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Old 12-10-2015, 08:34 AM   #321
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Been almost a week since the last post. We're still in Ensenada and much more comfortable (but not too comfortable!) in Cruiseport. When we went out to Islas Todos Santos I stumbled across the Ensenada Cruisers net on VHF 69 which meets daily at 0800. We now check in on the net daily and have met all sorts of great people as a result. We're going for Spanish lessons this morning with some other cruisers and this evening we'll be attending a "yacht club" meeting (dinner).

Through the net I also learned about the CanMex net on HF SSB. I've also started to check in there at 0730 to become more comfortable with operating the radio so that we'll be familiar with routine and emergency comms procedures as we meander down the Baja coast. Terry Sparks, himself, actually came down to the boat yesterday to program my ICOM 802 with the ideal channel configuration. He also gave me a quick tutorial on DSC calling and tested the radio to ensure my installation was correct. What a privilege to have the guru of the 802 on our boat!

Next window for departure appears to be no earlier than next Wednesday, the 16th. Some pretty big swells out there and we're supposed to get a good blow, maybe even rain, tomorrow.
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Old 12-10-2015, 10:59 AM   #322
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I don't know if you are aware of the PNW local magazine - Northwest Yachting - but if not, there was a long multi month series of a cruising couple adventures in the Baha area. Their names are Bob & Carolyn Mchaffy. The last issue had them back in the US but past issues are online at - Issues Archive - Northwest Yachting Magazine.

Lots of reading if you have the time.
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Old 12-10-2015, 11:59 AM   #323
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We're on our way to Ensenada right now, just passed Los Coronados islands. The swells are about 5-6' but are pretty gentle (long period). Beautiful day on the water so far, ahead of tomorrow's blow. I can taste the dollar tacos already.
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Old 12-10-2015, 12:21 PM   #324
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I'm enjoying this thread. Living in Los Angeles I've visited Ensenada many times, stayed in most of the hotels and eaten from street venders to the best restaurants. It's a fun town. Are you going to visit the Coral Hotel north of you a few miles? I've spent many a night there too.

Wish I had seen this before and had you stop in the LA Harbor for a cruise by drink.
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Old 12-11-2015, 10:24 AM   #325
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We're on our way to Ensenada right now, just passed Los Coronados islands. The swells are about 5-6' but are pretty gentle (long period). Beautiful day on the water so far, ahead of tomorrow's blow. I can taste the dollar tacos already.
Excellent! Hope you had a safe arrival. We're in C-1 at Cruiseport if you want to stop by and say hello. Probably having a quiet day on board with the rain and wind today.
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Old 12-11-2015, 10:27 AM   #326
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I'm enjoying this thread. Living in Los Angeles I've visited Ensenada many times, stayed in most of the hotels and eaten from street venders to the best restaurants. It's a fun town. Are you going to visit the Coral Hotel north of you a few miles? I've spent many a night there too.

Wish I had seen this before and had you stop in the LA Harbor for a cruise by drink.
Don't think we'll make it up to Coral but it's obviously a great part of town based on the number of cruisers staying at the Coral Marina.

If we end up bashing our way back up the coast in the spring instead of heading south, we'll have to stop in LA as we missed it on the way down.
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Old 12-18-2015, 08:47 PM   #327
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Typing on my phone so may be a little brief.

Departed on Wednesday the 16th to start the anchorage-hop to Turtle Bay. We arrived at Cabo Colonet and anchored 250 yards out in 20' in a gentle swell. Around 9pm we got tossed by a significant roller that we were lucky didn't break on us (approx six foot). Immediately pulled the anchor and got the hell out of there. We had been warned that some of the anchorages had the potential to turn into a sea of breakers but didn't think the conditions we were seeing had that potential. Wrong.

Spent the next 26 hours motoring to Isla Cedros (the next anchorage that wasn't in a bay). Anchored in the dark (getting good at that) and again we found ourselves in uncomfortable swell. No sleep was had as we waited for dawn to complete the passage to Turtle Bay. We had been told there were significant amounts of lobster floats so we wanted to finish the final leg in daylight.

Well, it was a beautiful 7-hour passage that (almost) made up for the previous two nights' lack of sleep. Now in Turtle Bay with another boat from Ensenada and we'll be spending Christmas here.

Great progress and more lessons learned. Running the genset and making water before we settle in for a great night's sleep!

Oh, and the engine drank 1.25 quarts of oil in 43 hours.
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Old 12-18-2015, 10:46 PM   #328
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That is fantastic!

You'll get lots of time in Turtle Bay to explore, then is it off to Mag Bay?
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Old 12-23-2015, 09:09 AM   #329
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That is fantastic!

You'll get lots of time in Turtle Bay to explore, then is it off to Mag Bay?
If conditions are good we will attempt the anchorage-hop route down to Bahia Santa Maria. Weather looks good for a departure from Turtle Bay on the 28th.
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Old 12-23-2015, 09:34 AM   #330
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If conditions are good we will attempt the anchorage-hop route down to Bahia Santa Maria. Weather looks good for a departure from Turtle Bay on the 28th.
Thats a good long time in Turtle Bay.

Are you able to get provisions, like fresh local produce there?
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Old 12-23-2015, 11:32 AM   #331
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Thats a good long time in Turtle Bay.

Are you able to get provisions, like fresh local produce there?
Yes, lots of small grocery stores here. Seems like there's a different one around every corner; most are the size of a 7/11. The quality of the produce is okay, but not spectacular. Then again, considering we're in a small town on what looks like the surface of Mars, we're not complaining!
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Old 12-30-2015, 01:01 AM   #332
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Update! Ended up departing Turtle Bay on the morning of the 28th, as planned. It was a great day to cover the 57 miles to Bahia Asuncion with two of our sailboat friends alongside us.

Made our first beach landing and found a great place for dinner (Mary's Luncheria) for the six of us. It was one of those restaurants where the owner is immensely proud of his food. He basically said "trust me" and brought out some very tasty fish with all the trimmings.

This morning we weighed anchor at first light (pleasant, calm anchorage by the way) and it was 55 miles to Bahia Abreojos. Used Charlie's Charts' recommended route to get through three reefs without a problem. The radar and depth sounder came in very handy to verify the accuracy of the electronic charts (they were pretty good for a change). Significant NW swell today, about 8-foot, if not more; not fun but we managed.

Shortly after anchoring we made our second beach landing and explored the town looking to arrange a tour of the nearby grey whale breeding grounds. We have an old guide book (2001) that said tours take place out of here but that is apparently no longer the case. One of the locals said we could only get a fishing tour.

Anyway, we found a grocery store and provisioned up. The departure from the beach was dicey but we somehow kept the dinghy from flipping (though we got soaked in the process) and motored back to Halcyon I.

It's now midnight and I'm up typing this post because we're getting hit by wind waves out of the NE (reminds me of Isla Los Cedros, but not as bad) and I can't sleep. Regardless, going to stay here two nights to let the ocean swell settle then the three of us are going to overnight to Bahia Santa Maria or Mag Bay. There's a southerly forecasted for the Sunday/Monday timeframe so still have to figure out where to hide from it!

The Sea of Cortez is so close we can smell it!
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Old 12-30-2015, 02:22 AM   #333
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Great update! Keep them coming
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Old 12-30-2015, 07:38 AM   #334
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...then the three of us are going to overnight to Bahia Santa Maria or Mag Bay. There's a southerly forecasted for the Sunday/Monday timeframe so still have to figure out where to hide from it!

The Sea of Cortez is so close we can smell it!

Your are having fun from what I can tell.

With any southerly component, I'd suggest Mag Bay. You can get out of the swell around Punta Belcher, a good anchorage or you can go a little further in an anchor in front of Puerto Magdalena. Both have easy beach access. We have stopped in Bahia Santa Maria and it's pretty exposed. You can get some winds coming down off the hills. Both are good in the right weather conditions though.

Here's a pic from Puerto Magdalena.
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Old 12-30-2015, 10:43 AM   #335
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I agree with Larry. But if you do decide on Santa Maria, there is a pretty good indent behind Punta Corso on the S end, that provides good southerly protection. Google Earth has a good view of it. Buen viaje.
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Old 01-03-2016, 04:22 PM   #336
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I agree with Larry. But if you do decide on Santa Maria, there is a pretty good indent behind Punta Corso on the S end, that provides good southerly protection. Google Earth has a good view of it. Buen viaje.
We ended up anchoring in the north end as we got there before the forecasted southerly. It was a fairly quiet, uneventful overnight passage and the anchorage was quiet as well.

While in Bahia Santa Maria we surf-landed the dinghy and explored the beach. We were hoping to get over to the side with the village and hike around but we couldn't figure out how without hiring a local guide, and didn't really feel like going through the hassle.

The next morning we left at 0630 for San Jose del Cabo and now we're here! Four and a half months and we're finally in the Sea of Cortez! There must have been some serious current on the way down as we were making good around 8.2 kts at 1800 RPM for most of the day. Normally were around 7.2 at that engine speed.

It was ideal trawler conditions all day but of course as soon as the sun set the wind picked up from the east and we were being tossed around by 4-5 foot wind waves. We altered course to close the coast and reduce the fetch. By about 0230, the wind settled and the rest of the ride was smooth. No wind to speak of at the Cape.

On the way north between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo we had about 10 miles of short period wind waves (4 foot) so we slowed to 5 kts and took our time. We're now in the marina for three nights before we head on up to La Paz.

It was a slow start to the "Baja-Ho-Ho" (so-called since we did it over Christmas) with 10 days in Turtle Bay but we finished the last 450 miles in only six days thanks to some great trawler weather.

I can't believe we're finally here! It's 27C and humid. I'm actually going to have to install the fan in the cabin!
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Old 01-03-2016, 04:32 PM   #337
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4C today in Victoria. Thought you might want to know
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Old 01-03-2016, 04:36 PM   #338
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4C today in Victoria. Thought you might want to know
Perfect!
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Old 01-03-2016, 05:16 PM   #339
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Congratulations on making the Sea of Cortez!
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Old 01-03-2016, 07:11 PM   #340
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Yes, what a wonderful adventure!
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