Saturday, November 13, 2010

Santa Maria Beach Party

We spent a very nice night in the anchorage and then about 0800 the crew starts looking for coffee and food. At 1000, I am headed to the beach for the day's festivities. The locals are preparing a feast for us. A band from La Paz (4 hours away) will provide the music. I catch a panga and head to the beach to meet the volleyball folks. It's another beautiful day with a light breeze. We get the net up and play a few rounds. There is some great taunting going on from both sides of the net. We win one and lose one. Soon it's lunch time and we are first in line for the food. Shrimp, fish, rice, beans and fresh tortillas. Very nice. I catch up with a few folks and then spend the rest of the afternoon playing volleyball. Our team did not lose another game the rest of the afternoon. We played until the tide came in and knocked down the net at 5pm. It was one of the funnest afternoons of volleyball I have ever played. I had brought a top of the line beach net and everyone had a great time. At the end of the day, I donated the net so future Hahaers could enjoy this great game. Headed over to some friends boat for some spaghetti and wine. Back to Rainbow at 9 and everyone is asleep or resting. I decide to go for a night swim. I jump in and the water lights up with bioluminescence. My whole body is glowing. I push off the boat and it is amazing. The tiny plankton get excited with movement and light up a bright green. It is so cool! I decide to swim over to boat about 400 yards away. Its a gorgeous, still night and an amazing swim. As far as land based activities, today was the best day of the trip! Can you tell I am having too much fun???

We are up early at 0500 to prepare the boat for Leg 3 and our destination of Cabo San Lucas. It's about 180 miles. There is a bit of a breeze as 170 boats head out for the start. The wind dies and we start motoring. We are near Magdelana Bay and there are lots of whale sightings. We have not seen a whale on this trip. I go off watch at 1100 and take a nice nap. During my nap, one of the boats catches and releases a 180 lbs. Marlin! Grilled pork loin for dinner that featured another green flash and a whale sighting! The wind has died and it looks like we will be motoring thru the night. Up at 0700 and we are nearing the Cape! There are reports of a strange, strong wind in Cabo. It is coming from the south east and is something Cabo never sees. It is causing alot of problems inside the marina. There were plans to have alot of boats raft together inside the marina, but due to the wind and waves, this will not happen. A bunch of boats lose their spots and will have to anchor in the bay. At 10am we approach Cabo Falso. This is about 2 miles from Lands End. The wind is in the low 20's and the waves are huge. We are down to our last couple miles and all hell has broken loose. The boat is rocking and for the first time, water is coming over the bow and into the cockpit. We are soaking but the water is 80 and the sun is warm. We cross the finish line and a cheer goes out. We finally make it around the corner and Cabo San Lucas spreads out before us. My first visit was a surfing safari back in October 1982, almost 30 years ago. Back then it was a sleepy fishing village with one disco. Now the town has grown into a major tourist mecca that sells mostly t-shirts and trinkets...and a ton of hotels, bars and restaurants. We make it in and start the process of refueling the boat and filling up the 5 gallon fuel jugs. I don't have any plans, so I tell the skipper that I will stick around and help him get settled. The other two crew head to the hotel for a nice shower and a marg! We are hoping for a slip but with the winds taking away alot of them, it doesn't look good. We call the organizer once more and it is not good news. He tells us to anchor in the bay. We are about to head out and one of the boats hails us and asks us to bring beer to them in the anchorage. I am sure racking up the karma points! I grab some beer from the store and we head out. The boat is a brand new 57' boat called "Perfect Wave". The crew is waiting for us with a fishing net. The seas are wild and I am not sure we can pull this off without some damage to both boats. We make one approach and nearly take them out! On the next pass, we make a perfect hand off and there is a $20 pinned to the net that I grab as we make the hand off. They thank us for our trouble and we head down the beach. We try to anchor near them but it does not work out so I pull up the 100 feet of chain and we move on. Ground tackle on a big boat is heavy and I am nearly spent after a long trip. I tell the skipper we need to get it right the next time. We head way down the beach and there is the Cal 29 bouncing in the surf. We find a spot and drop the anchor again. She holds and I jump in the water for a nice swim. I have an hour before I need to get off the boat, however the wind is so high, they have closed the harbor so no pangas are running. My only option is to swim. I lay down to rest and recover from the last few hours. We get a call from the docks saying there is a slip available. My eyes roll at the thought of pulling up the anchor for a second time. The skipper says yes to the slip and up to the bow I go. The wind is 18 knots by now and this is going to a nightmare! I start pulling and after a while I switch with the skipper and now he is pulling and I am driving. We had over 200' out and we are both exhausted. Finally we get it back on the roller and pull away. That was difficult!! We head in and there is a question if our 22' beam is going to fit. We are going to need a shoe horn to get in. We tie up and make it by inches. We have to raft up to another boat and they give us a hand. They warn us not to make any sudden moves as they have German Shepards on board. This is the same dog that bit another cruiser at Santa Maria. I can't wait to get off the boat. I grab my backpack and I am off and safe. I head over to meet up with the crew and tell them about our ordeal and then head to the hotel. I need a beer! I head to the pool and there is a restaurant and bar. I order some beer and fish tacos and think about our amazing journey down the coast. Head to the room for a shower and some email. The it's over to Squid Row for some dancing with the fleet members. My crew is there as well as some of the friends I have made. By 9, the place is rocking and we are having a blast on the dance floor. Everybody is buying me beer and shots! What a cool thing to know most of the folks on the dance floor! At about 11pm I head back and hit the hay. What an ending to the trip...but wait, we still have one more highlight that I can't wait to tell you about! Please come back!

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