Baja! Well its been easy sailing, good fishing , and margaritas with new friends from here on south. This post is about Baja, and all of the wonderful places were sailed to.
This art piece is of one of my favorite places in Baja, Scorpion Bay.
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Punta Maria - one of the famed 7 sisters. The shrub covered dunes to the north make this a good anchorage and relatively protected from the NW winds. A large NW swell can wrap around the point and create a perfect left hand point break here in the winter time. This place is gorgeous, besides the one or two fishermen’s huts, there is no sign of human life in this area. We had waited nearly 5 days for the swell to fill in when we had an unfortunate problem with our water maker. Every time we would turn it on, it would take water from our fresh water tank and send it overboard. We ran out of water before we solved the problem and had to move on. But, while we were there we surfed a spot called Cardon. A small right hand point break just 3 miles from Punta Maria. The wave is fun and picks up more swell then the other points in this area. The small bay is protected by the point making for glassy waves - even in the afternoon winds, that blow out nearly every wave in this area. It is also the easiest spot to get to by land, so you’ll most likely be making some land friends here.
Tortuga x The Water Maker
We ended up solving the problem in Bahia Tortuga. Tortuga is by far our least favorite place in all of Baja due to the fact that you are most definitely going to get ripped off here, and both you and the local people know and expect it. But, it is a necessary stop because it is the only place to provision between Ensenada and Cabo. There was a valve between the deck wash pump and the fresh water tank and it had broken. That same line can be used to prime the water maker. We never fully solved the problem… We plugged the line to the deck wash pump and now all the water from the maker now flows to the tank.
Punta San Juanico
Punta San Juanico otherwise known as Scorpion Bay is a group of 6 point breaks that funnel into a sandy “shallow” bay. The outer breaks can pick up NW –W and if 4th point is chest high, you can expect that 6th is over head. The higher the points grow in number, the more swell they pick up - but they also pick up more wind! We spent over a week waiting for a huge west swell to make its way south form Northern California in hopes that it would make 2nd point surf-able. The 1 -3 points need a south swell or a huge west swell to break. Finally, after days of surfing wind-blown waves and the tiny peelers at 2nd point, we got our wish. One perfect day of waist high waves. This area is full of people from southern California, and although I haven’t been here in peak season, the “local” “snow birds” are awesome. There is a little restaurant on the hill above second point that has warm showers, good food (huevos rancheros*) and decent Wi-Fi. There is a couple of small stores in town where you can get water and vegetables but like most places in Baja, there is no “supermercado.” All in all, this is forever a must stop spot when sailing Baja.
Ensenada De Los Muertos
Ensenada De Los Muertos
When the beaches are lined with skulls you know that the ocean is full of life!
This is a magical place and if there was a wave here I don’t think I’d ever leave. This cove has crystal clear blue water and coral reefs off the rocky cliff sides. You will often see large schools of tuna and dorado chasing flying fish in this bay. Needless to say, there are a good amount of fishing boats that launch here in the morning to fish off the nearby points, reefs and islands. The anchorage is in 25ft of sand just west of the launch ramp. This is a great spot and the local restaurant happily caters to cruisers. You can even hail them over channel 22. It’s a great spot for fishing and snorkeling, although the water is still cold here until summer. For now, this is a quiet bay and has a small amount of mansions and one resort in the area, leaving the landscape relatively untouched. I highly recommend this as a place to visit by land or by sea.
Isla Espiritu Santo
Sailing through the Sea of Cortez is like sailing through the Grand Canyon. Large dramatic mountains of all different shades of red, brown, and purple cascade down to the turquoise blue water full of all kinds of life. I can see why so many “snow birds” make this place their home. Half of me wants to stay here forever while the other knows that there is so much more to see and to learn. Isla Espiritu Santo is an Island and national park - just off the coast of La Paz making it a major “cruising” destination. The island’s waters are full of all kinds of sea life including whale sharks. It is a beautiful place to get away. Besides your sailors and local yachts, many people come to circumnavigate this island by kayak. Although, I wish we could have spent more time in the Sea of Cortez, I am sure that I will end up spending more time there later in life.
Story Time x Trumpistan
I went for a wander around the rocks along the point one afternoon. As I was working my way around, I got to a cove of crystal clear blue water. The rocks just dropped off to 20 feet deep straight down like a perfect swimming pool. The cove laid just under a mansion. Here, I met a little lady named Rosario. She was fishing with a hand line in the cove. With my broken Spanish, I found out that she was one of 6 people who worked in the mansion above us. On her breaks, she would come here and fish and admire the beautiful pool. She showed me a jellyfish she had scooped into a large red bucket - the only thing she had caught that day. Unfortunately, this was only a few short days after Trumps inauguration. We spun off into a sad conversation on how two of her family members and one of her friends had already been deported since election day. The family that employed her was American, so many Americans come to this bay for vacation. She was so upset that she thought they didn’t like Mexicans. How could “we” raise the price on food, clothes, and gas for our poor neighbors. In broken Spanish I tried to tell her how sorry I was, and that not all Americans are like that. Many of us love everyone, and are sorry for the current state of things. With Rosario’s lack of English and my lack of Spanish, the conversation quickly ended. I got back to the boat locked myself in my room and cried. I felt so ashamed to be where I was from. For the first time I had never before not been proud to be an American and at the time I was most definitely embarrassed to be one. Not only that, but I wasn’t capable of communicating how sorry I felt about everything and that we are not all that bad. Still to this day just writing about it now, remembering the look in her face makes me want to cry all over again. Many Mexican’s feel this way, like their home is America’s “dirty playground,” a place they can come and do whatever they want and then leave … kind of like Vegas. Although many of them feel that way, many of them have lived in America and understand that there are plenty of good people still there. That in the end, our rulers are not the people - much like how even though Mexico’s government is corrupt, the people are still good people. Now I don’t feel embarrassed to be an American. I just feel like now more than ever, it is important to show people through my own actions that we are not all that bad.
#sailing #sailingblog #scorpionbay #surfingbaja #surfart #sailingaroundtheworld
#WillPaintToShred #art #travelbaja #travelmexico #baja #mexico #lifeatsea
We made it! After all the things we broke along the way, its a feeling of relief as we come into the view of the golden gate. For me this is my first time sailing into San Francisco Bay. The overwhelming feeling of nostalgia, accompanied by the satisfying feeling of accomplishment. I only learned to sail just 3 years prior to now… I fell head over heels with the idea and look how far we’ve made it.
Passage making is hard, by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It tests you mentally, physically and emotionally and not for days but weeks possibly months on end. When you leave the safety of land at some point there is no going back. You give yourself up to the universe and have to deal with whatever the universe is going to throw at you. You have no choice but to “sink or swim”.
The night before leaving Oahu was the first lightning storm we experienced on board Solace. The flash of lightning woke me up as the storm got closer and closer the storm got worse and worse. Lightning striking all around us, we could feel it shake the boat as we slept in the bow. I thought for sure our 60ft aluminum mast would get struck, but it never did. One of the many beautiful but also terrifying moments we experience on board Solace.
I wasn’t particularly excited about going to Oahu. I had never been to the island but its outward appearance seemed something like Los Angeles.
The sail over was really fun! We were flying at 9 knots with a 25 knot wind and 5 foot seas following behind us. A boat called North Light - also from San Diego had left the harbor a few hours before us and we sailed past her at mid-day and left her off into the distance before you knew it. As a sailor there really isn’t much better feeling then completely beating someone. As they say “how do you know two sailboats are racing each other? When they see each other”.
After the anticipation of crossing the Alenuihaha Channel, its safe to say how relieved we were to be in the beautiful Makena Anchorage. Unfortunately, just after we were settled, the Kona winds started blowing 30 knots and the wind swell grew big enough to continuously come up over the bow. We were relatively stuck onboard till the Kona winds died down later that afternoon. We rowed ashore and explored the big beach, little beach. The little beach to our surprise was a naked beach and beside the one fat lady, about 50 naked men were sprawled about the beach. I think Kelsey and I would've been a little more bashful of making our way across the beach if we hadn't been watching so much game of thrones over the past few weeks. We made our way across the beach and up the mountain for the most beautiful sunset. Watching Solace sway about in the crystal clear blue water. Relieved and happy to have safely made it to Maui.
After a rough night at sea, we decided to rest in the small beautiful anchorage of Honomalino Bay. The water so clear you could see the bottom at 40 ft deep. We anchored in 25 ft just off shore of the black sand beach. Kelsey and I were immediately in the water, spears in hand. We stalked the coral around the lava rocks. The fish so beautiful we decided to not spear anything. We spent two days reading, writing and swimming in this beautiful cove. This anchorage was one of the most peaceful times of our trip around the Hawaiian islands. We had repairs that we desperately needed fixed so we left the beautiful anchorage and set out for Kona.
We untied from the wall in radio bay and anchored out. We planned to leave after tea on the wall. Tea on the wall is where all us transient sailors get together and chat, have dinks and food. Everyone brings a little something to give to the others. Paul rowed us to and from our boat in his little pink dingy. After tea we set out to leave… One thing after the other broke.
Not going to lie, at first I wasn’t too fond on the town. But, after a few short days it really grew on me and by the time we left I didn’t want to leave.
Dive Duck Dip Dive and Dodge - these are the 5 d’s of dodgeball, or hurricane avoidance 101.