Bahia Magdalena to Bahia Tortuga

Breezy Sky…

Good Morning, Everyone, and what a fine morning it is!

Okay, you can’t tell how happy I am to be under way, can you? I weighed anchor at 0505 this morning, and comparatively, the seas are relatively flat (okay, there’s about a 7′ swell, but the period’s nice and long…), no windwaves (yet), and the breeze is about 8 knots on the nose. Perfect!! There was a boat that left Bahia Santa Maria yesterday afternoon, and they got pasted in 24-28 knots. Thanks, Tony!!! We should get the afternoon NW breeze up to around 16-17 knots, and then it’ll die on down. One of the prognosticators in the fleet does a more detailed reading with isobars, etc…, and he believes that with the Norther going on in the Sea of Cortez, we may see a nice shift to NE, which would put some wind in our sails and not on the nose, and that should take place perhaps tomorrow. So I think we waited well, and are bugging out while the bugging’s good.

I’ll continue writing at least once a day, but the disclaimer stands: If you don’t hear from me, DON’T WORRY! I’m traveling in some great company, and we’re all watching each other’s backs.

Tuesday
I’m happily truckin’ on up the coast, though yesterday afternoon and evening was a true bash. That’s eased some, and I’m making 4.9 knots right on the rhumbline. That’s AWESOME for Willow. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE my staysail?? I’m not at the back of the fleet, which is amazing, but the boat that is, a Hans Christian 43′, is 2 nm off my starboard quarter. I should arrive in Turtle, prospectively, tomorrow afternoon. With the wx forecast, I’d really like to press on after fueling up, but my arrival time may not be before the fuel dock closes. So, a good nights sleep may be in order…

I’ve dodged longlines, turtles, pangueros, and Indonesian fisherman. It’s more crowded out here than when I came down, as I recall. The cruise ships march on down about 10 nm outside of us, but you can’t miss their lit up city lights. You never know where the fishermen are, but they sure are on the radio! As the evening goes on, I can’t understand them, but the singing starts, rants against the Mexican Navy, pornographic dreams are broadcast, and all sorts of other silliness, and not just in spanish. I think I heard tagalog (sp?) and some asian dialects. It increases with the hour, and level of borracho-ness… Yup, it’s not the quiet Pacific coast anymore…

Today, conditions should continue to ease for us all. We’re in good radio contact, and keeping track of each other. There’s a professional big boat captain in the fleet, and he had fun testing me all night long. He didn’t think I’d be responsive to his radio calls. Got him! Hee-hee…

I hope you all have an outstanding Tuesday, and keep on taking good care of each other.

Wednesday

Tiger Beetle Passing Willow to Starboard...

Tiger Beetle Passing Willow to Starboard…

Conditions have settled beautifully, settled enough that there’s even fog 5 nm out all around. So really, really settled. All of us in the fleet had greeted each other this morning, and were making plans about weather, fuel and Turtle Bay. Turtle’s so close (105 nm), I can almost smell it! Then it happened…

Ryan from Bonita called out that he thinks their transmission is shot, and they were out. Such a bummer. All of us had a few suggestions for him, but they were all to no avail. Their transmission was shot. This is where Providence comes in. Jim, who’s taking the owner’s boat, with him on it, up to Seattle, used to do a bunch of work for Vessel Assist. Jim and Mark are aboard the Hans Christian 43, Betty Jane, and they offered to tow the kids on Bonita on up to Turtle Bay.   This is what I love about sailing!!  I was right there with them, so I hung out and sent moral support their way. You know, “can I just slip Willow between you two boats real quick???” It took both vessels about an hour and a half to gather required gear and get things settled for a safe and manageable tow.  At 1600 hours, we’re off.  They’re carefully making about 4 knots, watching closely for chaffing and gear failure. I’m moving on up the line and getting out of their way, but maintaining radio contact with them. The next challenge will be finding repairs in Turtle, or maintaining the tow to Ensenada… Stay tuned.

Aboard Willow, all is well. Going downwind is no test for a boat. Going UPWIND, I have found more little things I never would have guessed, but all are easily remedied.

My 1600 local position: N 26d 10′ W 113d 38 SOG 5.1 kts COG 305d mag BRG 309d mag

I’m in! I’m fueled! I’m safe! I’m tired! I’m going to bed! I’m going to write you all tomorrow. There is internet here, but it’s waaaaaaaaaaay slooooooooooooooooooow. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

(Tony, bad idea to head out early and keep going?)

I arrived at Turtle Bay around 1700, fueled up and dropped the hook.  (For other Bashers information, the fuel dock in Turtle Bay is open 24 hours a day.  You just need to hail them on VHF Ch. 16 when you enter the bay, and they’ll meet you at the dock.)  My original plan was to stay a day or so with the great kids from Bonita, and perhaps go up the rig to change out my steaming light bulb. But the weather forecast was far too great to hang out, so after a night’s sleep, I decided to head out early Thursday morning for Ensenada, another 290 nm up the coast. Buenos Noches!

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