Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Happy New Year!

Well we made it! I am writing this post from the beautiful Costa Baja Marina in La Paz Mexico.
It is hot and sunny:-)
Perhaps I should try to recap some of the journey to get here but I think this trip is a bit like child birth, once you have that adorable little bundle in your arms you forget how painful and challenging it was to get the little darling out.
The amount of rain we saw in this "Desert" surprised us all. Also the wind coming from everywhere or nowhere was not what the brochure had promised.
On December 27 we had an absolutely enchanting day surrounded by dolphins. We are talking hours of entertainment with dolphins coming to visit our bow and doing acrobatic leaps high into the air.
We arrived in Bahia Santa Maria at 2:30 am on Dec 28. This is a 10 mile wide horseshoe shaped bay with a completely deserted sandy beach covered in shells and sand dollars. There are so many sand dollars it has been nicknamed frisbee beach. Back from the beach there are sand dunes for as for as you can see and on the beach there is fun surf to play in. Bradley and Tavish had a great time diving through the surf and body surfing until a ray surprised them by giving them a bump!
We headed out the next morning to travel the 18 miles around and into Magdalena Bay. We put the fishing lines out as we passed out the mouth of the bay and had fish on the lines within the first hour. They were skipjack tuna or Bonito which we found previously to be very dark, gamey meat so we released them back. We continued to catch the same type of fish for the first 1/2 of the trip which added some entertainment.
Magdalena bay is famous for being a breeding ground for humpback whales. We saw several whale spouts off in the distance but that was all the whales would show us.
Once we rounded the corner into the bay we headed north up Magdalena Bay into the wind and waves. At this point there was talk of just heading back out and carrying on to Cabo but we needed more diesel fuel for the remainder of the trip.
We anchored off the little town at the North end of Mag Bay and it immediately began to pour rain. Seriously! This is supposed to be a desert!
We launched the dingy and headed in to find the Port Captain and hopefully diesel fuel. Fortunately the Port Captain happened to be on the beach when we arrived and delivered diesel fuel out to High Five within the hour. We had a quiet night at anchor with a few dolphins swimming close by.
We headed out at 7AM the next morning for the 24 hour run to Cabo. Again we were followed by the rain but the air temperature was getting warmer.
We rounded the Cape in time for the last sunrise of 2016.
The landmark Arches of Cabo were a most welcome sight!
It was amazing how many boats were already out taking tourist out fishing, whale watching and snorkelling.
We arrived at a slip in the marina under cloudy skies. The dock guy at the Marina assured us that it just looks like rain because it never rains in Cabo. Guess what? Yup, within 5 minutes it was pouring rain!
We all practically ran to the showers! What a wonderful feeling to rinse the salt and grime away.
This was New Years Eve! We rang in 2017 with our friends Chuck and Sarah who were in Cabo on vacation. We partied well past the fireworks at midnight which made for a very long 24 hours.
We had to say goodbye to Richard and Heather the next day as they were flying back to Vancouver. Unfortunately for them the sun had come out and was predicted to stay hot and sunny for the next week. They were heading back to freezing temperatures and snow.
We left Cabo on Jan. 2 with some additional crew. Sarah and Chuck joined us for the sail to San Jose del Cabo. What a glorious day! It was hot and sunny. The wind was behind us so we could hoist the spinnaker. Then to top it off there were whales! I'm really sorry Richard and Heather couldn't have been part of this. It was truly a day right out of the brochure!
We spent a fun night in San Jose del Cabo Marina with some other cruisers. Sarah and Chuck got a taste of the fun cruising life can offer, including a musical jam.
We sent Sarah and Chuck off on there own adventure to find their way back to Cabo, while we headed out around the corner and up into the Sea of Cortez.
for the next 2 days we BASHED straight into the wind and waves! It seems the ocean feels compelled to remind us that we should not try to have a schedule.
We stopped the first night in Los Frailes, arriving after dark and leaving, also in the dark at 0500 AM. The next day we saw more wind and big waves on the nose. We fortunately arrived at the anchorage in Ensenada de Los Muertes in daylight and were able to go for dinner in the restaurant ashore.
We again departed in the dark at 5 am. The first 2 hours Gary took the watch as we bashed into more wind and waves. As the sun came up at 7 am we ducked behind Isla Cerralvo. The seas were flat and the wind was blocked by the island. When we came out the North end of the island you would think we were in a different world the seas stayed glassy calm and the wind died completely. What a difference a day can make!
On our way into La Paz we anchored in Bahia Balandra for a lunch stop and snorkel. This stop confirmed why we had persevered on this trip. Hot, sunny skies, white sand beaches and gin clear blue water to snorkel in. Nicole got to try out the new mask and snorkel she had purchased in San Diego, finally!

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