Baja Birthdays

Though we were having a great time in Bahia Concepcion, strong North winds were forecast for Friday, March 27, so we decided it was time to head further South. On Thursday afternoon we moved to Punta Santo Domingo, a great jumping-off point for heading South from Concepcion. Around 4am on Friday the North swell started rolling in, so we knew the wind was on its way.

We had the anchor up at 7am, and motored out to the sea, but the wind was still light. Just after 9am we thought the wind was just enough for our spinnaker, so we raised it. Not much later, the wind shifted, so we had to jibe the spinnaker to the other side of the boat. As soon as we got it set on the other side, we got hit by a big gust of wind. The large sail snapped and strained; obviously there was too much wind for it. So within about 20 minutes, we had gone from “Maybe we can carry the spinnaker” to “One reef or two?” (To “reef” is to shorten a sail; we can put up to three reefs in our main sail, when the wind is too strong for us to carry the whole sail.)

Todd went forward to set the stay sail, and had just got the sail ties off when a big swell rolled the boat. He lost his balance and went back… back… his eyes big as saucers… back… and SAVED! as his butt caught the life line and he bounced back onto the deck! In his bright yellow foul weather gear, the whole scene reminded me of a WWF wrestler springing off the ring lines. I made a mental note to buy him one of the Mexican wrestling masks that they have at all the mercados.

“I thought for sure I was going overboard,” he said later as we ran downwind. When I assured him that Koiya and I would have been able to get him back aboard, he replied, “I don’t know if I would want you to. I’d be so ashamed, I might just tell you to leave me.” “And deny me the chance to ridicule you publicly? No, you’d be much more valuable to me alive!” I shot back.

Of course, this has made me revisit our Man Overboard plan, for the case of a non-cooperative Toro. I’m still trying to work out if it would be better for me to run him down in the big boat and have Koiya lasso him like a runaway steer, or if it would be better to launch the dinghy and harpoon him with the boat hook, a la Moby Dick.

Though we’ve heard reports of 40 knot winds and 10 ft seas that day, we guess we saw more like 25 knots of wind, with gusts to 30, and occasionally 8 ft waves. Since we were going with the weather, we actually had a pretty good ride, and had our anchor down in San Juanico at 3:45 that afternoon. We’d gone almost 50 nautical miles in less than 9 hours, which is great time for us!

The next day was Toro’s birthday, and though we were tempted to relax in San Juanico, we couldn’t pass up the wind that was still blowing. So we pressed on to Honeymoon Cove on Isla Danzante. We’d heard it was beautiful, which it is, with lovely green water. But anchoring conditions are difficult there because the water is very deep close in to the shore. After anchoring in one of the North lobes of the cove, Todd and Koiya took the GPS out in the dinghy and determined that if we swung the wrong way, we’d end up aground. We moved to a little cove further South, but arrived too late for me to make Toro’s birthday cake. Once I gave him his present (a bottle of El Jimador tequila), he didn’t really miss the cake!

At this point I have a trivia question for you, dear readers: What do Jennifer Aniston and I have in common?
a. We are both beautiful and talented.
b. People are constantly pestering us for our diet secrets.
c. Everyone is jealous of us because we slept with Brad Pitt.
d. We almost threw out Brad’s 2008 Christmas card, because at first glance his family photo looked like a United Colors of Benneton ad.
e. We both turned 40 this year!
(Yes, I won’t deny it: I slept with Brad Pitt!)

Sunday the 29th was my birthday, and since the wind was coming from the South, we hung out in the morning and I made pizza and our birthday cake. We left after lunch, but since the wind was still coming right at us, we just went the few miles to Mano de Dios. We love that pretty little cove, and the weather was perfect for a swim. And as we were the only ones there, we broke out our birthday suits for the occasion!

We kept on the move the following days, to Agua Verde, and then on to Isla San Francisco. There we met the crew of Bay Wolf, a family from Palo Alto with two girls, aged 8 and 11. Koiya was thrilled to have some kid time, so we happily stayed an extra day so the girls could “fish”, look for agates on the beach, take a quick swim, and enjoy a yummy potluck dinner on Bay Wolf.

On Thursday April 2 we had a great sail to Caleta Lobos, which is just outside of La Paz. After a couple nights of coromuels (local winds from the Southwest that can make the anchorages pretty bumpy at night), Todd was relieved to be in a well-protected cove, and managed to squeeze in his full 11-hour sleep.

The next day we made La Paz, and were greeted by Captain Ron of Theophilus even before we had the anchor down. It was the opening day of Bay Fest, put on by the local cruisers’ club, so we spent the weekend attending seminars on things like outboard motor maintenance and CPR and first aid, and watching volleyball matches. In between we caught up with friends we met last year, and Todd caught up on all the margaritas he’d been missing.

Now we’re headed out for a quick trip to the islands with Theophilus. Maybe we’ll use the iTunes gift certificate we got for our birthdays (thanks Chez Douglass!) to download Peaches & Herb’s Reunited:
Reunited and it feels so good
Reunited cause we understood
Three cases of beer and our snorkeling gear
We all are so excited because we’re Reunited- Hey Hey!

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