Two Days of Awesome Sailing
Where do I start. 🙂 We hauled anchor and departed from Isla Salsipudes before 9 (above photo as we depart) hoping to make Bay of LA for provisioning and then on to one of the Bay’s island anchorages. There’s a heavy marine layer turning our views into gray overcast skies. Salsipudes soon disappears when we’re only a few miles out. Wind’s steadily building and by 11 we have the spinnaker up and motors off heading for the Bay at 7kts. We took a ton of pictures only to find out the camera SD card was still plugged into the computer (Big Bummer). Thankfully Paul got a picture right but not of the crew having a great time. Oh well we’ll have to do it again tomorrow.
Noonish and winds are in the low 20’s and we surge to 12kt with Paul hand steering and I’m managing the spinnaker sheet. We’re at the upper limit of wind speed for the spinnaker and need to make sure she stays flying. A spinnaker collapse and explosive refill could blow it out. One bad pass of a beer to Paul created havic but we recovered. Decisions about taking it down soon faded with the wind. 1:30 winds are gone and the motors are on allowing our adrenaline to fade as well. That ride pretty much guarantee’s our schedule to make an island anchorage.
It’s 2:30 and we’re setting the anchor in front of Guillermo’s with a plan for our chores to allow us to clear out in time for making it to an island for the night. Paul and I quickly hitch a ride for gas (we only need 20 gallons) while Murril and Owen head to the internet cafe and the Mercado. With gas loaded back on Gato we head to the internet cafe to send update and emails while they finish shopping. Our lady cashier volunteers to give us a ride back to the dock with what’s mostly ice and beer. Only thing remaining is drinks and a nice pescado dinner at Guillermo’s.
I did have a little help with my dinner as you can see right. He’s a cutie.
Bay of LA is notorious for night time westernly winds and there’s dust a flying over the desert as we sail away. Our destination anchorage is Isla Coronodo (Smith island) on the north west corner where the small island Isla Mitlan creates a protected channel from almost every direction. This is a new anchorage for us so we need to arrive before dark.
We made the anchorage with time to spare even with the flakey wind from the west winds blowing from Baja. This anchorage is far enough north to not be affected by the bay winds. The prevailing SE are coming up the channel as we find our anchor spot just beyond the hazardous submerged rock shoal. Interestingly, there’s more southbound current than SE wind so we have to set the anchor facing north into the current. Photo is entering the small channel and left is the view thru the south of the channel which creates a tidal river.
Quiet cool night sleeping under the sheets. Paul won the Bitchin Rummy game before calling it a night. Owen and I are up first and head out to explore a little before the head north into the strong currents of Canel de Ballenas (Whale Channel). We did consider leaving at 3 AM this morning to get favorable currents but sanity finally prevailed and we decided to just take on the currents today. Exploring, we see lots of anchoring possibilities here. There’s lot of panga fishermen in the area so the fishing must be good.. BTW.. Fishing report, nothing caught and no sealife seen. Murril and Owen are a little bummed about that.
Today we’ve decided to bypass Puerto Refugio and head directly to Bahia Gonzaga hoping to find some whale sharks to play with.
8:30 we finally head north to see what the channel has to offer today. Let this adventure begin. Light winds out of the SE as the day starts. Looking ahead to the windy slot south Punta Femedios in the middle of the channel we see the expected whitecaps out of the west. The current doesn’t seem to be a issue yet. BAM, we’re into the whitecaps, motors off and on a broad each at 8+ kts.. The current is definitely not an issue now. We’re flying full main and jib and wind is mid 20s requiring hand steering with the swells coming in on our port beam. This will get us through the channel in a hurry.
11:00, we’ve cleared the channel and turning NW up the coast towards Gonzaga with 15kts of wind at our back. This is a 60 mile leg today and we’re hoping to make anchorage in time to have dinner at Alfonsina’s. Current ETA 7 PM, a full day of sailing All good… 2 days of good winds makes for a happy crew.
Until the next Update
Salsipuedes to Bay of LA & The Bay and our anchorage on Isla Cornodos
Cabin Check for the fun of it… Here’s the current state for everybody’s cabins
Paul & Murril above
Owen and Lowell’s at a distance through the galley. You don’t want to look to close.
Sending this update from Gonzaga.. All well here.