0 In by sail/ mexico/ the journal

Ensendada de los Muertos

At 6am, after about a week in Cabo, we left to begin making our way to La Paz. For many boats headed to La Paz from Cabo, their first stop is Bahia Los Frailes. We decided to put a few more miles under our keel and sail through the night to Ensenada de Los Muertos, which is also known as Bahia de Los Sueños.

We sailed through the day and into the evening in light conditions. I was on watch during sunset, which was to our port side, sinking behind the Baja Peninsula. As our first sail in Mexico apart from the Ha-Ha fleet, there was a different feeling about this leg of our journey. We felt alone. We have felt alone at sea before, but I know I felt it even more so here. Not alone in a bad way, but in an exciting and self-reliant way. To be surrounded by the wild blue, with nothing between you and the deep but your trustworthy little vessel is amazing.

That night the bioluminescence was in full effect, which is probably my favorite thing in the whole world. I always look for it on night watch. I saw what I’m pretty sure was a dolphin swimming beside us. All I could see was the trail of bioluminescence it was leaving as it darted around our port side. There’s no question sailing by he light of a big bright moon is awesome, but a moon-less night sail has its own perks. With glowing glitter organisms in the boat’s wake and the dense blanket of stars above, everything around us sparkled. 

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We arrived before sunrise at Los Muertos, so we hove to until the sun came up before finding a spot to anchor in the bay. Umphrey was eager to get to shore, and we were ready for breakfast. There is one large restaurant, El Cardón Tequila Bar, on the northeast side of the bay. We launched the dinghy and headed in that direction. We enjoyed huevos estrallados at the restaurant, zipped around the bay in the dinghy, then headed back to the boat to rest and clean up.

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There a few boats we recognized in the bay, and we shared some happy hour drinks in the restaurant that evening, then dinghied over to our friends’ boat for a beer. The wind started to pick up as the sun was setting, so we needed to hurry back to Starfire to secure the dinghy on the boat for the evening. The bay was a little choppy and I saw 12 knots on the wind meter. We must have been a comical sight as we wrangled the 95lb dinghy through the breeze back on deck, our spreader lights acting as a spotlight for any viewers interested in our clumsy efforts. We usually haul up our outboard and dinghy with our topping lift and spinnaker pole. Jeff carries the outboard down the deck to it’s mount on the stern of Starfire, followed by the heavy lifting for the dinghy while I guide to it’s place on deck. This daily chore, in anything less that calm conditions, can be a bit of a nail biter. We’ve been known to get creative with the outboard step to make it safer, as we did on this particular evening. It went something like this: Jeff heaves the outboard up to me from the dinghy while I sit with one foot in the cockpit and one the swim ladder. Then he comes up into the cockpit to take it from me and place it on the mount. It sounds simple, but it’s pretty freaking hard. Basically, I function as a temporary outboard holder and end up with grease stains/bruises on my legs. Of course, two minutes after the dinghy and outboard were secure, the wind died to nothing. We laughed and said, “Well, that was easy.”

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