We woke up in Isla Cedros at around 5AM. Not a big surprise since we both passed out at 9PM after the long passage. We had a Turkish breakfast with sucuk and tomatoes and prepped the dinghy to go to shore explore the town of the island, Cedros Village.
It was a little early when we got there, so not much was happening, but the town was pretty and the exploration fun. Let me show you in image, sadly coming later.
On our way back, we bought a couple of things from the local stores (enjoying a little bit of civilization!): Color pencils and a Spanish-English dictionary, as well as a cucumber and some sort of sweet enchiladas – the island had a little more fresh produce than we expected (we expected none from our guidebook) but still not plethora.
When we made it back to the beach where Bouchon the dinghy was quietly waiting for us, a car approached us. The harbormaster and his dog walked to us and asked in English if we were the people from the boat. He offered generously that we move the boat inside the harbor breakwaters if we were to stay a couple more nights. That’s true that Tire-Bouchon was swinging from side to side on his hook and apparently some wind was supposed to come in for the night. We thanked him warmly but declined the offer as we were planning to cast off for Bahia Tortuga as soon as we reached the boat. Wing waves had already started to build up and the rowing trip to the boat was more intense than the way to the beach. We would gladly have taken the offer to anchor in the harbor if our plans were to stay, but more wind also meant less fuel to reach our next destination and also the hope to cover the 30 miles to Tortuga before sunset. So off we went at around noon.
Before hitting the nice North West wind we hope to ride down to Tortuga, we kept being headed by an improbable East wind coming from exactly where we wanted to go (the Canal de Dewey between the mainland of Baja and the last island of the “archipelago”, Isla Natividad). Annoying: not enough wind to make decent VMG (the speed of progression to the destination, heavily reduced when the wind comes from dead ahead) but enough to slow down our engine significantly. We opted for a course a dozen degrees off the wind to give a little support the motor with the main sail and hit the NW wind asap.
Making good progress, it didn’t take long and the fun ride began. No words, just a couple of videos (see YouTube video at the end)…
After surfing down the waves for a couple hours with a full jib and two reef in the main, taking turn to steer and beat one another speed record (ultimate record logged on the GPS 10.7 knots!!), we had to gybe back towards land. It was too downwind to keep the jib full, so we kept heating up a little to go back on course quickly and make good speeds. But we had still two miles or so to go dead downwind this time. We had been lazy to pole up the jib for half an hour or so but the sun was already about to set, so we steered the “dangerous” wing on wing course for the remaining miles without pole or gybe preventer. An epic ride! I told Yalçın that I was so focused on the sails that the boat could sink under me, I would probably not noticed until I’m in the water ^^ Yalçın was checking our course to make sure we keep clear from the reef at the Bay entrance as well as the wreck that is visible in the middle.
We made our entrance in the legendary Bahia Tortuga, half way between San Diego and Cabo San Lucas (the Southern end of the peninsula), that we had heard so much about. The sun was setting on our backs and the wind wasn’t getting any calmer, still making 7-8 knots in 17-18 apparent. A strong current was pushing us North and a fast motor boat was coming directly at us. Fishermen or the port captain?
To be continued in the next blog…
We made a video (in Turkish with English subtitles) about this blog…