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Turtle Bay

Monday

No fog or sea-mist seen overnight - unexpectedly - and a bright moon shone through the occasional thin cloud layer. Air and sea temperatures have dropped dramatically the last day or so.

By 10 am, we were anchored not far from the catamaran Ku'ola in Bahia de Tortugas, after a lively sail in strong winds that had suddenly come overnight from the S - a good F4, with plenty of white caps. We seemed to have been overtaken by a small localised depression and a nasty short swell was coming directly into the Bay. I tried to set a snubber to stop the chain snatching at the windlass gipsy in the rough conditions but lost it and had to improvise an alternative in a hurry...

I'd hoped to catch up on some sleep after refuelling soon after my arrival but Enrique seemed to have run out of fuel ... "Manana" he said... I wasn't too happy with that, since the unusual S winds forecast for the next few days are perfect for getting N, rather than being headed by the usual NW winds. But the delivery skipper of Ku'ola was in a hurry to get to San Diego so he negotiated with Enrique to collect fuel from the village Pemex station and bring it out in his panga - well set up with a big tank and a good fuel pump run off a generator. Eventually, that happened but a payment problem for Ku'ola had to be sorted out with a visit to the village and my fuel delivery was well-delayed into the afternoon, as a result...

I spent a time sorting out some running rigging, clearing up and making a meal - the rough conditions had returned after a short, sunny, calm spell and I was in no hurry to leave, but once conditions lessened again, I felt I should move on to make use of the S wind. So mainsail and anchor were both raised and by 5 pm, we were away...

There was a good S wind and I happily cut the engine, once on course beyond the Bay , to make 5.7 kt under sail - lovely! But not for long... Fog descended and the wind dropped, and with it our boat-speed. Within half an hour of leaving, we were only sailing at 3 knots. On with the engine again....we're motor-sailing... Radar has been playing up occasionally but just now it's working fine - just when it's needed... I'm feeling well under-dressed on deck in bare feet and shorts - cabin temperature is 24C and sea temperature, 17C. I'm wearing a jacket and warm vest for the first time in a long while and will soon be in long trousers if the sun doesn't get out soon. (In fact, it turned out that the fog was patchy - we're now under fluffy cumulus clouds with another big lurking fog bank ahead.)

Our course is around Punta Falsa and Isla Cedros and on NNW towards Ensenada, which will put the present wind directly astern. Forecasts suggest light winds, so it looks like more motoring - better in light S wind than almost any from NW...

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