Saturday, 10 November 2012

We Made It To Cabo!

This trip has been one of self discovery.  We have learnt that we can stay up most of the night, for several nights in a row, and still make reasonable decisions.  We have learnt that in strong winds and rough seas we can depend on our boat to look after us.  We have learnt that in light winds we can reset and trim the sails to get that extra knot of speed.  And most of all......we have learnt that we make a great team.

On Oct 29th we joined up with the other 140 sailboats participating in the Baja Ha Ha rally which "races" (a very loose term in this case) from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas.  To say it was "an experience of a lifetime" seems pretty cliché, but that is simply the best way to describe it.

Leg 1:  
San Diego to Bahia de Tortugas, 338 nautical miles
Depart SD on Mon, Oct 29th at 11:00 am; arrive in BT on Thurs, Nov 1 at 5 pm
We affirmed our racing intentions early on by being the only boat in the fleet to stop mid race and lay over in beautiful Isla Bonito for 18 hours.  The up side of this was an afternoon of  searching for the elusive elephant seals (no luck finding them, but we did see lots and lots of sea lions), a wonderful fresh tuna dinner (instead of the frozen dinners we eat while sailing at night) and 10 hours of continuous sleep (instead of 2-3 hour naps when we're not on night watch) .  The down side was that when we eventually arrived in Bahia de Tortugas, we were last in our division.  Well, I guess we're just not racers at heart!  Much to our surprise, because we have never had much luck fishing, we caught 3 fish on this leg.....a dorado and 2 tuna......delicious and still lots in the freezer!

Leg 2:
Bahia de Tortugas to Bahia Santa Maria, 223 nautical miles
Depart BT on Sat, Nov 3 at 8:00 am; arrive in BSM on Monday, Nov 5 at 2:30 am
Continuing in the same mode, we watched the fleet depart without us while we lounged in the cockpit with our morning coffee.  Having already decided that we weren't going to worry about sailing all the way (you get a special prize if you do this, which is a good thing because trying to sail when there's no wind is just plain frustrating......but several boats did manage to do it) we revved up the engines and caught up in pretty short order.  About an hour from our destination we were asked to lead in a couple of boats that had lost their navigation equipment and were concerned about entering the anchorage in the dark without it.  We felt like a mother hen as we negotiated our way into the bay with 3 little chicks following safely behind.  Coming into an anchorage and dropping the hook in the pitch black is a creepy and scary thing, not to be repeated!

Leg 3:
Bahia Santa Maria to Cabo San Lucas, 172 nautical miles
Depart BSM on Wed, Nov 7 at 7:30 am; arrive CSL on Thurs, Nov 8 at 11:00 am
At this point, with 5 overnighters since San Diego, we are very TIRED!  So tired, in fact, that Tony had to do a couple U-turns during his night shift while his weary brain tried to figure out which way the approaching fish boats were actually going! Around dinner time we crossed the Tropic of Cancer and celebrated by taking turns jumping overboard and being dragged behind Vakasa in the 80 degree water.  Another Bucket List moment for Kathy.  We tied up at the marina in Cabo around noon and celebrated with margaritas on Scott Free.  Although we had the best intentions of dancing the night away in a local nightclub with the rest of the fleet, we fell into bed at 8:30 pm and slept for 14 hours!

It's hot (apparently hotter than usual) and beautiful in Cabo.  We are getting a few chores done while at the marina.....including having a wonderful señora do our laundry and 3 young men wash and polish Vakasa.  Now that's how we like to do chores! Tomorrow we will move out into the bay for a few days at anchor.  Now that we've finally arrived here, we have absolutely no idea of where we're going next, so the guide books must come out.

We'll let you know.....

Waiting for the starting gun in San Diego Harbour

By God, he can catch fish!

Sunset over the Mexican Pacific

Yellow Fin Tuna....good eats

Don't trust your chart plotter in Mexico! That black triangle is Vakasa, and according to it, we're anchored on land!

Once at anchor there is always a party to go to

The fleet at anchor in Bahia Santa Maria

A Mexican band rocking out Leonard Skynard...gotta love it!

Crossing over the Tropic of Cancer in style

Had to talk him into it, but it looks like he's having fun!

Another fleet member flying their spinnaker as the sun goes down...or was it coming up?

Our first sight of civilization around Cabo is a resort that friends Teresa and Mark took us to a few years ago

On the home stretch and passing in front of the famous Cabo arch

Our wonderful cleaning crew