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Friday, May 07, 2010

Baja Bash Day 1

May 7, 2010 11:00AM CST
Day 1712
Position: 22°57'N 110°06'W
Underway Cabo San Lucas, MX toward San Diego, USA (760nm remaining)
Miles YTD: 3966
Miles since day 1: 30,190

Day 1 of the Baja Bash has begun true to form with winds and current on the nose. We departed the Cabo anchorage around 8AM to beat building winds on the cape. Weatherman Don on s/v Summer Passage predicts the next three days will provide 'benign' conditions and I think what this translates to in reality is 15 knot on the nose with adverse current of nearly 1 knot... or at least so far. Currently, we are making only 4.8 knots overground with a boat speed through the water of 5.8 knots. Pretty slow for us.

We arrived in Cabo early yesterday morning and pulled straight up to the fuel dock to load up on diesel. LightSpeed carries only 48 gallons of diesel in two tanks which translates into a hypothetical 48 hours of motoring with two engines both running at 2600RPM. So our range is pretty limited with only 48 gallons of fuel. To bolster our range for the Baja Bash we've relegated ourselves to carrying lots of fuel in jugs on deck. We have two huge 13 gallon jugs, two 5 gallon jugs and one 6 gallon jug for a total of 42 extra gallons of fuel which nearly doubles our range to a hypothetical 90 hours. So at 5 knots we could go as far as 450 nautical miles if we burned every last drop. In reality we'd never run our primary tanks below 5 gallons each so that drops us back to 80 hours or about 400nm at 5 knots. Turtle Bay is 425nm from Cabo so you can see it's going to be a tough call if we have to motor all the way and our speed overground averages less than 5.3 knots (the speed required to arrive in 80 hours). Why so much fuss? Simple, Turtle Bay has fuel.

We also did a bit of grocery shopping at 'City Club' a Costco like store located within easy walking distance from the Marina dinghy dock (US $2 for a day pass). Shopping at City Club was really pretty ridiculous for us as we really don't like to buy in bulk. If we want some Mexican hot sauce we would prefer to not have to buy it by the six pack. We skipped most of the isles which is unusual for us and managed to escape with only one shopping cart full and 1,500 less pesos in our pocket (Peso to USD exchange around 13:1).

One fun surprise was the arrival of s/v Linda an Atlantic 42 cat very similar to LightSpeed. We spent a few hours engrossed in interesting tours of both boats and engaging discussion on cruising the Atlantic 42 as only two owners of the same boat can. We wish Tom and Maryann a fast and comfortable voyage to Hilo, Hawaii and hope to cross paths again before too long.

Cabo is a great place to visit, but not the best place to enjoy a peaceful anchorage on a small yacht. Although the bay provides nice protection from prevailing winds and solid holding in firm sand there is no escape from the throng of glass bottom boats, water taxis, jet skis, party barges and throbbing bass from shore side night clubs all hours of the day and night.

Murphys law clearly states that: A solitary yacht anchored in Cabo San Lucas Bay shall be denied no possible harassment. Jet ski riders shall circle dangerously close to anchored yachts at the highest speed possible and preferably be operated by persons boasting an absence of any common sense. All such jet ski operators must enjoy a high level of ignorant bliss in regards to boating practices and complete disregard for any semblance of courtesy. The second rule of anchored yachts is that 'Glass Bottom' boat taxi drivers shall at all times pass as close as practical to anchored yachts even if passing closely is considerably out of their way. Further, water taxi operators shall at all times ensure maximum wake speed is maintained while within close proximity of anchored yachts... especially important at night. Needless to say we are glad to have left Cabo in our wake and hope our next visit to this beautiful land will be as guest of friends in a decadent shore side condo in a quite neighborhood.

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