Friday, November 11, 2011

Arrived in Turtle Bay!

We arrived in Turtle Bay, Baja, Mexico on Wednesday. This is about halfway down the Baja peninsula.

Our stay in Ensenada was quite pleasant. The giant pod of sea lions which lived right next to our marina was quite the entertainment. One of them must have gotten into a fight with his family and needed a place to pout, because we were surprised to find one of these giant beasts resting alone on the dock.

He wasn't in much of a sociable mood, so we just let him be


Our sail from Ensenada was a bit intense. There was a gigantic monster low pressure system a thousand miles north which was sending us 20+ foot storm swells.

An example of a strong low pressure system with many isobars

Even though we were far south of the gale, the waves were pretty large and close together. That, combined with 20-30 knot winds provided for a quick and dramatic passage.

During one of my night watches in big winds and sea, I happened to shine the flashlight forward and check everything on the boat to make sure she was OK. Sure enough, one of our lower shrouds was hanging limp.

The shrouds are what hold up the mast. This is serious business. I immediately woke up Chris and he headed up on deck to find that we had popped a cotter pin. He fixed it immediately.

Lesson learned: when on night watch, and especially in heavy weather, shine the flashlight on the rigging, the sails, etc. every 15 minutes to make sure all is well.

Anyway, after two tiring days and nights sailing, we were excited to pull into Turtle Bay for some much needed rest. But as we approached the entrance, the wind started to pick up dramatically again, and a large dust storm with a cumulus cloud of dirt high in the sky was visible in Turtle Bay.

One other boat trying to enter the bay announced on the radio that they were not going to chance it, and they were going to go on to Mag Bay, another 300 miles south.


Another lesson learned: always bring more than enough fuel, water and provisions for your passage. Because sometimes you might not be able to enter the harbor you were planning on entering, and you might need to proceed onto the next port, 3 days away.

We were crushed. But we decided to take a peek inside Turtle Bay harbor and see how bad the conditions were before bagging it and continuing on south.

Fortunately, as we entered the harbor, conditions lightened and we were able to drop anchor.

                                                             Yay! We made it to Turtle Bay!

                             The next morning, we walked ashore and explored the tiny town.

That's me! I'm here!  :-)


In the two days we've been here in this lovely little anchorage, we've already discovered that what they say about cruising is true: you're always busy. There really is always something to do -- some task, either cleaning, or fixing, or washing, or something, that needs to be done at all times.

Turtle Bay has the usual Mexican situation where there are dozens of dogs roaming the town freely. This takes some getting used to. They don't appear angry or aggressive. I've been just being friendly and cheerful with the dogs, which has worked so far.

Yesterday I was sitting outside of a store while Chris was inside buying cookies for himself (a typical Chesney family event). Three dogs came up to me looking for...something. I decided to pet them.

 Well, one medium sized dog must have been woefully deficient in the attention department, because as soon as I petted him, he immediately pressed right up and started licking me all over my body and pressing up against me. He buried his face in my neck and buried his body next to mine, despite my protestations.

Typical male -- I let him get to first base and he tries immediately to go all the way. LOL...

Clearly these dogs are very low in the "Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs" department.

Anyway, Chris came out with his cookies and rescued me from my lonely and desperate suitor.

I started a tradition -- when we are at anchor or in a marina, I pull out a sweet little painting of a chickadee that my sister Kirsten gave me. I will keep it in my kitchen to remind me of my family.

In our spare time, Chris and I have started reading Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers' "The Power of Myth" on my Kindle.

This seems an appropriate book for us at this stage of our lives. It's about finding meaning in the journey. About building character as we pursue the mystery. Countless humans have taken this same quest that Chris and I are currently undertaking. It will be helpful and inspirational to read the stories of the men who have come before us.

So the plan is to spend about 3 days here in Turtle Bay, then we will shove off for Cabo San Lucas on Tuesday. It should be about 3 days of ocean sailing at which point we will arrive in Cabo.

Hasta la vista!


  1. so glad you guys made it to your first place! sounds intense. love the stories. so glad you have this blog. love you two so much.

  2. Those sea lions must feel the same way we men do when we are banished to the couch, it doesn't really bother us too much because it's like camping and we also get total control of the remote...hahaha! "The Power Of Myth" is my next read. Right now I am reading "Rule By Secrecy" by Jim Marrs (author of "Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy"). Like "The Creature Of Jekyll Island" a more accurate accounting, than those given in the textbooks that teach our children, of many major historical events.
    I am sooooooo envious of your adventuring.

  3. Chris & Liz,
    What a great site, or whatever its called, this is.
    Being very short on any cyber skills and passwordless on Facebook I hesitate to type as I would normally speak.
    Chris; Thought of you yesterday (Fri.) at about 1:00 and wondered how it was going. Now I see.
    I hope that if this is the wrong venue for posting a "Hi, Thinking of you" comment you will find a way to properly direct to the right channel as the card in my possession, unsurprisingly, does not include an email address for Chris.
    Happy Sails to you.
    Best Wishes,