We’re getting ready to head out most likely this Sunday. Since the wind is from the south this time of year and, since we’re heading south, we’re planning on motoring and are watching for a break in the wind and seas. Puerto Peñasco regularly gets strong southerlies in the summer. They generally kick the seas up pretty good and the port is typically closed during these times. The strong south winds generally last about 3 days and then things calm down for 3-4 days before they come back again. Saturday looks pretty good but Sunday looks very calm, so Sunday is when we’re shooting for.
I’ve been getting our course set up and programmed into the GPS/Chartplotter. The other day I e-mailed Gabriel at Marina Seca in Guaymas to find out the coordinates of the marina so I could check it out in Google Earth while we still have a good internet connection. Nothing like heading into a large, busy commercial port and having NO idea where to go. Gabriel sent the information right away and, while checking it out on Google Earth, I had an inspiration. Why not lay out our whole trip on Google Earth and then transfer the waypoints to the GPS? I’m sure every other cruiser has already thought of this but sometimes I’m a little slow.
What’s the advantage?
Well, since Google Earth is based on aerial photography, you get to see what’s actually there. The charts in Mexico are notoriously out of date and inaccurate. So, even if I went old school and plotted out our course on paper charts, the course would not be accurate. The charts on the GPS are just digitized versions of the paper charts. We often find ourselves anchored well inland or sailing across land according to the GPS.
So, I laid out our course for the whole trip from here to Guaymas. It’s sort of time consuming because my GPS is old enough that I can’t interface it with my computer (or at least I don’t know how). So, I lay the course out on Google Earth, write down the coordinates of the waypoints that are created and then manually enter each one into the GPS. If this GPS ever craps out, I’m going to buy one that can connect directly to the computer.
Oh, I could hook my “hockey puck” GPS antenna to my computer and navigate with just the computer. But I like having the chartplotter out in the cockpit and I don’t like having my computer out there. Also, computers are energy hogs although, while motoring, I guess that wouldn’t really matter that much. But, if things get rough, I like having my computer tucked away safely instead of on the table where it could go flying off. So, until I replace our Garmin GPSmap498, I’ll just do it this way. Bet our sailing forefathers would have liked to have these resources. This is so different from cruising in the 60s and 70s and even later.
Here’s a screen shot of our route from Puerto Peñasco to Puerto Refugio on the north end of Isla De La Guarda:
We’ll be heading almost due south as you can see. This will be our longest leg at around 107 miles. It’ll be an overnighter and will probably take us around 26 hours or so. After that, all the legs are day trips.
Puerto Peñasco to Puerto Refugio on Isla De La Guarda – 107 miles
Puerto Refugio to Puerto Don Juan on the Baja Peninsula – 43 miles
Puerto Don Juan to Isla Partida – 23 miles
Isla Partida to Isla San Esteban (east anchorage) – 32 miles
Isla San Esteban to Bahia de los Perros on Isla Tiburón – 18 miles
Bahia de los Perros to Las Cocinas on the mainland – 58 miles
Las Cocinas to Bahia San Carlos – 32 miles
Bahia San Carlos to Marina Seca, Guaymas – 24 miles
All of the anchorages were chosen for protection from weather from the south as that’s the most likely scenario we’ll face. However, most of these places have alternative anchorages with protection from the north just in case something really weird happens.
We’re pretty much ready to go. Have to get a few groceries on Friday and then get fresh produce on Saturday as well as do the laundry, hose the boat off again, and top off the water tank. And of course, all the last minute stowing that has to happen before we hit the bouncing sea.
We’re due in Guaymas for our haulout on July 2nd. But, if we run a little late, I’ll just e-mail Gabriel via Sailmail to let him know. Once we leave here, we won’t have internet service again until we reach San Carlos.
Day before yesterday we bought a kilo of jumbo shrimp (15-16 per pound) and grilled them up using a recipe we got from Serious Eats for Chili-Lime-Brandy Grilled Shrimp. Of course, having no brandy, we substituted tequila. The dish did not suffer.
Lulu made some sesame noodles, also from Serious Eats. We do not suffer food-wise.
And, just in case you’re interested, here’s what we’ve been reading lately:
Headed off shortly to an open air place that roasts chicken over a wood fire. Most of these kinds of places are para llevar (to go) only but this one has lots of tables. So tonight we feast on wood-fired chicken, rice, beans, salsa, etc.