Our First E-Ticket Ride

April 25, 1997 (Friday)

We departed Bahia Santa Maria at 01:00 or 6:00 PM local time. We were headed for Cabo San Lucas. It looks like Erick will be there in time to celebrate his twelfth birthday. Since we had constant winds while we were in Bahia Santa Maria1, we were hoping that they would continue outside of the bay and make for a great sail. As it turned out we only had the engine on for about 10 minutes. There was more wind than we expected and we sailed away from the anchorage. Usually we have to motor out of the anchorage and can’t put up the sails until we have been out for a bit. As it turned out we saw a little more wind and swells than I like. The swells were big and very close together and hitting us broadside. Anything that isn't stowed very well down below soon found itself a new home. We sailed like this for about four hours and finally reached our first waypoint. We turned southwest and went wing on wing. The wind was dead astern of us and kept shifting. This caused us to have to constantly trim sails. We finally took down the jib completely and jibed back and forth across the rhumb line. We found that it was easier to sail four or five miles each way of the rhumb line. This change in tactics allowed us to maintain speeds in the low 6’s for quite some time.

At about 9:00 in the morning (local time) I spotted what I clearly recognized as a whale. I again let Phill know that we had whale(s?) on our starboard side. He kidded me and told me to take pictures to prove it. Every time I say I see a whale, it leaves before anyone else sees it. I am no longer to be trusted. I exaggerate. Well this time I did get it on camera. So did Phill. We were entertained for about 15 to 20 minutes. The whale kept moving from starboard to port. We did get a few shots of it on the camera but they are not the greatest. I guess whales are camera shy.

Part of a Sei Whale (30+ft long and 20ft off the port beam)

Near noon we saw another whale. It did not stay around as long as the one earlier in the day but we did get another dose of entertainment.

At one point we saw a rather large ‘target’ on the radar. It appeared that it was directly on our stern and would make contact in no time. Phill got on the radio and asked them if they wanted us to hold our course. We were advised that they could see us very clearly on their radar and we should hold our course. Needless to say we kept a close watch on the ship to make sure things went according to plan. We also saw two other large vessels on the radar that appeared to be on a collision course. We were not anxious to be a witness to such a happening. As it turned out these vessels were about a mile apart. As they got closer to one other the radar showed that they were not going to collide. Those two little bits of excitement helped to pass a couple of hours in the middle of the night.

The one thing we hope for each evening is to have a nice moon with us while sailing at night. We know that the moon is not always available for our navigational aid but we do appreciate it while it is there. It makes for a much easier watch at night. You can more readily see other vessels on the horizon. While I was on watch that night I got to see the moon rise. It was gorgeous as it peered though the clouds. I attempted to capture this beauty on camera. Unfortunately I forgot to turn off the flash so all I got was a nighttime shot of our rigging and a faint moon without the clouds. Needless to say, we did not save this picture. I imagine that I will have many other opportunities to catch such a picture.

Cabo San Lucas (from the Pacific side)

Cabo San Lucas (from the Bahia side)

We finally turned the engine on to maintain some stability in speed. We were trying very hard to time our arrival at the cape for daybreak. We didn't want to be early because we didn't want to deal with all of their famous rocks in the dark. We also didn't want to get there too late in the day as the winds would likely be stronger. The cape is everything it is advertised to be. We sailed around the cape with a reef in the main. We saw true wind speeds of 28 knots and apparent wind speeds of 30 knots at about 5:00 AM local time. This is what I hope we don’t see much of. Of course Mouse Pad did fine. The only thing we didn't think of was to take down the bimini. The wind whipped it pretty severely. Fortunately, no damage was done to it. We were able to get it down in spite of the strong winds. Once we rounded the cape and got slightly behind the shelter of the rock, the winds calmed down and we waited for ‘Island Girl’ to come in behind us. We then headed for the anchorage. At first we were tempted to go for a mooring but neither of us had any idea how much the moorings would cost and we wanted to stay within budget. We already knew based on the cruising guides that slips cost between US$1.00 and US$2.00 per foot per day. We definitely could not afford this. We anchored (four times total). I love to reset the anchor. I have to admit, I am a bit intimidated by the force of the chain when it starts its descent. As it turned out we were not putting out enough chain. Once we increased the amount of chain the anchor set perfectly.

Entrance to Los Cabos (from Bahia San Lucas)

We cleaned up the boat, assembled and launched the dinghy and did the final log entries. After this ride we knew we needed sleep or at least rest. Phill grabbed the port sofa and I grabbed the port cockpit seat. It wasn't long before both of us were fast asleep. Tomorrow we would play. We planned to be here about two weeks so we can do some repairs and prepare for our next leg (the long one) to the Marquises.

 

NOTE: Comments and suggestions should be sent to Jerry Reese, Council Bluffs, IA.

 



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