Sunday, June 27, 2010

Baja Bash

May 30th - June 5th - Los Frailes to Ensenada

All of the weather forecasters said there was at least 4 good weather days coming to the outside of Baja so we left los Frailes at 7 PM on Sunday in order to go around Cabo Falso in the early morning hours when we hoped the seas would be calmer. Well it was a good idea at the time. As we approached the cape at around midnight the seas began to build and the wind started to howl. We had 10-15' seas, the nice steep sided, low interval ones, and winds over 40 kts from mid-night to 6 AM. After rounding the cabo we plotted a course near shore hoping to get a break from the seas but we had to get behind Isla Santa Margarita off the south end of Bahia Magdalena before the seas calmed down. By the time we were off the entrance to Mag Bay, 10 AM June 1st, the wind had died and the seas calmed so we decided to continue and not stop at Mag Bay. The next go or no go point was Punta Abreojos but when we go there at 13:00 on June 2nd the weather was still calm and improving so on we went. And so it went. With the improving weather as we went north it became harder to stop and risk losing the good weather. If there were just 2 of us on board we would have been tired and stopped but with 3 of us we were all getting some rest and felt like continuing.

At 9:00 on June 3rd we were off Turtle Bay and decided to keep going. At 14:00 on June 4th we were off of San Quintin with continuing good weather and we could be in Ensenada in just another 24 hours so on we went.

We arrived in Ensenada on Saturday June 5th at 8 AM. 7 days and 6 nights after leaving Los Frailes. 134 hours
of continuous cruising. Here's the numbers from La Paz -

Engine hours - 153
Fuel Used - 322 gal
GPH - 2.1
NMPG - 2.6
Avg Speed - 5.53 NM per hour
Distance - 846 NM from La Paz, 742 NM from los Frailes without stopping.
No mechanical failures or issues. The boat performed beautifully.

We all felt a great sense of accomplishment and were very tired. We had given ourselves 16 days to get to Ensenada and arrived in 10. As it turned out we could have stopped and rested, the good weather continued for another 5 days but we didn't know that at the time.

Our good mate and friend Nancy started worrying about all the things she needed to do back home and moved her flight up 3 days but we had 4 days in Ensenada to mess around and we found maybe the best fish taco stand in Mexico. Time well spent.

If we do this again we'll give ourselves more time, at least 3 weeks, and stop and rest at least in Mag Bay and Turtle Bay. The outside of Baja is an interesting place and it is too bad that we missed it all this trip.

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