Tuesday, 13 June 2017

La Paz to Guaymas

Every year in La Paz at the end of March Club Cruceros (this is the long standing cruisers club in La Paz) hosts Bayfest.  This fun event is a fundraisers for local charities and brings the cruising community together to play games, eat good food, listen to music and hang out together.  If you are so inclined there is also a sailing race.  Time to clear the decks of some of that stuff that seems to have no where else to go and go racing!  I was lucky enough to be joined by Ed from Seadra and Gary from Searover II for Kialoas first ever official race in Mexico. I say official because whenever there are two sailboats going the same way within sight of each other it is actually a race. So on the morning Maggie headed for the bus Kialoa headed for the start line.  It turns out we should have started much earlier as we underestimated how long it would take to get there.  By the time we arrived the start had happened and the committee boat had left......we were some 10 minutes late.....so as the last boat went by us we turned around and started racing!  We had a great time sailing Kialoa under Spinnaker even through the tricky entrance into the La Paz harbour channel and managed to pass five of the ten boats ahead of us for a very middle finish! Not bad for a boat loaded down with a whole lot of stuff!
chasing down the fleet
After enjoying Bayfest I headed out to the islands, it was time to start making my way further north as the season was starting to come to a close and my plan was to store Kialoa in Guaymas for the summer months again.  I left La Paz in the company of Seadra and Searover II and we made our way to the anchorage at Los Candeleros on Espiritu Santo.  I won the race that day!
We all enjoyed the anchorages in the area, which is a large park and virtually unpopulated.  After Ed on Seadra had returned his crew to La Paz we continued, working our way north anchorage by anchorage.  Some beautiful sailing days, some motoring days and one that was a little more boisterous!
One of the beautiful anchorages on Isla Espiritu Santo 

Ed(Seadra) myself and Gary and Karina(Searover II) enjoying some of the
fantastic hiking and views the Baja has to offer.

Some dolphins coming to visit Kialoa.

It was a great experience single handing Kialoa for this stretch.  All the anchorages are within a daysail or less of one another and I was able to really enjoy each time underway.  The Baja is spectacularly beautiful, the sealife is abundant, and the weather is never less than pleasant, what is not to like! And I had lots of dolphin sightings to bring joy!  I got to explore some places that I had not yet been to and revisit some of my favorites.  
Searover II decided to cross the sea of Cortez from Isla Isabella, Ed (Seadra) and I headed a little further north to Punta Pulpito to cross.  As we were both single handing it made for a slightly shorter trip.  I was nervous about this long (90nm) crossing on my own as the last long passage I had made by myself was pretty hard at the end when I was exhausted and sleep deprived.
It turned out I did not need to be nervous.  After having a lovely visit with some friends from last years cruising (Ptarmigan) and a good if short sleep, Seadra and I pulled up anchor at 2:30 in the morning and headed to sea.  Conditions were calm and it was not until about 10:30 in the morning that we had enough wind to start sailing. It turned out to be a beautiful crossing, I sailed from 10:30 in the morning until I entered the harbour of Guaymas at 8pm, followed shortly by Seadra, I won that race too! What a great way to finish the sailing season!
Seadra motoring in the early morning light

6.6 knots is excellent speed for Kialoa!  And heading directly for
the destination.  It doesn't get better than that for sailing!

Guaymas harbour is in sight!

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