Cabo San Lucas to La Paz

Cabo San Lucas is exactly the chaotic, Las Vegas meets Mexican Beach town that I’ve read about. Between the jet-skis being rented by the hundreds right off the beach, the water skiers, and the water taxis, the anchorage was particularly loud, wavy, crazy, and annoying. The competing hotels and restaurants would start blasting music and contests and lunch specials from early in the morning through LATE into the evening. The town itself was littered with “showgirl” nightclubs and more live bands playing 80’s “hair band” covers than the 80’s actually had.
The snorkeling was pretty nice around the cape… if you were OK with hundreds of other snorkelers sharing your experience and water taxi’s zipping them to and fro. There was even a boat called the “Sea-Eye” that had a large underwater glass dome for the customers viewing pleasure. It even had fish food dispensers to ensure some great views.
The awards ceremony for the 2011 Baja-Haha was held outside the Marina office. This was to be the last big hurrah. There was free beer and awards for each boat division and many other categories such as the oldest crew, the youngest, the worst boat bite…etc. I tied for the worst boat bite with the story of my drilled hand. But, better than that, Cat2Fold tied for first place in the multihull division!!!
Trent and Charlie had return tickets for Monday 11/7. So with a plan to single hand my way up the east coast of Baja towards La Paz, I tried to hurry them up and off the boat as early as possible. I also discovered we were out of cooking propane so I tried to find a place to have that filled, but there was nothing immediately available, so I ended up switching my port tank with my starboard tank. This left me without the grill or hot water, but that was fine because we have not had a working water maker since the beginning, and showers with our limited water supply was a no-no.
So, with a later start than ideal, I pulled out of the Cabo San Lucas harbor and started heading northeast toward an anchorage called Los Frailes, 45 miles away. The winds were light when I started, so I motor sailed with one engine at half throttle for the first hour. then the winds started to pick up. I was heading directly up into the wind, and the waves were 6-10 feet, short duration and steep. There was a strong Norther blowing in the upper Sea of Cortez and I was seeing the repercussions of that. It really wasn’t too bad, and, after motoring the last hour in, I reached my anchorage just after sunset. Typically, I always try and time my arrival into any anchorage before dark. Sometimes, however, it just ends up out of your hands. Especially if you are trying to sail the whole way. I anchored safely in 13′ of water, had a quick bite and went to bed.
The next morning, as anticepated, the seas had grown, and the winds were blowing 25-30 knots. I was in a safe anchorage with about 20 other Haha boats, and we all just hung out there for a few days waiting for the weather to turn. The snorkeling was fantastic. There is also a large white granite outcropping coming out of the water creating some neat looking bouldering/climbing. I snorkeled right up yo a point below this outcrop, jumped out of the water, removed my fins (which are large enough to wear my water shoes under) and started tooling around on some fine rock. After playing long enough, I even discovered an old bolted route there. So, clearly, I was not the only one to discover the climbing potential here at Los Frailes.
Randomly, for what appeared to be a pretty darned remote and isolated bay, I was able to find a good wifi signal.
Friday was the day that all this wether was supposed to be gone. But, from my own assessment, it appeared that Friday was gonna have virtually no wind, and I didn’t want to have to motor the next 50 miles. Thursday wasn’t looking too bad, so I left at first light in the morning. The seas were 10-12 feet, short duration and steep. Winds were still blowing 20-25 knots. I had started out under full sail, but quickly decided that a couple of reefs in each sail would be more prudent. After sailing that way for a while, the winds appeared to lighten, so I shook out both reefs. While doing that, the starboard sail flogged one too many times and I ripped a nearly 2 foot hole in the sail, just behind the luff. BUMMER! I was upset with myself. Anyway, I was still able to use that sail with a single reef in and I made it to my next anchorage, Bahia de los Muertes, again just after sunset.
This time I was exhausted. The seas had beat me up pretty good. I had made tentative plans through Deidre’s help, to have Ben Squires, my next crew mate, to meet me here at Los Muertes. Again, I was able to find some wifi and contacted Ben, he was on his way. So I set up the dinghy and went to shore to pick him up at a restaurant called 1535. We had some beer and food, which tasted better than anything I have had in many days, then headed out to the boat.
We decided to spend the next day here, paddle boarding, playing and hoping to find a sewing machine to repair my torn sail. Then some “Diamonds” appeared here at Los Muertes. First off, “Double Diamond”, a Lagoon 440, had a nice sewing machine on board with some repair cloth. They had never used it before, so I did my best to convince them that this would be a great learning experience for everyone. Later that afternoon, I went over to “Double Diamond” with my sail. It took us about 3 hours or so to figure out the machine (which had some bent parts) and sew on a nice, large patch. I was so excited! The same repair in La Paz probably would have taken days and cost hundreds of dollars! Thank You Jeff and Melody from Double Diamond.
No sooner had I returned to Cat2Fold, when our anchorage neighbors, Larry and Nelda aboard “Diamond Girl” hailed us to comment how good I looked out there sailing yesterday. Somehow the conversation turned to fishing and the next thing I knew, we were invited to come grab a to go package of fresh Dorado (Mahi-Mahi). They even sent some warm rice over with it! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I LOVE my Haha family!!!
John and Trinity from “Michaella” came over for a quick visit. With many years of experience on the water, John had some info to share with us. He had waited to sail from Los Frailes to Los Muertes til Friday. Turns out they had the perfect sail. No motoring necessary, flat seas, good winds. He basically pointed out that I should have waited also. He also pointed out that I need to be paying more and more attention to the tides. I was planning on heading North again first thing in the morning. We discussed how first thing in the morning the tide would be heading out and we would be battling a current of approximately 4-5 knots. Much better to wait until 1 pm to head out. This would mean some more night sailing, which I’m OK with, but with much less of a battle. Live and learn. There is a lot of collective knowledge available here within the cruising community. We left at 1pm. We dropped anchor 12 hours later in Playa de Ballander, about 10 miles from downtown La Paz.
The next morning we quickly headed into La Paz to restock our dwindling food and beer supply. That took us the rest of the day. While returning to the boat with the dinghy loaded with groceries, we experienced something that only happens 6 times or so a year here… it rained! It really rained!
I’m gonna post this while I have a wifi connection… more later!