On April 13 we got underway from La Isla Marina in Mazatlan bound for Isla San Francisco, north of La Paz. We decided to skip La Paz and head to the Islands to relax and get away from it all.
We motored and motorsailed across the sea and I got some interesting data about motorsailing in to the wind. Yes, yes we’re on a sailboat and can sail almost everywhere we want to go, but heading directly in to the wind requires tacking back and forth to catch it at about a 45 degree angle on our sails. So if we want to sail in to the wind it can make a crossing take twice as long. Plus, we’re cruising, not on a sailing vacation. If it’s going to take twice as long, in this case an extra two or three days to get somewhere I’m all for firing up the engine.
Our passage across the Sea of Cortez took 2 days, 7 hours. We used 46 gallons of fuel in 55 hours of engine runtime giving us 0.8 gallons per hour usage. We travelled 249 Nautical Miles and got 5.4 Nautical Miles to the gallon and averaged 4.5 knots. We run the engine at 2000 RPMs when motoring, and if we’re motorsailing efficiently we may run the engine at 1500 RPMs. Most of the engine run time was at 2000 RPMs.
With all the bashing into the wind and waves, we had a lot of water splashing over the bow and coming down through the anchor windlass and hawsepipe under Sully’s berth and in to the bilge. The water accumulated and we found we have a faulty bilge pump, but we have two backups to keep the water out. The propellor shaft packing was dripping excessively adding more water to the bilge, so I adjusted it while we were underway to keep the bilge drier. The water was also finding it’s way into Sully’s bed. Natalie went in to get him after our first night and found the poor kid in a puddle. She emptied his who berth to air dry in the cockpit.
On the final day of our crossing the wind had shifted and we were barely making any headway to Isla San Francisco. We diverted toward Playa La Bonanza on Isla Espiritu Santo to dry out again and stop bashing. Luckily the wind shifted again and we made good speed to our intended anchorage.
We dropped the hook at Isla San Francisco right around happy hour and were glad to stop moving after the passage. Isla San Francisco is a picturesque anchorage and we’ve been excited to see it since we left to go cruising. The next day we hiked the ridgeline trail around the anchorage. At the top there is a steep slope down to the anchorage and a cliff face on the opposite side down to the Sea of Cortez.
We also went exploring the salt flat in the middle of the island and met the crew of Kia Ora and their dog Charley. Sully had fun playing with the little furry white dog, but was really missing his buddies Ollie and Emma from La Cruz.