Isla San Benito to Turtle Bay…….

January 17th
We awoke at 5:30 am, the wind was blowing 20 knots from the N/NE. We left the anchorage at dawn with 1 reef & staysail (the smallest of our 3 front roll-up sails). We set course for the SW corner of Cedros Island & were soon greeted with gusting winds to 30 knots. We were making good speed & noticed we were catching up to a sailboat several miles ahead of us. An hour later, s/v Beatrix with Jeff, Kathy & Fiona hailed us on the radio. We had met them in Ensenada. They did not stop & were making a
direct passage to Turtle Bay. We both kept leeward (downwind) of Isla Natividad and experienced a wide range of wind & sea states. At one point the wind was so light that we used our gennaker (also called reacher, the largest of our 3 front roll-up sails). A bit later the wind subsided so much that we had to motor for a while. Before we knew it, it was blowing 30 knots again. Unfortunately Scott did not secure the gennaker furler (sail roll up device) & it unrolled unexpectedly on its own. It wildly
flapped in the wind for only 1 minute, but that was enough time to rip the sail about 12 feet along one side. We took the sail down & stuffed it into the sail locker. As we passed Point Eugenia, the sea flattened and we cruised along comfortably at 7-9 knots with full main & genoa (the middle of the 3 front sails). We arrived into Turtle Bay at 2 pm, less than 1 hr behind Beatrix. We had been at sea 7 1/2 hrs. We anchored in the large protected bay & made radio contact with several of the 10 other
cruising boats here.

January 18th
The next morning we filled 8 of our 5 gallon jerry jugs with diesel fuel. The local guys bring the fuel in a tank in their panga (large high speed dinghy). In the afternoon we took our own dinghy to shore. It was Santa Barbara Island style landing. Which means a very high dock with a vertical ladder you must tie your dinghy to & then climb up. We threw an anchor off the stern to prevent the dinghy from bashing into the pier. We were greeted by Gary Webb of s/v Sparkle, another Ensenada cruiser. He
had arrived a few days before, so gave us his personal tour of town. There are probably 1-2000 people living here. The main highway is 90 miles away (Baja Hwy 1). The roads are mostly dirt. There are a few shops & a couple of restaurants & a bakery. The main industry used to be a fish cannery, but it closed about 10 yrs ago. The local people were friendly. We did a quick check of our land-based email at the internet store. There are 6 computer stations, but only 1 or 2 seemed to work. We had a manana
time lunch of tacos & burritos. Cindy continues to horde milk, eggs & tortillas at every opportunity.

In the evening we tackled our repair of the gennaker sail. Fortunately our friend Ty Hokanson, retired sailmaker, had furnished us with self adhesive dacron fabric called \”sticky back\”. Scott worked for Ty\’s father as a teenager & knew enough to fashion the repair. The job was made faster by the sewing machine we borrowed form s/v Beatrix. Cindy\’s past sewing experience came to play. We wrestled the big, stiff sail material through the machine reinforcing the stuck on patches with stitch. Imagine
trying to thread a needle in the dark on a moving boat with cold fingers. It took us 7 hours to finish the job but we felt quite accomplished (as well as cold & tired) at completion.

We have not yet hoisted it to inspect our handy work, because the wind has been blowing non-stop all morning. It may sound like we are prima donnas: we complain about not enough wind, and then too much wind. Eventually it will subside. When it does, we will reinstall the gennaker on its furler. Meanwhile Scott has completed his routine engine & generator maintenance; added diesel from our jerry jugs to the main tanks. We bid fair winds to s/v Beatrix who are heading directly to Magdelena Bay today.
We may leave here tomorrow, weather permitting, but have 2 planned stops before we reach Magdelena Bay. The first is Bahia Asuncion 50 miles to the southeast and then perhaps Bahia Ballenas (one of the main whale breeding areas of the Baja Peninsula), home of San Ignacio Lagoon. From there, Bahia Santa Maria and on to \”Mag Bay\”.

We are uploading weather faxes via single-side band radio. This gives a great information 2-3 times per day without using up any of our Winlink or Sailmail (High Frequency Radio) alloted time.

Fair winds to you all, more soon….
Cindy & Scott