May 25, 2010

Another Bash Up Baja

The trip north along Baja's west coast is ruefully referred to as the "Baja Bash," not because it's a big party, but because bashing headlong into wind and wave out of the northwest is pretty much the story for the entire 800 miles up the coast from Cabo San Lucas.  This year was no exception, so it took our hardy crew - Jerry, Dennis, Connie and Mary Lee   -a full two weeks to mostly motor-sail Sea Story up to her present berth here in San Diego's West Harbor Island Marina. Of course, it really wasn't all that bad.  That two weeks included one full week anchored in Turtle Bay waiting out high winds with a dozen other "bashers" who were working their way north with us. And, cruisers being mostly social animals, we had a big party to break up the week.

This was the party at "La Palapa," the  Turtle Bay beachfront restaurant operated by the very hospitable Carlos and Mercedes who are pictured in the top row right in front of the open door to the kitchen.  Great party with our own music, singing and lots of new friends waiting out a week of strong winds on the baja outside.

Given it's location, roughly halfway up the Baja peninsula, and it's good all-around protection, Turtle Bay is a good place to hang out during a big blow.  It is pretty well off the main road, and offers only limited services (no banks or ATMs), but it does have fuel, food and beer.  The local folks are quite friendly to cruisers, and you do grow kind of attached to the place after a few days anchored in the protection of the surrounding desert hills.   Still, after a week, it was easy to rouse the crew out of their warm berths before sunrise to raise anchor and head out on Friday, the 14th of May.  We arrived in San Diego and a whole different culture three days later.

Our crew on deck at sunset in Turtle Bay. This photo was shot by our neighbor, Dr. Lou Freeman from Fresno.  We traded off hosting dinner on our boats, and he shared some amazing photos of blue footed boobies riding his lifelines in the Sea of Cortez.

Our Turtle Bay neighbor, Dr. Lou Freeman who was single-handing up the Baja coast on his 50' Swan.  Lou has done two Single-Handed Transpac races from San Francisco to Hawaii, so a solo "Bash" is really no big deal for him. 

These blue-footed boobies were Lou's companions for 36 hours in the Sea of Cortez.  He was able to approach close enough to touch each one of them during their stay.  His only complaint;they made one hell of a mess on his deck! 

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