Nov 25, 2011

Bahia de Tortugas – Near Hit in The Dark!

What you see in yourself is what you see in the world.
Afghan Proverb

Dolphins to starboard...
Left San Quintin around 11:20am when the winds finally picked up. We were able to leave anchor without motoring.

Most marinas do not allow sailing in/out so it feels good to be able to depart on wind power. A small hermit crab came up onboard on the anchor chain to say goodbye. Just before we departed, another whale came so close to the boat that she lifted and swayed from the bulk of this massive mammal. A little too close for my comfort zone but I have to remind myself that many people pay lots of money to experience such closeness with various forms of nature.

Winds were very good and we averaged out 6.2 knots so we decided to finally test the tow-behind-generator (which needs an average of 5 knots to work well). Within the first 10 minutes it gets caught in kelp and we have to clean that out but for the most part it works very well. A little more caution and attention needs to be paid when towing. Later on at night, a piece of netting gets caught in it – we have to be quite far out to sea to use it without all the debris/plants in the way. Otherwise, the rotation of the propellers in the water makes anywhere from 4-7 amps. That with the solar panels gives us about 8-12 amps per hour (on sunny days and with winds of course)…

Déjàlà does amazingly well at keeping us dry even with waves crashing on the bow. With such a low freeboard it is surprising. Woke up this morning to find a dead squid on starboard yet didn’t think we had that many waves. Thought Nikki would enjoy a taste/smell but she didn’t want to have anything to do with it.

On our first 24 hours we clocked 134 miles – a great sail – and we passed 30 degrees latitude – somewhat of a “psychological number” to reach….

Winds died off so we tried our new whisker pole. Déjàlà looked like a beautiful butterfly as the sun was setting.

We reached Turtle bay a couple of hours after sunset – our first night anchorage. At the entry of the bay, we got within 2 boat lengths of another vessel coming in on starboard. Mike had to shine a spotlight to show we were sailing (they were motoring) to let them know they were that close. The next morning that vessel (Aries) called to apologize – the boater community is so kind and well meaning. When anchoring at night, our eyes are so fixated on all the instruments (radar, speed, wind, etc) that we sometimes miscalculate what is right in front of us.

Total mileage to date: 630nm

Clever Boat Name:  Merl’eau (it helps to know French or wines?)

Today (11/25 – Happy Thanksgiving) is the first time (in 25 days) that we use fossil fuel to bring the dinghy to shore. It is definitely too windy and choppy to use the kayak safely. The Santa Ana winds are here for the weekend so we’ll ride them out safely anchored here before the next leg of our trip = Bahia Magdalena.

1 comment:

  1. Hey there you are really taking me back... I bought the Baker's 1965 Alberg Ericson 35 (Hull #6) in 2008 and did the Haha in 2009. Just got back to San Francisco this Spring. Would really enjoy seeing pictures of Dejala and comparing notes.

    Bon Voyage,

    Ford Johnson (


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