Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Bienvenidos a Bahia Tortugas!

We arrived in Turtle Bay, about half way down the Pacific coast of Baja, after a two-day motor-sail from Ensenada. Not much wind to speak of; just enough to top up our engine’s capacity, but we made on average 6 knots an hour. We stayed within 20 miles of the coast, and enjoyed the view. We saw blow spouts at a couple points along the way, belying the massive gray whale hulks below the surface, coming up for air. Dolphins joined our bow wave for a ride, and pelicans were on the hunt, headfirst.

Moon set was a bewitching sight. A narrow, smiling sliver of a crescent moon set around 10 pm, turning orange before slipping below the horizon. And then the stars shone in a pretty raucous display; it’s almost dizzying. On the first early morning watch (starting at 5 am), after some time watching stars I came below to check our position. I popped my head back up top for a glance (about 4 minutes later), and we were nearly engulfed in fog. Fade to gray. The fog stuck around for 6 hours, and then mercifully lifted just like it had settled. Luckily no objects had loomed abruptly in our path in the meantime.

We made a daytime arrival to Turtle Bay, miracle of all miracles, and dropped anchor in about 30 feet of water. This little dusty port town (Puerto San Bartolome) is surrounded by stark, but architectural mountains of nuanced shades of pink to brown to gray. Dust is pretty monochromatic when you look at it up close, so the splashes of brilliant color peeling off dilapidated structures about town is a real joy. The people are warm and kind. We like it so much we’ve decided to stay a few days in all. Yesterday afternoon was spent visiting with a fellow cruiser that we met in Ensenada, Wayne on “Moonduster,” trekking through town to find tacos (no problem) and an internet cafĂ©. We rode our dinghy ashore, elbowing our way to the pier through a throng of pelicans, who seem pretty unimpressed. Dinner was a potluck on “Moonduster” with Wayne, and joined by other cruisers Mark and Michelle on “Cheers.”

Today some chores. Ben’s finishing up the watermaker, and needs to dive on the propeller to dislodge what we suspect to be a nice fist-full of kelp. I will be cleaning, just like a good swabee. Hopefully this afternoon we’ll have time to explore the shores in our dinghy. It appears there’s some good beachcombing to be had.

What next? I think we’ll leave tomorrow, next stop Magdalena Bay. We’ve been hearing beautiful things about our next destination. The weather reports give us no wind to speak of for the next week, so we’ll motor our way south once again.

Stay tuned!

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