Turtle Bay to Ensenada

The Hans Christian 43 Betty Jane, Beating Up the Coast

Well, the weather looks unbeatable for another step up the coast, so I’m up and off at 0700. There’s weather due in by the weekend, so I’m hopeful to be up in San Quintin, a good anchorage, before it hits. Then, I’ll bug on up to Ensenada. If I didn’t leave now, I’d be in Turtle through next week. NOT.

The kids on Bonita made it safely in to port last night after a day and a half tow by Betty Jane. They’ll be figuring out their game plan and staying put through the weekend and gathering transmissions, etc… They are some really nice kids, and I hope they stay in touch.

I got a couple of replies from Jeanne and Leah about sleeping in the head/bathroom. I was laughing, and not understanding, and then it hit me. The ‘throne’ isn’t the toilet, at least on this boat, it’s the reclinable, cushy chair I use in the cockpit, and then drag down below to rest on when it’s either night or punky weather. The lowest, most centered place in the boat (salon floor) is also the most comfortable, so that’s where I hang. Makani and I duke it out daily over who gets squatting rights, and it’s usually 50-50.

I have to go do a bit of navigating as I approach the islands outside of Turtle Bay. I’ll try writing again later today. You all have an outstanding Thursday. Kevan and John, leave some money in Vegas for the rest of the poor losers… Mom, hang in there, keep up your PT and eat some good stuff!

I hope everyone’s looking forward to the end of the week today, and looking forward to a fine weekend.

I’m about 70 nm out of San Quintin, after a gooey, foggy night. I made tracks out of Turtle Bay yesterday in very fine conditions. It got a little sporty right off the tip of Cedros Island, but it was very short-lived. A few hours later, the sky fell, and we were down to zero visibility for awhile. I moved out of that, and now it’s 100% overcast, and I’ve got about 4 nm of viz. Conditions look good to continue on truckin’ today, and depending on what Tony offers up weather-wise, I may truly bash a day to get into Ensenada to beat a weather system this coming week.

That screw! Remember that screw I found on deck a few months back on my way back from the mainland? I finally found where it came from, and it wasn’t the rig! It was from the cam cleat on one of my fiddle blocks for the preventer. I know, for the non-sailors, what in the heck is she talking about??? For me, it was very exciting to find the source of that screw, and now I know!! Oh, the excitements of a sailor… I know you’re envious…

You all take care, have a great day, and an even better weekend.

The weather’s fine this morning, but it’s forecast to get up to 15-18 knots this afternoon with a mixed swell. That’s not bad, but it is bumpy and tiring. If all things hold, I’ll be in Ensenada tonight for a day or two of much needed sleep.

Just off Rio Santo Tomas, I was making tracks with reefed main and stays’l. The point there affected my progress, and then Betty Jane, just off my starboard bow, wanted to come up to make some sail changes. I fell off from my course and got caught in the current mixing things up at the point, and just couldn’t get back in the rhythm afterward. At least for a good hour or so. I’d been staying with Betty Jane just fine until then, but they took off and left me in their wake. It took 2-3 more hours and an offshore tack until I made Punta Banda, the entrance to Bahia Todos Santos, or Ensenada Bay. I was trying to rush and make the harbor entrance before nightfall, as the navigation lights on the buoys melt into the traffic lights on the main drag of Ensenada. This I knew from experience while racing the Newport to Ensenada Race in years’ past.

I made the navigable channel entrance to Ensenada harbor just at dusk, and could make out the buoy lights. Of course, then a ginormous freighter was exiting the harbor, and I was hauling a@s downwind and downhill on a collision course. Curses! You can’t let exhaustion and emotions dictate in times like this. Tonnage rules, and the freighter wins. I gybed around and headed upwind for a mile out of the channel to let the ship get on her way. After gybing again to the channel, a cruise ship then left the harbor. Curses again! I figured if I stayed out of the channel, the cruise ship would have the channel to herself and all would be good. Until the ship turned to starboard outside of the channel, and on a collision course with me. I hailed her on the radio numerous times, and one of the officers finally answered. I asked how he would like to pass, he stated his intentions, and all was good. Ten minutes later, I was in the relative calm of the harbor. After dousing sails and preparing docklines and fenders, I pulled into Cruiseport Village Marina and was tied up by 2030.

Jim and Mark from Betty Jane and I showered up (not together) and walked into town for a late dinner. I tried to sleep, but kept waking for a ship check as if I was on watch. One time, I woke to find a powerboat on a collision course with me and jumped out of the bunk, raced to the helm and swung it hard over to avoid the vessel. Only then did I notice it was far too quiet for any boat to be underway, and the ‘offending boat’ to be my neighbor in the next slip. Urging my heart to calm, I put the tiller back in its storage station, closed up the cabin and went back to bed. Needless to say, not much sleep was had after that…

6 thoughts on “Turtle Bay to Ensenada


    So exciting!! I know you will be busy once you return to the US but please make some time to stop by and tell us all about Mexico. Love you, the Gills

  2. Carolyn Daley

    Hi Wendy, Congrats on arriving in Ensenada fairly unscathed. good for you. and, thanks for chronicling your journey so well. Having never done the trip it s great to hear about it and visualize your trip. All the best in the future and with your mom.

    Carolyn (aka CJ)

    Sent from my iPad

  3. Sue Worthington

    Hi Wendy..still loving reading all your adventures. I wish I had just an ounce of you talent/bravery/lust for living life soooo fully. Thought the last I had read, was you were in San Diego? Where are you now? Hope you Mom is doing well. I would love to see you if you are ever in my area (Seal Beach) to give you a big hug😘. So glad to found you and been able to enjoy this last year and more of your life on Willow.

    1. wsea61 Post author

      Hi Sue! Thanks so much for the kind words! With those descriptors you shared, please make sure to add “stark raving nuts!” Right now, Willow’s in San Diego and most probably will stay there. For the next month or two, I’ll be with my mom, getting her dialed in to her home. We hope to finish construction today or tomorrow, so I’m preparing for a high speed wobble to begin soon. I promise as I get some more time I’ll contact you for some lunch. How’s that sound? Keep doing good things!

  4. Terri Petrescu

    Wendy – wondered what you were doing, and just happened to think about your blog –
    surprised to see that you’re in San Diego! For how long? We may be there at the end of May for a week or so – if you’re going to be there maybe we could get a chance to say hi once again. Privilege is on the hard in San Carlos for the summer.


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