The Northern Sea
How many times has our cruises started with weather drama. You all are aware of the crazy weather that has been happening lately. We were just at our Prescott cabin last weekend with snow. It’s Thursday morning and we’ve arrived in Penasco (Cholla Bay) to begin the final prep for the cruise. Winds are gusting to 30 and the Sea is pounding our shore line here at the house. The forecast seems like a Saturday depart could be doable but we will have to see how things unfold weather wise.
Our first planned leg is crossing to San Felipe 80 miles WSW of Penasco. The weather as we cross will change dramatically as there are different influences that affect conditions. From San Felipe we’ll make our way south to the Bay of LA area over 3 or 4 days. Normally as we visit the Bay of LA area we’re picking up supplies and fuel on our way south to the Loreto area. This season we will explore the northern Sea of Cortez, spending a few days in the Bay area. We might be treated to rendezvous with some of our sailing friends while in the LA area and as I mentioned in the last update we hope to meet up with Victor’s fishing crew for some fishing and maybe diving adventures.
Jeffrey and Lynnie will be cruising with us for the 2 weeks on the water. Lynnie is here in Cholla to help with final provisioning. Jeffrey will join us Friday afternoon as we prepare to launch before sunrise Saturday morning. Today is provisioning day with what seems like countless supplies going on board as the waterline sinks deeper. Lynnie has brought their provision and I see we are going to eat well.
Gato Loco loves to go cruising because that means she gets lots of attention. The new motors are finally completely installed after we lowered the transom mounts and added thruster shrouds around the props to improve performance. Bill has been working on lots of maintenance items and had the bottom cleaned and we hope the weather permits getting the boat waxed tomorrow before we depart.
We’re all excited and looking forward to spending time in the northern Sea of Cortez which is just in our back yard. This area is a little more challenging for sailing with longer distances between anchorages and fewer well protected anchorages. Studying tides and currents is essential in the Bay of LA area as tides can run faster that our boat speed. It works perfectly when you use it in your favor making twice your boat speed. Communicating with the blog is also challenging with no cellular internet other than Penasco as we leave and San Felipe. In Gonzaga we usually stop by homeowners with satellite internet and bum some service. In the Bay of LA we have to take the computer to a internet café which is conveniently next to the Mercado.
With the northern sea communication challenges Gato Loco will have a satellite phone on board (# 254-378-2445).. A cool feature is you can send a free text message to us on the phone by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org The message is limited and will be truncated at 35 characters so keep it short and to the point and indicate who is sending the message in the text as the message only appears to come from Global Star. It’s free but only one-way to us..
Here’s what the cruise plan looks like. This weather pattern appears to be on going so we will see how it impacts us. We will get ham radio weather each morning and will only sail weather permitting.
Week 1 (nm = nautical miles)
Depart May 16 Penasco early morning to San Felipe, Hopefully meeting Salvador and his crew. Dinner out.. (65nm)
17th – Puertecitos (45nm)
18th – Gonzaga Dinner out.. Alfoncia’s (33nm)
19th – Refugio on Isla Ángel de la Guarda (checking on bugs) (45nm)
20th – Isla Smith (30nm)
21st – Bay of LA visit anchor Don Juan Dinner Out.. get more provisions & fuel if needed (10nm)
22nd – Este Ton on Isla Ángel de la Guarda (winds permitting) (17nm)
May 23rd Refugio (Meet up with fishing crews if bugs are tolerable)
24th – Refugio (bugs permitting)
25th Memorial Day – hang with our fishing friends
26th – Isla La Ventana
27th – Visit Bay of LA anchor Don Juan Hopefully meeting Ralph & Helen on MoonDrifter and Craig & Linda on their new boat. get more provisions & fuel if needed
28th – Isla La Ventana
29th – Gonzaga Dinner out..
30th – Puertecitos
31th – Puertecitos to Penasco (80nm)
Looks to be a fun 2 weeks. Here’s hoping the weather warms up. We’re approaching the end of May for Pete’s sake. Thanks to everyone who takes the time to follow us on the journey. Hope you enjoy the ride.
Until the next Update…
Our back yard cruising area….
Whale Channel tides during our passage south May 20th. We’ll have to get an early start to get to the west side of the channel out of the big currents by 11 Am.