|photo by Greg Towers|
Monday, November 7, 2011
Saturday, November 5, 2011
With Patsy and the Talion crew aboard, we launched the spinnaker and sprung the surprise.
That's Patsy at the helm beneath the Baja Ha-Ha flag.
This photo and the next were taken by Greg Towers on Sojourn.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Each time we hit 15 knots, we reduced sail: the spinnaker was replaced by the smaller reaching jib, then no headsail at all. After a few nervous hours under main alone, things calmed down and we were back to our normal sail plan. It was the 1% of the trip when it's not so cool to have the highest sail-area-to-displacement ratio in the fleet.
Now approaching Cabo, with 30 miles to go.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
After several hours of trying, we abandoned the sunken motor. Hopefully we can find a replacement in Cabo.
It is absolutely invisible in the dark, so there is no point in trying to recover it tonight. We decided to try in the morning, even though it will mean missing the 7am start.
Monday, October 31, 2011
Boat chores done and laundry hung, we took the dinghy back into the tidal canals in the mangroves. It was an interesting trip, wending our way through a leafy maze that looked more like the bayou than the Baja desert. Fish were everywhere in the canals, which attracted seabirds and local commercial fishermen who maintain rustic fishing camps along the shore. Richard called them "little boxes".
Little boxes on the hillsideThe backcountry trip was followed by a surf session in the Bay's shallow tidal break with Dave and Kathy from Lightspeed. We took them up on their offer to visit later in the afternoon and were glad we did. They have been traveling by boat for the last six years and plan to do a circumnavigation via the southern capes next. We were all impressed with their outfitting of the boat and their ingenuity in dealing with the usual downsides of living aboard. Sprouting seeds, for example, is a nice way to provide fresh, healthy food aboard while breaking up the monotony of canned and dried provisions. They keep a blog of their travels, including some nice photos from this trip to Baja: http://www.ecosailingcharters.com/
Little boxes made of cinder block
And they all are full of fishermen
Here beside Magdalena Bay
Sunday, October 30, 2011
With over a hundred miles to go until BSM, going up the mast after it was looking like the best option. It's tricky to do underway, but the seas were small and the motion of the boat wasn't too bad. Gary, being a former fireman, made a sling out of two life jackets and strapped himself in. We raised the spinnaker from the next-highest halyard, dropped the mainsail, and Paul drove with the spinnaker alone while I winched Gary up using the main halyard.
Now we're back underway, big sails flying from the masthead.
Today, we continue the pleasant spinnaker run to Bahia Santa Maria, probably arriving just after midnight. Luckily it's a big entrance to a forgiving anchorage, so coming in after dark won't be too stressful.
Bahia Santa Maria barely qualifies as a village—there are no services, just a handful of seasonally-occupied fishing shacks. There is a broad shallow bay that exposes acres of flat sand beach when the tide goes out, and the long wave break it creates makes for some great surfing—and some spectacular dinghy crashes.
Friday, October 28, 2011
Today we took a postman's holiday and went for a pleasant daysail around the bay with pickup crew Merileigh, on loan from Convivia.
The beach party had a new event this year—the boat pull. One of the big cruising cats got stuck on the beach and everyone got involved in the rescue attempt. Paul has some great video of that on the way.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Today the DREI crew would like to thank Patsy Verhoeven on Talion for offering to fix the spinnaker we tore on the way here. That's some amazing and commendable generosity.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
Next stop is the fishing village of Bahia Tortugas. Until then, we'll be spend what will likely be our only cold night underway, sailing through the wine-dark sea. Further south, the weather gets warmer and the sun and white sand make the water look turquoise.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Friday, October 21, 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Carbon sails hold their shape really well, but Dacron is much harder to stick your hand through. None of us wants to see that happen again.
Monday, October 17, 2011
Yesterday we took the racing main off the boat, and bent on the Mexi-Main. Holy cow, it looks like its been sailed on for a total of about two hours!!