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.
Hello to the Passage Makers,
Yes, I was there with you at one time. In the days of medical school, I would read books about cruising the world, subscribed to Cruising World magazine and followed Tania Aebi as she sailed a 26 foot boat around the world. I dreamed of the same thing as you. Afterwards in the 1990’s we became friends while in the Florida Keys. There I raced and sailed my J105 [ 35 foot ] racing sailboat all over South Florida, crossed the Straights and made it to Cuba. This was just offshore racing. The longest was 3 days and 2 nights. OK, this is where I am with you [ your current thoughts ]. After that, and the responsibility, of captain and securing the boat in the most seaworthy state, and “all” that goes into this, I quickly lost my goal of retiring at age 50 and sailing the world. I have no desire to do such. I love my bed, my shower, and my patients. It is said: The worst day of sailing is better than the best of work. Hum, some people really have not been sailing. Sailing is some of the HARDEST WORK you will ever do. We will take “newbies” on the boat for a race. The races last 2 ½ hours and these people are pooped and tired and exhausted. Take this offshore and do it for 3 or 4 days. So to Beth and Greg, congratulations of your accomplishment. Enjoy the remainder of your cruise, be safe, make the best of decisions, and always sail with the least amount of sail to the wind [ who cares if your only doing 5.5 knts as opposed to 6 knts, just because you have more sail up. ] Robin and I often reefed the main, and put up a smaller jib well before the storm hit the boat. Have fun. Your friends, Bill and Rob.
Hey Bill…so true! Tania Aebi was my inspiration on this trip. Just when my mind would start going to the “what ifs” I would think about her courage and shut out the negative talk. Great to hear from you friend. B
Congrats on a successful sail!
Enjoy the ride!
Love to you and Capt.Camelion
Oh my goodness. Your story had my heart racing with anticipation! Thank you for sharing. Give my regards to the captain and enjoy the next leg. CONGRATULATIONS!
Awesome story! Happy sails for the rest of your travels! I can’t wait to see those biceps.
Great story! Don’t think I could go that long without seeing land. Always wanted to sail the Virgin Islands.
So happy you’re safe and sound, and have a lot of good memories.
Looking at the pictures again. So beautiful! Is the first pic of Seamorepacific with the blue and white chute?
It is Ebenezer 111. She was beautiful with her chute out. I’m in the process of getting the picture to them…I think they will enjoy it. Seamore Pacific doesn’t have a chute, because of how she is rigged….Cat-Ketch with unstayed carbon fiber masts. > Date: Mon, 11 Nov 2013 04:49:00 +0000 > To: email@example.com >
We should get you an asymmetrical spinnaker from something like a J-80 or such. you would attach to the most forward portion of the boat ( solid and sturdy ) and then run the sheet aft. ?? How tall is your mast ?? How far is the mast from the most forward part of the boat ?? I have a spinnaker from my J-105 that you can have. E-mail me privately or call and we can chat about getting you the spinnaker, for free. Bill.
Woohoo! Congrats! Sounds exhilarating!! I’ve been thinking about you two for the last week. I’m so glad to know that you made it safe and sound. You two are quite a team 🙂
PS- Post more pics!
Thank you Vicki! We are a salty-soggy team; but enjoying drying out under the hot, hot sun of Mexico. “Hello” to the team back at work. > Date: Mon, 11 Nov 2013 15:29:41 +0000 > To: firstname.lastname@example.org >
So what’s the plan now? Sail around to the Sea of Cortez? When do you depart again?
Yes, we will sail around the cape and into the Sea of Cortez; heading to La Paz for Thanksgiving. Looking at Wednesday to pull up anchor at Cabo. I’ll keep you posted 🙂 > Date: Mon, 11 Nov 2013 15:45:56 +0000 > To: email@example.com >
Yea! You made it! Wow – I am so in awe of your courage and determination. You (and your Captain) have done something most people have never done. Have fun and celebrate your accomplishments! More pics please! 🙂