After enjoying dinner (fresh yellowtail sandwich and a cheeseburger…we split them and shared), and a few beers at the restaurant at Play Buenaventura in Bahia Concepcion, we returned to Siempre Sabado and prepared to settle in for the evening. The weather gods had other things in mind. Right around sunset, the wind shifted to the north and along with it came uncomfortable swells. This put us on a nasty lee shore in an with an unpleasant ride. We opted to take the smart way out and split. We weren’t looking forward to sailing back to Coyote (the nearest north-protected anchorage) in the dark but, fortunately we had our GPS track to follow. Good thing because Conception Bay has a lot of very large, very hard islands sticking up which are really hard to see in the dark.
As we passed south of Playa Santispac, we were amazed to see all of the super-bright lighting coming from the carnival rides. It must have been like daylight to be anchored there. And LOUD! The north end of Coyote was somewhat quieter than where we had been on the south end where the Tecate stage was set up. Took us a couple of tries to get anchored properly as it was hard to see the unused mooring balls and one particular little, unlit sportsfishing boat. But we got anchored successfully and spent a nice, fairly quiet night.
Our plan was to move up to Santispac on Saturday morning, although, with what we now knew about the carnival lights, that may not have been such a great idea. However, I listened to Gary’s weather on the Sonrisa Net and decided that, if the other weather reports jived fairly well with Gary’s predictions, Saturday and Sunday looked like great days for a crossing over to San Carlos (the “Northern Crossing”). By Monday it was supposed to start blowing again. Nothing really keeping us on the Baja side any longer and it would be good to get over to the mainland so there’s no way we’ll miss getting Lulu to Tucson to catch her flight to Portland on May 3. As it turned out, the weather reports jived close enough so, figuring a 22 hour trip across (starting at Coyote), we headed out at about 12:45 PM.
We were getting 10-15 knot winds just off the nose as we headed up the channel. The water was a little lumpy but not really too bad. We were making lousy time heading into the wind and sea but we knew things would even out sometime during the trip. As we passed the anchorage at Santo Domingo at the very top end of Point Conception, I began to wonder if I’d missed something. The seas were still about the same, as was the wind. But there were an even dozen sailboats anchored at Santo Domingo. SD isn’t a very protected anchorage so typically boats anchor there if they’ve:
a.) just completed the northern crossing and need to rest
b.) are waiting for a weather window to go across to San Carlos
c.) just arrived from San Juanico to the south and want to rest up before heading on. d.) waiting to head south to San Juanico so that you arrive in daylight.
Option “a” seemed likely, although if I’d made it that far and it was still early afternoon, I’d push on to Santispac or someplace else in Conception Bay. Option “c” also seemed sort of unlikely for the same reasons as option “a”. Option “d” would be a likely choice for us as San Jaunico is about 10-12 hour trip so we like to leave at night so we arrive at SJ in the early morning. Not sure if others think this way or not. Option “b” seemed like the most likely reason although, if it was, I wondered what conditions they were waiting for. The predictions called for a mostly motorboat trip across unless time meant absolutely nothing at all. Maybe they were waiting for favorable winds. As long as we have ample fuel, we don’t worry too much about favorable winds unless they are strong on the nose, thus slowing us down, or are causing uncomfortable seas. The predictions I read called for neither of these. And, of course, 12 boats could have had 12 different reasons to be there. Anyway, ignoring the herd instinct, we decided to press on. And we’re really glad we did.
The crossing could not have been nicer. We motorsailed the whole way. Most of the trip we had moderate to light winds just off our nose. With the motor running, we could “sail” close-hauled, the sails adding stability and an extra knot or so to our speed. There was a slight swell but the seas were far enough apart that they weren’t uncomfortable at all. The sky was clear all the way across and we had a gibbous moon lighting our way after midnight. By 10 PM or so, the wind died completely and the seas were almost completely flat. We took turns sleeping, read our Kindles, ate food, etc. Oh, and since the engine was running, we made 33 gallons of drinking water as well.
We were nearing the Sonoran coast by daylight and, when the sun really came up, we could see the unmistakable outline of the twin spires of Tetakawi Mountain looming over San Carlos. We got into port and anchored by 10:30 or so making it an almost exactly 22 hour trip. Just before dinner I realized that I wasn’t really sure what time it was here. Baja California Sur is on Mountain Daylight Time. San Carlos is still Mountain Time but, supposedly, they stay in line with Arizona which doesn’t recognize Daylight Savings Time. So, presumably, our clocks were an hour ahead of the locals. Tried getting a time check on the VHF radio but either no one knew or no one had their radio on as I got no answers. Finally hollered over to the boat next to us and he confirmed that it was, indeed, an hour earlier than our clocks said it was. Does that mean we made the trip across in 21 hours?
Tomorrow we’re going to see if we can get a slip in the marina so we can get started on projects. Need to go visit Flipper, too. And get my Banda Ancha card renewed so we’ll have internet access again. And get some produce. And…