Goodbye Bay of Banderas! Back to 'the Sea'

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Sailing back to the Sea of Cortez

Our time in Banderas Bay has come to an end. We originally planned to be there for a few weeks, but we all really loved our time in the bay and mostly our time at Manos de Amor. However, staying in Banderas Bay is tough on the cruising kitty and with all that is going on with the coronovirus we thought now is the time to head back to a more remote cruising ground. The weeks leading up to our leaving we watched the weather closely waiting for a window of cooperative winds and seas. We would like the wind to blow from the east or south, but this time of year that is not likely. The prevailing wind, this time of year, is from the north with strong systems regularly heading down the Sea of Cortez. Therefore, we were happy to settle for winds below 20 knots from the north. We prepared our stores, Samadhi and ourselves for a rough ride beating into seas and wind. We left the fuel dock in La Cruz at 8:15 after topping off with diesel. We were expecting the winds to be light for most of the morning and that we would be motoring. Then the wind was to build in the early afternoon such that we could sail. Well, the winds did build but never enough for us to sail for much more than an hour or two before dying. Then down came the sails and on came the motor. After an hour or two of motoring the wind would be back just barely enough for us to sail. So we pulled out all the sails and turned off the motor again. We did this back and forth for the first day and half. We spent a few hours motoring then a few hours sailing with just barely enough wind. The wind was light so we did not create much speed and they came from an unhelpful direction so we did not make much progress to our goal. So with about 150 miles to go we decided to leave the sails down and just run the motor to La Paz. This is definitely not our preferred method of travel. We burn about 2 gallons of fuel per hour and travel about 6 miles in an hour. That means we get about 3 miles per gallon of diesel. And we had to travel a total of 329 miles from La Cruz to La Paz. Oh I forgot to mention that diesel in Mexico marinas is over $4.50 per gallon! So yes, we much prefer to use the wind and our sails to move around. The reason we did choose to turn the motor on and “quickly” get to La Paz is that another strong weather system was on its way down and we did not want to be out there for that. The bright side of no wind is that the seas were very calm and the skies crystal clear. We were able to experience beautiful starry nights. We also have a glowing wake through the water each night due to the phosphorous in the water. We arrived in the La Paz at 5:00 am after three full days and nearly 3 full nights of travel. Safe and sound and ready to provision (we need more diesel) and head up to the amazing cruising grounds that we all love, the Sea of Cortez. 

2 comments

  1. Why is bay of banderas tough on the kitty? Nowhere to anchor or expensive provisions or?
    Stay safe! I am loving isolation in Syndey, it’s just like being @ sea, but better wifi and the boat isn’t heeled over.

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    1. Because we were in marinas for 6 weeks at guest moorage rates. There is 1 anchorage where cruisers congregate (it usually has 50-100 boats in it). However, it’s pretty much open to the Pacific Ocean and swell. We’ll have to get used to that at some point but right now with loading a dog into the dinghy multiple times a day as well as young kids when they go to shore we didn’t always feel like it was the safest. Definitely not the most comfortable. Provisions were great, typical Mexico prices for food which is really reasonable. Also being tied to a dock with restaurants, ice cream, etc within 5 minute walk was too tempting. That part was lack of self control 🙂

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