Gonzaga bay, a new anchorage to start the season

With Migel’s help pulling on dock lines we squeezed between a few boats on our zigzag course to the center of the alleyway. Then a one eighty spin got us pointed towards the mouth of the harbor. Everything was looking good as we slowly motored along watching the depth, as it can be tricky getting to open water. However, with nearly high tide we didn’t have any problems and soon were making out way into the shortly stacked swells and wind from the northwest. Still in the protection of land we were seeing 3-4 foot waves every 3-4 seconds and wind in the 20 knots apparent. Good sized but Strikhedonia was in her element and the ride was not too rough. For the first hour much was the same until we reach the full force of the unblocked sea, this ramped things up to 5-6 foot waves (occasional 8 foot sneakers) just aft of our starboard beam.

With things getting settled in we unfurled the jib which allowed us to power back to 2,200 RPM and still cruise along at 7 knots. Working into our three hour shifts Jack and I kept and eye on the boat-free seas in front of us. I almost missed a nice sunset, it sets so early in the fall/winter, but Jack was paying better attention. For dinner I fried up some bacon for a BLT. Not thinking that the smell might not go over well with Jack, who was recovering from a bout of food poisoning (plus he over did it yesterday at the sports bar) and while feeling pretty good the bacon was too much so he got some fresh air until I was done.

The forecast was for mellowing seas late in the evening and it was spot on. By 11:00pm is was rare for a wave to smack us and by 1:00am the motion was really good. Hell, we even shut down the engine and sailed along for most of my shift. But around 3:00am we were down to 2.3 knots and on came the engine. We both were able to get some good sleep and just after the sunrise in calm conditions and no wind we pointed into San Luis Gonzaga bay. Booyah!

Anchor set we had a big breakfast, Jack was feeling good, and we went about washing the salt off the boat and getting setup for a few days here. I can’t express how good it felt to be back on the hook (Jack can attest to my repetitive comment to that fact). A bit of down time and we jumped in the dinghy to explore the area. With high tide coming we could get around the low lying spit of land separating the Baja from an island and into Willard bay. We followed the island contours around looking at the rock patterns and then crossed over to look at the beach front homes. A few are for sale if anyone is looking…

On the east side of the island it got a bit rougher but we stayed dry as we snuck around the lighthouse point and back into the protection of Gonzaga bay. We tried our hand at fishing, however expectations were low given the absence bottom structure. Not positive but Jack night have gotten one hit, or it could have been the lure hitting the bottom. Our legs wanted a stretch so we pulled up to a rock beach and took some time to wander around. There wasn’t much to see and without shoes it was a challenge walking so before long we were launching the dinghy to complete our circumnavigation of the island. Out came the fishing pole and too my surprise Jack hooked something. As in literally hooked a fish in its back. We got it in our fishing bucket, but unable to identify the type This one got a reprieve and was let go.

In Gonzaga there is an Eco hotel that Lowell (SV Gato Loco) told us was a good place to check out. With the waves, rather than risk a beach landing we paddled the kayak in and had no problem. A snack, a beer, and the purchase of 300 megabytes of internet (180 pesos) was a perfect way to spend a few hours. We got chatting with four guys from California who have been visiting the Baja by dirt bikes and trucks for over 45 years. One guy even sailed a little 30 foot sailboat down and back up 25 years ago – without refrigeration or a water maker. I can’t imagine.

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