Wednesday, February 5, 2014

First Blog Post–Sea of Cortez Crossing 12-19-2013

Thursday, December 19, 2013 Punta Mita, Nayarit, Mexico

We arrived safely in Banderas Bay at 1700 hours (5 pm), and anchored at Punta Mita, the first anchorage, rather than continuing into the bay to Puerto Vallarta. About 20 boats are anchored, including new and old cruising friends.

WE HAD A SPECTACULAR, GREAT, WONDERFUL, AND DULL motor across the sea of Cortez. We left Muertos, in Baja California Sur about 0600 with the moon setting behind us and the sun raising on the bow.

      The setting moon in our wake, leaving Muertos, BCS

     The sun rising in the east, on our bow, coming us to the crossing

The winds were light at about 10-12 knots. Amazingly, radio propagation was great, being able to talk on the VHF to vessels over 150 miles away – usually VHF is line of sight about 20 miles. The sun set about 1800 and the moon rose on our port side about 1900, lighting our way for the rest of the night. We passed 2 large vessels, which were either fishing, towing a barge or a tuna pin – they had their outriggers out, like they were fishing, but towing something that was huge…never got close enough to figure it out.

During the night we were successful on our first informal watches – Becky got a couple hours of sleep, then gave me a break to get about an hour. In the early morning, she was able to give me 2 hours of sleep, enough to make it thru the night. Only excitement during the night was trying to dodge a very large, very lit up vessel. Every time I changed course to go around it, it followed my change. Finally, I headed south and was able to get around and turn back to our eastward course.

Dawn brought calm seas, no wind.  Looks like a small lake instead of the Sea of Cortez opening into the Pacific Ocean


We decided to skip Isla Isabela and Chacala and head right for Banderas Bay. As that added about 40 miles to our trip, we increased speed to 10 knots when we had 100 miles to go. The seas remained flat all day, which let us read, nap a little, discuss the issues of life, and enjoy the world.

Outside of the bay, we were welcomed by 2 pods of dolphins. Arrival at the anchorage brought us the welcoming committee of a small whale, blowing his nose and wagging his tail.

What a great way to spend a December day – air temp at 85 F, water Temp at 82 F. We did about 345 nautical miles in 44-1/2 hours. And not fighting or arguing all the way…surely a notable first.

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