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Somewhere off Baja, nightwatch with a full moon and wind

We are sailing to Bahia Tortuga, nearly 300 miles south of Ensenada and halfway down the Baja peninsula. It’s our second night at sea and we’ve been pleased to have much more sailing than not this trip so far. We currently have about 18 steady knots from astern and while we roll crazily at times from side to side as we slide down the waves with only our reefed genoa we are so glad to be scooting along with wind power. It’s a dreamy ride tonight.

Everyone else is asleep on the boat and I get three hours of peace and quiet to look after the sails, watch for other ships, eat chocolate, listen to whatever albums I want to on the ipod. It’s awesome. The sky is finally clear; at last we’ve left the fog behind us. There is a sky full of stars, I am sure, but due to the nearly-full moon being so bright that it makes my eyes tear up when I try to look at it only the brightest planets and satellites shine through.

I scan the horizon for other sailboats but see nothing. Last night there were seven boats around us but over the past day we’ve all spread out as our various speeds and courses will do. We spent longer than expected in Ensenada as we were waiting for two fronts to roll through with their rain and wind and thunderstorms. The marinas filled up with so many boats waiting for the good weather to sail south this week that a breakfast meeting was called to set up an SSB net for those interested, and we dubbed ourselves the Hee-Hee (as opposed to the much larger Baja Ha-Ha rally). Truly, we didn’t mind the wait. There were plenty of amazing fish tacos to eat, streets to explore, pan dulces to try and many friendly people to practice our Spanish with.

Today we finally, finally broke our trend of catching only seaweed on our fishing lures. We have caught: a 2′ long squid (which we threw back because it was hissing at us and was terrifying, even through we were drooling at the thought of fresh caught calamari), three small yellowfin tuna (the smallest one we threw back, the largest is currently marinating in lime juice in the fridge for tomorrow’s ceviche lunch), and a seagull, sadly (who we were able to free quickly thank goodness).

The day before we left the city of Ensenada (where it was pouring rain and in the 50sF and we actually had to dig our electric heater out of the bilge), Leah asked me: “Mama, when are we going to get to the real Mexico? You know, with a huge sunny beach and palms trees I can tie my hammock between and wild horses to ride on?” Apparently our promise of what lies ahead has not been forgotten. I told her that Turtle Bay has a huge beach that will likely be sunny but it was mostly lacking in palm trees from what I could remember. And probably not a lot of wild horses there either. Still, she was satisfied with that.

Tomorrow (Wednesday) we’ll arrive, too late to visit the beach probably, but we’re all looking forward to playing in the Mexican sand the next day. In the meantime, I’m going to relish the last hour of this nightwatch. I should probably go do something productive but Tetris is calling my name. And there’s no one to hear it but me.


  1. Herbster says:

    That was a great post as usual, thanks for sharing.

  2. My kids didn’t believe me that we were in Mexico. Now that it’s warm enough for them to only wear undies at the dinner table, swim in the ocean, and sleep under sheets (where the heck am I going to store this huge pile of blankets?) they are finally satisfied. Turtle Bay had water warm enough to wade and play in but Bahia Santa Maria had water warm enough to celebrate. We jumped in from the boat for the first time. What a day! And a warning: we heard “I’m going to die of hotness,” for the first time sometime between Bahia Santa Maria and Cabo. A bucket of salt water over the head is the cure-no worries-our kids are still alive and well!

  3. Brig Cooley says:

    Tetris…. Sara?

    That’s a great game, I used to be addicted to it till I stopped sleeping. Too many different shapes entering my dreams…

    Hope all is well with you Wondertime’s, we miss you.

    I looked for Wondertime when I was in Ensenada last week to bring a boat up to San Diego but didn’t see you.