were building on the shore.  We decided to turn around and take a panga (a large wooden boat with big motor used for fishing and transport) into shore.  Clark and Nina opted to stay aboard Worrall Wind.  Russ and I took the school supplies, camera, and our bottles of water ashore.  The pangas of course knew the way to approach the beach without getting dumped, so we arrived quite dry.  The first thing we did was to seek out Victor and turn over the bag of school supplies so that we would not have to carry it on our hike.  We spotted a group of men who were talking outside of the Cantina and asked if they knew Victor.  Turns out that one of the men was Victor.  We explained in English and horrible Spanish that we brought some school supplies for the children and the local school.  He thanked us and took the supplies into his wife in the Cantina.  Having done that and hoping we had gotten the correct Victor and the school supplies would indeed be turned over to the school we headed out for a short hike. 

After our hike, we joined the festivities at the Cantina, enjoying ice cold beer and pan fried shrimp.  By the  we returned to Worrall Wind.  The tide had gone out significantly leaving all of the dinghies high and dry.  We needed to walk out 100 yards to get into a panga.  Even the larger pangas were grounded on the shoal. 

We directed the panga driver to our boat in Spanish and with hand signals.  When we were getting out of the boat, the panga driver asked me, “you …. Teacher?”  I was surprised.  “Si” I responded.  He smiled a broad smile.  He was one of the men who had been talking with Victor when we delivered the school supplies.  I felt more confident that the supplies would find their way to the school.

The start for our last leg of the trip to Cabo San Lucas will be tomorrow morning at 6:00 a.m.  After a quick, cooling swim, we took down the laundry, secured the dinghy and prepared the boat for an early start.  The moon didn’t rise until after the sun had set.  When the moon did rise, there was a symphony of howls from around the bay and the rowdier boats.  There are some parties going on that we are pleased to be missing.

Wednesday, November 3, 2009

We weighed anchor at 0530 and left Bahia Santa Maria with a rolling start.  There was no wind or so little to speak of that all boats were motoring or motor sailing.  We motor sailed until 1415 at which we had about a 9 knot onshore wind developed and were moving about 3.1 knots per hour.  It had been fairly warm and humid.  Steadily the cooling breeze increased until we were consistently sailing between 4.5 and 5.5 knots  per hour.  We took turns at the helm, practiced  our Spanish, and listened to the HaHa net.  Today was the day that boats wanting to berth in Cabo were being given their slip assignments.  At $150.00 per night, we have decided to anchor out away from the marina in the bay and either take our own dinghy in or a water taxi in.  A lot of the boats do  not have water makers and their crews are looking forward to hot showers after nearly two weeks out.  Our water maker has been doing a terrific job and every time we start the motor, we have been making water. So far our 250 gallon water tank is still more than ¾ full and we have been showers on board.  With the engine, solar, and wind our batteries are staying charged to run all of our gizmos.

We have decided not to do any fishing today.  It’s time to eat up all of the beef on board before we check  into Cabo tomorrow.  Whether raw or cooked, Mexican are concerned about mad cow disease and apparently are confiscating beef.   We will do some re-provisioning at the Costco so need empty down the refrigerator and freezer a little bit to bring on fresh supplies.  Seems odd, since we bought the beef at Costco to begin with.  Tomorrow we will be going through the check in procedure for the first time.  Apparently, there is a lot of running around to do to several places.  Many cruisers hire an agent for $50.00 to do all of the leg work for them.  I think we may opt to do this as well so that we can spend our time doing other things.  We plan to leave Cabo for La Paz on Sunday and will have only two full days to sight see, re-provision, and visit an Internet Café to post this blog and get caught up on email and world events.

Tonight is our last at sea for a while.  The moon came up late, an hour and half past sunset. We looked for the green flash at sunset, but didn’t see it.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

We have all of the doors and the large cabin skylight wide open sucking in the breeze, starlight, and moonlight.  It is so beautiful and not at all chilling.  It is 0400 in the morning and we have been sailing since 1430 yesterday afternoon, averaging about 5 knots per hour.  Russ and I are on watch.  Russ is taking a catnap while I scan the horizon visually and with radar.  I sure love the full moon because it makes the night sea seem so much more friendly.  We should arrive in Cabo late today (Thursday).  There is a beach party on Friday and adios and awards dinner on Saturday.  Then on Sunday we will all be going our separate ways although I suspect that quite a few boats will be heading up to LaPaz for Thanksgiving.  We will be heading up that way for some cruising and to drop Clark and Nina off, but anticipate getting across the Sea of Cortez to Mazatlan for Thanksgiving.

Worrall Wind and crew crossed the finish line to Cabo San Lucas at 1208 on Thursday November 5.  Total duration of legs 1, 2 & 3 was 169 hours.  Of those hours, we motor sailed 63 hours, and sailed 106 hours. Despite the two days of challenging winds and seas, the trip has been great.  We are probably last time wise and motor wise to everyone else, but we had a blast.