Mexico 2022: Puerto Los Cabos

February 15-18, 2022

Whales! and more whales! On the trip over to Puerto Los Cabos we saw at least 4 whales breaching and many other groups of whales slapping fins and tails. I missed most the breaches as I’m just not quick enough with the camera. I managed to get lucky with a whale that was nearby. It was awesome to see.

Upon approach to Los Cabos Steve got a message that we were on the waiting list. He gave them a call and they said we could come in but had to take a 60-foot slip. That works! The Los Cabos marina is nice and very peaceful compared to Cabo San Lucas. The majority of boats here are expensive, go-fast fishing boats. Coda looked a bit out of place and definitely not as waxed. We found out that it cost about $60 a day to have your own boat guy washing (and waxing). A guy worked on Steve’s boat for two days and what he did was the cleanest and shiniest that Coda has been. He’ll have to find a new guy in La Paz!

After getting settled we a quick check in on the plans. The result was the wind was not going to be in our favor for the next few days.  Steve checked in with the office and it was finalized. We’d be here until Saturday, a three-day delay.

The marina is close to the beach area. They have two nice beaches protected by the break water and then miles and miles of beach along the coast. It was a nice place to run for a couple of days.

The marina has a nice restaurant called Hook Up that we frequented over the multiple days. The staff was very friendly, and it was easy to chat with them. And the food, all seafood based, was amazing.

On two of the days, we took a $3 uber ride over to San Jose Del Cabo. On Thursday’s they do an art fair on the sidewalk, so we checked out all the booths and walked around the many shops. For dinner we met up with Karen and Jeff from SV Music as they also checking out the many offerings of San Jose Del Cabo. Steve picked up a new cockpit light. It will be interesting to see how long that will last in rough seas.

Mexico 2022: Bahia Asuncion to Bahia Santa Maria #2

February 9-11, 2022

I’m going to combine a few days together because they were basically the same. Cruise, fish, anchor, eat, sleep!

Over the 3 days we went from Bahia Asuncion to Santa Maria #2 just north of Magdalena Bay. I say #2 for Santa Maria because it has the same name as the bay we stayed at on Feb 4. Looks like they need more saints to prevent the conflicting names.

The highlight of the journey was we saw a bunch more whales and fishing improved with a nice Mahi Mahi and Yellow Tail. Steve is more a let’s clean the fish immediately than get pictures, so we don’t have any real good here are the fish pictures.

We stayed in Bahia De Ballenas (Whale Bay), off a little point by San Juanico and then finally Bahia Santa Maria. The first two anchorages were really just points that had protection from the big swells. They were relatively protected and allowed for a decent night sleep even being in the middle of the ocean.

In Santa Maria Bay we anchored in by some sailboats and there seemed to be a warship anchored on the other side. Interesting to see.

Here are some random pictures from the 3 days.

Mexico 2022: Bahia Tortugas

February 6, 2022

Today was a long transit day. The log shows just short of 24 hours for the trip which finished on the 7th. We caught a few fish and saw lot of dolphin and whales. I managed to get a decent picture of a whale with its head out of the water. Along with a couple of the fins and tail.

February 7, 2022

The long-haul voyage ended around 6:30 in the morning. The crew was wiped out and slept in most of the morning. We also hit a timezone change so we’re now in La Paz or Mountain time.

In the afternoon, we put the dinghy down and decided to check out the town. As we approached the beach, we could see a man walking towards us and it was obvious that he was only there to talk with us.  He told us where to come in on the beach and was friendly. He showed us where the only open cantina was. He also declared that there were many banditos around and he would watch our boat. We guessed he was the bandito that you paid to keep the other banditos away.

The restaurant was ok and the lady that was there had the soap operas on in the corner and didn’t seem that interested in serving us. The burritos were decent, and we had a couple of the local beers to wash them down. This is a good time to describe burritos so far. It’s not the large stuffed shell that you get in the US. It’s usually a few rolled up tortillas with filling inside. More like a taquito if I were to classify it myself.

We walked around a bit of the town and it looked like it was once a cool place. The guide said there were multiple restaurants and markets. We could see where there were probably some in the past, but they were either boarded up or clearly had not been open for a while. I’m not sure if it was a timing thing or if Covid closed them down. Either way, it wasn’t quite what we expected.

On returning to the beach, our friendly bandito was still hanging about with other people. He didn’t really engage us, so we started getting the dinghy situated to go out and his friend started telling us we needed to tip him for watching the boat. We gave him a few bucks and that seemed to satisfy. I’m not sure what the going rate is for someone watching your boat in Mexico.

Steve and Barbara declared it was nap time. The long voyage had taken a toll and that was the end of the day as they slept the rest of the afternoon and into the next day. I loved the name of the fishing boat next to us. Bozos Y Pescadores I (Bozos and Fishermen).

Big Left Turn: Bumpy Ride and Ducking into Gold Beach

We stressed over the weather map for a day and a half and made the call that we had a small window to get to Crescent City. That is if we left early and got around Cape Blanco before the heavy weather set in. The engine was fired up at 5 am and we were off. I’d put up a picture but it would be just a completely black image.

The Coos Bay bar was nice and calm, and we were hopeful. That id not last long as the waves started picking up. the problem with today versus the last few was the wind is out of the south and therefore we are going against the wind waves. If it was out of the north, the trip would have been smooth.

The model said after Cape Blanco the wind would calm down and be manageable at least until we could get to Crescent City. As we approached the Cape, it didn’t let up and the updated model showed a change for the worse. We had a decision. 3 hours forward or 5 hours back. We opted for the forward even though the back trip would be smooth. The decision took us to Gold Beach, Oregon. It’s on the Rogue River and unfortunately has a bar that isn’t monitored after Labor Day. The good part is the approach was to the north and thus it was mostly with the waves. Once we turned to go in the ride smoothed out as expected.

The bar was not optimal as it had visibly breaking waves between the jetties. As we came in Steve sped up to stay between the waves. It was a bit tense but we made it thru. The river has bunch of shoaling and shallow spots and luckily, we were coming in at high tide. The local charter captain that was on the dock and helped us was surprised we made it thru without going aground. Guess we got lucky. He said he’d show us the best path to navigate out tomorrow. You can see the nice sand bar across the bar in the satellite image below.

After a nap, we headed up check out the Port Hole Cafe. The dinner was delicious and it’s a pretty nice place. In the same parking lot is Jerry’s Rouge River Museum and Gift Shop that has a lot of history and pictures of how the area developed.

And you can see that the marina is a popular place in the offseason.

Voyage Information:

Coos Bay to Gold Beach
Time: 9 h 25 m ( 04:55 to 14:20 )
Distance: 71.65 nm

Big Left Turn: Making the Turn & the Columbia River Bar

September 21-22, 2021

The next stop we planned was Astoria, OR, via the Columbia River Bar. The guidance says if you want a smooth transition you need to transit at slack current or at least a flood tide. This is so you avoid the situation they call ebb chop, which can even lead to breaking waves. We projected the trip to take 18+ hours and slack was around 9 AM so we decided we would depart Neah Bay at 1 PM to give us enough time.

Since I had a bit of time while we were at anchor, I decided I’d fly the drone a bit and got a few good shots.

After departing Neah Bay, the wave chop picked up and we were a bit concerned with the ride since it was for 18 hours. However, once we made the left turn and got a bit offshore the ride smoothed out and overall it was good ride.

It was interesting when the sun began to set and then we hit darkness. I’ve talked to a bunch of boaters that do crossing and long trips. Some say they just put on the alarms and sleep. Others have watches. But there is a feeling of nothing you can do. We can’t see traps or logs so looking out the window is not that productive. Looking at the radar and AIS was very helpful but we only passed two boats all night. We had a great moon rising. There was no way to get that on camera given the lighting and motion.

We had planned to be at the Columbia River Bar around 9:30 AM. However, we made great time and got there a couple hours early. Starting about 6 AM the Coast Guard started communicating reports and that the bar had a 20 foot and below restriction. Steve asked if he should call in and get guidance and I figured they would just give the same report. Which is exactly what they did, but added your vessel is not restricted as this time. Basically it’s your call captain. A charter captain hailed us after the call, and gave us guidance on how to approach, which gave us a little more confidence.

Crossing the bar was a good experience. The waves were 4-6 foot with some 8-10 footers thrown in. Steve was so puckered up that he wouldn’t let me take pictures. Therefore, we have limited footage.

Once successfully across the bar, we cruised in another hour to Astoria. We were all beat given the long trip and not sleeping much so it was nap time.

In the late afternoon, after our naps, we headed up to the Bridgewater Bistro for a meal. As we sat down, we got a call from Gary on Illimite asking what we were up to. Him and Noelle waked up to the restaurant and we had an amazing meal with great company.

Voyage Information:

Neah Bay to Astoria
Time: 21 h 56 m ( 12:29 to 10:25 )
Distance: 160.99 nm