Page 4 of 5 FirstFirst ... 345 LastLast
Results 106 to 140 of 156

Thread: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

  1. #106
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    5,391

    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    I am living vicariously in two places right now. This thread, and "Ocean Crossing Wayfarer". Both are transporting but on the balance I think I'd rather be on Julia than Wanderer.
    - Chris

    Any single boat project will always expand to encompass the set of all possible boat projects.

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  2. #107
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    northwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    11,174

    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Quote Originally Posted by cstevens View Post
    I am living vicariously in two places right now. This thread, and "Ocean Crossing Wayfarer". Both are transporting but on the balance I think I'd rather be on Julia than Wanderer.
    Have you gotten to the multiple knockdowns in Force 10 gales yet? That kind of put me off the idea of sailing a Wayfarer as ambitiously as Frank Dye did.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  3. #108
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    5,391

    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Have you gotten to the multiple knockdowns in Force 10 gales yet? That kind of put me off the idea of sailing a Wayfarer as ambitiously as Frank Dye did.

    Tom
    Not yet, but the endless accounts of being seasick while keeping 1-hour watches in the dark have done that just fine. I am in awe of his stamina, determination and skill, and have zero desire to emulate it!
    - Chris

    Any single boat project will always expand to encompass the set of all possible boat projects.

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  4. #109
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    535

    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    It's been almost a month since the last post. How long do you figure until they make landfall in Hawaii ?

    Cheers,
    Mark

  5. #110
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    5,391

    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Well Jonathan has been posting today so they must be somewhere with internet...
    - Chris

    Any single boat project will always expand to encompass the set of all possible boat projects.

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  6. #111
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Tacoma, WA
    Posts
    1,012

    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Posting what, where?
    Chuck Hancock

  7. #112
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    162

    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Here…

  8. #113
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Mukilteo, WA
    Posts
    3,521

    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Ha, busted.

    We're in Mexico! Soaking up a bit of internet before going back into the wilds of the pacific coast of Baja. It's 84F and sunny in Ensenada today. Feels amazing to be here, morale was sagging a bit feeling trapped in socal. But we are back on the move, eating cheap tacos and practicing Spanish. Living the dream, really.

    Whit is touching up some varnish on the mast while I lounge in the shade.


  9. #114
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    5,391

    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Awesome! It's low 50s and rainy here in the PNW. Plus intermittent gales and small craft advisories with a predicted "atmospheric river" on top of everything. So I hope you are reading the weather reports and feeling smug. It would be well deserved.
    - Chris

    Any single boat project will always expand to encompass the set of all possible boat projects.

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  10. #115
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Mukilteo, WA
    Posts
    3,521

    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Due to hurricane season in Baja, most boats elect not to enter Mexican waters until November, but the need to be out of PNW waters by the first winter storms in late Sept mean that there is a need to linger for a while in southern california. If you can afford and tolerate time in one of the many marinas, it is easily solved. But if you prefer to anchor out on a budget things are a bit difficult.

    We stayed at Marina Del Rey for a few days at the city dock, 5 day limit- no anchoring allowed. Then made an emergency stop in Redondo Beach when the engine started jumping around. Free anchorage is available there for a handful of boats with a permit from the harbor- limit 72 hours. Engine re-mounted to the boat we carried on to Catalina Island. Like the other channel islands, it is lovely- but much more populated and with less dramatic scenery.



    Emerald Cove has good snorkeling and hiking, and we mostly had it to ourselves when the weekend crowd left. It is getting to be late season here. The moorings are uncomfortably expensive, about $50/night. We anchored as much as possible, but got scared by a predicted Santa Ana wind that never materialized and took shelter behind that little rock.





    We eventually made our way to Avalon, which is a cute little town with a public library that will let you use their printer to get your Mexico documentation in order. I can't imagine how scary the maneuvering is in the mooring field when every spot is full and an afternoon wind picks up. They are all bow and stern moorings, not always aligned with the wind.


    Eventually we headed back to Long Beach, where the only anchoring is from Friday-Sunday offshore behind an oil drilling island. The Long Beach marina will not reserve you a slip (and you have to have a reservation) until you send them photos of your ID, boat documentation, full insurance disclosures, and signed contract forms. Then you will be allowed to pay, and get a slip assigned. Only during business hours- oh and no wooden boats allowed.

    Alamitos is in Long beach as well, they have all the same documentation requirements, but forgot to exclude wooden boats because they have never actually seen one.

    Contrast this to any other place on the west coast where they are trilled to have you arrive, if you show up on the weekend just grab a spot not occupied by fishing boats and pay in a day or two when the harbor master comes by. In Eureka the city harbor even told us to just leave any shopping carts we use in the parking lot and they would return them to the stores for us- all for a fraction of the cost.

    I spent a week in Alamitos installing a used roller furler that I bought on craigslist. By the way any repair work on your boat will get your vessel impounded. So I tried to be discreet. I guess you're supposed to haul out for any maintenance that may be needed after the thousand mile trip down the coast.

    The roller furler was a hard decision that I am now very happy with. The dyarchy stay on a track worked great in sheltered waters, and would have worked offshore as well except that the jib is so massive for the boat that I really couldn't pull it in and out on the track in a wind. I spent too much time out on the bowsprit in large seas tying it down, and maybe worse- putting the sun cover bag on took so much work that I often didn't set the jib because it was so nicely stowed in its bag.

    I thought it was going to look horrible, but actually I don't mind it. Setting and dousing the sail from the cockpit is sure nice, and I now have the ability to reef when charging upwind to keep the waves out of the sail.



    The in-process photos were lost in a device-failure, but cutting the full luff tape and hanks off the jib was quite the scary moment of no return. I installed a new headstay (wire) and the furler in a day, modified the luff of the sail to work in another day, and sewed the UV cover on over the third and fourth days. The UV cover was by far the most difficult part, keeping it flat on the sail while passing the whole thing through the little sailrite machine on the dock. There may be a few little bubbles still, but I think they will stretch out with use.

    Last edited by J.Madison; 11-13-2021 at 03:19 PM.

  11. #116
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Mukilteo, WA
    Posts
    3,521

    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    The new hobby in Long Beach is strapping a boom box to your paddle board and paddling down the fairway at all hours of the day or night blasting music. Bicycles do the same thing on land. I think headphones might be out of style. We did witness a boat fire, luckily put out before spreading.



    Finally our projects were done and we headed out through the massive backlog of ships. Pretty wild seeing cargo ships anchored all the way to the horizon.



    We headed to Newport, which is a very wealthy and very protected harbor. A random medium sized house on the waterfront we looked at was listed for $14M, and there were thousands of them lining the shore. This fellow passed us very close in the bay, yes those are fake smokestacks and a fake paddle wheel. Anchorage limit is 72 hours and you cannot leave your boat for more than 3 hours, if you can find a place to land. Another boat returned 4 hours after leaving and found the harbor cops tied up to his boat trying to figure out how to raise the anchor to impound it.

    Off to Dana Point, which I liked a lot. It felt like a more welcoming place, because the mansions are on cliffs above the harbor rather than lining the shore. We came in late and anchored without a permit after getting no response on VHF. Perfect. We were out before first light anyway. Unfortunately the recreation of Henry Dana's ship was not in the harbor at that time.

    Next stop was Mission Bay, which is the north end of San Diego. Anchorage limit is 72 hours, and the harbor is a long way from services. But we caught the bus into town, rented a truck from Home Depot, and went out to a specialty lumber store for some doug fir and marine plywood. I figured good boat wood might be hard to find in Mexico. The ply is for a little project, building a servo pendulum windvane, and the fir is mostly earmarked for a few more floor timbers or whatever else comes up first. We tied up next to Patience in Avalon, a Westsail. He had 50,000 miles on the boat on his home-made windvane. I borrowed the book he had on board and snapped pics of a few relevant pages. We'll see how it goes. Mine will be all wood.



    A big sport fishing boat followed us into Mission Bay. Lots of those here, and very few commercial fishing boats.



    After our time expired in Mission Bay, we headed to San Diego proper, the last stop before entering Mexico. The guide books mentioned a special anchorage for cruisers, and multiple other anchorages in the bay as well. So we headed in a few hours before sunset and anchored up in a nice spot surrounded by boats we knew from the trip down. I then rowed over to get the details on obtaining the anchorage permit. Boy had we screwed up....

    One does not simply arrive in San Diego and anchor. A permit must be obtained in advance, this can only be done via email and is forbidden from being done the same day. Before you get the permit (in advance) you must submit to a vessel inspection by the police at their dock. This cannot be done if there is not an available anchor permit open, even though you can't take the spot that day. We called the harbor police after learning a bit about the process and they said to come over for an inspection, so we motored several miles away. Then they refused to do the inspection and transferred me to the moorings people, who said that there was no anchorage available anywhere and he didn't know what we should do that night. This is in one of the greatest natural harbors in the world, where there is protected anchorage for literally thousands of boats. They have 20 permits, and they were all taken.

    We ended up paying for a marina spot for a few days, hoping to at least get a shower out of it. But the shower had been used by homeless people so the city capped the nozzle and locked it up indefinitely. I was becoming a bit disillusioned with the region. The idea seems to be to make life so difficult for the fleet of live-aboard anchor-outs that they all give up and move under a bridge somewhere. Cruisers have been swept up as collateral damage. Frankly I found the pirate fleet to be quite friendly, helpful, and skillful in boat handling. In fact it didn't seem like there was much difference between us, at least in the eyes of the cities of southern california. At this point we could not get to Mexico fast enough.

    So we topped up water, fuel, grabbed a couple days worth of groceries and headed out on the overnight 65 nm to Ensenada. Man was I happy to raise the Mexican flag along with our Q flag as the sun rose over the mountains of Baja California. Like San Francisco, it was another of those "I didn't really believe we would actually make it here" moments. We'd just been talking for so long about sailing to Mexico. Granted, there are a lot of miles between us and La Paz, but it still felt like we'd really accomplished something long in the making.

  12. #117
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    South Puget Sound/summer Eastern carib./winter
    Posts
    20,610

    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Whew, Congratulations on your sucessful passage through yachtsman babylon...san diego...I recall 4 different police branches "busting"us in the first day there....15 years ago.
    The cervesa after the next may be the best you ever had!
    These next miles too !!!
    great to watch your thing here .merci.

  13. #118
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Portland, Maine
    Posts
    22,190

    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Yes, really enjoying following along. Thanks.

  14. #119
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    PNW, an island west of Seattle
    Posts
    3,040

    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    The photos of Catalina are the only things about your So. Calif. stay that makes me a bit nostalgic. I spent many days aboard my parent's yawl anchored or moored at Catalina. Mostly we visited Emerald Bay but also did some time in Avalon. Cat Harbor is the place to be during a Santa Ana. The rest of SC is as I learned to know it: too many people and too much conservative bureaucracy in many of the coastal cities. You would have fared better in San Pedro I believe. At least, you would have in days past.

    Enjoy Mexico!

    Jeff

  15. #120
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,630

    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Thanks very much for the update, Jon.

    Sounds very much like a lot of the south end of California is a "you can't get there from here" zone for cruising boats.

    Hope Mexico treats you much better.
    Alex

    "The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.
    - Vincent van Gogh

    http://www.alexzimmerman.ca

  16. #121
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    9,454

    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Good story, thanks for the posts. ....and I'll hesitate in the future to claim that the anchoring regs around Nantucket Sound are the worst.
    -Dave

  17. #122
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Gone West!
    Posts
    1,429

    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Quote Originally Posted by J.Madison View Post

    ... All along, we have focused solely on getting to San Francisco. We felt that if only we could make it this far, we would be able to do whatever comes next.

    Now, we are setting our sights farther south, hoping for a pleasant winter in Mexico. Just taking it one step at a time.
    You all are taking this leisure in a warm clime seriously. Thanks for taking us along.

  18. #123
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Ballard
    Posts
    8,744

    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Nice job all around.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

  19. #124
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Canberra, Australia
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    I thought boating bureaucracy in this country was bad. The US sounds truly unhinged.
    Sailing - the fine art of getting wet and becoming ill while slowly going nowhere at great expense.

    - Henry Beard

  20. #125
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Mukilteo, WA
    Posts
    3,521

    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    We liked Ensenada, they have the biggest flag I've ever seen. We were surprised to find some very upscale foodie type places at good prices.



    After formalities were completed we filled the water tanks (a mistake) and headed out 15 miles to the Islas Todo Santos to catch our breath away from the expensive marina and port captain paperwork. There is room for one boat, anchored bow and stern in behind the fish farms. Not a place you could get into in the dark.





    After two nights we headed out on a nice northerly for a short run to Puerto Santo Thomas, a panga fishing villiage with marginal protection.





    The next afternoon we left on an overnighter to Isla San Martin, daylight hours are so short this time of year that we've been running overnight to be sure of arriving in daylight hours. Lobster pots are so thick that trying to make port in the dark would be disasterous.

    Isla San Martin is a volcanic cone without much going on, it is actually a better southerly anchorage than a northerly one, a rarity on this coast. But we had north winds, so anchored in the roadstead behind the island and didn't attempt a landing through the surf.



    Filling the water tanks was a mistake, as the water apparently came from a shallow well that is very salty. Undrinkably salty. We knew the water was not necessarily very good, but figured shocking it with chlorine and then filtering at the sink would make it safe. We didn't think about salt. Luckily the tanks were only half empty so the water was diluted some. With no prospect for fresh water until turtle bay hundreds of miles south, we choked it down and pushed on.

  21. #126
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Mukilteo, WA
    Posts
    3,521

    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Continuing south, it was 135 nautical miles to the next island group, Los Benitos. These islands are way off the beaten path, 40 miles or so offshore. They get a boat or two per month visiting.

    We caught a rockfish before heading out, and grilled him up underway for some fresh fish tacos.






    As we came in to the Benitos, we caught two fish. We're calling them skipjack, but aren't really sure if that's right. Definitely in the tuna family.



    The Benitos are beautiful. Dramatic volcanic peaks all around, rugged shorelines, stark and austere.



    There is very little life on land, and very rich life in the water. Sea lions and elephant seals are everywhere.


  22. #127
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Mukilteo, WA
    Posts
    3,521

    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia



    Not all of them survive their time on land....








  23. #128
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    147

    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Folks will tell you skip jack are no good, but bleed them and ice them when you catch them and they're just fine in my book. (similar story with the various 'lesser' salmon up here). Grill em for dinner, turn the leftovers into tuna salad. Hard to beat fresh fish! Thanks for taking us along!

  24. #129
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,630

    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Had to look up Islas San Benito on Google Earth. They look like a terrific place to stop for a look-see.

    This is why you need your own boat.
    Alex

    "The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.
    - Vincent van Gogh

    http://www.alexzimmerman.ca

  25. #130
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Bay of Islands,N.Z.
    Posts
    29,527

    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Skippy are also called bonito, makes one wonder if there's a connection to Benito.

  26. #131
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Mukilteo, WA
    Posts
    3,521

    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    The fish is pretty good, especially almost raw. Overcook it and it goes bad quick. We've caught a half dozen now, and have started putting them back because there is still some in the freezer. Still hoping for a yellowfin or dorado. Maybe we are trolling too slow for the big guys....

    We did some hiking as well, there are a few paths but its mostly pick your own adventure.







    The small village of fishermen are mostly only there 15 days at a time on rotation for the local co-op. The money now is in lobster and abalone, both for the chinese market. There seems to be some turf war going on, they spent every night patrolling the islands as well as pulling pots. They didn't like us snorkeling, maybe yatistas have been taking their abalone. Each abalone goes for $100 supposedly. Or maybe that was pesos. Hard to tell, my spanish is a bit rough.




  27. #132
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Mukilteo, WA
    Posts
    3,521

    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    It was a one day run to Bahia Tortuga, roughly the midpoint of the Baja peninsula. Winds were light, as they have been quite a bit on this coast. More motorsailing at just above idle. The lobster pots were thick heading in to the bay, we later talked to two boats who came in at night and were tangled.

    Turtle Bay is a dusty sleepy town at the end of a long dusty road. From the land, it is the far end of everything, but from the water it is the central hub of the coast. All the distant island villages provision here, and the small shops here in turn truck everything down from Ensenada. It comes in the back of a pickup truck judging by all the dust on everything. We were surprised that most of the food was Kirkland Signature brand, but there is a Costco in Ensenada. You can buy a single bag of oats out of the big Quaker box, a stick of butter at a time, etc.. We stocked up pretty well, as the small shop is the biggest one until Cabo San Lucas some 400 miles away.



    The church on the left was founded by two gringo sailors who wrecked on the coast many years ago, they were rescued by pangueros and nursed back to health and even given bus money home. They came back and established the church, now the largest building in town.

    Our arrival coincided with that of the sardines. There must have been millions of them in the bay. Pods of dolphins, packs of sea lions, and thousands of sea birds had a feeding frenzy all around the anchored boat. The fishermen came out and loaded the pangas so deep with sardines they could barely steer them.









    Because there isn't a proper wharf, the large boats are served by amphibious duck style tenders. They motor at about 3 kts with a 2 stroke diesel screaming at full rpm as the wheels spin in the water, and the front wheels turn with the rudder. They look like they are about to sink, but have the same freeboard loaded or empty. They drive right up the beach and disappear into town.


  28. #133
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Mukilteo, WA
    Posts
    3,521

    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    We spent some time wrapping up the new windvane self-steering. It looks a little bit like it was built in a remote bay in mexico.....
    But it can be removed with 4 bolts so no permanent harm.



    Thanksgiving occured while in Turtle Bay. Whit put together a pretty good spread, including a few things brought from the states. We had mashed potatoes with gravy, roast chicken, stuffing, greens, and finished it off with pumpkin pie and hot cider toddies. Not bad for two small burners and a galley smaller than grandma's outhouse. So happy belated thanksgiving from us.





  29. #134
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    St. Helens, Oregon
    Posts
    3,902

    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Feliz Navidad to the lot of you! Thanks for taking us along!

  30. #135
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Tacoma, WA
    Posts
    1,012

    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    Happy Thanksgiving and Holiday travels!
    Chuck Hancock

  31. #136
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,630

    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    The windvane steering system looks pretty robust. How is it performing so far?
    Alex

    "The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.
    - Vincent van Gogh

    http://www.alexzimmerman.ca

  32. #137

    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    great

  33. #138
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Mukilteo, WA
    Posts
    3,521

    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    We headed out of Bahia Tortuga at 3:00 am, two crew on the foredeck with a spotlight to try to catch sight of bouys in the faint glimmer of the last sliver of a moon. Oddly, a pelican flew straight into our starboard shrouds at spreader height, despite the steaming light being on just a few feet away. He fell on deck and took a minute to get out through the lifelines. Hope he was okay, those birds are giant up close.

    Eventually we found deep enough water to be beyond the lobster trap hazards and we switched into our regular 3 hour shifts until everybody was rested. This was the first time other boats were sailing with us since entering mexico. Four of us left together, apparently reading the weather window similarly. Winds were light at first, and we all motorsailed downwind, it was interesting to see the various strategies. We used the whisker pole, setting the jib and eventually the main as well.

    Mid-morning we were joined by a huge pod of dolphins.







    They surrounded us, must have been hundreds.



    Meanwhile the new windvane was getting its first trial, suffering somewhat due to the light wind and stiff new joints.



    The goal was Asuncion, about 60 nm away. We pulled in at dusk, the last few miles going quickly in the regular sun-downer breeze. A group of young sea lions played around our boat. We had a game where they would surface somewhere close and I would spotlight them, then the whole group would dramatically dive under water, only to come up again somewhere else. When we got tired of playing they rattled the anchor chain all night and splashed all around us. We had another 3:00 am start (well, somewhere around here the timezone changed without our knowing it, causing some confusion.) A very thick fog had settled in overnight, and a surprisingly cold wind off the land. It was forecast to be a flat calm at this hour, but the wind was 15-20 kts, and somehow did not feel like it was coming off the hot desert. We had another 60 nm to go, only possible to anchor in daylight if we kept the schedule. Otherwise we would have turned back and re-anchored the fog was so thick. It blew through the glow of the mast light giving the illusion we were moving sideways at high speed.

    The young sea lions escorted us out, porpoising along on both sides of us until we were well in deep water then they turned back. The fear in the fog was an unlit panga out night fishing. Your eyes play tricks on you in these conditions, but eventually the fog lifted a little and we tore along in the dark at 6.5 kts under jib alone.

    With daylight, the wind died and it was another long slow day in the sun. The goal was Abreojos, a place name meaning "open your eyes" due to the many and hidden dangers all around. Large rocks and reefs sit just below the surface on all the obvious approaches to the town. Worse, the charts do not agree on what is where- so we kept our eyes open. Good thing as a series of small fish farms surround the town. These are two large buoys about 50 feet apart with a rope between them strung with wooden cages. They were everywhere and it would be impossible to determine which side of each buoy is safe in the dark, our risk with the fog had paid off in arriving in daylight. We anchored at sunset once again.


  34. #139
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Mukilteo, WA
    Posts
    3,521

    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia

    We had thought to visit the whale breeding lagoon near Abreojos, but after not seeing a single whale in the last two days- a rarity- we decided there probably weren't enough in residence to make the delay worth it. They gather by the thousands in winter, but we were a bit early. Besides, the forecast was for a perfect breeze for days on end. Finally!

    We waited until daylight to leave, even following the entry track on our gps did not seem safe enough after weaving through all the fish bouys on the way in. There are no safe anchorages between Abreojos and Bahia Santa Maria about 160 nm south, so this was planned as an overnighter. The sailing was perfect. 10-15 kts on the stern, deep blue tropical water, gentle swell. The windvane limbered up and did all the steering work as the coastline fell away.





    I've been reading Moitessier again, always dangerous. He was forever listening for something in the sea. It seems if we were going to hear anything in the sea, we were finally in the right place for it. The coast disappeared 40 miles or so off to port, no other vessels were seen, nothing but the wind and the bow wave and a ripple off the stern. It was a new moon, and the night was so perfectly dark that only the stars broke the monotony for half the hemisphere. The stars were so bright that several took on the classical "star" shape, something I don't think I had ever seen. This was perfect sailing.

    Mid-day on the second day we came abreast our destination, we looked at it, watched the windvane steering us south, and eventually decided to push on. I had wanted to enter Bahia Magdalena, it is the size and roughly the shape of San Francisco Bay, but it will have to wait until next time. Conditions were perfect to continue, and delaying even a day would end up costing a week or worse, make us have to motor. We just kept sailing.

    The land was dry and varied.


    Southeast, forever southeast...



    We pulled the jib in and out from the cockpit (what luxury) as the wind rose and fell. Occasionally we changed the heading on the vane a bit, but other than that the ship sailed herself day and night.

    Sunrise at sea


    The third afternoon came and we could imagine the cape way off in the haze at the end of the row of mountains.


  35. #140
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Mukilteo, WA
    Posts
    3,521

    Default Re: Cruise of the Ketch Julia



    We finally rounded Cabo Falso in the wee hours of the next morning. The wind failed as we came into the lee of the cape and after drifting for a while we fired up the engine for the first time in hundreds of miles for the last little push into Cabo San Lucas. It was very warm despite being night, and the gentle breezes that reached us from the land brought the smell of hot city streets, dust, garbage and lots of humans. Lights shone everywhere. This was a big change from the remote outside coast of Baja.



    We snuck in through the anchored mega yachts and dropped the hook about 4:30 am, total distance about 320 nm of absolutely perfect sailing. If every passage was like this the Pacific would seem a much smaller place.

    We crashed hard........ until 8:30 am when the goddamn DJ at the local beach club started doing mic checks for the dance festival that evening. He made sure the speakers would be loud enough and then some, another annoying gringo with a microphone throwing bad spanish into his party speak before I'd had coffee, let alone enough sleep.

    May your children never grow up to be DJs....

    I'll leave it there for now, over 2000 nautical miles of open ocean sailing since Neah Bay, we have found bathwater warm oceans, tropical fish, and finally- the Sea of Cortez.


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •