Canal de Ballenas to Bay of LA
Yes, I remember Canal de Ballenas between Isla La Guarda and Baja. Last year we had big winds sailing north through the channel. This passage was just as exciting. Motorsailing down the coast, we had 8-10kts at our back. Without much warning winds jumped up to 25. Great, we can make better time sailing with main alone… But now it’s blowing 35 and we’re doing 12kts running faster than the swells…. But now it gusting to 45 and Gato Loco is getting a little tender making us worry about a round up (into the wind) which would be very bad! I can see air under our stern!! Looks like all we have to do is hang on we can see less wind ahead. This area is a wind passage to the pacific and the Sea of Cortez must have higher pressure today. Reaching the next headland on Baja the winds are back to 10kt at our back again. Another exciting channel passage!
Smith island is just ahead. It has seven anchorage options and we hope to check them out. Arriving at the north anchorage 5 ish we have time to survey the west side. One problem, the island has lots of birds and birds mean lot of gnats and flies and it doesn’t take long for them to find us. North anchorage looks good for north winds. Made passage inside isla Mitlan 50 meters of Smith in 20′ of water. Good anchorages but not with winds today. Finally dropped the anchor in the small bay south of a inlet lagoon on the south end of Smith. Still buggie so time to explore the lagoon.
The tide is flooding the lagoon (above) and we get sucked through rapids and run aground in the dinghy. Stingrays every where so we’re back in the dinghy ASAP. The lagoon leads to the east side of the island and the only east side anchorage which is wide and offers good protection. Interesting lagoon but way too many stingrays.
Good news getting back to the boat at sunset. Temp is dropping fast (70) and the bugs are gone. A final walk on the beach produced some treasures for our shell tray.
Another night of laughter with episodes of “Fight of the Conchords”. Thank you Mike & Gill for the entertainment.
Monday: Up and out of the anchorage early to run from the bugs. A quick stop by Isla La Ventana and then on to Bahia de Los Angles (Bay of LA).
First stop Guillermo’s for a morning margarita (or 2). As usual we ran into someone interesting. Herman the gold miner (probably 85) has been making a living gold mining in Mexico and has lived in Bay of LA 13 years and had lots of stories. He was at the bar waiting for a newspaper to arrive by airplane.
Loaded 20 gallons of fuel on board and off to the Mercado for supplies. Produce just arrived today and looks great as you can tell from Dave banana extravaganza photo above.
I’m hurrying to finish this update so we can head on south tonight and on to Tiburon tomorrow night.
Lowell for the Gato Loco Crew.
Leg 1 April 11-19, Crew: Lowell, Bill, Dave – Puerto Penasco to San Carlos
As usual we should be sending updates from Gato Loco and Pee Wee as we see Baja by land and by Sea.
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Lowell for the Gato Loco Crew.
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