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Fri/Sat 23/24 June 2017 Passage to Ensenada...

Friday 23rd June 2017 Passage to Ensenada continues

11a.m. PDT (local time)

Yesterday, we had perfect timing as we came up in the lee of the east side of Isla Cedros to lose the big Pacific W swell. We caught slack LW at Dewey Channel and got full flood until slack HW well after passing the N end of Cedros - speeds went up to 8kt!! And no fog - excellent!

I'm now trying to get to Ensenada before strong headwinds arrive - or at least I hope we'll get very close just as they're beginning. Will be using a lot of fuel - but I just checked and I've still plenty to keep r.p.m. up a bit for the last day - should make Ensenada tomorrow before noon sometime, hopefully - 125 miles away at 1730Z Friday and, if making 5.5kt, it's just under a day away.

I’m hoping the strong headwinds don't come in sooner than forecast, to slow us down too much. Flat calm now with 2-4kt wind and foggy.

Winds are supposed to pick up slowly over this afternoon reaching 10 kt by time I reach San Martin (30 mls away now), 10-12kt off Colnett (60mls away) before midnight, 10-12 kt by 5-6am off Pta Thomas (100mls away) and 12-15kt as I close on Ensenada - all headwinds, so add 5 kt or more for boatspeed and more again for gusts. Seas will have built up also, I imagine. It will be nice to get in and relax!

Saturday 24th June Passage to Ensenada comes to abrupt stop….

9 a.m. PDT

We were bashing into NW 12-13 kt and seas to match, very soon after passing Isla San Martin just before sunset & expecting stronger winds later in the night and over into Saturday - around Punta San Tomas especially..

I had sent an email to a friend who sent me information about the anchorage tucked away just SE of Cabo Colonet: "Hoping to pass by & make Ensenada but, if headwind gets too strong, might turn downwind and head in there," I wrote…..

That's exactly what happened last night, well after midnight.

We were getting low on fuel and were struggling to make over 3.5 kt while rounding Cabo Colonet with great difficulty. The rough seas were constantly slowing us right down and, with a headwind already gusting to 18 kt from 12-15 kt, I couldn't sensibly continue on with the very high engine rpm needed to make better speed (giving me a big worry about having sufficient fuel with the resulting greatly increased fuel consumption). I knew winds were forecast to increase further on and they were already far more than expected.

It was very dark, with no moon but luckily also with no fog to prevent me from seeing the anchor light of another boat as I headed in (the boat showed up well on radar also). I wasn't sure if there were more small boats some way further on, but those might have been lights on shore - they posed no problem while anchoring in a good spot in 12m depth.

Sea temperature here is 12C - a big change from the 28C I was in off the southern Baja!! Low cloud now - a patchy, light fog has lifted for the time being.... it’s misty and cool!

Will make use of time here to get some outstanding jobs done.

Midday

Wind is generally 12-16 kt but frequently gusts up to 24 kt. There’s good NW swell protection here and no fetch since we’re fairly close to the rocky shore-line at the base of low sandstone cliffs.

I moved away from a cleft in the cliffs leading inland - a likely cause of willy-waws, I thought, so I raised the anchor this morning and lowered it a little further east.

Very quiet here - only noise is of waves breaking on rocks at foot of cliff and of the wind when it gusts.

I suddenly spotted my mobile phone had a tiny signal - tried it - it works! I’m able to text and speak to people - amazing, in this deserted, isolated place! No good for data but fine for voice.

Tidying up & getting some jobs done. I’ve finally had to give up on bare feet and dug out my sea boots - much warmer… (Have been needing a fleece top for several days now.)

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