Saturday, November 11, 2006


Cabo - Rock the Boat Baby

So, here's a view of the beach from the Niki Wiki at anchor in Cabo San Lucas. The first couple of days the bay was relatively calm, but the last 2 days we've been a-rockin & a-rolling in the wind and swells. Time to leave this place and move on to the next adventure!

Cabo is a tourist town with a blend of Las Vegas, some Tijuana thrown in, and just a hint of Palm Springs. We've hung out at some of the bars with the other Baja Ha-Ha folks to celebrate the successful completion of the Rally. Here's some pics from "The Squid Roe" bar and the "Mango Bay" bar on the beach. Squid Roe is a loud, crass, wierd place. The waiters country line dance periodically, and the booze is free flowing (and expensive!). That's a fellow Ha-Ha'er from the yacht "Raptor Dance" doing , hmmm, dancing like a raptor on the table? Our group was a tad more sedate.
Partying hardy, we again met up with the group on the beach at the Mango Bay bar for dinner and more drinking. That "NO GRACIAS" sign is there to discourage the constant barage of beach vendors who wave cheap trinkets in your faces. Speaking of which, I had them make me a NIKI WIKI bracelet from brightly colored threads. Of course, we had lots of work to do too: Hike over to Immigration to get our tourist visas and ships papers stamped, then hike over to the Port Captain's office to get the ship's papers stamped again and pay to have enter Mexico, then down to the bank to pay for the tourist visas - and get them stamped. It was hot & slightly humid - high 80's, so we were tuckered out after doing all this paperwork.

The Pelicans are fantastic - there are LOTS of these guys hanging out in the marina and swooping over the bay looking for fish.

So, a little about the first leg of the voyage down here:

LEG 1 of 3
On a cloudy, cool October 30th morning, we set out with the 170 sailboats and a couple of powerboats (in the "no comprende" division) for our first port - Turtle Bay, Mexico. It was to be 3 days and nights of sailing - the rules are you can't use your engine unless you want to. We all motored out to the Starting Line at the entrance of San Diego Harbor and anxiously awaited the signal to start. Suddenly, the countdown began 9, 8, 7, 6, 3,8,4,1- GO! The race was on. Most of the boats began cheating immediately and fired up their motors. We, purists, put up our sails and tried to catch the light puffs of wind. Taking the racing part very seriously, we all donned our clown wigs as the rules stated that there would be a special prize for crews that wore costumes at the start of the rally. Hmmm...the wigs didn't do much to increase the machismo of the crew - but at least they kept their heads warm.

We had to do a lot of provisioning the day before taking off of all of the perishable items. Check out one of 3 of our hammocks of fresh fruit, the absolutely full refrigerator and giant laundry bag of snacking junk (back by my knitting library). Then, there was the booze supply for the bar, and the massive quantities of beer and soda for the crew - plus some extra beer for trading. Jonesy thinks that there's no such thing as "extra beer".

So, we sailed throughout the day, and into the night. Then sailed the next day, and night, and then another day, and night...FINALLY arriving at Turtle Bay in the early morning

So, what was the sailing like? 10mph light seas the first day, 20 mph moderate seas the 2nd day, and 30 mph heavy seas (terrifying!!!) the 3rd day. The rest of the trip we had very light winds except for 2 hours of very high (unexpected) winds blowing off the desert the first night out of Turtle Bay.

Tending the sails in the dark with rough seas was very difficult and scary. We all used special life jackets that had lines (tethers) attached from the jacket to a special lifeline (jackline) so that we would not fall completely off the boat.

Not me - I stayed below for the most part and prepared all of the meals and have the bruises to prove it! No problem, I have plenty of built in "bumper pads" on my torso to absorb the impact so no broken bones. The seas were "confused" with swells coming from different directions than the winds. The Niki Wiki rocked and rolled, lurched, dove, and still continued to sail a straight course. Jonesy, Tony, Brett and Ryan all took shifts at the helm.

All of the electronics and mechanical systems worked beautifully. Well, except for the aft head. Poor Jonesy had to rebuild the exit hose after it was discovered that it wouldn't flush "solids" (if you get my drift).

On the knitting scene: I've got only a couple more rows until I'm done with my sister's Victorian Shawl. The Cascade Pima Cotton & Tensel yarn has been a real pleasure to knit with. Thank goodness I had my knitting - it really gets me past those stressful high-wind periods.

So, it's off to Matzatlan tomorrow morning early with a stop in Los Frailes. Matzalan is over on the mainland of Mexico so we will head slightly north to Los Frailes, then do an all nighter down to Matzatlan. We have made a reservation for a berth in the marina there for a little rest & relaxation.

Knitting & Sailing on and on...

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