Baja Bash - Anchored in Turtle Bay - Half way!

Fri 3 Jun 2016 19:56
27.41.25N 114.52.57W

With a 2 day favourable weather forecast we left the Santa Maria anchorage on a dark grey morning, As we tacked offshore to round San Lazaro cape, the seas exploded with wildlife. Hundreds of spinner dolphins were baiting fish which in turn excited the sea birds and especially, the pelicans. Occasionally the odd seal head popped up to see what was going on and we also spotted a few stingrays on the surface.

We had decided to take the Rhumb line route to Turtle Bay, although we knew with the south easterly current and north westerly wind direction, Nimue would be set off to starboard of the course. We motored sailed quite nicely with one reef and the cutter, which allowed us to point as high as we could, but as were hoping to keep our VMG (velocity made good) at 5 knots, we had to be mindful of heading up to wind too much and stalling our progress.

As we sailed as close as we could, the westerly sea breeze, veered into a stronger NW wind and we continued like this for the next 120nm. By midnight we were 25nm off the Rhumbline and closing the shore (21nm). By the time we are 6 miles off the shore, the strong offshore northerly winds kicked in, so we were able to tack out to miss Punta Abreojos and it’s nasty reefs. The offshore Laguna winds brought strong NE-ESE winds, allowing us move back towards the Rhumb line and by midday we had given ourselves the sea room we needed to be on a more direct course to Turtle Bay. We had sufficient fuel to make Turtle Bay, so decided to bypass our contingency of going into Asuncion, although our friends on Tango did stop there for the night. It would also mean a night entrance into an unknown bay, but this didn’t concern us too much.

As we pressed on past Asuncion the usual cycle of winds kicked in again and we started to hit some swell and current, which slowed us down. Still, we were making an average of 6 knots SOG and 5 knots VMG and once safely past Punta San de Roque, we ended up making progress only a couple of miles from the shore. The entrance to Turtle Bay was somewhat more tricky than we would have liked, as the lights were not as detailed on the chart and there was a very strong cross current at the entrance.

We found a good spot to drop the anchor and overall we happy we had averaged just under 6 knots SOG and had covered the 246nm in just over 42 hours.