San Diego - Cabo San Lucas
December 19, 1999 - January 7, 2000
Finally got everything fixed in San Diego and headed out on Sunday Dec. 19th. We were ready to leave on Saturday
evening; but that would have put us into Ensenada on a Sunday when the government officials were closed. The only
reason that we stopped in Ensenada was to get proof that Net Result was out of the country and thereby not subject to
property tax anymore. This had to be submitted by the 1st of January.
We headed out on Sunday afternoon thinking (planning ) to stop at the Coronado Islands about 4 hrs outside of San
Diego, anchor, take a nap, have dinner and head out late evening. As we passed by the islands we decided to continue
as the winds were favorable and we were enjoying the sail.
Until about 6 that evening the wind died and we didn't want to start the engine cause we'd arrive into Ensenada at about
3am by our calculations. After sitting like a lame duck in the water and watching the same set of green lights on the
shoreline not pass us, we gave in and started the engine. Did arrive 15 miles outside of Ensenada at 1am so we just
bobbed in the water until about 3:30a and then started the engine and headed into Marina Coral. It's an OK marina,
doesn't hold a candle to Vintage Marina though. When we radioed in for a slip, they said for us to take any open slip on
G dock. We told them we were a 30 footer but we musta hung out 10 ft.
Monday, December 20th: We decided to do our own paperwork and checking in and out ourselves as opposed to having
someone else do it for us for a fee. It really wasn't too bad at all and you won't believe how many stamps can fit on one
letter size piece of paper until you've done this for yourself. We're going to keep one and frame it cause it's so funny.
Wandered around scruffy Ensenada, found a nice lunch spot and had machaca burritos and beer. Yum. Grabbed the bus,
and I mean literally grabbed. You stand on the side of the street and when you see this beat up yellow van drive by you
hail them. Get on pay your 50¢American dollars and tell the driver where you want to get off. Joe's seat on the bus on
the way back to the marina was the classiest one I've seen in a long time. No padding or fabric just the metal frame. I
know, I know, and can hear you guys just clamoring to find a way to get to Ensenada and experience this wonder
yourself; but try and control yourself. One thing's for sure --- these yellow buses are Y2K compliant. :-))))
From Ensenada we shot for Isla San Martin. Pretty much motored the whole time as there was no wind. Realized when
they forecast variable winds, they not only mean in strength but in direction also. We've been constantly changing the
sails to try and sail as much as possible. But it seems when we think we have enough wind to sail and cut the engine
that it clocks around to another totally different direction or dies completely. The only time that we've seen 15kts is
rapidly on the way up to 30's. It cranks up in a minute, without any notice. On the way down from Ensenada got caught
in a blow that must have been associated with a valley on the coast and in a matter of 10 minutes we were in 39kts of
wind, confused seas and way behind our reefing. We decided to press on to Bahia San Quintin as it seemed to have
been written up as a better anchorage in various wind directions. One thing that we're not used to is having such huge
anchorages. It was us and just another boat from Long Beach.
Our next stop was Isla San Jeronimo a day sail. The highlight of our day was the Mexican Navy (seal division) coming
along side of us in their powerskiff with blue lights flashing asking permission to board us. Now, what would you say to
these people when asked this question with a semi-automatic machine gun strapped across their chest. They were very,
very nice and asked us if we'd had any problems while sailing in Mexico. They even checked in with us on the radio on
Channel 16 the next day to see how we were. Just nice people. This anchorage was tiny and right off a fish camp. We've
learned, with fishing comes flies. We had hundreds as passengers for our next leg until our trusty electric fly swatter
did it's job. From there we went to Turtle Bay (2 day sail), motored the whole way still no wind. Arrived Christmas day.
Beautiful anchorage, calm with two other boats there. Dinghyed ashore to stretch our legs and wander town. Everyone
was involved in their Christmas family celebrations and we were even invited into a family's home and swat the pinata
they had. Very warm and welcoming people. As it was the weekend, we thought we'd have to wait it out before we
could get fuel. As it turned out we went ashore with our jerry jugs on Sunday morning and one of the people whistled
over to a house on the beach and out trotted someone to pump diesel into our jerry jugs. When we told them we needed
to make a couple of trips to top off the boat they said they'd panga the fuel out to us on the boat. Used kind of an egg
beater type mechanism and an old black piece of hose and siphoned it into our tanks. All for a most reasonable price.
Found out that the guy who pumped our diesel had children and gave him a package of paper for his school children and
some pencils and you'da thought we'd given him the Crown Jewels.
From Turtle Bay we had a couple of options. Make a few inland stops as we made our way down to Mag Bay breaking up
the mileage or head straight down and make a 2 day passage of it. As we were getting anxious to get out of the cold we
opted for the straight shot. The morning of the second day we got caught in some nasty weather that hadn't really been
included in any of the weather reports on the daily nets. We were at a point of no return, couldn't head inland as it was
head into it and a pretty far distance or bear it out and hand in there. We hung in there, Lisa was not a happy camper
as I was under the impression that I had signed up for the "fair winds, and seas adventure" . In about 4 hours we were
out of it and continued on through the night towards Mag Bay. We opted to anchor in Bahia Santa Maria a large, large
bay on the outside of Mag Bay as we would save a lot of time by not having to go into Mag bay and head up into an
anchorage. It was an absolutely magnificent spot and the first place where we finally noticed warmer temperatures in
both sea and air.
Anxious to get further into warmer climate, we calculated that we could be in Cabo for the 31st and thought it might be
nice to pull into a marina and do some laundry. We headed out on the 29th in the afternoon and had a wonderful 2 day
sail, down to Cabo. It was the first time that we actually sailed for more than a couple of hours. Actually we sailed the
entire day! We rounded the point early, early dawn of the 31st and saw a few boats lining the horizon. My first thought
was, "Oh, there are a couple of boats waiting for first light to pull into Cabo like we are". I couldn't have been further
from the truth. As we approached, more and more, and more sport fishing boats came into view, until everywhere you
looked was filled with fishing boats and more! A Carnival Cruise liner was in the outer harbor and by the time we got
into the inner harbor, our mouths were agape like the beverly Hillbillies had just pulled it. Boats darting across our bow
and the wake! The marina was a welcomed sight. Showers were treasured and we both collapsed in bed at 8pm to be
awoken at midnight by the most amazing fireworks display we've seen in a long time. All from the cockpit of our boat.
What a treat.
Planned on spending the weekend in Cabo and heading out for Puerto Vallarta on Monday (3rd) after we'd checked in
and out. We have found that we like doing the paperwork ourselves because it enables us to meet other cruisers. We
were ready to leave Cabo as all the mega sport fishing boats were coming in on us and the cost of the nightly slip was
the most expensive we've encountered...or probably ever will...thank heavens for a little boat! The big bucks americans
are in full swing here and a little offensive after a couple of days. We headed out at 2pm for our 68 hour crossing to
P.V. The waves were particularly confused and big as we left the harbor. We thought that it was due to the business of
the harbor and it would settle down.
As we headed out, the seas were building and the periods in between the waves were almost non-existent. We were
filled with anxiety as we were unfamiliar with the local conditions, though we'd read three guide books no where did it
indicate these kinds of conditions. Our poor little boat was working hard. We just didn't know if this was going to
continue or further on it would calm down. When the boat was coming up the wave as it was breaking and plunging
down into the trough with another one breaking in the distance, Joe made the decision to turn around and head back to
Cabo. We cruised by the anchorage in the dark trying to decide if we should anchor for the night. The anchorage is
outside the harbor and is notorious for miserable swell that makes it's pretty rolly constantly. We opted to pull up to the
marina's fuel dock and see if we could return to our slip we had the next morning. Went into the office straight away
and turns out the conditions were worsening and many boats had turned back and were wanting slips. The marina is
close to impossible to secure reservations for transient boaters. We were lucky to get our previous slip again and
regardless of the cost are comfy in our massive 51' slip encircled by mega sport-fishing boats and then there's our little
teeny weeney wooden mast. Sailboats are definitely the minority.
After settling back in, we have sorted out the fact that the Santa Anas definitely have a big effect on our weather for
our crossing and the sea of Cortez. Turns out it's been blowing 25-30kts in the Sea of Cortez all week and it's just
cranking it's way down the sea to us here and effecting our crossing weather. These conditions are forecast through the
weekend. We'll not press the elements and wait it out. Heard there was a group of about 10 boats that had to wait it out
for 2 1/2 weeks for the weather before crossing, so what have we got to complain about.
Besides, this is cruising, we shouldn't have such a tight schedule. Might even get some varnishing in here instead of P.V.
Can easily see how the "manana" attitude can set in.
Days seem to pass so fast and it appears as if we've accomplished nothing compared to what we do when we're home
in Ventura. Have met nothing but nice people in our adventure so far. Our dinghy is quite the crowd draw, and we're
definitely the little ones in the block as far as boat size. That's fine, we're cozy and I feel very safe on Net Result.
So that's it for us to date. We're here in Cabo waiting for a weather window to make the crossing to Puerto Vallarta and
are both doing fine. Joe's learning how to kick back and relax and not always have something to work on; but I think
that's taking a little more time to acclimate to than myself. It's a little more expensive here than in other places that we
could be, but that's just the way it is and we're not going to push it to get to P.V. before the conditions are better.
All our best to you all.