We did it. San Diego to Cabo San Lucas. Fingers, toes, and after one day a shore, I can say that smiles are intact. Buried below the anticipation and excitement of sailing to Mexico was a little voice that said making it to the cape would probably be the scariest. Not sure what to expect other than challenges and memories, it was both, multiplied by a thousand fathoms. To summarize the trip…sailing to Hawaii has lost it’s appeal. In the last 10 days, I came to the conclusion that I’m a coastal-girl. A speck of land or the silhouette of another sailboat on the horizon became my daily obsession. Remembering aspects of our travels up the Intracoastal Waterway, 13 years ago, on our Thompson Trawler was my way of dealing with the situation. “Oh yeah, you big dark ocean, take that coastal memory.” It was a tough 10 days. But I can say that I’ve grown from it and have a library of fond memories that I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life.
We left Turtle Bay for Bahia Santa Maria last Saturday. The skies were clear blue but we were keeping watch on a tropical depression 300 miles south. I had every reason to be feeling on top of the world but I was antsy because there would be no internet or means of talking with my family until Cabo.
Our primary auto-pilot was toast after Capt. Chameleon deliberately broke the belt to free up our locked steering, and we chose not to fool around trying to get the back up auto-pilot going. Without a West Marine and Boat US Towing service to fall back on, why test fate and have our steering lock up 50 miles off-shore. So, we hand steered. I have the cut biceps to prove it! And the dark circles under the eyes. It was a full time job for the two of us to keep Seamore Pacific on the right heading in a strong downwind. With a novice sailor and an experienced sailor, we teamed up by relieving each other for catnaps. With 6 hours of sleep in over 48 hours, I was SO glad to pull into Bahia Santa Maria, no internet or not, and drop anchor. After breakfast and a Bloody Mary, Captain Chameleon and I fell into a coma.
The power sleep was enough to get us back in the groove for a Baja Ha Ha party on a hill that overlooked the bay. Hosted by the nearest villagers, they drove 30 miles on the beach at low tide to bring fish, music, and chairs. Yes, that is correct. To get to the island by pick-up truck, the locals wait for the tide to go out and then use the beach as a highway. The ladies prepared us a delicious meal of seafood stew, grilled fish, rice, and salad. And the gentleman served up drinks and classic Rock and Roll to dance to. The Ha Ha fleet was in need of a good time. Dancing to Creedance Clearwater Revival’s, Have You Ever Seen the Rain and looking out over the bay with a hundred anchored sailboats was the right remedy to overcome the last couple of days and get me ready for the final leg of the Baja Ha Ha XX to Cabo San Lucas.
Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
What does a barn, a horse, and a sailboat to Cabo have in common? Pulling up anchor at Bahia Santa Maria, the urge to get to the finish took hold and I was ready to sail in 20 knot winds if it would get me there faster. Seamore Pacific was like a horse running full speed to the barn. Except there was no wind. Of coarse not. Baja Ha-Ha lesson number two…never count on the wind to be your friend. The wind is going to do what the wind is going to do. It’s up to us to adjust our sails accordingly. With a yearning for internet, restful nights in a bed, and the smell of land, we journeyed south with two sails and a diesel. Thank goodness for Captain Chameleon’s experience, because we had ample fuel stored in geri-jugs, on the portside deck. We heard on the VHF where one fellow traveler ran out of fuel and other boats circled around and handed fuel off to them. Baja Ha-Ha lesson number three….the cruising community is filled with kind and generous individuals.
Tomorrow the Baja Ha-Ha XX comes to a close with an awards party. I won’t be packing home any medals for stellar sailing but I will be going forth with new friends, Ha Ha lessons, and self discoveries. Yes, I’ve seen ‘the rain coming down on a sunny day’ and it’s a beautiful thing.