We arrived in Ensenada at 10am after an overnight passage from San Diego. The bulk of our day was spent completing paperwork for entry into Mexico. We spent the night at Baja Naval Marina and were on our way the following morning. What follows is a recap of the 18 days spent exploring the west coast of Baja before reaching the southern tip at Cabo San Lucas. If words aren't your thing then you can watch our video of the trip here.
Ensenada to Cedros Island - This was a great run. We travelled 240 NM (nautical miles) and only sparked up the engine for a few hours. I'm not sure what happened but I felt a little seasick the first day. I managed to continue with normal, but lazy, activity. John reeled in a bonito and it made for 2 nights of delicious fish taco dinners. The next day I felt better and even spent part of the day below deck making cookies. Our marine life highlight was spotting turtles along the way. After a 2 day passage, we arrived, dropped anchor, and jumped in for a swim. The water was still chilly but it felt fantastic!
To Turtle Bay- Woke up early the following morning and headed off for a 50 mile passage. The weather was warm; perhaps due to the lack of wind. On this run we caught what at first sight we thought was a Yellowtail Tuna but on further inspection discovered was a Bigeye Tuna. It was a pretty big catch and we ended up sharing some of it with another boat of cruisers upon arrival at the anchorage.
Turtle Bay is a well known stop along the coast and most cruisers pull in here for supplies and fuel. The fuel can either be delivered via panga to your boat for a high price or you can bring your own cans to the beach via dinghy and walk to the gas station about a half mile into town. There aren't any fuel docks along this stretch of coast so this is your only means of refueling. Rhythm has a pretty big tank but its still good to keep it topped off when possible.
We enjoyed a beer onshore that night with some others cruisers and headed off the next morning. I didn't get the warm, fuzzies from Turtle Bay, and I was just ready to move on.
To Ascuncion - Another windless, warm, 50 mile passage today. Off in the distance we saw a whale breaching and got our first dolphin escort. For some unknown reason pods of dolphins like to swim and play very close to the bow of your boat, perhaps taunting us at how fast they are. OK really, if anyone knows the real reason for this feel free to share.
To Hipolito-We rolled out predawn and dodged lobster pots using a spotlight until the sun came up and then dropped anchor just as a fog bank was descending upon the sea. Before dinner we stopped to have a beer with our neighbor. He had a lovely Cascade 40 that was adorned in all the finest pirate decor. Apparently, he had some damage to his boat on an attempted crossing to Hawaii and ended up here for the past 3 months working to repair it. Everyone we meet has a unique story and its always fun to hear.
To Abreojos - Another day passage brought us to anchor outside of Abreojos. The town was really clean and the people very friendly. We had to do the dinghy/walk to get fuel but on 2 of the 3 trips local people offered to give John a ride. One time someone even helped drag the dinghy back into the water. There was also a well supplied market. This stop, to me at least, was nicer and more production than Turtle Bay. Although it isn't as protected of an anchorage. So if you are looking to hide from the weather Turtle Bay is a better choice.
We stayed for 2 nights in hopes of catching the next wind window and took advantage of the time to get some exercise, running on the beach and paddle boarding. This spot is known for surf but we weren't lucky enough to catch any.
To Bahia Santa Maria - For this passage we went about 30/40 miles offshore to catch more wind. It was mildly successful but ended up taking a lot longer than it could have. We arrived to this beautiful bay and found ourselves among many other sailboats that we previously met on different legs of our journey. There was a lot to do here despite the fact that there wasn't a town. There were miles of beach to walk on, trails winding up and over the peaks, miles of mangroves to cruise through in the dinghy, a big bay for paddle boarding, and even a sweet surf spot! It was also very apparent that we were further south and the weather was getting "swimsuit warm". So needless to say, we stayed awhile.
To Cabo - This passage had 2 overnight legs but was by far the best multiday passage I think we've had. We sailed most of the passage and enjoyed a full moon to light the night sky. We had another really long dolphin escort and comfortable temps throughout the entire trip.
We enjoyed the early morning scenery as we sailed into Cabo. We opted not to stop since Cabo isn't really our scene and pushed another 15 miles to a marina on the eastside of San Jose del Cabo, Puerto Los Cabos. This area is seeing some development but is still a little quieter.