Gato Loco Leg 8 crew back in Puerto Penasco (Sat June 21st)
It’s near 4 AM and I hear Lew on the foredeck. Poking my head out of my cabin hatch, he’s showing some concern about the fact we are now closer to the power boat that anchored off the launch ramp late last night. As we retired last night winds were light from the SE. Some time during the night strong north winds filled the Puertecitos bay reversing our anchor swing and putting us closer to the power boat that apparently doesn’t have much anchor rode out. Seas are up a bit with swells coming into the SE facing, bay not what we were hoping for on our 80 mile Sea of Cortez crossing. We were planning on heading for Puerto Penasco 4ish anyway so I might as well jump into my shorts and start the crossing.
<Leg 8 crew – Lew, Suzanne, Lowell & Sally smiling back in Puerto Penasco
Yesterday, our sail from Isote Pomo to Puertecitos was dead down wind with 8-10kt winds forcing us to jib towards Baja and pass on the west side of Isla Miramar. Cruisng guides show two potential anchorages that provide both N & SE protection. Sailing by, both look good and surprisingly the island supports quite a bit of vegetation, cactus and is surrounded by clear blue water.
Puertecitos has not changed in years and sailing in we’re met by the sound of dynamite from road construction on the mountains just west. The road is now paved to Puertecitos and the road construction crew is working towards the Willard/Gonzaga area currently creating a bypass arround Puertecitos to avoid having traffic in town. Every time a blast would fire we flinch and see heavy dust drift northward.
We were welcomed to Puertecitos by vacationers from Tucson who motored out a mile in their ski boat to say hello and let us know that the temperture yesterday was 122 here.. Great. Apparently the hot spell broke since we had acceptable temps after the sunset but a little warm walking the streets earlier. Sally and Suzanne even spent some time in the hot springs and finally a swim to cool down before dinner.
It’s our last night on the boat and the galley is exploding with great treats since everything “must go”. The crew now knows all the details about life on board Gato Loco and it’s fun to see them appreciate and enjoy her more each day.
Back to this 4 AM departure. This entire trip the crew has been early birds rising at 6 or before. Personally, I’m a 7:30 guy but have done my best to get up with the crew. Now We’re finishing the Leg 8 with a 4 AM departure!! I’ll need to nap for days to catch up.. The moon is still shining brightly as we motor south to avoid the reef that extends from the Puertecitos point. Things start pretty rough bringing our speed up to 6kts with rough seas and no wind. Relief around 6 when SE winds begin to build loading the main and stabilizing things. 8:30, one motor shut down and maintaining 7kts. It’s going to be a fast broad reach, a perfect crossing situation. 11 AM, second motor off and we’re holding above 8kts and surging to 10 and our ETA is improving quickly with the 15-17kt SE wind. 4 PM, we motor into Penasco harbor 12 hours later. 80 miles and average speed 7.5kts, a good crossing.
Team Cholla Bay is now a finely tuned sailing crew and can’t believe a week has pasted us by. Like all the crew that passed before them they are ready for the next cruise..
Great job crew…
It’s been more than 2 months since Bill, Dave and I motored out of Puerto Penasoc at sunrise starting the Baja08 cruise. The cruise has left us with so many great memories of, friends, places and experiences and has raised the bar on spring cruising. We want to thank everybody, real crews and cyber crews for your participation. The cyber crew support has been phenomenal. We may not of answered every email we received but they were read and enjoyed them immensely. Thanks for taking the tme to write and spend time with us. We love sharing!! If you would like to share your thoughts and comments about the cruise click here  . I will collect all your replies and publish them in a cyber crew update. BIG FUN!!!
Until the next adventure…
Lowell for all the Gato Loco Crews
Leg 1 April 11-19, Crew: Lowell, Bill, Dave – Puerto Penasco to San Carlos
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