Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Playa Bonanza

By Aaron

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.

IMG_7193Our backyard at Isla Espiritu Santo

The next day we went to shore and checked out the island.

DSC_1023We combed the beach for interesting shells

DSC_0946We checked out the island’s inland bits

DSC_0939We walked along a dried up arroyo

DSC_0960We checkout out some big cacti

IMG_7206And some little ones


DSC_1024We saw strange tracks in the sand and decided not to see where they went

DSC_1027We walked among huge white sand dunes

DSC_1036And jumped off the tops

DSC_0973We headed towards Punta Morritos which was miles down the beach… but we had time

DSC_1006And if you’re going to walk all way way to the point, you might as well climb to the top

DSC_1015-2I can see my house from here!

DSC_1005I don’t think we’ll be able to land on 100 islands in Mexico like we did in Canada, but Nicole conquered this one anyway, for old time’s sake

IMG_7212And for us no hike is complete without an arm-shot

IMG_7213So 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.


  1. If we're seeing this photo-ized blog post you must be in La Paz!! Please say hi to Super Burro for us. The chorizo tacos are excellent (just don't spend too much time wondering about the raw materials).

    I'm getting super nostalgic seeing you guys in the islands. Some of the best times Christy and I have ever had happened in this area. Balandra might be one of our favorite places ever.

    Awesome. Just fuckin' awesome.

  2. Carol was saying "Finally the boat will get clean with fresh water" andd I thought "Oh crap - Bella Star!"

  3. If those tracks were on a beach,it probably was a sea turtle...I was on that beach in98, and saw a similar track and followed to an apparent nest of eggs... also good snorkling off the point where you hiked...fair winds..
    t37 Interlude

  4. Happy Sunny Beautiful Birthday Nicole!!!!


  5. I am extremely relieved to see that Aaron no longer looks as though he stepped out of a gap ad.

    Extrapolating from the current progression it will only be a few months until he looks like a full on degenerate cruiser. :)

    Enjoy guys, looks beautiful!

  6. You guys are amazing. Really. Here's to a majority of 100% awesome times, and very few 100% suck experiences. I could never be a cruiser since even reading about your scary-sucky storm weather makes me nervous. Phrases like "buried the bow" make for good tales of adventure though, I suppose! Happy to see the beaches, sunshine, books and Scotch!

  7. I hope you brought your golf clubs, that looks like an amazing golf course.

  8. I kayaked around this island once - beautiful place! Really enjoying your Mexico posts.


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