Bahia Magdalena

Whoever invented sleep should get a Nobel Peace Prize! So very restorative…

This morning, I woke at 0900 and felt a little punch-drunk. Nothing coffee can’t fix, so I made up a cup or two. Instant recovery. Nectar of the gods… I fueled Willow up with 18.75 gallons, started her up and made my way 4 nm up the bay to Man O’ War cove and Puerto Magdalena. Good rumor says I can get some diesel here for a few extra pesos if I ask nicely. Apparently, the Capitania del Puerto will take his panga into town for you with your jerry jugs. With the next leg around 250 nm, I’d REALLY like to have that fuel aboard. He’s not answering the radio, but I’m anchored right in front of his officina. Since it’s Sunday, he may not be working unless for an emergency, and this ain’t one…

I had a bit of extra water in the bilge and on my bunk. Turns out my anchor locker leaks, and that’s right at the foot of my bunk, so the water runs along the bunk to the sole right at the head. Took a little figuring out, but that one’s an easy fix. The only thing is I need to keep using the anchor, so it’ll be a temporary fix, for the moment. My other repair isn’t so easy. I’m trying to figure if I can make a temporary fix, or just the pull the whole thing down. The ‘thing’ is the wind generator. It’s a pretty heavy object sitting on top of an 11′ pole, an aluminum pole at that. The base for the aluminum pole is stainless, with a large stainless bolt going through the pole, only. No protective bushing, nothing. Well, as that heavy object on top of that soft-metal pole gyrates in the swell, it’s been sitting on this large stainless bolt. Finally, it’s been wearing the aluminum into quite a bit of a larger hole, allowing more movement, and thus, more wear. Can I use a few large blocks and anchor the pole better, using a couple of un-used winches? Do I take that chance, making a cat’s cradle of a support using spare sheets, or do I just take it down? I don’t feel the aluminum is a wise choice for this use, but I understand why they did it. Its lighter weight lends it to an easy application. But the act of beating to weather in moderate conditions has tested the mounting greatly, and it could be much better. The thing I don’t want is for it to come down under way. But, I really like the additional power it gives, especially at anchor. I think I know the answer, at least what my gut tells me, but my brain is disagreeing right now. Tired? Poor judgment? I think my gut will win out, especially after more rest, and the whole thing will come down…

I’ll stay here until I can get some fuel, and then make my way up 30 nm or so to Bahia Santa Maria. There, I’ll wait out the oncoming breeze for a couple of more days. Then, it’s off to Turtle Bay!

All is well aboard Willow. The cats have eaten and hydrated, and I’m looking forward to a fine meal this afternoon, and some more rest. I hope you all enjoy this beautiful day, and heal up and be well, Mom and John!

Take care and keep doing good things!

I’m sitting on anchor at Man O’ War Cove, and the wind came up today as predicted. I can hear the roosters crowing from shore as I make my coffee and Cream of Wheat. Yum. Gregorio, the Capitania del Puerto, has been by and filled half my jugs with diesel and had to go back ashore for more fuel. There’s one more boat in the cove, S/Y Best Explorer, and it looks like about 48′, steel or aluminum, with 6-7 people aboard. Looks like they’re from Italy(?), and they’re making their way down the Baja. They should be here for 3 days or so, and I’d love to hear their story. Maybe I can entice them with a Shoreboat Coffee or two…

The Mexican Navy has made it’s rounds through the cove. They looked closely at Willow. When I cleared out of Cabo with the Port Captain, he wanted all the descriptors of my boat, especially when he heard there was only one person aboard. He wanted my name, Willow’s length, spelling, doc. number, etc… No other Port Captain has wanted that info. I choose to think it was out of concern for the ship’s welfare, as it’s a long hike to be making alone. We’ll see if they come in for an inspection…

After fueling, I think I’ll work on my wind generator stabilization plan for the 30 nm trip up to Bahia Santa Maria. If it’s not doing the trick, I’ll pull it down there. I do believe I’ll be here for a day or so, giving the breeze a chance to wind down a little. Motoring against those conditions just uses up precious fuel and you’re not moving all that well.

Gregorio explained to me how his wife was having a lot of pain in her neck and shoulder area, and asked me if I had a liniment or medicine for it. I told him I had no salve, but I did have some ibuprofeno that could help. I also gave him a pair of silver earrings to give her. They’re quite pretty, and I hope they help her smile. I don’t want to give him any of my vicodin, especially with the Navy nearby. I think that’s just looking for trouble. Additionally, that’s for emergency use only.

I made an error yesterday when I gave you all Tony’s information. He does the wx on the Chubasco and Baja Nets. If anyone wants some wx info under way, he’s your man. Let me know if you want to play with him. This is one of his most favorite things to do, and he’s made passages worldwide. Better yet, he’s free! Like I said, it’s a huge amount of fun for him…

That’s about all I have to report this morning. I’ll probably post again this evening. I hope you all have an outstanding week, and keep doing good things! I love and miss you all.

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What an Amazing Shoreline Decoration!

I’m up early today, looking to get a few chores done. Yup, and pull that wind generator down. I played with my jury rig yesterday, and just can’t cinch things down as tight as I’d like, so, as my gut, as well as a bunch of you all said, take ‘er down. This also needs to be done in stages: 1. Disconnect and isolate the wiring, shielding both ends from arcs; 2. Tie off main pole to support it when you remove the two supporting poles; 3. Remove the two supporting poles; 4. Lower the main pole and generator to the deck, not allowing the blades of the wind generator to pierce the dodger (or a cat); 5. Take it all apart and stow. I think I’ll be sleeping with a wind generator for a while…

Tomorrow, I plan on heading up early to Bahia Santa Maria, giving me a closer jump off point for when the breeze dies down. I won’t be worrying about a giant, swinging, piercing thingie coming down and taking out the dodger, mainsail, or a cat. Or me! Nor dealing with sheared electrical wires coming from the batteries. I ran down some scenarios in my head, and along with the physical damage done by the generator, the electrical hazards were pretty daunting, too.

This morning as I look outside the cockpit, I see a broad, red stripe along the shoreline. I mean, bright red. We’ve been having some pretty big tidal changes with the new moon coming, and something obviously washed ashore at high tide. I’ve gotten a few photos, and I think I know what the red is. While weighing anchor at Belcher’s Point, I saw some maybe 2″ long red shrimp/crab/lobster-like thingies flowing by with the tide. I remember about 12 years ago during a delivery back up from Puerto Vallarta, seeing the same type of thing, though the critters were much bigger then. Langostinos, perhaps? They add a beautiful blaze of color to the shoreline, but I’m guessing with the seabirds and the non-survivors, it’s gonna stink!

Gregorio, the Capitania del Puerto, got me all fueled up yesterday afternoon, and enjoyed a cerveza afterward. He and his esposa live in town at San Carlos, and he comes out here 3-4 times a week. He does work 24/7, but at times won’t be here at Puerto Magdalena. So if any of you are needing fuel before Turtle Bay, stop on by, fill your tank with your jerry cans, and call the Port Captain. He’ll happily fill your jugs. For 80 liters, I paid 1200 pesos, or about $100. In Cabo, I bought 60 liters and paid $96. Gregorio told me to tell my friends of his service, so there ya go. Of course, a propina (tip) is always welcomed!

Take good care, Everyone, and know how much I love and miss you! I’ll be outta here soon, a couple more days, or so. Mom and John, keep doing your ejercicios and PT! I’ll be chasing you two down yet!

I don’t have any foolish thing to report, but want to thank those who had input for helping me do another non-foolish thing. Andrew, John and Tom, yup, I took it down. The wind generator, that is. The trickiest part was getting it down before the wind came up, and before the pangueros sped by Willow. I braced it as best as I could while it was no longer supported by its stainless ‘arms,’ and was able to lower it precariously to the cockpit. I tied it off to the dodger while I removed the blades of the generator, then the generator itself. Now, the stainless arms are in the garage, and the main pole is tied to the lifelines. All of the bracketing parts are with the blades and the generator.

Once done with that, Gregorio came by to see how things were. I thanked him once again for helping out with fuel, and told him I was going to head back down to Punta Belcher, giving me a pretty quick exit from the bay once the time is right. I may be here until Friday, or I may get out early in the morning on my way to Bahia Santa Maria. I’m getting to think I may, once again, bypass Bahia Santa Maria and just make tracks for Turtle. I keep needing to remind myself that I’m not necessarily in a hurry, and don’t need to beat up the boat, cats, or me. I’m not ashamed of waiting for a little more of a favorable window to head out. I’m beyond the need to race or impress anyone. But please don’t think I’m just sitting here eating bon-bons. Once the decision was made to head back up, I just want to be there. My engine work is done, my batteries are in good shape, Willow’s doing well, as is her crew. I’m thinking Friday morning will be a good thing…

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Looks Like the Armada de Mexico is Waiting This One Out With Me…

The Next Day…

Not much going on here but us waiting out the wind. Wait, that’s just me, everyone else is leaving, but they’re going south! That’s the direction to go. My friend Tony reaffirmed my gut telling me that it’s no fun bashing in this weather, and though I want to move, why? Why do something stupid when you know you really shouldn’t. Anywho, I’m finding little things to do around and on Willow. It may be the weekend, or longer before I get out. Please don’t worry. All is well aboard.

I must admit, this morning when I wrote, I was a bit frustrated by the weather. I need to be moving! But it’s all good, and I was obviously where I needed to be when I needed to be there. Shortly after I sent off my post to you all, I ALMOST turned off the radio, but decided, what the heck. Ya never know. I was still anchored at Punta Belcher, and the wind had definitely arrived. Not twenty minutes into my pity party, I heard “Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!” A boat was calling mayday, and he was in the northern end of Mag Bay. Hey! I know where that is! So I answered, after hearing no one else answer. The operator stated he was out of fuel, en route to San Carlos for fuel, and he was unable to anchor. Oh, and it was howling out. I asked if he could sail to one of the anchorages, and then arrange for fuel (like I did), but he answered he was a motor yacht. Doh!

I got his position, and then called mi amigo nuevo, El Capitania del Puerto Magdalena, Gregorio, to see if he could help. Now picture this: me spanglishing this boat’s position, and seeing if there was some way Gregorio could understand. I plotted his position about 4 nm from Man O’ War Cove, and pretty much right between Punta I-don’t-remember and Punta Stearns. Gregorio plotted him in Bahia Santa Maria. I called the (Oh! There’s a baby grey whale about 50′ off my beam! Where’s mama???) vessel to confirm his position, and I had it right. I gave that to Gregorio, and he said, basically, it’s pretty windy out there. Did I know that? I answered Si, Yo se, pero el otro barco necessito ayudar. Ya see how bad my spanglish is? After a bit more conversation, Gregorio agreed to go out to help, if I’d handle radio comms. I told the other boat that help was on the way, and he answered they were finally able to get an anchor down, and asked if I realized how windy it was? As spray is coming over my bow, at anchor. Really??? I asked how many people he had aboard, and if they all had lifejackets. Who do I sound like now??

I just got a radio call from the vessel, and Gregorio and the Navy had delivered fuel. He was just trying to bleed some air out of the fuel lines so he could get under way to San Carlos and fill up. In the meantime, I motored back up to Man O’ War Cove. If it was gonna be this blowy, I wanted to have people watch me drag ashore. Just kidding. My anchor is well stuck, I’m watching whales, and I think the Navy is gonna wait this one out about 100 yards off my port stern.

So all is well. I’m not pouting anymore. I helped someone, and there’s really nothing better than that. I’m now watching for Gregorio and the Navy to return in the two pangas they left in.

Sometimes, you never know. No more whining from me.

Following Day…

I’m still anchored at Man O’ War Cove, tucked in as close as I was comfortable. Yesterday evening, the winds died down for about a half an hour, and the peace was deafening! But Mother Nature came back with a vengeance, and I’m glad I’m sitting here instead of flailing out there. Not much sleep was had due to the noise and bobbing, but my gear held Willow quite well, and is doubtless digging itself in even more as time passes.

Aside from reading, one of the things I’m endlessly enjoying is watching the young grey whales come into the cove, dive in the shallows and come up for air, over and over. I don’t know if they’re feeding, or scratching an itch on the bottom, but they remind me of that youngster who would come to the sandspit each year in Santa Barbara and drive the locals and tourists wild. Here, there are no annoying pangas or other whale watching boats damn near on their backs, following them wherever they go. Just me, and I’m just peekin’!

As for getting out of here, last night’s forecast showed Sunday/Monday as being a possibility. I’ll keep you informed on what’s shaking with all of that as the time gets nearer. You all take good care, keep doing good things, and enjoy the rest of the week.

Next Day…

Good Morning, Everyone!

And it’s a still one, at that! First time this anchorage hasn’t moved since I got here. So why am I not moving? A 35′ sail, Bonita, just arrived yesterday as I was napping, and asked if we could buddy-boat up the coast together. I agreed, though they have much faster hull speed. That’s not a bad thing, as I would rather have them ahead of me, than alongside or behind. So at o’dark thirty Sunday morning, I am outta here!

A nice couple, the kids on Bonita. They came over for some spaghetti, veggie salad and brownies last night. Elena and Ryan came down from WA state. They met each other (again) in Sacramento, CA, and decided to do a little traveling. Turns out, they knew each other as kids, so that’s a pretty fun thing in my book! Anyhow, they were down in La Paz for a bit, and it’s time for their adventure to take them in a different direction. Once they get back home, they’re thinking of selling Bonita and living ashore. I wish them well, and we’ll see how long we’re able to keep up with each other.

This morning is just amazing. There are some pre-frontal clouds above, some striped, and some swirly. We’re supposed to have more wind again today and tomorrow, and then perhaps it’ll be done for a while for the trip to Turtle. There are a couple of grey whales moving lazily through the cove, and the seabirds are being noisy. I’ve wiped down the condensation from the deck, and the salt goes with it. Willow’s in good shape, my navigating is done, and now it’s time for some rest. That’s the tough part. I’m just not sleeping like I should be. Tonight, maybe a Benadryl will help.

From here, it’s 260 nm on the rhumbline to Turtle Bay. If I’m lucky, conditions’ll allow me to stay on rhumbline and cut some time. Otherwise, it’s one foot on the beach, as Tony puts it. Once there, I hope to get a little fresh food, just some onions and other veggies if I can. Obviously I’ll be re-fueling, and hopefully I can put an extra mil pesos in my pocket, just in case. After a night’s rest, I’m hoping the weather stays fair for another good 260-270 nm shot on up to Ensenada. I’ll check out of the country there, get the last bit of fuel, and get to San Diego as quick as I can.

One Final Day…

I hope today’s a beautiful day for you all, with some rest, a little relaxation, and some laughs and giggles. I’m giggling more now as I know I’ll be leaving overnight for Turtle Bay! Woo-hoo! When I arrived here in Man O’ War, I was the only boat, and thinking I was really on my own. Over the past week, there have been an ingress of boats, and now it looks like there are four of us who will be heading north in some loosely formed fleet. We have a one-off racer, a Hans Chris 43, a Columbia 35, and me. You know where I’ll be in the pecking order! You guys sound like there’ll be a light Santa Ana this week, and that makes for some FINE weather for us!

I’m excited to get moving again. Today I’ll be making a big pot of some bean chili to last me up to Turtle, maybe share some with Bonita. At Turtle, as long as the weather’s holding, I’ll be fueling up, and trying to head on out again. I should have regular internet there in Turtle for a very short time, and then it’ll be sailmail again. I hope to get another post out later today.

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