Langosta and aussies
It was to be another multi-day passage to get to our next destination further down the Baja coastline. There is a couple spots to have stopped along the way, but we both preferred to knock out some serious distance southward. Bahia Magdalina – a large protected bay where whales frequent with their babies – was our real destination, but just before the mouth of Bahia Magdalina is a bay, open to the Pacific, that is well talked about for its beauty; Bahia Santa Maria. This would be our target, at least for a few days.
The afternoon winds are quite reliable in this region, so we set out in the late morning to ride the afternoon and evening winds to the south. Our voyage would take 41 hours, over two nights, to cover the 190 nautical miles to Santa Maria. We got some good sailing in, but nothing of note really happened during the trip. The mornings were spent motoring with the afternoons and evenings we sailed. In the end we were only able to sail about half the distance.
While we would much prefer to sail more, the ratio of sailing to motoring has fallen in our favor since crossing the border, now about a 60/40 split (with sailing being the larger) as compared to our time in Alaska which had a 20/80 split (with sailing being the smaller). Nevertheless, the voyage was uneventful and we arrived in the early morning hours before the sun had peaked above the horizon.
After a day of rest to recuperate from yet another multi day passage, we did little to get off Meriwether. A fishing village is located on the northwestern side of the bay which local fisherman scurried out of each morning and back to each evening. We joked about making a sign to hang off our boat with the words, “Comparare langosta” (will buy lobster) but in the end that proved unnecessary. A returning panga stopped in and offered Kerri a freshly caught lobster, which she would have bought at any price but got for only 100 pesos (roughly $5). It stayed in our fridge – alive – for a day until Kerri cooked it up for her dinner. I ate something else, as I am no seafood eater.
We were anchored nearby a shore that appeared to be easy enough to land the dinghy to go explore, but the wind each day would keep us from doing so for a couple days. Eventually however, we did take the journey to land for a hike along the shoreline, our first hike in what felt like a very long time. It wasn’t a whole lot of hiking as Kerri was only in her water shoes, but the coastline gave us some beautiful views of Meriwether and the surrounding bay. We found numerous piles of bones, some still covered in feathers. It appears many pelicans come here to spent their final moments of life before passing away from one reason or another.
Our stay in Santa Maria would last for five days. It was the first place where we experienced a day without the need for multiple layers of clothing, since… I dunno, 2019? We were ecstatic to feel the sun’s warmth on our skin, and knew it would become more common in the coming days and weeks. This is what I signed up for!
A few other boaters dropped in and left during our time in the bay. Most we know of only peripherally thanks to seeing each other on AIS during the long trips down the coast. While it is uncommon to reach out and talk to these other boaters while underway, the boat names do tend to stick in memory. Eventually, in some random location, we end up meeting the people from this or that boat that we inadvertently buddy-boated with in the recent past. It is a cool way to meet people and makes for an easy ice breaker to boot. And once again, we met up with some fellow cruisers here; an Australian couple that have been sailing the world for nearly 10 years. We traded the invites over to each others boats for happy hour over the next two nights and told each other’s stories and adventures from our sailing times. It has become increasingly more and more difficult to find people in this life that I do not like. In fact, I can’t recall a single person or couple met in the last four years that I wouldn’t hang out again with this very night. This is just the way of those of us cruising the world I suppose. Not many people do or can, and the ones that do seem to fit into this narrow category of people that I not only tolerate, but enjoy. Go figure.