Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Cape

After San Juanico, the Honcho hurried south to La Paz where we spent a couple of days to refuel and reprovision. On May 28th  we left La Paz for Puerto Balandra, a favorite of ours, where we spent the night tucked into the southwest cove. The Coromuel wind blew hard all night and into the next morning, but by 1100 it had settled down to a 15 knot southwesterly and we got underway, bound for Ensenada de Los Muertos, on the east side of the cape. Our course took us north, then east through the Canal de San Lorenzo and then southeast through the Canal de Cerralvo. There the wind turned southeast, exactly the direction we wanted to go. It brought with it a southeast current of about a knot, so it was a slow passage through that channel.

The Honcho arrived at Los Muertos about 2030 and got the anchor down just after the sun set over the mountains. The southeast wind died at night but the swell didn't and we spent a fairly rolly night in the anchorage there. We were on the move again at dawn, bound for Bahia de Los Frailes, about 45 miles down the coast. After the sun rose, the southeast wind returned and the Honcho punched into it for about eight hours, arriving at Los Frailes around 1700. Los Frailes is open to the southeast and thus was not a suitable anchorage with a fairly heavy southeast sea rolling in. We gave it a look and decided to continue on to San Jose del Cabo.

An hour or so later the wind turned around and blew 20-22 knots out of the northeast, bringing a following sea with it and we made a quick passage to San Jose, arriving in the harbor after dark, about 2115 on May 30th.  It was a moonless night and we had never been into the harbor. On top of that, the harbor is new and our charts don't show it. We pulled out the I Pad with its Navionics navigation software and used it to navigate the last mile to the harbor. I think that software is based on satellite photos instead of charts that were originally made back when the Spaniards were running the show around here, and are very accurate. In the future we'll convert all of our navigation gear to this technology.

We are now in San Jose del Cabo, refueled and ready to begin the last portion of our voyage, the 900 or so miles up the west coast of Baja to Long Beach, CA. With northwesterly winds dominant on this coast, which is exactly the direction we want to go, we'll sit tight here in San Jose and wait for those winds, which have been blowing hard recently to lie down a bit.

Our course on the first part of this passage will take us northwest along the Baja coast to Man-O-War Cove, inside Bahia Magdalena. Then we'll head for Bahia Santa Maria, Bahia San Juanico, Punta Abreojos and Turtle Bay, where we'll spend a few days.

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