Friday, November 28, 2008

El destino

We have reached our destination. Geographically, we are just a dozen or so miles from La Paz, where we will spend the next few months. But before surrendering to the security of the marina, we are spending a few days anchored in a bay between Isla Partida and Isla Espiritu Santo. It feels just right, it must be "el destino", the place we have been heading for. The water is turquoise and very clear. Beaches of white sand run along the shore. Steep cliffs rise up several thousand feet to our north and south, made up of reddish lava rock, with sparse cacti and brush here and there. Kayak expeditions take us to heron hangouts and reefs alive with fish. Crazy winds blow up at sunset, mocking our sense of security and laid back comfort, but bouncing the boat only gently now that we are protected from the swell of the open Pacific.
Yesterday, we celebrated Thanksgiving with a dinner made out of our now depleted stores - pumpkin flan was the closest we could get to traditional, but we were very thankful, none the less for this fine 'destino'.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Happy Birthday, Captain

We reached the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula yesterday. Coincidently, it was the Captain's Birthday. Since shopping for a gift wasn't an option, we made the entire day his birthday present.
At 1 am, when he came on deck for his night watch, I gave him a waning moon that looked just like an orange section. At 4 am, he got the tropics, as we crossed the Tropic of Cancer off Todos Santos. At eight, he got the headlands called Cabo Falso, at nine the rocky shores off Cabo San Lucas. In the afternoon, after we had tied up at a marina near San Jose del Cabo, he got a beer, a shower and a nap. After the sun went down, he received the traditional travel birthday cake, which is a Pineapple Upside Down Cake. He was a happy man.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Late morning now, Indigo is sailing upwind at about five knots in a very light breeze. It is perfectly clear, and the temperature must be about 75 degrees. The sea is quite calm, the motion of the boat quite smooth.
We've been having conditions like this for several days now, and we can't quite believe it. Are we really awake? We've just left an anchorage off the little seaside village of Abreojos, which means open your eyes. The name comes from the reefs and rocks that make the approach to the anchorage a bit tricky. You must pay attention! But our eyes are open and this isn't a dream.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Dawn in my favorite moment during these long passages, and madrugada, which means dawn, is one of my favorite Spanish words. The watches at night, especially when it is cloudy and dark, can be a little grim, a little frightening. We've had two night passages when the wind has been strong, and called for sail changes, so that neither of us got much sleep.
When dawn breaks, we can see the land masses and the sea often settles down. Everything seems a bit more manageable. Optimism returns.
We are now about a third of the way down the Pacific Coast of Baja, anticipating our anchorage at Bajia Tortugas, which is protected from the swell and should allow us a few nights of easy sleep.

Friday, November 07, 2008

In Mexico

Indigo and her crew are now in Mexico.
We crept out of San Diego in the dark very early yesterday morning, and sailed most of the day in a gusty, Santa Ana type east wind. We arrived in Ensenada mid-afternoon, and spent a few hours yesterday, and a few more this morning, completing the paperwork necessary to check ourselves and the boat into Mexico. Now we are off to the nearby Guadalupe Valley to sample some of the good food and wine for which the place has become famous.
Tomorrow we will head south. From here to Cabo San Lucas there is not much in the way of ports, so we expect that our communication will be limited to what we can accomplish via the single side band radio. We are delighted to be back in Mexico, and find that our little bit of Spanish is bubbling to the surface. Gracias a Dios!