Sunset on the Baja
The Adventures of the Wasatch
When you reach the horizon, you're near  your journey's end
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When the wind and seas are from the same direction, running straight down wind is a comfortable point of sail
11/8/07 &11/9/07

We continued heading with the wind on the aft quarter and using the engine off
and on to maintain our speed above 5 knots.  As we neared Cedros Island the
wind picked up to 10 to 12 knots apparent and we had a nice sail on into Cedros
Island, anchoring in the middle of the island on the east side at the mouth of a
small arroyo on a shelf,  which rapidly dropped off farther out to sea.  We
dropped the Rocna in 30 ft of water and then let out 150 ft of chain which left
us in 45 ft of water on the edge of the shelf.  It was a good test for the Rocna
Anchor as the wind came down through the canyon that night at 25 knots.  Not
long after we dropped the hook, Phil passed by on Mantasea.  Although the
cruising guide suggested not anchoring near the little town on the southern
part of Cedros Island, Phil had been their before and knew a place just outside
the breakwater where he wanted to anchor.

11/10/07

Next day we were still in 45 feet of water.  The Rocna hadn’t budged.  However,
as I pulled it up it tripped the circuit breaker again.  The shank had come onto
the roller sideways, so after resetting the circuit breaker, I lowered the anchor
into the water and straightened out the chain so that it had a straight lead from
the windless gypsy to the bow roller ( that also oriented the anchor chain so
that it pulled the anchor shaft up and over the bow roller in the correct position
)and gave it another try.  This time the Rocna came up without tripping the
circuit breaker.  It was  looking like in the future, I would need to make sure that
the lead from the gypsy to the bow roller was fair and the chain had not become
twisted in order for the windlass to pull the Rocna onto the bow roller without
tripping the circuit breaker.  From Cedros it was a short motor sail down the
east side of Cedros, through the channel between Cedros and the mainland and
and on it to turtle bay.  Phil had gotten there before us and had anchored up
near the pier in a very conveniet position for going ashore.  I wasn't as
comfortable with my boat maneuvering skills and anchoring technique and so I  
anchored farther out in the bay.  We were planning to spend the day at Turtle
Bay to catch up on some sleep and then leave early the next morning for Mag
Bay.  I decided to top off the tanks with diesel while in Turtle Bay, and we found
out the man to call was Henrique.  So I made arrangements with Henrique over
the VHF to have thirty gallons of fuel delivered to the boat.  Henrique said that
he would be over in just twenty minutes, but that turned into most of the
morning and into the afternoon.  Fortunately I had a number of chores to catch
up on.  However I was concerned that soon the power cruisers would be
arriving and if I hadn’t gotten the fuel before then I probably wouldn’t get any.  
Over the VHF we could hear them coming.  As they rounded Cape Eugenia, they
were running into lobster pots and getting them tangled in their props and
talking of needing 350 to 400 gallons of diesel.  Just as I started to see the
advance guard pulling into Turtle Bay, the diesel arrived.  Henrique didn’t come,
but he sent his assistant, a very pleasant fellow who could speak very little
English. As he pulled along side I put out my fenders.  The diesel was in some
odd sized plastic containers, so that you had to take their word on the amount,
but it seemed to be about right and the cost was only $2.36 per gallon.  He had a
cut off garden hose to siphon the diesel into my fuel take which took some time,
but that allowed me to try out the fuel filter that I got from West Marine which
Practical Sailor highly recommended.  The filter had a fine mesh screen and still
allowed the fuel to flow fairly quickly, although it turned out that the diesel was
quite clean to begin with.  Shortly after he left, a gentle paddled by in a kayak
and stopped to chat.  He could speak a little English.  It was his 40th Birthday
and wondered if I had a T-shirt that I could give him.  He had actually been by
earlier in the morning and had asked the same question, but I still didn’t have
any extra T-shirts.  By now the Power Boaters had arrived in mass and were
filling up the Harbor.  They were everywhere.   Mary and I had thought about
making the trip down to Cabo San Lucas with the Baja Ha Ha ( a flotilla of
sailboats making the passage at the opening of the Mexican sailing season), but
decided that we needed more elbow room. We had let them leave the week
before we started down.  We hadn’t counted on the Power boat flotilla. But in
point of fact Turtle Bay was a big harbor and we had plenty of swinging room
around our anchor.  As the sun set over Turtle Bay casting pinks and purples in
the blue sky and grays and browns over the barren Mexican landscape, it was
very  pleasant sitting in the cockpit listening to new age music and watching
the pterodactyl-like pelicans soar and dive for fish in the fading light.  Mary was
down below preparing a lamb tenderloin for dinner and picking out a DVD to
watch later.

11/11/07
Mary was having trouble with the watches and the long overnight passages so
we decided to break up the leg from Turtle Bay to Mag Bay with a stop at
Hipolito bay about 70 miles down the coast, and in order to get into Hipolito
while it was still light, we needed to leave Turtle Bay before it got light.  This
turned out to be a little more difficult than I had suspected.  It was a moonless
night and pitch black.  We were anchored in to middle of the power boats, some
of which had not turned on their anchor lights.  After pulling up the anchor, we
slowly motored out.  At first I had Mary at the helm and I was on the bow holding
a flashlight, but Mary was having a hard time seeing looking through the dodger
with the tender on the foredeck.  So I went back and steered and pointed the
flashlight ahead.  Every once in a while I would point the flashlight from side to
side, and on one occasion it was quite startling to see an unlit power boat right
beside us.  Once clear of the boats we headed for a course out of the harbor,
guided by the chart plotter.  At first I thought that something had gone wrong
with the chart plotter, because it wasn’t reflecting the direction that we were
headed and and I started to be confused myself of what direction we were
headed in the pitch black darkness.  Then I realized that I was making turns too
quickly for the GPS on the chart plotter to catch up with.  After slowing down
the turns, the chart plotter settled down and it was fairly easy to navigate out of
the harbor.  So far the chart plotter had been very accurate, with few
exceptions,  corresponding with the actual geography, but as we travel farther
afield this well not always be the case as some places in the world the maps on
the chart plotter and the actual geography can disagree by miles.  I’ll need to
make a determination of how accurately the chart plotter reflects the actual
geography going into a harbor before attempting to use it coming out.
Once we got on a steady course and had nearly cleared the bay entrance, I put
up the mainsail and we headed straight on out of the harbor for 15 miles or so.  
There was an area of light blue bordered with dots extending out from the
shore 15 miles or so on the chart plotter and I wasn’t sure what it meant.  It
might have just meant that the area was a fishing preserve, but I didn’t want to
take the chance that it was an area of lobster pots.  By the time we had reached
the outer extent of the blue area and altered our course more to the south,
southeast, the wind had started to build.  Phil had checked bouyweather.com at
the internet café in Turtle Bay and found out that there was supposed to be
fairly good wind today, in the high teens gusting to 25.  As the wind filled in it
moved aft of 120 degrees apparent, so I decided to put out the 15-22 Forespar
carbon fiber whisker pole and go wing and wing.   I had rigged this pole to stow
vertically on the mast and to be able to be set easily single handedly.  Its
inboard end slid on a track on the mast and was adjusted with a continuous line
going from the top of its track car up to a half moon block, which swiveled side
to side, then down and around the outboard ends storage fitting pin  at the
bottom and back up to the bottom of the track car.  The outboard end was
attached to a halyard.  After uncleating the outboard end at the mast it is easy
to walk the outboard end out while guiding the inboard end down with the
continuous line.  I then attach the genoa sheet to the outboard end.  At this
point I rap the loose cutter sheet around the whisker pole and the furled cutter
sail to keep the pole from banging around while I take the inboard up and down
haul back to the mast and secure the inboard end at a predetermined place on
the mast, a about 8’ off above the deck.  Then I run another continuous line
from the outboard end down to a block near the bow then back to a block on
the rail a little aft of midship and back to the outboard end of the pole. After
freeing the pole from the cutter stay I use the continuous line to the two blocks
to pull the pole about halfway back and temporarily tie them off leaving plenty
of slack in the line.  I then go back to the mast and adjust the outhaul line on
the pole to extend the pole out to a predetermined length, and using the halyard
raise the outboard end of the pole to a predetermined position so that the pole is
horizontal.  Then I go back to the continuous line with the two block and pull
the pole back to a position so that it just clears the forward lower shroud and tie
off the two lines on the shroud.  Now the pole is completely secured.  The in
board end is secured on the mast track with the up haul and the down haul line,
and the outboard end is secured with the halyard and the two ends of the
continuous line, one end leading down and forward and the other end leading
down and aft.  Now all I have to do is go back to the cockpit and unfurl the
genoa to the pole.  
Anchored at Cedros Island
Southern Cedros
Sunrise on Cedros Island
The block and tackle leading forward to the forward most car on the genoa track doubles as a boomvang and preventer
The Bleak Baja Coast
Looking Out Through the Rigging
Looking out at the Baja Coastline from under the bimini
The Grand Entrance to Turtle Bay is paved with Bird Guano
Fenders out on the Wasatch waiting for the fuil boat
Surrounded by the FUBAR
Dusk in Turtle Bay
Wind Picking Up
Wing and Wing
With a good bow wave, the dolphins paid us a visit
Riding the Bow Wave
Desolate Hippolito
Hippolito
Looking out the back
Sunset Pastels in the Sky