Saturday, November 12, 2011

Los Frailes

Saturday night we had a great time at the Baja Ha-Ha awards ceremony.  This was the last event of the rally and we were finally on our own schedule.  Chuck jumped on a northbound bus to do some exploring by land on his way back to California.  We were busy planning our next passage.

Each morning at 0700 we tune in the Amigo Net on the single-side band radio.  The net provides a forum for cruising boats to chat, share advice, and watch out for one another.  The main event of the Amigo Net is Don Anderson’s weather forecast.  Saturday morning, Don’s forecast had warned of a ‘norther’ weather system coming through our area starting on Monday.  Sunday was our weather window to make it to the next anchorage.  When we returned from the awards ceremony, we got the dinghy on deck and made the boat ready for an early morning departure.
Derrick topping off the fuel
 Up at first light, we drank our coffee before raising anchor and the mainsail.  The breeze increased as we motored out to sea.  Off went the engine and out came the jib.  Sailing at five knots with a warm breeze and no engine noise, it just doesn’t get much better.  We had about four hours of near perfect sailing before rounding Punta Gorda.  Now the wind on the nose and the waves were square blocks of water four to six feet high coming at us in four second intervals.  Every couple of minutes, Interabang would come off the top of one of these waves and belly flop into the water below with a loud slamming sound.  Not fun.  We put away the jib and went back to motor sailing.  I changed course to the east by fifteen degrees so that the boat approached the waves at an angle and sail helped stabilize the ride.  By 1600, we had traveled 43 miles and were comfortably anchored behind a 750 foot high mountain in Los Frailes, a nice place to wait out the norther.
Entering Bahia de los Frailes

We spent five days in Los Frailes.  We worked on boat projects, snorkeled and went for walks on the beach.  This is a sleepy little place to hang out with about 20 other boats, a small hotel, and a handful of guests here and there on shore.  We were hunkered down for a couple of days as the norther passed.  Winds gusted as high as 28 knots in the anchorage and four boats dragged anchor causing some excitement and, fortunately, nothing more serious.  We spent another day waiting for the seas to calm down.  Finally, it was time to move on. 
Rowing the dinghy is not as easy as it looks!
Sunset at anchor

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