Erie Calm to Puerto Refugio
Monday April 21th
Safe Sea of Cortez crossing is always a good thing.. Today we probably had our safest ever with hardly a ripple for most of the crossing from Lobos to Puerto Refugio. We would have preferred a little help from mother nature’s wind Gods but arriving in Refugio safe and sound is the most important. We’ll save the adrenalin sail for tomorrow down the Canal de Ballenas (whale channel) to Bay of LA.
Early in the day we radioed back to Cholla to Rosario Villa who advised us that near sunset tonight WNW winds will kick up to 20kts. We will be safely anchored with good protection heeding his advisory. Thanks Rosario.
Three bonita fish caught and released today. Dave considers these bait fish and is sure he can catch something better. Sounds like a Dave Adams theory to me. We shall see!!
I prepared the crew to do what we call the “swat” dance as we approached the sea lion rookery on the outer island of Puerto Refugio. The “swat” is done with towel or hat to run the gnats off the boat that are always around the sea lions…
The tail for Gnat-King-Cove (a near suicide)
Passing the rookery we collected a good share for the dance. Crew made good progress as we anchored at the east bite which I thought would be bug free. Wrong! Before the anchor was set the boat was swarming with gnats. My next suggestion “let’s go to shore they won’t follow us there” :).
Although there was some interesting shore shore scapes
Anyway back to the near suicide attempt..
left Terry and Deb hide. Right a swarm near Ellen.
Back on the boat and there’s no relief. Dave is at wits end and says we need to move or he’s putting the flare gun in his mouth to end it all. Unfortunately there seems to be nowhere to escape. Dave’s idea “lets motor around the bay and get rid of them” so that’s what we did till near sunset. I promised they would leave the boat at dark and they did. Suicide watch over.
Turned out to be a beautiful evening with the brightest stars. Everyone seems to have forgotten the gnats. Dinner, star watching, cards, more star watching & cool night.
No winds as forecasted, dead calm all night long.. Anchor up and we’re off the take on “whale channel”. Shortly after powering through the slot into the west bay Dave hooked up on a 24” YELLOWTAIL. Yum, Yum..
At a distance we can see the channel is full of wind. Interesting since our anchorage was dead calm. Before you know it we’ve got winds gusting to 30 up the channel from the south. This must mean the Pacific slot is spelling winds over Baja to the channel. Holding onto full sail we’re hitting speeds in the 9s with wave breaking over the cabin. Whale channel is in it’s true form but were comfortable and loving it. Dave is harnessed up in case we need to reef the main. Approaching the Baja side things settle down and we can see the Pacific slot pumping winds in from the west. We’re going to get another ride through it.
The channel gave us that adrenalin rush I mentioned early and also a whale sighting. Life is good as we motor sail on smooth water into Bay of LA. Crew did great and loved the opportunity to experience some heavy sailing. Terry and Deb actually played backgammon through some of the ride so their doing fine.
Entering the Bay usually means the heavy sailing is over. Not today. Looks like Rosario’s forecast finally came in. 22kt WSW as he forecasted blasted us all the way down to the light house entrance to the beach. Three big winds session today.The wind Gads are making up for yesterday.
Anchor down 1:30.. All well in Bay of LA… Looks like we will head out to Don Juan for the night.
Until the next update