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Doing the Bash – the Baja Bash

Left Bahia Santa Maria for a 48 hour run to Bahia Tortuga (Turtle bay) and after a rough start got the window we were waiting for (I know correct English is ‘for which we were waiting’ but that sounds so stuck up and British). Not a soul in sight the whole way but a voice on the VHF at 0430 one morning from a nearby sailboat named White Dolphin but unseen in the thick fog. That was the last we heard or seen of them. The fog was so thick and the night so dark that I couldn’t see past the edge of our boat. And yes we do have radar but it doesn’t work right now.

Just before sunset just 12 hours short of Turtle Bay we struck gold, yellow gold, when the ZZZiinnnggg took off and the pull bent farther than ever before. Andrew grab the rod but without his vest and started reeling but no little gain. While he was still fighting we got his vest on for this fighter ran deep unlike all the others who come to the surface occasionally. We never saw this one until right at the boat. I gaffed it and pulled in a big 17 lb. Yellow tail. Weather forecast held us at Bay, literally, for several days so this beauty became food for many. Andrew organized a Cruisers potluck at a wonderful local named Antonio’s place where Andrew BBQed the fish for 15 folks and that was only half of it.

Got in another shelling exploration across the bay and found unique shells and a full skull of a sea lion and more. A zoologist would have enjoyed this beach walk.

Cruisers are always looking at weather reports for winds and waves especially. But delaying and more delaying drives me crazy when based on information computer generated from info gathered from a few points scattered along the Mexican coast not like the many sources of onsite buoy date that NOAA uses. So I decided to jump the gun and leave at dusk Friday to take advantage of what was forecast to be lighter winds so we could go 55 miles to Islas San Benitos and anchor next to the Elephant seals while waiting for the big blow to go bye. The other sailboats stayed put and were going to wait until Sunday’s forecast of lighter winds. Well Friday nights winds were up to 25 knots not like they predicted but we made it to San Benitos known the less.

And we anchored right off the shore from a colony of giant Elephant seals, a hundred or more and spent the day and night there watching and listening to their groans and grunts and roars and antics. Sunday morning we were supposed to wake to calmer winds and head off toward Ensenada and ultimately San Diego 280 miles north. But the wind was howling and we were bashing forward right into it 20-25 knots and 6-8 foot seas; and we still are as I’m writing this in the dark. With both engines running steady at 2000 RPMs we’re barley able to do 4 knots bashing up and down with waves breaking and spraying over our bow. I just don’t know about these weather reports because nothing now is what they predicted and for which we waited days. Once out on the open seas we’re committed because there is no where to go but carry on the best your boat can. It’s dark now and I can’t see a thing but I doubt if anyone else is out here.

 

 
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