Punta Chivato

We left Santa Rosalia a few days after the new years, to continue our southern momentum. We chose a nice weather window to make the 30 mile sail further down the Baja coastline. Actually, we chose this day as the next week afterwards was forecast to blow from the north. With wind on our back side, we sailed for more than four and a half of the six hour voyage, with nothing of note really happening. It was good to sail. It was even better to sail in calm seas – for a change – and the comfort that comes with it.

We arrive to Punta Chivato, just north of the Bay of Conception, dropped our anchor, and set it hard to ride out the days and days of heavy winds in our future. At first we were considering a small hop into the Bay of Conception itself, but knowing the anchorages there are prone to highway traffic noise we chose to stay where we were. For five days the wind howled through Meriwether’s rigging and she danced back and forth as she always does in heavier winds. No big deal for us to be honest, other than the inability to deploy our fold out solar panel for much of the time.

You know it is windy when the kite-boarders come out to play

It was on our fourth day there that I heard a snap at the bow, and we discovered the D-ring holding our anchor snubber to the bob-stay chain plate had broken in all the back and forth. Not the biggest problem in the world, but we were left with setting up our lager bridal which comes with a greater level of noise inside the bow of the boat. We survived… somehow.

Kerri and I both looked up at the same moment. Had we just heard a voice? Neither of us were sure. Kerri, expecting some locals selling fish or lobster poked her head out of the hatch – likely the first time she saw sunlight in days – finding nothing. It wasn’t until she stood in the cockpit and did a full 360 degree scan that she decided that we must have been hearing things.


This time a bobbing head and a waving hand accompanied the voice. There, just feet from Meriwether, bobbed a Mexican fisherman in the wind swept water. He tried to explain why he was interrupting our day of wind, but we just do not yet understand enough Spanish for it to penetrate. Finally, with his hands doing the speaking, we figured out that his boat {pointing to it about a half mile away} had either floated away from him or been disabled. So we dropped our dinghy foolishly thinking we would be able to tow him in with our tiny 1.5 horsepower electric motor.

The man and I set off together to get out to his boat before it floated further away. It takes a bit of time in our small dinghy to travel a half mile, so he and I talked as best we could with a cavernous language barrier. I eventually learned that his boat was working fine but he couldn’t get back to it, he lived in Mulege, and has two kids, one of which was named Daniel – the boat shared the name. This was all good because the closer we got to his boat the less confident I felt about possibly towing it in. It appears that he was the one pulled away from his boat by the current as he was diving for fish. He had made it to shore, barefoot walked to near us, and swam out to us looking for a ride. Once back onboard, he was able to raise his anchors, start the motor, and probably took the rest of the day off. Rescue a fisherman badge unlocked!

Looking back at Punta Chivato as we recharge the battery bank

The next day, after six of them in total, we pulled up our own anchor and motored the 20 miles into the Bay of Conception, choosing to motor as our battery bank was heavily depleted. Mid way through our short hop we were welcomed by a good sized pod of local dolphins who played with Meriwether for only a few minutes before growing bored and diverting course back to their daily migration to who knows.

I was lucky to have had the camera in hand and took an amazing video of it all. Only when I tapped the button to stop recording did I realize that I never *started* the blasted recording. In the end I got a 1.5 second long video of one of my shoes while I blurt out a profanity in the background.

We arrived in the Bay of Conception with two days to get in order before my brother and his wife were coming out for a week long visit. This will either be one hell of a fun week, or a total shit show. I really don’t know my brother at all so wasn’t sure which way the pendulum would swing.

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7 Responses

  1. Patrick says:

    Wow, crazy story about the fisherman!
    Sounds like you could use a bit more solar. With all that sun (tons compared to AK) I’m surprised your solar panels can’t keep up.

    • Tim says:

      Only getting 10-11 hours of sunlight, with only 4-6 of them being any good for solar, this time of the year. But, more than anything it has been the addition of the Starlink internet that is causing us to use a lot more power each day too. We need to make 2 kW a day, just to break even. Most days are 1.6kW solar generated, so drop a bit each day.

    • Kerri says:

      There’s a bit of cognitive dissonance when it comes to sun and solar down here after years in the PNW! Up there, we all take a slip and plug in in the winter months, when the days are shorter. You get down here, and it *feels* more like summer, and the sun is shining, but it’s still winter, and the sun isn’t out for that many hours and lower in the sky when it is — not like Alaska in winter for sure! (but that’s when you’re plugged in), but there’s also still not as much solar out here right now as in the actual cruising season up north.

  2. Trent says:

    Just drove right through there back on 12Jan.

  3. Rick Gard says:

    Great adventures as usual for you guys. Thanks for your blog, one of the best – not just another highly edited youtube fiction.

  4. Ian Wilson says:

    All the best with your brother. Mine passed in vehicle accident 25 years ago. We were never close but I’d give anything to chat with him one more time.

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