Sailing Nakamal

Bienvenido a Mexico!

Welcome to Mexico!

Welcome to Turtle Bay!

Welcome to Turtle Bay!

Technically, we were in Mexico about two hours after leaving San Diego, but it didn’t feel any different until we landed in Bahia Tortuga (Turtle Bay).

The trip was uneventful for us, we did a lot of motoring because the winds were light, or directly on our tail. A few boats in our fleet of 110 or so sailed almost every mile; one used only five gallons of diesel over the six days at sea. But that would have involved pointing the boat in different directions to catch the wind, and the Captain wanted to have a predictable average speed and arrival time, so we fired up the iron sail (the diesel engine) and plowed our way south.

BajaHaHaMapThe trip was broken into three legs – the first leg is the longest, covering three days and nights at sea. With only two people on our boat (the largest vessel had thirteen, crews of 3 – 6 were common), that meant one of us had to be alert and in the cockipit at all times, 24 x 7. We took turns sleeping at night, in four hour shifts, more or less. Pics from leg 1 in this post.

After arriving at Bahia Tortuga in mid-morning Thursday, we anchored Nakamal and caught a ‘panga’ ride to shore for lunch. The pangas are usually used for fishing, but on the two days when the Baja HaHa group is in the bay, they are cleaned up and used for water taxis. Much more money to be made in taxi services than there is in fishing for those two days!

A typical panga.

A typical panga.

You hail a panga by calling them on the VHF radio, or standing on your boat and waving them down.

After leaving the boat, the panga drops you off at the end of pier, or right on the beach, depending on the tide. Lunch was tacos and beers, after which we got in a desperately needed a nap. So we missed the afternoon baseball game – que sera.

Our welcome sign to Mexico. Surprisingly, no Starbuck's.

Our welcome sign to Mexico. Surprisingly, no Starbuck’s.

Rested from our nap, it was time to eat and drink again! The pleasant surprise was really good, fast wireless internet onshore so we could get our facebook game on. The panga back to the boat left from shore this time because tides were low. When we approached the driver, he indicated that John should hop on his back – we got carried through the surf! Sadly no pics of Captain John riding piggy-back.

Friday afternoon was the beach party, locals set up a beer stand and a couple other vendors were there, we brought our own picnic lunch to grill, and a good time was had by all.

The gals line up to defend their title.

The gals line up to defend their title.

An annual tradition is the men vs. women tug-o-war, where something like four women equals one man. Women are undefeated.

Friday evening the boats with kids organized trick-or-treating. The kids put on their Hallowe’en costumes, boats with candy turned on blinking lights and the kids (with adult supervision) dingy’d from blinker to blinker. Believe it or not, we still have some Hallowe’en candy left (today is Nov. 8 – so that’s a first for our household. Or boathold. Or whatever we are called now.

Saturday morning, and we were back out on the sea for Leg 2 down the coast to Bahia Santa Maria, usually the slow paced-no wind leg.



This entry was published on November 8, 2015 at 9:50 pm and is filed under Mexico. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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