Our own Baja-Ha-Ha Leg3, Cabo, and PK's arrival
On Wednesday, Nov 14, at 4:00 am we got up to depart Bahia Santa Maria.
Now that we had officially dropped out of the 2007 Baja-Ha-Ha, we were
under no obligation to sail as much as possible, but we had an appointment
to pick up our friend and 3rd crew member, Pat Kingsland, in Cabo San Lucas,
on Thursday at 3:45 pm, so we left as early as possible to get to Cabo in
plenty of time to meet him. We raised the anchor around 4:30 and were on
our way by 5:00 am.
We made our way out of the bay in the dark, avoiding the few boats at anchor,
and following a plotted course on the GPS. As the sun rose over Bahia Magdelena,
we were able to take a few nice pictures. We made VHF contact with WELCOME PASSAGE
as she passed us at about 6:15, headed north. They told us that they came down
on the Baja-Ha-Ha and were now doing the "Baja Bash", running against the prevailing
winds and currents. They said they called it the "Boo Hoo Hoo Hoo" which we thought
was pretty funny.
Early in the day we put a line in the water, but didn't catch any fish although
we left the line running all day and tried a couple of different lures.
As we passed near Pinnacle Rock, an underwater formation just off of Bahia
Santa Marina, we were met by many dolphins ... 100 or more ... as they,
and sea-birds were obviously feeding on what must have been many schools of
bait fish. So, although we didn't catch anything, we were quite pleased with
the dolphins that came along to ride the bow wave and play in front of and around
the boat for perhaps 1/2 hour.
After the dolphins left us, we put up the sails and turned off the motor for the
afternoon and just lazed along at 4-5 knots enjoying the peaceful day and sunset.
We made a nice dinner and we even allowed ourselves a beer as the afternoon mellowed
into evening. The night proceeded pretty uneventfully as we exchanged watches and
motor sailed south.
When I took the 3:00 am watch the traffic was already increasing as we converged on Cabo Falso,
the "false" point just before Cabo San Lucas. We were tracking 3 or 4 other vessels
within 4 miles also making their way south with us. Some were faster and pulled ahead
and one was slower and eventually fell behind us. We crossed the Baja-Ha-Ha finish line
at 4:51 am, for what it's worth, and then made our way around the point towards the rocky
entrance to the bay.
We thought we might get a marina slip in Cabo, having sent multiple emails and getting
a "possible" response, but our efforts at 7:30 am to raise Marina de Cabo on the radio
failed to get any results, so we just decided to anchor, at least temporarily.
We dropped the anchor at 8:40 am, about 28 hours after we had raised it in BSM,
and logged approximately 183 nm on the journey to Cabo. As we were parking the boat,
a huge Carnival Pride ship came into the bay and dropped her anchor with a noise like
a construction site. Poor ITCHEN, a little sailboat with a transmission problem, tried
to raise them on the radio and ask them to back off a little, but eventually had to
raise anchor under sail and re-anchor elsewhere to avoid the behemouth.
Right away after anchoring, I tried to get Wi-Fi access, seeing lots of hotspots with 4 bars,
but could not connect, probably due to the wimpy transmitter on my laptop. I tried the Verizon
broadband card and it worked, so I was able to check my gmail account, download some financial
information, and so on, as a test, but decided to go into an internet cafe to do more serious
uploading of pictures and web pages to the net. After this initial "net test", we
both took a nap so as to be somewhat rested to go into town and meet PK
that afternoon. We also had to get our Tourist Visas and possibly our TIP (Temporary Importation
Permit) for the boat that day.
After we awoke from our short nap and had a quick bite of lunch, we did the dinghy
drill and motored to the Dinghy Dock at Marina Cabo. The anchorage was very busy with
Pangas coming and going all day and pesky jet-skiers criss crossing back and forth, sometimes
only yards from our boat. The wake from all these boats was constantly rocking RHAPSODY and
made the dinghy ride into shore somewhat challenging.
We went to "Baja Charters", agents whom we'd heard could take care of our paperwork with
a "one-stop" service, rather than requiring us to go all over town to different official
offices and banks. They were very pleasant, and after merely photo-copying our passports
and the ships documents, they told us to come back the next day around noon and pick up
our finished Tourist Visas and TIP. Cool. Since we had a few hours to burn before PK
arrived, we wandered around the beach front of Cabo, hunting down a chandlery, having
a beer in a nice court, and checking out the local (expensive tourist oriented) stores.
PK arrived around 5:00 p.m. after his 3:45 arrival at the airport, about 20 miles away.
We snuck up behind him and suprised him as he was walking the short distance to the
dinghy dock. We got in the dinghy and made our way back to the boat. The water
was smooth now that the jet-skis had shut down for the day, but unfortunately the
dinghy was broached when I de-accelerated one time and PK got really wet
for the ride back.
All was made well with arrival tots and beers. We made a wonderful meal
with the Skipjack we had caught on our way to BSM. We retired early
as we were still sleep deprived from the leg to Cabo, leaving PK up to enjoy
the evening listening to the disco music pound out from busy beach hotels.
The next morning, after a snack for breakfast, PK and I went into Cabo.
We went to an internet cafe where we set up the lap top and uploaded a
set of web pages and pics to the net. We then stopped by Baja Charters, slightly after
noon, as we had been instructed to do, and were disappointed to hear that
they could not process our paperwork because "the customs office had run
out of green papers". In fact, there was another boat next to us who had
already been waiting 3 days for their papers with the same excuse.
Since we were planning to leave Cabo early the next morning for La Paz, where
we had a rare reservation at the Marina, and based on the recommendation from
Baja Charters that we could get the papers as easily in La Paz, I reluctantly
decided to proceed, without clearing customs or having proper papers, to La Paz.
PK and I had a nice steak and lobster lunch at a little restaurant just off the
main drag, hung around a bit more, and then returned via the dinghy to RHAPSODY
in the early afternoon. That night the sunset was beautiful and we had
a wonderful Thai Shrimp dinner which we enjoyed greatly. I showed PK around the
boat, giving him some guidelines on how to use the radar, chartplotter, and
radio, and we bid Cabo a last goodnight preparing to leave for La Paz early
the next morning.
More images of the leg and Cabo San Lucas