Thursday, December 2, 2010

Bahai Magdelena to Cabo San Lucas

The north west wind stayed strong for the rest of the day and into the evening. We had reefed and prevented both sails and were zooming along at 7 knots. It was a bumpy ride as the wind waves were high and we had a swell as well. The evening brought a dark night – the moon wouldn’t rise until after midnight.

abandoned lighthouses seem frequent on the Baja coast

Around 10pm the wind died off, but the sea state remained uncomfortable. We motored for a couple hours when, suddenly, the wind picked up from the north east. In less than five minutes we went from 0 to 25 knots as we quickly reefed down Ka’sala in the dark. These were the dreaded Santa Anna winds we had heard about, blasting over the spine of the Baja. For the next 8 to 10 hours we ran at a close reach and watched the wind gust over 30 knots. The seas were very short, choppy and uncomfortable as the wind waves hit the westerly swells. Ka’sala was amazing as she pounded through her course. The Monitor wind vane held its course. Doug was confident and capable. Lyneita was pretty scared. We all made it to morning when the wind started to moderate again. By mid day we were motoring again – still in a disturbed sea – but in warm sunlight and closer to our destination.

We had hoped to reach Cabo San Lucas before dark the second day of the passage, but encountered a current running against us which took a knot off our regular motoring speed. The sea was still turquoise and now the temperature gauge read that the water was 24 degrees. It was hot and, for the first time since leaving B.C. , I was wearing my bathing suit in the cockpit.

a far cry from the similar shot taken off the Oregon coastline!

We rounded Cape Falso just after sunset, and as we rounded the exquisite rocks which line the western side of the bay at Cabo San Lucas, we were overwhelmed by the unbelievable development of the area. Condos, hotels, mansions and every other sort of dwelling cover the hillsides, bright lights, large boats, pangas, sunset cruises – from the divine to the profane!

Cabo Falso

Land's End from the Pacific side

In a state of shock, we crept into the bay, looking for the anchorage against the bright lights. There is a deep canyon in this bay and we were aiming for the sandy shelf close to shore. I was spooked when I heard the waves lapping on the beach and the voices sounding close by from the hotels lining the shore. Doug kept a close watch on our depth gauge and we anchored safely in 10 meters with 50 meters of chain. Sitting in the dark, listening to the sounds of civilization at high pitch, stunned us after so many days of isolation. We were soon in our bunks – we needed a good night’s sleep and the bright light of day before we could deal with this new situation.

Cabo San Lucas

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