Smooth sailing from Bahia Santa Maria. Pretty good wind for most of the day 5-7k boat speed, broad reaching....the way cruising is suppose to be. Everything about the boat is perfect, the navigation, head, food, and super well trained crew. So far we have had two hitch hikers...another larger bird landed on our bow pulpit about 30miles earlier. It looked like a type of heron. She stayed with us all the way until we were about to drop anchor.
After we dropped anchor, Sophia immediately went to the poop deck and christened it. She is adapting well to the cruising life. Crew is back to sleep for a couple of hours before we wake at 0700 to greet the sunrise and head to the fuel dock. Ohhh and how can I forget last night's green flash. I think we caught it on our cameras for you nonbelievers!
Hot Hot Hot
3rd and final leg of the haha. We will arrive in Cabo around 0100, drop anchor and sleep outside the city lights. Soon we will be walking on payment, reconnected with the lives we left over a week ago and the long days of sleeping and night watches will become a good feeling memory we can draw on. We are broad reaching and had to put the sun Bimini up. Yesterdays Rock and Roll band experience at Bahia Santa Maria was surreal, Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin etc etc etc. Grov'in on the hillside in our flip flops The party Went on into the night. We hauled anchor at 1945 and were underway.
Right now Roxy is cooking fresh Marlin for lunch. Gotta go. See you in La Jolla sometime next week!!!
Diane and "Sophia" the chihuahua sailor
November 5, 2018, Monday @ 2115
N 24 46.85 W 112 15.225
We arrived to Bahia Santa Maria after a wonderful day/evening of sailing off and on. Late afternoon/early evening we got at least 10 knots of wind so, we took advantage of that and got in some great sailing, getting Celtic Song up to 6.5 knots. Needless to say, there were some issues along the way with fishing vessels, nets and other boats, that made us stay on our toes throughout the leg. We heard some of our fleet caught shark, tuna and marlin, while others saw dolphins, whales and turtles. Lots of activity!
We arrived and dropped anchor around 0445 this morning. We stayed in the cockpit and starred at the beautiful sky - Mars twinkled at us in green and red, the Milky Way was gorgeous, all the various constellations looking so brilliant and with the falling and shooting stars, it seemed like someone was giving us the show of our lives. We finally dragged ourselves away to nap the early morning hours until we awoke to our morning 0900 check-in on the "Baja Net" (where we hear the location of everyone in the fleet and discuss any issues/needs and activities for the day). We had breakfast before easing into the ocean and going for a swim. Diane swam to another boat to make new friends, while we had thoughts of her abandoning us.
We had extra practice putting the motor off and on the dinghy due to the surf at shore and it not being safe to use. Diane and Roxy rowed to shore with Sophia (the dog) and found gorgeous sand dollars and spoke to other members of our fleet, while Shelly and Anna took naps and John listened to his audio book. Just a mellow day all around, of course we did our chores to keep the boat shipshape. We were invited to happy hour by Arctic Loon and went over for a fabulous time with the all women crew who made us zucchini fritters and made us feel so welcome.
Another day on the sea...just living the life, an amazing one at that!
Stick Figure's "Fire on the Horizon" was playing on the speaker as we ate Shelly's delicious chicken salsa and rice dinner in the cockpit last night. It almost felt surreal. Sails full, the wind behind us, and an absolutely gorgeous sunset splashing rose and orange light across the water and sky. After needing to motor most of the day, these hours of sailing felt like bliss. And then, as if the moment couldn't be any more perfect - a green flash appeared as the sun slipped down into the sea!
We had a fun, impromptu dance party in the cockpit -- thanks to a Bluetooth speaker and John's downloaded Spotify playlists! -- and then chores as we settled the boat in for the night. I love the crew that Diane has brought together on Celtic Song. From offering to help each other wash dishes, to Diane opening a beautiful bottle of red wine to share with the group our last night in Turtle Bay (so great, Diane!), the group is generous and helpful, and truly care about Celtic Song and each other. I think I still pinch myself a few times a day that I was lucky enough to be invited to be part of this crew and be sailing down the coast with these wonderful people.
Last night was a busy one. As I stepped onto watch at 2000, the AIS and radar around us was packed with other vessels. The boats traveling in the Ha-Ha all monitor channel 69 on the VHF radio. The group frequently checks in with each other, as people needed to navigate courses and negotiate who was going to give way and who would take the lead. For the most part, these maneuvers all seem to happen without much fuss. Between the AIS, the radar, and the lights on the boats, its surprisingly easy to have a good view of what's around you (and which way they are going) at night. And then there is the view up above you. Oh my goodness! Last night was clear and warm, and the entire sky was a thick blanket of stars. Even the Milky Way was crystal clear off our stern. It was breathtaking.
We've all settled into our watch rotation so well that when I wake up at night and check my watch, I know who is coming on or going off watch. John is always on before me, and he woke me up a few minutes early this morning for my 0600 watch because the sun had starting rise. (Thanks for knowing I would want to see it, sweetheart. That sunrise was beautiful!) There was a sliver of moon above the horizon, and before long the golden rays were dancing on the water towards Celtic Song.
I headed back to bed for another hour of sleep after my watch. I woke up to the smell of bacon cooking in the galley! Diane was making Sunday breakfast, complete with french toast and eggs. She is such a wonderful inspiration for me of how to truly embrace and celebrate each day, each meal. (Thank you for spoiling us, Diane!) I didn't expect to find cooking inspiration out at sea... but these ladies have made me realize I need to up my game when it comes to cooking, on the water and off!
The rest of today has been both relaxing and busy. Laundry is drying on the lifelines, we've all showered, and we raised the spinnaker for some sailing time when we caught a bit of wind earlier. Boats nearby are reporting whale and turtle sightings. And I hear that DJ John has another great dance party planned for this evening in the cockpit. Life is good, my friends. Life is very, very good.
Hot and Sunny, flat and calm, sparkling rolling water with bare, tan, brown hills off our portside. We have good news and bad news. First the good news...the tropical depression brewing S of Cabo will not affect us. The bad news...looks like very light air all the way to Bahia Santa Maria. We are motoring along at 2000rpms conserving fuel
and allowing our friends on Campbell's Sloop to buddy with us. The price of a gallon of diesel at Turtle Bay was ~$6.50 - $7/gallon. Depending on Enrica's mood at the time. I think he liked us so we were on the lower rate.
All OK with the fleet. A few boats have opted out due to engine problems, another vessel hit something hard near the pier this morning and ripped off a big chunk of his keel, and a party boat hit another boat sometime in the night! Never a dull moment out here....Hahahah.
Fortunately crew spirits are high despite the constant hummm of the engine. These guys are true cruisers! No complaints. Well maybe the flies are getting to them a little:) Shelly is murdering them with a rolled up magazine! Roxy is an amazing cook, teaching Anna all kinds of galley secrets from compote to exotic leftovers and then coming up with great ideas for mini land adventures, off the beaten path and into local culture and she speaks FLUENT SPANISH! Shelly is connecting great with all the other local cruisers. In fact I thought we almost lost her last night when we left her at the party with a man from some boat near us. When she didn't come back as the party got smaller and smaller we weren't quite sure how we would locate her, or if we ever would! She did and she had a great time :)
Anna and John are on to the daily task list, keeping the boat ship shape and doing a terrific job navigating and learning how to use all our new electronics, ie: Coastal Explorer, Predict Wind and our inreach. John is loading efficiently our daily GRIB files and has figured out how to shrink then and then teach me how to. We are able to get weather here!
Anna is always ahead of me on what to do next. Organizing our watch schedule and pitching in and doing more on cleaning and organizing CS. Its never been this smooth of a voyage. We all are sleeping way more than we do on land! Sophia is having a blast on shore chasing her ball, sniffing and playing tag with the local beasts, and mountain and boulder climbing. Fortunately she had a great work out for the past two days and will be mellow until we reach our next anchorage in about 38 hours.
Thank you to the Grand Poobah and team for dreaming up the idea of the Bajahaha! And to my amazing husband and daughter in supporting me in my dream of cruising!!!! And my friend Jean who keeps stoking the flame!
Love you guys OOXX Signing off KG6QWZ Mom
Location: 27 41.8' N, 114 52.6' W, Turtle Bay
Date: November 2, 2018
Day two in Turtle Bay started off with Diane, Shelley and Roxy going on an early morning hike to the top of a nearby hilltop with fabulous vistas of the anchorage and surrounding hills. On the way back from their hike, they motored around the anchorage to say "hi" to some of our fellow cruises. Meanwhile, Anna and I slept in and then spent the morning sitting in sun in the cockpit talking about how much we love cruising life.
Each morning the Ha-Ha fleet joins the morning net on channel 69. The net starts with a roll call of all the boats, broken down by division. At the end of the roll call the Grand Poobah provides everyone an update on the expected weather, events of the day or simply asking if anyone lost a flip-flop the day before. Once all the formalities are taken care of, the net is open for anyone was has a question. For example, this morning there was a discussion about whether we should all change our clocks when the time changes back to Standard Time. The final portion of the net is devoted to a Q&A session for anyone having mechanical issues. You realize how resourceful cruisers are at fixing things by listening to all the advice provided. Everything from how to fix a Raymarine auto-pilot to diagnosing alternator problems. The responses are not only interesting, but sometimes very funny.
By noon we were cleaned-up, sun-screened, and ready to hit the beach for the Turtle Bay beach party. We moved Celtic Song to a new location just off the shore from the party. By the time we arrived, the beach was full of cruisers with hot dogs and beers in their hands. The music was playing (power provided by a Honda generator) and sailors were dancing. We even managed to get a large group photo on the beach with most of the 500 sailors participating in the Ha-Ha. For the nineteenth year in a row, the women beat the men at the tug-of-war contest.
We came back to Celtic Song after a day in the sun for some of Roxy's awesome cooking. After some navigation planning and prep, we are ready to leave first thing in the morning for our 40 hour sail Bahia Santa Maria.
Location: 27 41.1052' N, 114 53.3675' W, Turtle Bay
Date: November 1, 2018
Yesterday afternoon's sail and sunset dinner on deck was the biggest treat. After training for over a year, we savored our shared love of the sea, of our team and of delicious braised pomegranate molasses lamb. When we woke up from post dinner naps to find a velvet black sky full of suspended diamond stars, we didn't even try to wipe the childish grins from our sun-warmed faces.
The wind continued to build to 20 knots as we approached Turtle Bay's entrance. Dolphins jetted up to welcome and play with us. They jumped and showed off in our headlamp spotlights, reminding us to enjoy the journey, to take a breath. With crew on the bow, midship, at the nav station and helm we successfully avoided lobster pots and lead a caravan of buddy boats to safely anchor inside the calm bay.
Sculptural desert mountains, an expansive clear blue sky and a fleet of cozy sailboats anchored in sun dappled blue water greeted us in the morning. Roll call gave the fleet a chance to show off how many fish they caught and to lament what parts broke during passage. Our boat chihuahua Sofia dozed in the face of those human trivialities, she
wanted to smell soil again. Ashore we went.
First stop, coconut paletas (popsicles) at the small, but well stocked grocery store. Sofia found lots of new dog friends and we met a few people friends. We meandered around the town, enjoying land and practicing speaking Spanish. Kids chased eachother on the beach wearing their Dia de los Muertos face paint and costumes, cruisers gave them candy.
With no agenda, no boat tasks, no to do lists, we luxuriated infollowing our dusty sandals to admire folks' well-loved gardens and colorful homes. Shells inlaid in the cement as a welcome mat in front of the library, alternating baby blue and white boards to form diamond patterns on a garage. After a few days at sea, all the creative human
made details popped from the landscape.
Toes in the sand for a beach taco and cold beverage lunch turned into a few hour hang out. We checked out the cruisers vs. locals baseball game and returned to our beach taco table until sunset. The muted blue and pink sky above the desert mountains, a church steeple silhouette, a loping black puppy trying to follow Sofia home on the rickety deck.
We somehow convinced Enrique to deliver diesel to our boat just as the last light faded. John and Anna courageously motored the deflating dinghy back while the rest of us hitched a ride on the fuel boat. We inflated it again and hopefully it holds! A cozy dinner onboard with proper wine and good conversation wrapped up our day together.
As the wind howls across the desert, and through the rigging, we dream.
Halloween 1700 hrs, 28 02 .6 115 23.5 SOG 5.8 COG 111 sailing downwind (120 degrees off the wind) with full main and genoa. by Diane
we are about 5 hrs from Turtle Bay, sailing downwind around 6k in the right direction, converging with about 5 other boats and have decided to go into anchor at night. Hopefully will be anchored by midnight and asleep shortly after that if we can calm down. all is well. Roxy is cooking lamb stew and rice. She is an awesome cook :) getting hungry. gotta go to take video of Roxy cooking for her mom to see. ooxx
Two sleeps on Celtic Song and everyone seems to have found their rhythm. Two hour watches and duties assigned. Meal prep and clean-up occur fairly effortlessly. The stress of everyday life is beginning to fade. The sea is an obvious prescription for our crew, five like-minded people, leaving their jobs, family and friends behind to live our dream, find adventure, solitude and possibly peace of mind...that RESET button that is a rarity.
All the beauty that nature has to offer surrounds us, encapsulates our 40ft vessel, as we surf up and down the 8ft swells (although last night was substantially larger and rockier)...still no complaints! The moon and stars show their brilliance, not to be outdone the sun rises and spectacularly a new day dawns. HAPPY HALLOWEEN! 1025 first sighting of land, Cedros Island. We should reach our first stop at Turtle Bay around 2300. This is where we will meet up with all the other boats and crew to enjoy activities before our next leg.
While I contemplate everything that has occurred to bring me to this place in time, I am overwhelmed with gratitude. So many things could have been different, some people might think they should have been different, but as this past year has brought about a multitude of changes that could have broke me, I found my sanity in sailing. When everything else fell apart, I never gave up on my dream to sail around the world...the dream just got a makeover. For a few of us this is the longest offshore passage to date. For me this will be the beginning of many more to come.
Fair winds! May all your days be graced with spectacular sunsets and brilliant sunrises. On that note it is warm and I am off to take my turn at showering on deck...Shelly
Diane Berol is an ocean adventurer and the captain of Celtic Song based in San Diego, CA.