Leg 12_Part 1 - La Paz to Bahia Muertos
The Next Adventure- Mainland Mexico
We left La Paz on Tuesday, Nov. 27th after a 9 day
stay and made the 1 hr. passage to Bahia Falso to
prepare for our next day’s journey to Bahia de los
Muertos. The passage to Muertos was going to be 55
miles, which translates to 11 hrs underway. As is
always our goal to arrive at an anchorage in daylight
(and with the day light hours becoming shorter),
every hour counts. We had a good strategic plan for
starting 1 hr. out of La Paz.
Wednesday, Nov. 28th, we pulled up the hook at 6:30
AM and our journey began, just behind Ray and Jayne
of Adios with the same destination. The sky was
overcast and became completely cloud covered as we
moved south. Overall the passage was decent; we
arrived in Muertos at 4:15 PM. The wind and seas got
a bit ugly in the final hour or so; we figured it was
caused from the land breezes and “promontory
visiting Mazatlan on the way back north? The decision was made and Isla Isabella had won the nomination. John set to work
putting the coordinates for the trip into the GPS and reviewing weather reports, which looked ‘sort of” favorable. I busied
myself in the galley preparing “passage food”. The trip was going to be 255 nautical miles, a minimum of 51 hours, or 2 solid
days. The idea was to leave early the next day (Thursday) and get into Isabella sometime Saturday. Now, we know from
experience that the seas run on their own agenda. Just because you’re hungry doesn’t mean you’ll be able to cook. So,
preparation of quick meals makes life a bit easier (can you say sandwich with potato salad?).
We set the alarm for 6 AM, made coffee, prepared the boat for departure and were ½ hour behind Adios as we exited the
anchorage at 7 AM.
Looking back now, what should have been the biggest clue that we ignored?
That it had started to rain at 2 AM?
The thunder and lightening in the distance, both to the east and south? After all, that’s the direction we’re headed in.
That this was our first rain in Mexico and the weather is not AT ALL normal?
That the winds were blowing 10 to 12 knots in the anchorage and had done so all night?
What made us think those white caps would not just get worse?
When John said “let’s get the foul weather gear out before we go”. Ok, this is our vacation for goodness sake! We’re not
supposed to need that.
Well, once we got out of the bay and away from the “promontory effects”, it was blowing like snot!! Granted, the 25 to 28 knots
that registered on our wind meter were coming from the northwest and should have been giving us a nice “push”. However there
were the 8’ swells at every second (or so it seemed) slamming into our hindquarter, making the boat heel at 20 to 25 degrees and
then back up again Over and over and over and over. It’s raining. We have donned our foul weather gear, our life jackets and
are hooked into the lifelines with our tethers. It’s going to be a long 2 days.
At 7:15 AM we attempt to hear the weather from Don of Summer Passage being broadcast on the Amigo Net on our SSB radio.
Propagation is lousy. All we’re getting is a high-pitched noise and lots of scratch. He’s having the same problem so he switches to
another frequency. Well, that’s a bit better. John is manning the helm and making sail adjustments to try and balance the boat in
these impossible seas. I’m propped with my legs spread between the nav station and galley area, with a death grip on the rails to
keep upright while I strain to hear his forecast. All I can really copy is that today’s weather will maintain today, go flat calm
tomorrow for a couple of hours and then come back as a “screamer” from the south with winds of 20 to 30 knots. Agh! That’s
even worse than we have now. That would be an “uphill ride”. Did I hear him correctly? The reception was pretty scratchy.
Time to rethink our plan.
It is now 8 AM. We’ve been out an hour and we have only 250 miles to go. We turn on the VHF and answer a call from Jayne
on Adios. They are returning to Muertos. We’re on the same page with that decision….so are we!
An hour (or so) later we’re back at anchor. I’m inclined to have an alcoholic beverage to celebrate our safety….I just don’t want
to be buried at sea…but I don’t need it any longer. In the safety of our home I make an omelet and serve it up with juice and
John gets more weather reports via the internet and Ray from Adios discusses our particular plans with Don via SSB. The rain
has stopped (but not the winds). Looks like will try it again tomorrow IF we’ve learned to heed today’s lessons and it’s OK to