Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Last Leg of La Paz to Ensenada

We reached Ensenada Sunday 17 June in the afternoon after four days of nice cruising from Turtle Bay.

Here are the numbers for the total trip -

Avg Speed
Anchorage Waypoint

La Paz – Marina de La Paz 24°09.318'N  110°19.580'W
9 hr 11min
los Muertos 23°59.337'N  109°49.720'W


2 day 14 hr
Bahia Santa Maria 24°46.532'N  112°15.402'W

Bahia Santa Maria

Bahia Santa Maria

Bahia Santa Maria

Bahia Santa Maria

1 day 4 hr
Abreojos 26°43.969'N  113°32.259'W
12 hr
Asuncion 27°08.126'N  114°17.448'W
10 hr
Turtle Bay 27°41.170'N  114°53.242'W

Turtle Bay

Turtle Bay
7 hr
Isla Cedros – east side mid anchorage 28°10.107'N  115°09.356'W

1 day 8 hr
Punta Colnett 30°57.712'N  116°17.401'W
11 hr 30min
Ensenada – Cruise Port 31°51.313'N  116°37.267'W

Totals for La Paz to Ensenada

Total Miles  - 821 NM
Total Main Engine Run Time - 158 hours
Total Gen Run Time - 46 hours
GPH - 1.93 (for Main Engine, fuel used reduced for Gen run time @ .75 gph)
MPG - 2.88

Total days on board - 18
Total travel days - 12
Overnight Passages - 3

Passage Notes

Los Muertos to Bahia Santa Maria 
This leg took us around Cabo Falso which was 6 hours of pounding into 30 kt winds and 10' seas. The weather forecast was for winds of less than 10 kts and long period swells. This was the Buoyweather forecast for that area - 
                  WIND                  SEAS
DATE   HR  dir/deg  range(kt)   dir/per   range(ft)
----  ---  ------------------   -------------------
6/1   05    NW 318   9 - 12     WNW  8sec   4 -  7
6/1   11     W 263   2 -  2       S 15sec   4 -  7
6/1   17   WSW 255   4 -  6     SSW 14sec   4 -  6
6/1   23   WNW 303   5 -  7     SSW 14sec   4 -  7
6/2   05     W 274   1 -  2     SSW 13sec   4 -  6
6/2   11   SSW 209   4 -  5     SSW 13sec   4 -  7
6/2   17   WSW 246   5 -  6     SSW 17sec   4 -  7
6/2   23     W 274   3 -  5     SSW 16sec   4 -  7

We were off Cabo Falso at 00:00 (midnight) on June 2 and the winds were consistently over 20 kts. After 03:00 AM the winds started to diminish and from there to Bahia Santa Maria outside of Mag Bay the seas continually improved. It was a long passage of nearly 50 hours and we should have stopped in los Frailes and rested and waited a day. Boats that went the next morning had a much better trip.

 Bahia Santa Maria To Abreojos

Anchorage in Santa Maria was windy as we waited for a front to move through the area. This was a tough passage of 28 hours pounding into rough seas for most of the time. Abreojos was windy (25 kts) but well protected. The weather pattern for this area up to Turtle Bay is for high winds in the afternoon and evening dying out around midnight and staying mild until the afternoon so we would get up at 3:00 AM and try to get to the next anchorage by early afternoon.  

Abreojos to Asuncion

Up at 3:00 AM and off we went fighting a 1.5 kt counter current for most of the day. We arrived in Asuncion in  25+ kt winds which made anchoring easy, just stop the boat, drop the anchor and play out the chain as fast as you can. When you have enough chain out engage the chain stopper and the wind sets the anchor for you. Put on the snubber, set the anchor alarm and go to bed. In this area you are anchoring in 20' of sand in wide open bays so there is little chance of dragging.

Asuncion to Turtle Bay

Up at 3 AM again in calm winds and seas and race to the next anchorage. No counter current in this area so we made better time. Turtle Bay is the only really protected bay on the coast so it's always a relief to get here and rest for a couple of days. 

Turtle Bay to Isla Cedros 

Very pleasant trip. Beautiful anchorage in 25' depth on a small shelf extending from shore.

Isla Cedros to Punta Colnett

Pulled anchor at 4:30 AM. Nice passage in lite winds and calm seas. Colnett anchorage was a little rolly but nice.

Punta Colnett to Ensenada

The final leg was very enjoyable, calm seas with overcast. Arrived in marina at 3 PM. It was great to be done with the bash and tied to a dock.

We traveled with an informal group of boats making the same trip. The most notable companion was another 46 Nordhavn, Beverly S, with Larry and Sue on board. They are a terrific couple and we hope we can spend more time with them in the future. 
This was our fourth time on the outside and the roughest trip, but it was not too bad for this area and time of year. The boat made it with no problems other than a couple of minor issues that did not slow us down. Discovery again proved herself a very capable boat that can take difficult seas and just shake it off, if only her crew were so durable.  

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Middle Third

Tuesday, June 12, 2012
LATITUDE: 27-41.16N
LONGITUDE: 114-53.24W

We are in Turtle Bay, Bahia San Bartolome or Bahia Tortuga, having made 4 passages over 5 days from Bahia Santa Maria. This area is known as the windiest part of the outside passage and it did not disappoint.

The first passage from Bahia Santa Maria to Puerto Abreojos was the most difficult going overnight for 28 hours into steep seas. Not as bad as rounding Cabo Falso but still no fun and very tiring. The weather forecasts missed the steep seas and high winds but we were not alone, there was 5 other cruisers making the same passage and 5 or more faster yachts being delivered north in the same area.

Along the shore in this area the usual weather pattern is for strong winds to start in the afternoon and continue until near midnight then go calm and stay down until they start to build around mid-day. In hopes of traveling during the best part of the day we started getting up at 3 AM and traveling until early afternoon. Yes folks, even Linda was up at 3.

In Abreojos the wind blew 30+ kts all afternoon through the evening but calmed before we left at 3:30 AM for Asuncion. Abreojos reports the highest winds on the coast but Asuncion gave it a run for the money when we were there with winds over 30 kts in the afternoon and evening but dying out around midnight. When we again got up at 3 AM the seas were calm and remained calmed until we got to Turtle Bay.

Now in Turtle Bay we feel the worst is behind us, the northern third should be the best part of the trip and we're only 4 days from Ensenada. The weather forecast shows low winds ahead of us this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday so we're going to leave here Wednesday or Thursday and go 45 NM up the coast so we'll be ready to make the final run to Ensenada.

Once we get to Ensenada I'll compile and post all the numbers on distances and times for the trip along with fuel consumption. All is well on Discovery, the boat is running great with only some minor glitches but nothing to slow us down.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The First Leg North

On Anchor
Location: Bahia Santa Maria on the west coast of Baja California Sur
LATITUDE: 24-46.54N
LONGITUDE: 112-15.35W

It seems that the weather god on duty Friday night for Cabo Falso did not care for our sacrifice of rum and he/she cranked up the winds and seas to show their displeasure. It was a rough rounding of the cape but that only took 6 hours and when we were 20 miles north of the cape things settled down and the rest of the trip was acceptable if not pleasant. Saturday morning we found ourselves in a different world, grey skies and seas and temps 30° below Thursday's in los Muertos. It's as if the storm around the cape propelled us out into a far different location on the globe.

We had favorable weather forecast from three different sources for rounding the cape and all of them were wrong. VERY WRONG! All predicted 5-10 kt winds and but what we had was sustained winds of 30-35 kts for six hours. For us that made the passage uncomfortable, for a lesser boat it might have been dangerous. We'll do a post in the future on the miserable state of weather forecasting in Mexico.

We are now in Bahia Santa Maria and have had a restful nap after arriving at 9 AM. The rest of the Bash fleet opted to anchor inside Bahia Magdalena at Man of War cove so we are the only boat in the outside bay. Santa Maria has an wild look to it, high dark hills on the west side with a long sandy beach backed by sand dunes and mangroves stretching for miles around the bay. Ocean swells wrap around the point and there is heavy surf breaking on the beach. We have the paravane fish in the water and gently rise and fall as the swells pass under us. The low marine layer of clouds give the area a solemn and wild look reminiscent of SE Alaska.

The weather forecast is for higher winds on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday so we're going to stay here for at least 3 days waiting for the wind to die down.

I was able to post 4 position reports to winlink so that's up to date.

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Friday, June 1, 2012

Heading for Cabo Falso

TIME: 2012/06/01 22:42z
LATITUDE: 23-18.11N
LONGITUDE: 109-23.78W
SPEED: 5.0

Thursday we had a great trip from La Paz to los Muertos in calm waters and lite winds but it was very hot and humid. Afternoon temperatures were near 100° with 70% humidity. In the evening we ran the gen and turned on the A/C to cool the boat down for dinner.

The next day, Friday, we ran into high winds and seas on our way to los Frailes and the seas were coming straight into the anchorage in los Frailes making it too rough to anchor in so we decided to continue on and round Cabo Falso Friday night. Yes, who needs sleep when there's a cape to round and a nighttime passage to make. The weather forecast is favorable but we did talk to south bound boat that got the shit beat out of them last night on the same passage were making only going south. We'll see what happens and try to find something suitable to sacrifice to the weather gods. I have an old bottle of rum that might just do the trick.

There are at least 5 boats staged and ready to make the bash north, 4 power boats including another 46 Nordhavn, Beverly S, a Krogen, and a 44 Defever, and some sailboats. All at the southern end of Baja preparing to head north this weekend.

We have been unable to post any position updates because we have not been able to connect to winlink, the system that provides that service. We'll include our location on blog posts and continue to try winlink.

All is well on Discovery.