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The final leg of Baja 2010. The whole adventure in one short story.

The last leg of the trip finds Gato Loco sitting in Santa Rosalia. For it’s crew the adventure started much earlier. Myself (clyde) and Paul Littley drove down to Penasco on Thursday evening. We then hopped a bus Friday to Hermosillo where we met up with Doug. The three new crew went out and got a bite to eat then off to an early bed as the next day brought us flying very early into Santa Rosalia. DSC04478Once getting into Santa Rosalia we were greeted by the outbound crew. Their adventure wrapping as ours began. We took the 30 minute ride from the airport to town on what some would call a road. It may very well have been prior to hurricanes wiping it out. So we arrive to find Bill and Gato waiting at the docks. We quickly get settled in and decide it’s time to provision. So off we wander into town. Santa Rosalia is a cute little town settled as a mining town by the French (to my understanding) so a slight different feel then your typical mexico town but very neat. our provision takes us through several stops, the last one being the all important liquor stop. Yes, yes, enjoy the picture below it tells the story all in itself.

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DSC04491 DSC04492 Unfortunatley, during the provision stage we stopped for food. The food was good, well all but Bill’s. more of that to come… We then spent the evening in the marina swimming and relaxing getting ready for our 5 am departure.

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The First and last leg of the trip is a particular grueling one. Unlike most of the legs the go 10-20 miles then stop for the day we were doing 40-70nm per day. It’s a long way back to Penasco. 5 am rolls around and last nights dinner is not agreeing with our captain.We wait just a few and he makes the call to head out. We begin the first and one of the longer legs to San Fransquito. Its a 13-14 hour jaunt so we had our day cut out for us.Fortunately every known sea life visited us during this trip, and we we frequented by Dolphins, Porpoises, Whales, Rays, Sea Lions, Sail Fish (not caught, just seen) even a little shark while snorkeling one day. So we got to see it all.

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DSC04771Sadly the first three days go by with our captain more or less laid up in bed. Bad place for food poisoning, but he was a champ. Monday night we decided on Bay of La, in order to expedite getting Bill some medicine. Bay of La, is a nice quiet sleepy mexican village that is very nice and has a great cruiser restaraunt there.

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DSC04732 We then headed over to Refugio out of Bay of La. Last year the was the treachourous Channel that was the ride of our life. This year the winds built and the sea as well but we were running with the 6-7’seas and 30+knot winds. We pull into the beautiful anchorage of Bay of Refugio. A typical night aboard Gato, Dinner, Cards, and ridiculous amounts of alcohol… Rough life but someones got to live it. 🙂 DSC04847 We Leave Refugio the next morning with the intention of Ganzaga Bay, but upon leaving Refugio, the winds picked up, and the seas did too. And much like last year it kept building. ( the picture on the left is the rudder, to give you an idea of how much the boat was pitching) And then once again, Safety harnessed into I’m sent forward to help reef the main, and then about 10 minutes later, “Mains gotta come down!” now for those who have experienced lowering the main in 8′ seas and 30knot winds you know where I am coming from, this is no easy task. You are up on the canopy, getting thrown everywhere, tethered to the boat while fighting the wind to pull down the sail. it is exhausting but really makes you feel “one” with the baot and the crew. We keep sailing and head into Ganzaga for a quick swim. Seas still high so we head out looking for refuge for the night. We head to Willard Bay to find very little protection from the Elefantes (very strong winds streaming over the mountiains from the pacific side) We take up anchorage, and proceed with Gato’s nightly routine. Overall I can’t tell you who one the most games of cards, but there were alot palyed. DSC04828 DSC04839

the guardian of the beer pyarmid!

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It’s now thursday and we decide to head out to Pumice rock(I don’t know it’s real name, it’s just a cool rock made of pumice!)DSC04909 sadly the strong winds and waves coming from everywhere prevent us from anchoring and getting to explore. We then head to the backside fo teh next island where we anchor and go for a walk on the beach. (there is an awesome sand spit that extends a good 1/2 mile into the ocean seperating the two sides really neat to walk out onto it.

DSC05002Dinner rolls around the winds start howling again.We make the decision that Puertocitos, our friday night stop was not going to be a good anchorage, and we decide that we are best pulling the all nighter and pointing to Penasco. We head out into 30+ knot winds and seas somewhere around 8 feet at out stern. However the ocean was very confused and the first 4 hours was causing us to wonder what the night had in store. And now here I am, Somewhere, (as I always say) “Lost on the Sea of Cortez”typing this summary for all to read. Of course we are not lost we are on a straight line to Penasco. The late crew is sleeping while Paul and I take our first shift in the 4 on 4 off routine. We should be arriving into Penasco Friday Morning in plenty of time for the weekend festivities.

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DSC04956 It’s been a fun week, great to get to know the crew, some great Sailing, some crazy sailing, some great bloody Mary’s, awesome snorkeling, wonderful tecate, many many many shooting stars, and lots of miles covered. Bill recovered and is well, We’ve seen every animal under the sun and believe it or not, we will enter port with a few beers left. Not many though….

From the Final Crew of Baja 2010, Thanks for reading, we hope all the crews before us had as much fun as we did and until next time… Ciao!

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Leg 7 crew comments as they arrive in Penasco after sailing all night

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