Friday, November 18, 2011

Los Muertos

Weather can ruin your whole day.

We got out of Cabo San Lucas early one morning because the forecast said a ‘norther’ weather system would move down the Sea of Cortez the following day.  The boats that made the trip to Los Frailes the day after us got hammered.  The weather kept us pinned down at anchor behind a mountain for five days.  On the sixth day, we made a sweet passage to Ensenada de los Muertos.

Los Muertos is a nice little anchorage well protected except from the east and southeast.   After a good night’s sleep, we went for a long walk on the beach and ate lunch at the cantina.

On the dinghy ride home we noticed that the winds had increased and the seas were building.  It was a wet ride.  To make matters worse, the wind and waves were coming from the east, pushing the boats at anchor toward the beach.  It was a bad scene.  We sat in the cockpit for hours making sure that the anchor was holding and monitoring wind speed and direction.  There was no improvement as daylight faded, so we stowed gear and prepared for a quick escape.  Just one problem, it was way too rough to get the dinghy back on board and towing in these conditions is a bad idea.  Getting the engine off and hoisted to the rail in four to six foot waves would be risky.  Pulling the dinghy on deck with a halyard in twenty knots of breeze would be like flying a kite.  We waited and hoped for the best.  Several boats raised anchor and got out of town, but so long as our anchor was holding we thought it best to stay put.  No sense trying to find our way into a strange new place in the dark if we don’t have to.  The good news came about 2100 when the winds lightened up considerably and shifted to the southwest.  Boats were no longer headed for the beach.  The bad news was that the waves to continued coming from the east.  The dinghy got stowed and we dreaded a sleepless night with wild rolling from side to side.  We radioed our friends Rick and Roseanna on Tension Reliever to discuss an exit strategy.  The plan was to take off in the morning at 0400 thereby catching the flood current that would speed us along to La Paz

Making great time with the current, we had covered more than forty miles by late morning.  As we neared La Paz, the flood ended and we decided to avoid navigating the tight and unfamiliar La Paz channel against an ebb tide.  We tucked into Balandra Cove, a beautiful little place ten miles short of our destination.  The Los Muertos experience seemed far away.  Trisha went below to read her book and I enjoyed a cigar in the cockpit.  Things were swell.  Suddenly, I felt a sprinkle of precipitation.  But this is the dry season?!

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