Time To Head South by Brian

Neptune is certainly smiling upon us today! We’re on a nice beam reach in 15-20 knots of breeze. I’ve seen the speed over ground top 9 knots a few times. The sea is a little lumpy but nothing the autopilot can’t handle. Delos is sailing beautifully taking the seas in stride. The sky is littered with puffy white clouds stretching off over the horizon, each having a unique shape and personality that reveals itself as they slowly drift overhead. There must be over 1000 in view at the moment. At least they are kind enough to let the sunshine through. We couldn’t have picked a better weather window to cross the Sea of Cortez, a trip of just under 300 miles. We departed Bahia De Los Muertos this morning and if the weather holds we should in in Chacala on the mainland in about 1.5 days.

After our time in the Partida anchorage North of Espiritu Santo we picked up our hook and headed back to La Paz to get fuel, provisions, and to pick up our newly upholstered cockpit cushions. The locally known Rodriquez Brothers did an awesome job and charged us about 1/5 of the quote we got in San Diego. We had a great downwind sail for the entire trip and got to fly our mizzen ballooner (asymmetric mizzen spinnaker) for the first time. It’s really a cool sail to fly and we made good speed running about 140 degrees off the wind with the jib, main, and ballooner flying. We caught up with some boats that left the anchorage before us and made great time sailing right up to the buoys marking the entrance to the La Paz channel.

While in La Paz we had Kevin and Katie from Pahto and Eric and Amy from Secret Agent Man over for a taco feast. Everyone showed up after sunset wearing sweat shirts or pullovers- something we havent seen in some time. The weather is getting noticeably cooler. Although it’s still a pleasant 80F during the day the nights are getting chilly. When we saw an overnight low in the 50’s that pretty much sealed the deal on when to head further south. So we picked up our hook once again and headed 60 miles south to Bahia De Los Muertos to wait for a good weather window to cross the Sea of Cortez.

Muertos is a beautiful protected anchorage with turquoise water so clear we could see our anchor on the sandy bottom in 25 feet. While snorkeling and free diving to the bottom I suddenly found myself surrounded by a huge school of tuna! There were hundreds of them less than 200 feet from Delos . I dove down to the bottom to get under the school and while making my ascent in the middle they parted leaving a perfectly symmetrical space around me. You could tell they weren’t scared, just cautious always staying out of touching distance. The school was swimming in a large circle which allowed me to stay in the middle of them for about 10 minutes. They were beautiful, healthy looking yellow fin ranging from 2-4 feet in length. I’d guess most of them weighed in at 30 pounds although I’m sure some of the larger ones were in the 40-50 pound range. I snorkeled back to Delos to grab our under water camera and a lure. I had a bright idea that I could catch something for dinner. I think it was fortunate for me that they weren’t interested in my lure and hand line. As I was jiggling the lure in front of a rather large specimen I had a brief flash of me body surfing through the anchorage being towed by an angry yellow fin. I came up with plan B and returned to Delos for my 5 foot aluminum sling spear. It was not meant to be however as the school had moved on by the time I got back.

Petter and Octavia on Bella Marina have similar plans to us and we caught up to them in Muertos. They also departed this morning so I’m sure we’ll see them on the mainland again in a few days. Right now our plans are to head to Chacala, then work our way down over the next week or so to Puerto Vallarta where we’ll spend Christmas and New Years.

We also had internet access for our short stop in La Paz. Be sure to check out the new photos we uploaded.