Log #62b Turtle Bay to Mag Bay

January 21, 2017 in Log Series 60-69, Series 62, The Logs

 Log #62b Turtle Bay to Mag Bay

Puerto Escondido, BCS, Mexico

Jan. 20, 2017

We arrived to anchor in the dark at Turtle Bay (27° 14.151′ N, 114° 52.978′ W) at 2202 after a 184 nm passage of 34 hours from Bahia San Quintin on Nov. 29.

In the morning we relocated in this large bay a bit closer to the town, and to be clear of other boats. A panga came out askng if we needed any fuel, and we arranged for 50 litres to be brought out to us later in the afternoon.

There is a rickety long dock into town, with the fuel station at the end, unoccupied. Wide sandy beaches extend from both sides of the dock, and the road from the dock leads up the main street of the town. It is one of the few paved streets in town. We wandered over town looking for a grocery store which we finally found. Their stores do not have signs outside, and any windows are so cluttered or covered that to identify if the building is a store, warehouse, or whatever is hard to determine from the outside. However we found a couple of well stocked grocery stores for our supplies. 

   Log #62a Main street in Turtle Bay - Copy - Copy (2)

I had to look into the local church, a pleasant well cared for sanctuary. The church bell would be rung from a bell pull rope on the outside.

 Log #62b Church in Turtle Bay - Copy   Log #62b Inside Church in Turtle Bay

 We trudged along the sandy beach from the dock to the shoreside Restaurant Maria for a delicious seafood meal. The lady spoke minimal English, but we were able to order a dish of shrimp with garlic for Judy and I had Pescado Maria, a succulent mahi mahi poached in a tinfoil wrap with tomato, onion, pepper and hot sauce. Mmmm! Most meals in Mexico are served with refried beans and guacamole, and mine also had a small serving of rice. The view from the restaurant balcony over the bay was … serene.Log #62a View from restaurant - Copy (2)  Veleda is at anchor on the far right.


In this picture below, the restaurant sea wall sign says Welcome Baja Ha Ha which is the name for an annual cruisers’ rally from San Diego to Los Cabos at the foot of the Baja peninsula.

  Log #62a Turtle Bay restaurant - Copy (2)

We didn’t bother taking it as we would rather sail independently. There is another rally, the Coho Ho Ho which goes from Seattle to San Diego. Again we did not bother to go on it either. Such rallies are OK for cruisers who need the support of a group to go on long distances down the west coast, and who enjoy the social activities along the way.

We left early at 0656 just before sunrise (at 0713) on Dec. 2nd for a 55 mile passage to Bahia Asuncion, hoisting the mainsail before weighing anchor. We also flew the genoa, wing on wing for much of the trip, as we had NW winds all the way. In the afternoon we gybed the main and genoa to take advantage of the stronger 15 to 23 knot winds so we didn’t have to sail off our designated course. Gybing the genoa from port to starboard with the whisker pole rigged is not simple. The genoa is furled with the whisker pole still attached. The pole is then freed from the port sheet, detached from the mast track, reattached to the starboard sheet, then reattached to the mast track. The genoa is then hauled out on the starboard side. Gybing the main is not as complicated, but the preventer has to be detached from the port toe rail, the main boom then carefully gybed and the preventer reattached to the starboard toe rail. We are rethinking the preventer system so we don’t have to remove it each time we shift the main.

We anchored in Bahia Ascuncion (27° 08.506′ N, 114° 17.242′ W) by 1630, after 9 1/2 hours. We anticipated 11 hours for the passage, but made better time in the heavy winds. We didn’t bother to go ashore as there did not seem to be any easy spots to land the dinghy without it getting swamped in the surf, and we did not want to manually haul it up the beach above the surf line. Many boaters have wheels on the transom (back) of their dinghies to more easily tow the dinghy up the beach, and to drag it back down into the water.

Next day we had a very energetic sail in 15 to 25 knot winds down to Punta Abreojos (pronounced ah-bray-OH-hoz), sailing seven out of the nine hour passage. It was a heavy passage in which we had to gybe the genoa in ten foot swells, a dangerous operation going up to the bow to release the whisker pole in the pitching waves. However, our problems started after we rounded the point into the bay. After furling the genoa, we started the engine, but it did not pump water and I immediately turned it off. On checking the water strainer which was dry, it filled up once the top was removed. The top was replaced and water was puming OK when I started the engine. I think a vacuum was created with all the pounding we were experiencing in the heavy seas.

Fifteen minutes later as we were motoring into this big bay (bahia) we snagged a line on our propellor. Again the engine was shut off. A float bobbed beneath our stern, attached to a long line to a lobster pot. We couldn’t free the line and so had to cut it. Except it did not free up the prop. When I put the engine into forward gear it stopped again. The prop was still fouled. We were in the middle of the bay, about a mile from the shoreline. We didn’t want to go in the water to free the prop in the heavy seas, and so we dropped the anchor and spent a rolly night out in the middle of the bay. One benefit was that we had an unobstructed view of the western horizon and were treated to a radiant green flash at sunset. In the morning Judy went in with mask and snorkel to free up the prop. She came up with a bundle of yellow polypropylene line that we could not leave in the water as it would foul other vessels.

Log #62b Line caught in prop

We then motored over closer to shore hoping the wave action would be less there. It was not. One of the reasons we were interested in this anchorage was that there were supposed to be whale tours going into the park lagoon for which this bay is noted. However in checking with another trawler they indicated there were no tours at present. We were hoping a panga would come out to offer an individual tour, but no luck. So rather than re-anchoring we took off for our next destination, Santa Maria Cove, an overnight 143 mile passage.

We had a glorious sail for over six hours of the passage, and motor sailed the rest. In mid afternoon, I caught my first fish this year, a 15 inch tuna.

Log #62b first fish - Copy

I tow a couple of lines behind the boat on most long passages, hoping a fish is foolish enough to take a lure. Oh well, I hope I am entertaining the fish.  Judy filleted it and we had sashimi for our first meal and poached the remaining fillets in tin foils as the Pescado Maria I enjoyed in Turtle Bay.

We enjoyed the sight of another green flash at sunset that evening. Shortly after we had anchored in Santa Maria Cove (24° 46.743′ N, 112° 15.438′ W) a panga came by offering us lobsters.  We purchased three lobsters for the equivalent of $9.00 US. Mmmm!

Log #62b Lobsters bought


Santa Maria Cove is on the Pacific side of a long peninsula that encompasses Magdalena Bay. We could see across the low peninsula the superstructures of ships plying their way up the bay to Puerto San Carlos. It was only a 28 mile passage around the peninsula up into the sheltered Bahia Magdalena, where we anchored in Man of War Cove for the night.

 Log #62b Map2


More about Magdalena Bay and our passage around the southern tip of the Baja in my next log.