On August 13th we arrived in BLA which will be our "home base" for the next few months while we wait out hurricane season and explore the northern Sea of Cortez. We had planned to visit many anchorages along the way between Bahia San Francisquito and BLA but plans change. We had a part that needed to be welded in order to run our generator. We contacted a few cruising friends to see if there was a welder in BLA and Patrick on Just a Minute saved the day. Patrick hooked us up with a couple who live in BLA that offered to help us out. We anchored in front of their house on La Mona and dingied in. We were driven in their 4-wheeler into BLA village five miles across some very rustic roads. I was struck by the beauty of the surrounding area both by land and sea; it reminds me so much of Death Valley (one of my favorite places). We accomplished our mission by finding a welder who not only fixed our problem but strengthened the weld. We have found the Mexicans to be hugely resourceful, being able to make do with available materials and able to repair most anything. In addition to the repair, we also got a grand tour of the village and stopped at each tienda and picked up a few provisions.
Feeling good about the accomplishments of the day, we retired to the boat for a relaxing evening. About 10pm, the winds began increasing very rapidly and within 10 minutes there were 30-35 knots. We were about to experience our first big chubasco. A chubasco is a summertime convection storm that can be accompanied by high winds, thunder, lightning and rain. In a short time the winds were increasing to 40 and 50 knots and the lightning was all around us. The best was yet to come; we saw several gusts of 60-62 knots before things were to begin calming down. (Note: To put things in perspective, a hurricane category 1 has winds of 64-82 knots) In all, the high winds lasted about 1 ½ hours and the rain was not even enough to fully clean the boat. Whew! It's good to have our first chubasco in the rear view mirror. We came through it okay, no damage and we took note of a few things we might do differently if and when the next one hits.
We plan on spending a few more days here in BLA before heading to some of the anchorages we passed on our way here. Also to hook up with our friends Pam and Rick on Hotel California who have returned from the states and are heading this way. Our Baja Rummy skills have improved greatly since we saw them last!
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