January 15, 2002: Greetings from sunny Baja, California!

After 12 days, we are almost at the end of this long 900 mile peninsula. Tomorrow morning around dawn, we will sail into Cabo San Lucas. We have had a great trip down this beautiful coast with some memorable moments.

From a Bare Hull, A 30 Year Odyssey


Leaving Newport Beach, Ca

Monday, January 1, 2002

We left Mike Pearson's slip at Newport Beach on January 1, 2002 and sailed 30 miles down the coast to meet up with Mike and Lisa in Oceanside. Unfortunately, we sailed five miles beyond the harbor and had to turn back adding an extra hour to the trip. Our boat approached the harbor entrance just as the sun set and one of the lowest tides of the year created 5 foot breakers across the entrance. After two aborted passes and plans being made to sail on to San Diego, the harbor patrol was called and they led us through the surf. We are still not sure how much water was under those breakers, but we made it.

We stayed there for an extra day as winds from a small storm blew from the south. While there, we learned that one of Wayne's favorite authors, Gary Paulsen, had passed through Oceanside on a BCC also on his way to Mexico two weeks before. Naybe we will meet up in some anchorage.

Wednesday, January 3, 2002

The "Odyssey" crew left Ocean side early this morning heading for the Mexican border 6o miles away. We sailed for 3 days and 3 nights before stopping at Bahia de Tortugas or Turtle Bay. The first night was especially harrowing with rough seas, Wayne seasick, lots of freighters, and a small stream of water seeping mysteriously from the engine. Things settled out, but three days and nights standing 24-hour watches left everyone extremely tired.

Bahia Tortugas was a welcome site. This stop is approximately 1/3 of the way down the Baja coast. The town is not very big and the people live quite simply. We enjoyed visiting a bakery and having lunch at one of the two restaurants in town. It was great to have a couple of days to rest and recover from too little sleep while off watch. This aspect of the trip is taking some time for Karen to adjust to. However, she admits that it is amazing to gaze up into the dark skies and see the dazzling display of stars splashed across the skies while listening to the sounds of the waves lapping around the boats bow. It is a wondrous experience.

Bahia Santa Maria

Our next short leg of the trip took us about 50 miles further south to a town called Asuncion. This was just a short stop and a chance to get a full nights rest. The atmosphere felt strange as a front of moist air moved in just as we arrived. Dolphins and seals circled the boat most of the evening making deep breathing sounds. We left the following afternoon for a 206 leg south. This involved two days and nights at sea, but it was well worth it if not a little scary. The autopilot (a device that steers the boat) broke down for part of this leg. Erik hand steered for over 3 hours through 8-10 foot seas. We made a temporary fix underway until the next stop at Bahia Santa Maria.

We arrived in Santa Maria around dawn on January 11th. This stop was about 2/3 of the way down the Baja peninsula. It is a huge bay that used to be a favorite of sea captains bashing on their way north.

Wayne and Erik had an exciting time trying out our inflatable with a new 2hp engine. The bay has heavy surf around the shoreline. Taking the inflatable ashore, a breaking waved formed and launched them head first into the surf. Luckily Erik had the kill switch attached to his wrist. When they both surfaced, the inflatable and new engine were both upright on the beach.

Fisherman camps lined part of the estuary that feeds into the bay. One morning we traded a fisherman named Marcus four D-cell batteries for two live lobsters. Wayne figured out how to ask Marcus in Spanish-English how to cook them, and he and Erik cooked them up for brunch.