Aboard Astraea

Invest in experiences, not things

Ensenada to Turtle Bay

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We got underway from Ensenada’s Cruiseport Marina on Sunday December 7th. We motored out across Bahia Todos Santos and set sail headed south towards Turtle Bay.

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This was the longest passage we’ve ever made – about 300 miles. We originally planned to stop at anchorages along the way, but we needed to arrive in Turtle Bay (a well protected anchorage) by Wednesday to beat some nasty weather coming down the coast. Our course took us an average of 30 miles offshore.

Everything went pretty well. Sully spent three days in his pajamas watching movies, while we took care of everything that was falling apart around us. Well, not everything. We had a few problems, but nothing major.  We had issues getting the sails up and down, and some blocks and cleats popped out of the mast and boom – stuff we could easily fix once we made it to Turtle Bay. For night watches I took a little nap from 8 to 10ish and then was on watch until 2 or 3am. Nate finished off the night watch until I woke up after sunrise.

It was great to sight land again and come close to Cedros Island while the sun was setting on our last night at sea. We don’t want to plan our passages to enter foreign harbors at night, but we knew the entrance to Turtle Bay is well charted and marked. Luckily, we had the light of a 3/4 moon to help. We radioed ahead and hailed S/V Namaste. They gave us pointers on making the entrance – head in towards the fishing boats at anchor with their running lights on, then to turn left towards the 2nd red lit radio tower. We anchored in about 20 feet of water and put out lots of rode, 150 feet, because the bay anchorage is so large. We dug the anchor in deep and settled in for a good night’s rest after about 57 hours at sea.

On Wednesday the 10th we motored the dinghy to the beach and set out into town looking for the clinic. I had had a cough for over two weeks, and three days at sea only made it worse. I wanted to get checked out by a doctor before continuing down the isolated coast of Baja. Good thing we went to the clinic, because the doctor said it would have only gotten worse. She said my lungs were swollen and irritated like an asthmatics…how she got that from just listening to them, I don’t know.

We were having trouble communicating, so the doctor went outside and came back with her English speaking husband who brings her lunch everyday. He said that I would need to get a shot in my butt and have a nebulizer treatment. I must have looked terrified, because he assured me it was safe. I had no idea what medicine I was getting, but with the understanding it wasn’t an antibiotic (I’m allergic to cephalexin), I agreed to the treatment. When it was over I asked how much I owed. The doctor waved her hand and said nothing. Shocked, I turned to her husband to make sure I understood correctly. He said that she doesn’t charge Americans and that I was lucky another doctor wasn’t there. Others charge a lot thinking all Americans have lots of money.

We though it was strange that Sully and I never go to the doctor for anything other than routine appointments, but in our first week in Mexico we both have to go!

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That evening, S/V The Red Thread invited all the cruisers in our little flotilla over for a potluck on their boat. They supplied the main dish – a huge amount of fresh tuna that they caught on their sail south. It was a fun evening relaxing and talking to everyone else about their sail from Ensenada. It felt good to have the longest passage behind us.

The next four days were spent going to shore each day looking for internet while exploring the town, filling up a couple diesel jugs at the gas station, and getting a few projects done on the boat.

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Sully’s favorite part of the day is bedtime. He asks to have his teeth brushed because afterwards he gets to pick out a new car from his stocking advent calendar. He brings his new treasure to bed with him along with the all the previous ones.

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Sully has started singing. We’ve been playing a lot of Christmas movies while we’re sailing and he sings, “Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells!” He started out singing “Jingle Balls”. He also sings along with Olaf in Frozen – “In summerrrrrr!”

Five days was long enough in Turtle Bay. Next up, Punta Abreojos, Bahia Santa Maria, and Cabo San Lucas!

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