Saturday, December 4, 2010

Bahia de Tortugas to Bahia Santa Maria

Bahias de Tortugas (Turtle Bay) turned out to be an interesting stop. While anchored there, we purchased 20 gallons of diesel fuel which Mark had dispensed into plastic jerry cans and then filtered before adding it to “Blue Rodeo’s” tanks. We have heard of no problems with the fuel there but were still being extra careful so as not to contaminate our fuel supply. The first evening, we dingied over to a boat that we recognized from our time in San Diego and and picked up it’s owners, Larry and Melanie. They had spent 10 days in Turtle Bay last year while delivering a boat northbound. They were happy to show us around the small town and introduce us to a few folks they remembered from their previous visit. We all had delicious tacos for dinner at a simple, open-air stand and finished the evening with a rum drink (or two) aboard their boat in the anchorage. The next day, after going ashore to find an Internet connection, Anne was able to trade a few dollars and a baseball cap for a plastic bag filled with freshly caught Yellowfin tuna fillets. That afternoon, we were happy to see that other friends, Janice and Henry aboard their beautiful Nordhaven 55, “Cloudy Bay”, had arrived and were anchored not far from us. We stopped bay for a chat and invited them to come to our boat for happy hour followed by dinner ashore. We were anxious to show them around and take them to the same taco stand where we’d eaten the night before. As we walked with them through the town’s dirt streets, our noses soon lead the way, guided by the delicious smells coming from the stand’s outdoor charcoal grill. While enjoying our dinner, we all remarked that this was exactly the authentic Mexican experience that we’d come for.

In order to arrive at our next destination, Bahia Santa Maria during the daylight hours, we departed Turtle Bay at 2AM the next morning and motor sailed across the brightly moonlit water until sunrise when a gentle breeze was felt blowing from our port, rear quarter. Soon, we were making good speed under sails alone and by late morning, raised our colorful, light-weight spinnaker (parachute-like head sail) to further take advantage of the winds. With our trusty autopilot steering “Blue Rodeo”, we sliced through the seas while sharing watch duties, reading and catching a nap or two. The day passed quickly and, before we knew it, the sun was slipping below the horizon. We watched intently as the last light faded hoping for a glimpse of the elusive “green flash”. Alas, it was soon dark and our first sighting would have to wait for another sunset.

The next day found us entering Bahia Santa Maria and anchoring not far from Henry and Janice and a couple of other familiar boats. After a short nap, we dingied over to see Mark and Lori aboard their Pacific Seacraft 40, “Thor”, who had already spent time ashore hiking and exploring. They gave us some tips as to where to hike and, with Henry and Janice, we dingied to a rocky beach where we scrambled ashore for a hike. With spectacular beauty in every direction, we found it difficult to decide which way to point our cameras.

The next day, we picked up Henry and Janice and dingied across the bay to another beach where smooth sand stretched for miles. There, barefooted, we strolled and watched the sea birds play in the surf and collected a few shells. We had dinner that night aboard their boat and all planned for our next leg around a peninsula to Bahia Magdelena

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