We have been waiting for so long to finally get into the Gulf of California, and now we are leaving again. We want to make another attempt to repair the turbo from the diesel engine in La Cruz. And another important reason for going to Banderas Bay is that we can still sail together with the Carry On for a while before they start their return journey to Europe. The next good reason is that the Fradolin II is also planning to return to La Cruz for repairs, so we can also meet up with Doro and Frank again before we start our attempt to reach the USA.
In the Gulf of California, nature is supposed to be very beautiful and partly untouched. The landscape was really something special, but we only got close to the wildlife when we were back in Banderas Bay. There, a group of humpback whales is currently staying. As soon as we arrived, we were able to observe them for a long time and up close, and during our stay, whales swam around the boats again and again. At night, a half-grown whale came and circled our boat, we could hear its snorting well, but could not see it so well because of its dark body against the dark water. The next night he swam around us again, this time hitting the water with his fin. Internet research provides various explanations for this: as a form of communication, as a game or to herd small fish together, humpback whales hit the water with their fins. Maybe the little one thinks we are a mini group of whales with our three hulls and asks us to play. One night I woke up and heard the whales singing. The sound waves are picked up by our hulls, you can’t hear anything on deck. A whale was very close to us, surely “our” young again. The others responded with several voices from further away. Had the little one taken off again?
The journey from San Carlos to La Cruz de Huanacaxtle took us almost exactly 4 days (including nights). We covered 551 nm, average speed 5.6 knots, maximum 16.0 knots. Wind ranged from good to a bit much (peak 32 knots) to absolute calm. During the calm, we sailed under engine for a while, but at a comfortable pace. This allowed James to catch up again. The Carry On had started a few hours after us and was therefore behind us. But they are going at least 6-7 knots under engine, otherwise James gets impatient. 😉 The Carry On’s repaired AIS meant we could see their signal almost all the time and we kept in touch by radio. They were a bit handicapped because they had contracted food poisoning and were still being sick for most of the duration of the turn.
This time we sailed in the right direction, namely with the wind. We had the opportunity to set two different spinnakers and a parasailor during the time. In doing so, we took it easy and have finally found a system to deploy the sails without the sheets and the uphaul of the recovery hoses getting tangled. It has proved good to pull the luff out of the bag, walk along it with your hands to make sure that the sail has not twisted. I still only go forward with helmet, life west and gloves to handle the big sails. But when taking down a spinnaker, the line went over my hand and there was a burn on the index finger that was sticking out of the glove. So, in the future, I’ll upgrade and work with completely closed gloves. One evening and half the night we were able to sail with a Parasailor. It felt like lying in the marina. Only by the sound of the fairway could I tell in the cabin that the boat was moving at all. The waves were not so huge that evening and so we sailed quite calmly. I was able to sleep well. We took advantage of a phase under motor to use the electricity that was generated. We quickly turned on the washing machine, ran the water maker and cooked rice pudding. Then the warm water was used for showering. Having to sail under engine power is always a bit frustrating, but we made the best of it. The solar system normally gives off plenty of power, but while sailing, when the autopilot and instruments are constantly on and the sun is not shining all day or one side of the solar panels is shaded by the sail, we have to keep an eye on how the batteries are charging.
All in all, a very nice tour, which was crowned by whale watching at the end.
The repair of the turbos of the engines of the Carry On and ours failed. The mechanic who first went to the Carry On got seasick on the dinghy trip and found out on board that he could not repair the turbo. A replacement would cost 5000 US dollars. Both skippers decided to continue without the turbo until they reached an area where it will be available at a reasonable price.
In the meantime, the Carry On has left for the south. We spend some more time in the bay. On Sundays, there is a market along the pier of the marina in La Cruz. There are all kinds of things to buy and look at, from handicrafts to clothes to special foods. There was even a band playing live music.
Sewing a seam on the sail of the Fradolin led to the discovery of some problems with my sewing machine. I spent two days troubleshooting. Now I know the machine really well. The seam on the sail doesn’t look pretty, but fortunately Dort and Frank are very relaxed about it, the main thing is that it holds. 🙂
There is much more going on here on land and on the water than in the summer/autumn of last year. It is an advantage that we already know all the bus routes and also know where to find which shops.
We set off for the next larger stages. First we sailed only 15 nautical miles to the end of the bay with the afternoon wind. Here we anchored overnight and from here we will sail to the outside of Baja California and in a few stages up the coast towards the north.
The small spray spot is a fountain from a whale. That was on the way out of the bay.
As always, you can follow our progress on the map on our homepage. When we sail, a new position point is set every two hours.