Monday, 18 January 2016

Turtle Bay

A Mississippi stern wheeler mysteriously appears!
The voyage from Ensanada to Turtle Bay, just shy of 300 nautical miles, took us only 3 days. The first 2 consisted of a variety of winds; NW in the afternoons and into the evenings, one morning of a brisk offshore breeze from the SE, and little to nothing at all in between. Still, we managed about 150 miles in the first 48 hours underway. The forecast before we left on Monday had called for a more serious wind to develop on Wednesday. It was correct. All afternoon Wednesday we watched the wind and the seas grow. Pretty soon we were going about 6 knots (hella fast in this boat) with roll, pitch, and yaw sufficient to prevent already tired sailors from sleeping much. From noon Wednesday to noon Thursday we sailed 132 miles! Later Thursday afternoon we sailed into Turtle Bay and set the anchor.
Yacht carrying ship at Ensanada

We slept about 12 hours that night, and on Friday morning went ashore to explore the town. On Saturday our friends Don and Heather aboard their Hans Christian 38, Buena Ventura arrived from Ensanada. Some other Washington State cruisers arrived Saturday and Sunday. One boat, Carumba, is from the same marina we left in June. It turns out that everyone arriving from Ensenada knows all about the boat with the broken Sampson post. We have been told that we are famous on the cruiser radio nets.

They're sure taking a long time with my cervesa!

San Bartolome (Turtle Bay)

Dave resting under the only tree for miles.

Cygnus almost in the surf zone!

Sunday we moved the boat to a part of the bay away from the town but at a very nice beach. Pete and I went ashore to do some amateur geological exploration of nearby landforms. After 4 years of working alongside some of Washington State’s best geologists I was on my own puzzling out the shales and basalts of the beautiful hills Pete and I climbed to the top of. Tim Walsh would surely still be elaborating on what we had seen if we had had him along. We explored ashore again this morning (Monday). This time we went to a mesa about a mile south of yesterday’s hill. There were an amazing number of seashells eroding out of the exposures all the way up the mesa. Fantastic desert landscapes we got to look over.

Now we are back in the town of Bahia Tortuga (Turtle Bay) and getting ready to travel further south.

Monday, 11 January 2016

On January 8th we spent the day shopping for wood and hardware for the repairs to Cynus’ samson posts. We bussed out to Home depot, but only found glue and epoxy there. Then we bussed back into town and went to a wonderful wood supply store named Zacatecanos that graciously cut us six pieces of clear 2 ¼” X 4” X 5’oak boards and then planed them to size. All for about $30. Such service is seldom seen north of the border, and is greatly appreciated! We hopped back on the bus and even though we had no idea if we were on the right bus, someone helped us out and we found our way home. The wonderful, helpful nature of these folks continue to amaze us.

Planing the oak planks.

    The next day was a busy one laminating boards and fitting the supports for the samson posts. After all was dry fitted, Dave gave everything a liberal coat of penetrating epoxy.
  Our friends Don and Heather of Buenaventura arrived in the evening from San Diego. They have sailed from Victoria, and we have run into them periodically on our way here. The next day we gave them a short tour of the marina area, and went for tacos and beers for lunch. Another coat of epoxy and we fell into bed.
Monday was a rushed day. We arranged for purified water to be delivered to the dock. (The water here is not drinkable. Even the locals don’t  drink it.) While we waited we took our laundry to the Lavamatica and asked them to wash and dry it for us. Then on to the chandler to pick up a new stainless bolt ($21!) for the samson posts. We then checked out with the Port Captain and went back to the boat for the final fitting of the posts. With that we were ready to leave.

The new samson posts already christened with Ensenada mud!

    We left the dock, and for some strange reason, I  forgot to get on board. After a fashion I  managed to make the leap and we motored over to Cruiseport Marina where we found no fuel dock, so we carried on to Marina Coral, fueled up and sailed out on fair winds.

Sunset over Islas Des Todos Santos.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Ensenada Mexico

   We’ve been back on Cygnus here at Ensenada since January 2nd. The day we arrived it was sunny and 21 degrees C. The boat was in good shape other than a broken dock line. The folks at Baja Naval took great care of things. Since then the weather has deteriorated. We have had tremendous rain storms and so much surge that we have broken two more lines. Many of the folks tied at the dock have left to anchor out due to the surge and breaking of lines. The folks at Baja Naval have been very diligent in caring for the boats with absent owners. Kudos to them!

   We have had great fun learning to shop and get directions in Spanish. The locals are very patient and accommodating. We have found food to be very inexpensive, with delicious fruit and vegetables. Now if I  can just get Dave to eat them! No, seriously, we are both enjoying the wonderful food and beverages at a fraction of the cost of home. Examples are two avocados for 25 cents, a papaya for $1.00, four large chicken quarters  for about $1.00. When we left B.C., we saw broccoli for $4.50 a pound, here it is just over a dollar. Fish too is very inexpensive, although it is difficult to know what your buying if you don’t  know the language. For example, the best looking fish was called Pescado Angel. It turned out to be shark. It could be great but we weren’t  game to try it just yet. We settled for two nice halibut filets for about two dollars.

   Yesterday we went on a shopping trip and got caught in another deluge. The streets were literally rivers. It was impossible to cross without wading. It’s  obvious this type of weather is very unusual, since the storm drains are simply unable to accommodate rains such as this. We were completely soaked when we returned.

   Today, after another rockin’ an rollin’ night, we awoke to find a sailboat had sunk in the marina next door. Just it’s  mast was visible in the slip. Cygnus came through in good shape after sliding some heavy hose over the dock lines to help prevent chafing, however the afternoon brought bad luck. Some heavy surge came through and caused so much strain on the dock lines that it sheered off one of the samson posts. These are stout solid 2 3/8” by 4” posts that the bow dock lines attach to. They also stabilize the bowsprit. So, now we have a fairly large repair job on our hands which will delay our departure for a few days. Finding the proper wood and hardware here could be interesting in itself. Since we have no proper way of securing the bow to the dock, and are sick of breaking the boat, we have joined our friends on anchor. 
This isn’t  quite how we imagined our Mexican  portion of the trip beginning, however, it goes to support the saying “Cruising is doing boat maintenance and repairs in exotic locations”.
Sunken boat.