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Ensenada el Alacran to Santa Rosalia (April 26th – 27th)

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Monday April 26

Beaches are for morning jogs… Frankie and Neely go for a morning run on the Alacran beach before we head south.

Winds out of the west as we head south through the Salsipuedes Channel with islands to our east. Currents are still strong in this area with tidal boils surfacing where the deep bottom changes. Nice to have the sails up and light motor kicker while Craig fixes French toast for breakfast (Yes Karen, He does cook). Pineapple express clouds have it overcast and cool. Last night, probably 20 shrimp boats anchored in the bay south and we could hear their music fantly as we turned in for the night.

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Shrimpers rested all night and scattered as we motor sailed past them this morning.

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Whales surfaced around us most of the morning but at a distance difficult to get photos. I was standing in the galley looking out the window when one surface 100 yards out and did and tail up deep dive not to be seen again..

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We’ve decided to make it a late night arrival tonight so we made a pit stop IMG 2991for Neely at the south beach of San Francisquito. Bill and crews have stopped here but we’ve never been on this south beach. Coarse white sand on a very steep beach. There must be some big surf action here. South on the beach are home and a lodge.

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1:30: port engine stops??? The fuel tank is empty. Fighting the currents we’ve used more fuel than expected. Santa Rosalia is still 96 miles south. This is getting interesting.. We need some wind to make our fuel last.. For now, we will slow our pace and run with only one engine. Now it’s time to consider our options. The anchorage we were shooting for is unreachable before dark unless a favorable wind comes up. What to do.?. Since wind is in the formula to make Santa Rosalia, we decide to find an early anchorage, which happens to be the last option for 20 more miles, and wait for wind.

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IMG 3005Welcome to Bahia San Miguel with north wind protection on a short stretch of white sand beach. Bottom is sand and large boulders and offer good holding. Looks like the beach has been used as a fishing camp recently with the frig setting just as we land and lots of trash from a camp area.IMG 3012

 

Readying for some night sailing, we check lights and find the steaming light is not working. There’s enough time to make repairs so John’s up the mast to replace the bulb. The bulb was okay and after a bit of debug we finally switch the wires for the spreader light to get steaming light going. I also brave the cold water and free the boat speed transducer. Now we’re ready to sail if the wind comes up tonight.

Nice evening sunset. Weather is warmer and skies have cleared. Last thing to do is set a route in the GPS to be ready for a night time departure. Yeah!!!… I screwed up on my calculation on the Santa Rosalia distance. It’s 58 miles and NOT 96.. Big difference with the gas we have. Still close but with either wind or backing speed we

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should be able to reach Santa Rosalia. Now we can all sleep better and not have to do a night sail. As we retire for the night, a westernly wind comes up which would have signaled our departure before the distance discovery. It turned out to only last for a few hours which would have left us motoring or drifting for the remainder of the night. Instead we got a good night sleep 🙂

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Tuesday morning we woke to calm seas. The plan is to conserve fuel running only one engine until wind arrives (if ever). To make Santa Rosalia before dark, we need an early start. Ham net forecast is light sw winds and that is unfortunately the direction we’re headed, so the drama continues. 10ish light east winds arrive allowing main & screacher to add 1 1/2 kts to our single engine progress.

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IMG 303312:00: The show begins.. Dolphins in all directions and there’s lots of frisky ones. Here’s the best of photos…

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2:00 Wind up to 12 on our nose.. No breaks; we continue a single motor kicker and sail as close hauled as possible. 4:00 We’ve conserved enough fuel to drop the sails and motor into the wind to make port by 7 PM. Drama over, it’s time to head into town for a restaurant dinner. Nice to have the first half of leg 1 complete and hopefully winds will continue tomorrow.

Until the next update..

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