Leg 5 - Ensenada to San Quintin (the unplanned stop)
Leg 5 - Ensenada to San Quintin
February 22 2007
120 nm/21.5 hrs
Does anybody in the class know what a GALE is? A gale is 34-40 kts (Force 8) winds with 18 ft waves. A gale with rain that
starts at 1am in the pitch black of night is something to respect. They call them Chubascos down here. They come fast and furious.
We could see the squall lines coming on the radar from the NW. Fortunately we had decided to furl the headsail and double reef
the main at sunset. Thanks Bridget. It took about 30 minutes for the first squal to hit us. This one was not bad. Time for John to go
off watch. Sometime later Bridget says, "Honey, I need some help. Can you get up here? The autohelm can't steer a course
anymore." I take the wheel and look out. Looking out over the dodger there is nothing but darkness, pounding rain, crashing seas
and wind. Nothing to reference a course. A quick look at the chartplotter for our DCOG (Desired Course Over Ground) shows
155 degrees magnetic. Good, now we just need to watch the compass and steer to 155. We are running downwind in 30-35 kts
with heavy following seas and  can only manage to stay within 15 degrees either side of 155 degrees hand steering. We are moving
at 7 to 7.5 kts which is really screaming for our hull. We would like to drop the main but decide that standing at the mast to do so
would be too dangerous now.
Our original destination was Turtle Bay over 220 nm south from our current postion. Looks like we will have to duck into San
Quintin about 55 nm south. We arrive in San Quintin at 9:00 am. Seven hours of hand steering in stormy seas. Tired but happy to
be at anchor. Later we heard that winds were recorded at 40+ kt at San Quintin.
The wind continues to blow 20-30 kts for an unprecedented 9 days at anchor. We never leave the boat while at San Quintin.
Suprisingly we kept busy educating ourselves on all the equipment we had installed before we left. Also fishing, reading and
The coast near Ensenada heading south to
Turtle Bay.
One of the Dockwise ships headed for Ensenada with Isla Todos
Santos in the background. The Dockwise ships carry motor and
sail yachts in their hold. If you look closely you can see masts
behind the bridge.
Isla Todos Santos near Ensenada
Pictures of our stay in San Quintin