Baja Passage Update: Day 1

STOP & GO !


This is the second in a series of six posts I am publishing daily since Sunday, with the daily highlights of our non-stop passage from Ensenada to San Jose Del Cabo. Click here for yesterday’s update.

(Saturday, April 11th) Anxiety promoted an early wake up for us on the day of departure, and at 8am we were ready to go. We left the marina, headed for the nearest fuel dock and ran aground. Not the most glamorous start for such an important journey. We had called the fuel station the afternoon before to check their depth, but over night either Pesto increased its draft, or the waters got shallower there – the fact is that we got stuck on the way in. Luckily, we were able to release Pesto from the bottom and tie at a dock nearby. We completed filling up the tanks by ferrying jerry jugs between Pesto and the Fuel Station and, one and a half hours later, were steaming South.

Leaving the marina in Ensenada on a bright Saturday morning
Leaving the marina in Ensenada

On the way out of Ensenada Bay, we saw a humpback whale with its calf, and Adriana said it would bring good vibes to our trip.

The first whale sighting of the trip brought good winds for the first day out
The first whale sighting of the trip brought good winds for the first day out

It did. One hour later, a fair wind filled in and we started sailing. First on our traditional configuration – Main and #2 Genoa – then we set a second headsail, which added almost a knot to our speed, and finally we got the guts to fly our spinnaker. This is usually the largest sail on a sailboat’s inventory (Pesto’s is 2,200sqrft/205sqrmt – the size of a large apartment), and adds a lot to boat speed. We had never flown it before, and were in awe when the huge chute filled with the wind, and Pesto accelerated to a steady 8-9 knots, hitting 10 at times.

Sailing with double headsails - we discovered Pesto likes to be a cutter. And it is not that difficult to set.
Sailing with double headsails – we discovered Pesto likes to be a cutter. And it is not that difficult to set.
The spinnaker is up - all 220 square meters of it !
The spinnaker is up – all 205 square meters of it !

In the afternoon, we came across a very active whale – another humpback. It broached repeatedly, at times putting almost all of its body outside of the water. It kept broaching closer and closer to us – up to within 50 meters. It then proceeded to slap its lateral fin on the water. And after we had sailed past it, it hit its tail on the surface a couple of times. As much as it was visually amusing, it seemed aggressive, and made us feel we didn’t belong in there.

That whale kept broaching while we sailed by - it might have been showing off, but to me it looked more like aggressive behavior
That whale kept broaching while we sailed by – it might have been showing off, but to me it looked more like aggressive behavior

While we were under sail. I switched the generator on and used the energy to make fresh water, adding some 300 liters to the tanks.
We doused the spinnaker just after sundown, Adriana prepared a snack, and we settled in for the first night.

The kids getting ready for the first night of sleep offshore
The kids getting ready for the first night of sleep offshore

 

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