By now you should all be pretty used to our standard operating procedure. We pick a day to leave a port and then stay at least one day longer and up to as much as a week longer. Why should it be any different just because we’re in Mexico? After all, in Mexico “mañana” doesn’t mean “tomorrow”, it means “not today”. I suspect I may have even more Mexican blood in me than I had previously thought.
I realized last night that I hadn’t even plotted a course for the next leg of our trip yet, much less checked the engine oil and topped off the transmission oil. I’m sure that doesn’t sound like much to do, but it takes longer than you think. I could have gotten it all done in time to leave about 1430 but you know how I hate to be rushed. So, instead, we’re spending one more day here at the Baja Naval marina. It was actually sunny and warm for a little while this morning but it didn’t take too long for that to go away. Looking at Passageweather.com, it looks like things will start shaping up nicely tomorrow. Northwest winds of 10-15 knots, northwest swell of 2-4 feet, and no rain through Thanksgiving at least. Can’t beat a deal like that unless they could also promise air temps in the low 80s but I guess that might be asking too much. So, with everything done now, we can get up when we feel like it, pay for the extra day, have some breakfast, and head out. Probably be on our way before noon.
As to the next leg: As I’ve said, we’re getting anxious to get down to where it’s not cold. We also would like to experience a longer passage than the normal one to one-and-a-half days that we usually do. And, by going further than our fuel supply would allow us to motor, we want to force ourselves to sail and have enough time to figure out the niceties of the windvane. So, for all of those reasons, we are now planning our longest passage yet. From Ensenada, BCN to Los Frailes, BCS. The route I’ve plotted is 761 nautical miles. At an average speed of 5 knots (probably unlikely), it would take us 6-1/2 days. At 4.5 knots (more likely), it would take 7 days. At the even more easily counted-on average speed of 4 knots, 8 days. And, if we’re really dragging tail and can only average 3 knots, 10-1/2 days. So, once we leave, don’t expect to hear anything from us for at least a week and probably closer to a week and a half. The weather looks perfect for a passage like this and it should just get better every day.
Los Frailes, in case you don’t know, is located on the Sea of Cortez side of the tip of Baja.
It’s just an anchorage although I think I read about a palapa bar on the beach or up the trail or something. It’ll be a good place to rest up and catch some rays before we head further up to La Paz. We plan to stay aways offshore on the trip south. A guy we met in Avalon who has made the non-stop trip almost 2 dozen times, says that, about 20-25 miles off, the winds are very steady and predictable and the swell is too. None of that “bouncing off the land” influence. This will hopefully also keep us out of most of the heavy fishing areas, but who knows? We will be dragging our own fishing line behind us in hopes of catching some dinner along the way.
I’m going to try to write blog entries as we go along (although I won’t be able to post them) so that the finished product is a reflection of the actual trip rather than what I remember or choose to remember about the trip.
Wish us luck and talk to y’all in a week or two. Oh, and have a Happy Thanksgiving.