January 29 – January 31
After 4 nights in the NW portion of Magdelena Bay, we decided to check out the SE lobe of the bay (Bahia Almejas). A boater friend had told us that there is a good anchorage near a narrow part of the bay where the California Gray whales swim by to get to the shallower waters where they have their calves. If we had gone directly from our last night’s anchorage to here we could have made the 20 mile trip in about 2 1/2 hrs. Instead we took 5 hrs, with many detours to follow whales as we saw them. It
was so exciting to finally see an abundance of them. Mostly in pairs. The spouting we can see from a great distance. If we just motored slowly we could get within a 50-100 yards or so of them & clearly see their long bodies & occasionally they would treat us with a tail flip. We saw a couple “spy hopping” (coming straight up out of the water, up to half their length). This is the reason we have been going slowly – to have a chance to see these whales. And here we are and they are here too. Since
we only saw 1 the first day we entered this bay, we were getting a bit discouraged & thought we were just too early. The peak of the season is mid-late Feb. The time we spend here takes away from time we can stay in the Mexican Riviera & Central America, but we decided to give them another week. As it turns out there is a weather system developing that makes it prudent to stay in the bay for the rest of this week anyway. It is right now blowing 18, gusting 25 knots so we are rocking around a bit,
since the water is whipped up. Our anchor is really good at holding us & we have 200 ft of chain out & are in 25 feet depth of water.
Marv & Ardys on sv “Odyssey” (a Petersen 44), are on a similar journey to us & anchored just a nice safe distance away. We are in frequent radio contact with them and have a daily check in with 3 other boats that we made friends with that have already moved on south. We look at weather faxes that we get through our radio that transmit onto the computer screen a couple times a day. And we listen to a weather guru, Don Anderson, that transmits from Oxnard, Calif as a public service to boaters throughout
Mexico & beyond. Don broadcasts a couple of times per day. Boaters from all over check in to various high frequency radio networks & give weather info for where they are. So there is a good coconut telegraph going out here.
We hope the wind will lessen enough so we can go out in the dinghy & see more whales & hopefully find some babies.
Scott has set us up so well, we are snug as bugs. We have plenty of hot fresh water. Just being able to take a hot shower every day is a big luxury that a lot of our fellow boaters don’t have. It is 65 degrees F outside, it had been up to 75 during the day although it felt colder with the wind. Little by little it is warming up. The sea temp is 68. I think our first scuba diving opportunity will be about 45 miles north of Cabo San Lucas on the Sea of Cortez side at a place called Los Pulmos. The
water will still be cold but there is supposed to be a marine preserve there so we will be brave with our dry suits if weather permits. We are having some parts mailed to us in Cabo by boat buddy Mike in LA. The generator is misbehaving a bit again, still functional, but not as high output as it should be. So we are getting new capacitors, a new GPS antenna, block & tackle to lead the boom preventer lines into the cockpit, and custom tethers for our harnesses (current ones too long). Also our Mexican
temporary resident visas will be sent from the agent in Ensenada that helped us get them processed. It is so nice to have people help us get things & take care of business for us.
It is a little hard to sleep when we are rocking around so much & when the wind is howling, but I am not afraid. We are just more alert when there is stronger winds at an anchorage. It was like being at a dock the past 4 nights – so calm & smooth. Very nice to get good sleep But it would be the same over where we were in “Man O’ War Cove” with this wind that has kicked up.
We are starting to discuss what we’ll do next after Cabo, which is about a 24 hr passage. Everyone we talk to seems to love Mazatlan, so after we go to the dive spot on the Baja side of Cortez, we would like to cross the sea (150 miles, so another day/night passage) to the mainland Mexico side & check out Mazatlan. Then we want to visit Isla Isabella which is the nesting grounds for frigate birds & blue footed boobies. It has a preserve run by the University of Guadalajara. The next stop would be
Puerto Vallarta. We are really hoping our friends Pancho & Eva from LA will be able to meet us in Punta Mita which is just 10 miles N. of PV. South of PV is called “the Mexican Gold Coast” or Mexican Riviera. I am going to list the highlights of our planned stops:
Salina Cruz (just to check out of Mexico)
Guatemala – see Carmina!
Sounds pretty exciting, don’t you think?! We want to be leisurely & spend as much time as is fun in each place. But we have to keep an eye on June 1st which is the beginning of hurricane season in the eastern Pacific (where we are & will be from here to Costa Rica). Although Costa Rica & south is out of the hurricane region, it is the rainy season there in the summer months & probably not that pleasant. Not to mention Costa Rica has a very high incidence of lightening strikes at that time of year.
Lightening on boats is no bueno. So we may end up going to Cocos Island (the island that Jurassic Park was based on) & the Galapagos in July then do the “Puddle Jump”. We would make south Pacific landfall somewhere wonderful (Gambiers/Tuamotus/Marquesas?) & have through October to explore those fabulous islands. We need to get out of the South Pacific by mid November because hurricane season begins there at that time. We are thinking of next winter in Hawaii… We would go back to the South Pacific
& continue exploring in March when hurricane season ends in the South Pacific. Ok, I am finally getting really really excited. It has been a bit of a slow start. Being in cold climate on the boat has not been that fun. We’ve had some highlights, but now we are getting close to the really really good stuff. We keep telling ourselves that we are “Tropic Adjacent” (as the Tropic of Cancer is only 70 miles south of us now).
Thank you all for keeping in touch. Getting mail from friends & family is so important. We care about your health, welfare, kids, dogs and activities. Just because we’re touring the world on our boat does not mean that we don’t want to hear about lives as well.
Please feel free to use the “Contact Us” form on the website to write us. All your emails are forwarded to us on the boat within a few hours at most.
Hugs from breezy Puerto Alcatraz, Magdelena Bay, Baja California, Mexico…..
Cindy & Scott