The Captain and the Admiral had the honor of introducing their good friends, Mark and Jayne Ferguson, to the pleasures of La Paz and Caleta Partida.
We had a grand time together, hiking around La Paz, savoring it’s cuisine, attending a local gringo church, two nights on the hook at Caleta Partida, and great meals provided by the Admiral.
Caleta Partida is the anchorage between Isla Partida and Isla Espiritu Santos. It is the remains of a volcanic crater and surrounded by steep mountains on both sides. It provides good cover from the southeasterly breezes we got at night.
Mark and Jane took advantage of Snug Harbor’s kayaks and explored the adjacent reefs and beaches. It is a bit tricky getting into the kayaks from Snug Harbor and the Captain provides training and assistance crew to avert unplanned swims. Mark and Jane did famously and were off without problem on their first exploration. However, on the start of the second day’s kayak trip we all got a bit complacent and Mark got into the kayak and immediately did a 180 degree roll. Mark came up smiling but short a nice pair of sunglasses. The next boarding try was a success and Mark and Jane were off again.
By the end of their stay, Mark and Jane were sleeping in well past 8 am, a positive change for Mark who habitually gets up at 4. Perhaps this had something to do with the inability of cell phones to connect at Caleta Partida?
The Admiral, Jane and Mark headed home on Thursday morning.
The Captain is now making preparations for the 1,350 mile trip sail (actually motor) back to San Francisco.
The Captain’s strategy in the past has been to clear out of Mexico at Cabo San Lucas, motor 440 miles up the Baja coast to Bahia Tortugas (Turtle Bay) to refuel, and then continue on to San Diego. A problem with this strategy is that Enrique, the fuel dealer in Turtle Bay, sells dirty fuel at about twice the going rate. When you are planning to take on 100 gals this becomes pretty pricey for fuel that plugs your filters. It is also irritating to have to do business with someone that so plainly takes advantage of you. The other problem is that you are stuck in Cabo San Lucas (not a favorite place of the Captain) pending a favorable weather window. Last time we waited there for a week.
The Captain’s alternate strategy this year is to wait for the weather window in a marina at San Jose Del Cabo. San Jose Del Cabo lies 20 miles east of Cabo San Lucas and is a much sleepier and more pleasant spot than Cabo.
The second change is that the Captain is going to carry an extra 100 gallons of diesel in jerry jugs as opposed to the extra 10 gallons taken last time. The key to this strategy is the ubiquitous 50 liter (13gallon) poly jerry jug used by Mexican fisherman.
With six of these jerry jugs, along with the five 5 gallon jugs already on board, the Captain has his extra 100 gallons. We will carry one of the big guys each tied to the port and starboard stanchions, one in each of the corner “catbird” cockpit seats and two side by side between the cockpit seats in front of the boarding ladder.
With the extra fuel we will bypass Turtle Bay and head from San Jose Del Cabo directly to Ensenada, a non stop trip of 700 miles. We then rest a day in Ensenada and clear out of Mexico for the 60 mile trip to San Diego.
However, the only problem with this plan is Easter, which the Mexicans take quite seriously. When the Captain trundled down to the Plasticos and Resinos store on Thursday to buy 4 more of the 50 liter jugs, it was closed. It turns out Maunday Thursday and Good Friday are statutory holidays in Mexico. He hoped he could get them on Saturday, but who in their right mind would go to work on a Saturday sandwiched between two holidays and Easter? So the plan now is to get them Monday morning before shoving off on the 50 mile trip to Bahia de Los Muertos (Bay of Death, but it is actually quite nice).
The Captain’s old friend, Stu Conway, will be joining Snug Harbor tonight for the delivery trip home. Stu is a life long sailor, who circumnavigated some years back on his sailboat and is as competent as crew get. He is also ever smiling and great fun to spend time with.
The Captain and Stu will leave for San Jose Del Cabo on Monday, where George Bean will rejoin the Snug Harbor crew on Wed.
The weather window currently looks good, and we are hoping to shove off as soon as George arrives. The Captain has engaged Commander’s Weather, a weather forecasting and ship routing service, to advise us on departure dates and routing. We will get a full briefing on Wednesday morning and then decide if leaving Wednesday still makes sense.