The Latitude Reduction Program has been briefly suspended while we work our way north into the Sea of Cortez. We left Cabo bound for Caleta Lobos, an overnight sail to the north from Cabo. We had fantastic sailing out of Cabo for about 50 miles until the wind died. The seas went glass flat and we motored on into the night.
For most of my watch it absolutely poured rain. I thought this area gets about 4 inches of rain a year? About 40% of that came down that night. I handed the helm over to Nicole at 0200 in these conditions and went to bed. She woke me up a few hours later as the conditions had worsened substantially. We went from no wind to 25 knots on the nose and very large, steep seas in just a few hours. By 0700 we were only 10 miles from our intended anchorage but the seas kept getting worse with wind gusting to 29 knots and an opposing current. We buried the bow several times and took quite a beating with green water raining down all over us. We were only able to make about 2.5 knots into the wind at best, and the engine was running hot with the work. We were considering turning around and heading to the anchorage at Ensenada de Los Muertos about 45 miles to the south, but that would cost us most of the day backtracking miles we’d already traveled all night long. But tt was starting to get pretty scary and the current course simply wasn’t going to work. We were in full foulies and soaked. The mood was grim. A quick check with the Sea of Cortez Cruising Guide showed an anchorage just 5 miles to the north of us at Playa Bonanza on Isla Espiritu Santo. We changed course for that which put the seas on the port quarter and allowed us to comfortably make 5 knots to the anchorage. We’d intended to just stay a few hours and wait for the wind to die down so we could carry on, but it looked nice (plus we were damn tired) so we decided to stay the night.
Which brings me to a side note… I’ll tell you this about cruising, it can go from full on 100% suck (WTF are we doing this for?) to full on awesome (this is the best thing we’ll ever do!) unbelievably fast. And vice versa. Fortunately things went from suck to awesome once we anchored.
The next day we went to shore and checked out the island.
So after all that hard work, we got back to the boat around 3pm and I enjoyed a good book with a couple glasses of Scotch to wind down. All the more satisfying when it’s 75 degrees in November and you’re drinking during business hours on a Tuesday.