Monday, November 24, 2014

A slice of Paradise in Magdalena Bay

What a great time we had in Magdalena Bay! This is a bay the size of San Francisco bay, and one of 3 gray whale calving lagoons on the Pacific Coast of Baja during winter time.

We played in the sand dunes with the most pristine sand we have ever seen; we saw a bunch of sting rays and luckily did not get stung while we walked out our dinghy on very low tide; Tod fixed a solar panel for the very happy port captain of the village of Puerto Magdalena. Even in this tiny place, where people do not have much material possesions, Tessa found a little play structure, while we watched kids of all ages playing baseball close by.

On our passage to Mag Bay we saw whales and flying bat rays, quite a spectacle.

But let me also share some less ideal moments in the days before. We had chosen another "daytrip' (10/12 hrs versus 24 or more hrs) to go from Bahia AsunciĆ³n to Punta Abreojos. The latter is popular for windsurfers in the summer, and it's close proximity to another grey whale calving lagoon in the winter. We had quite bumpy seas and wind coming in, and our hopes for a comfortable anchorage started to dim a bit. To our surprise, the anchorage was comfortable, and with no village lights to distract, the sky was just amazing to watch. Stargazing is Tessa's (and ours) favorite thing to do before bedtime.

During early morning hours, the comfort started to change, we both couldn't sleep anymore so  we decided to get an earlier start. By now we know that our girl does not wake up by any loud sound, engine (and it's loud!), nor the windlass pulling up our chain (chain locker is in her room, the v- berth).

The GRIB weather fax files , which Tod pulls up via our SSB radio, looked a little different than what we encountered. Strong winds in the upper 20's, with gusts of 30, combined with 4-6 feet seas in very, very short interval periods, made us run 90 degrees away from our destination, under reduced sail/ jib only. Let's just say, those are moments you wonder why one travels by boat. While Tod and I were not happy to be down below because of the super rocky motion, Tessa on the other hand? " Big waves, yeah" we hear from her room, where she wanted to be. So, who is the real sailor in this household? Today she asked me when she could steer the boat by herself. Well, kiddo, anytime now!

Eventually, the seas and wind subsided, and we made another overnite passage to Magdalene Bay. We sailed about 50 miles offshore, no land in sight, just stretches of long Pacific Blue.  When you arrive in a place like this,  you know why you take the  discomfort of this lifestyle, and travel by your own boat.


  1. Just a test for comments. Are you taking any movies of your dolphin encounters?

  2. Previous comment and this done on I Pad. Did NOT try regular computer.

  3. Wonderful pictures especially of our little girl. So glad she is such a good little sailor!

  4. Hi from Berkeley. We LOVE your photos and essays! Looks like you are making really good time. Hope you don't run into any tourists. Happy Thanksgiving. P&A


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