Sunday, May 13, 2012

2011/2012 Sailing Season; It's a Wrap!

Pat Hedges aboard El Tiburon as we depart Marina La Cruz for Mazatlan
It was a weird winter in Banderas Bay, everyone said so. Cooler than average weather, more wind than usual, bus loads of condo people going to Philo’s Bar the local cruiser hangout, and some other unnameable strangeness no one was able to put a finger on. Aboard El Tiburon we had our own “hinkiness” going on (mentioned in earlier posts so I won’t repeat myself). Despite all that, being based out of the quaint village of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, surrounded by the natural beauty of Banderas Bay, along with the friendliness of the local Mexicanos made our sailing season memorable. We had a good visit with my brother, made terrific new cruising friends, sailed amongst leaping whales under blue skies, ate loads of fresh tuna, laughed and cried. What else could one ask from life?
After 3 months in Marina La Cruz it was time for us to hit the road. Our buddy Pat, a trusted sailor and Commodore of Moro Bay Yacht Club, agreed to help sail El Tiburon up to Mazatlan and across the Sea of Cortez to La Paz. The necessary 3 or 4 day weather window to sail the 400 miles was coming up fast and we had to be ready to leave pronto. No problem for Pat. 
Within 48 hours, Pat hopped on a plane and arrived in Puerto Vallarta ready to sail. Thankfully, our crossing was smooth, and uneventful, with the highlight being Pat’s 60th birthday. A single candle perched upon enchiladas may have been humble, but our gratitude was heartfelt.

An Enchilada Cake?

After a brief pit stop for Sparky at Stone Island near Mazatlan, we continued on our passage and made anchorage in Ensenada de los Muertos 30 hours later in time for dinner with our friends from Oceanaire and Iridium at the Mexican restaurant on the beach. Chili Rellenos and Margaritas were welcomed nourishment.

Pat and Spark follow the Diamonds Across the Sea of Cortez
The next morning our 4 am departure did not save us from the 28 knots of wind gusting down the Cerralvo Channel and slamming into our port bow. I stayed snugged in bed with Spark, while the boys enjoyed a brisk close-haul sail north. Once outside the channel, as usual, the winds abated and we glided easily along our way towards lovely Marina Costa Baja on the outskirts of La Paz.

Costa Baja Marina and Resort
Unfortunately, we were not able to visit old friends we hadn’t seen for the season or use the all the resort’s 5 star amenities, as our stay in Costa Baja was short, very short. The morning after our arrival D and Pat loaded up the car, then me, next Spark, and off we went off into the sunrise for our 800 mile journey home.  We reached Guerrero Negro in time for dinner, and with most of the narrow-white knuckle-winding-hairpin curves behind us, Pat jumped on an overnight bus to San Diego, and amtrak-ed it up to San Luis Obispo while D and I slept in a cozy little motel. We made it to San Diego by nightfall, glad to be home. By the month’s end Darrell and buddies, Pat and Fred, will sail El Tiburon north to Ensenada out of harms way for hurricane season. Spark and I will wait for their safe return in San Diego.

Based out of San Diego last summer, we had a blast sailing to Catalina and up to Santa Barbara. This season we wanted a change, and decided a good “Summer Solution” was to buy a Land Yacht and visit National Parks north to Canada.

Tranquila; Just a tease pic for now

Stay tuned for reports from Tranquila, our spanking new 25-foot International Serenity Airstream.

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