Saturday, January 9, 2016

A brief taste of the Pacific Ocean

 This blog is about Nomad's travels, but the nomad on Nomad does tend to wander about. I was working  my through the project list  on Nomad  this summer when I received a message from a friend asking me to deliver his boat from Baja MX to San Francisco CA. Not a pleasant ride in the best of weather, central California is 1000+ miles from Mexico straight into the prevailing NW winds .  Natasha is not an unfamiliar boat, I helped sail her to San Francisco the year before Nomad was purchased and have spent some time on her over the years  while visiting. This is not like my usual commercial delivery jobs, there was time for play and hanging out with friends before heading north.
Anchorage at Isla San Francisco
 After checking out the boat and getting some provisions onboard, we picked up another friend and set off for a week's sail in the Sea of Cortez, visiting Isla San Francisco and Isla Perdita. Both islands had magnificent hiking and bouldering as well as the usual clear warm water swimming. It was really nice to be back in the desert again, even if only for a short time. Play time was over all to soon and it was time to return to LaPaz to provision the boat for the long journey north.
Hiking on Isla San Francisco
 Within sight of LaPaz the electric auto pilot failed , leaving me only with the windvane  to steer the boat. Although the windvane is my preferred method of staying on course, it is of no use when motoring through calms. After clearing out of Mexico in LaPaz, I had the best sailing of the trip on the trip with brisk northerly winds over the stern pushing Natasha along towards Cabo San Lucas at speeds occasionally reaching nine knots.  I put her to anchor at Bahia Los Frailes for two days to get somethings sorted out and try to stop some leaks in preparation for the long beat to windward after rounding the bottom of the Baja penisula. The weather had settled while I was anchored and thre trip around the cape was done under power in a flat calm.
Looking south from a cave on Isla Perdita

Hiking to the top of Isla Perdita would be no fun in the rain

Natasha sailing in the Sea of Cortez
 The trip north went as expected with a few gales, and calms during which Natasha was driven under power straight north, though most of the ride was just a long beat to windward.
The usual view heading north
 They voyage from LaPaz was 2165 miles over 25 days from departing LaPaz to arriving at her home dock in Berkeley at my usual arrival time of midnight.
Some sunrises were stunning in the south

There was some good boulder climbing to the top of Isla Perdita

Hiking would be a misnomer here, there was no flat place to walk on the island except the beach

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