After the sand storm we left Turtle Bay on a great weather window. Or so we thought...
On the morning of our third day at sea the wind became gale force within a matter of an hour. Apparently the Northers that plague the Sea of Cortez during the winter months can make their way across Baja and blow into the Pacific without warning.
With good sized swells form the NorthWest and high winds from the NorthEast the seas started building quickly and became confused, short and steep. To make matters worse, a direct course for Cabo put us right into the trough knocking us onto our side. We started running downwind, but after calling my dad on our sat phone to get the most recent weather update we learned that this blow would last about 24 hours. Since running downwind in a gale is a fast way to travel, we would have ended up pretty far off shore, forcing us to beat back through sloppy seas and adding a day or two to our trip.
So we opted for heading towards shore. Usually this is not a good idea, but since this was an offshore wind there was no chance of us getting onto a lee shore. Our cruising guide stated that this shore is excellent to stay close to when doing the Baja Bash (heading north into waves, wind, and current), so we knew it would be fairly safe. We were also hoping that with less fetch the seas would be calmer and we could once again head towards Cabo. Our plan worked great! We beat into the waves at about one knot and when we got within 10 miles of shore the seas settled. Take a look at our SPOT track to see our route.
We finally made it to Cabo. The last time I had been there was in 1988, when I was sailing from Germany to San Diego with my parents. Back then we had visited a quaint fishing town with one or two inns and now I returned to spring break central. Condos and hotels have sprung up everywhere and our boat was in a constant state of motion due to pangas and jet skis zipping by.
Mike and I had a blast though, sneaking into resorts to use their pools and showers, and sipping margaritas with our feet in the sand.
|Left: Mike 2012 -- Right: Verena 1988|
At The Giggling Marlin Cantina, Cabo San Lucas