Thursday, December 23, 2010

Crossing the Sea of Cortez

Josh and I crossed the Sea of Cortez on S/V Estrella in mid-October. Our point of departure was the northernmost anchorage of the Espiritu Sanctu island group (Ensenada Grande), just north of La Paz, Baja California Sur.

We crossed to Mazatlan, Sinoloa, (a distance of 234 miles) in less than 48 hours, and averaged 5kts/hour. We saw only two ships the entire time and the lack of moonlight made for fantastic night sailing.

Almost exactly halfway across the Sea of Cortez, we were briefly accompanied by two very enthusiastic sperm whales and a multitude of common dolphins. They put on quite a show as we sailed on by. (Sorry no photos of said marine mammals available as the camera was hiding below deck).

There was wind intermittently throughout the trip and we sailed with the motor off when we could.

For example, there was little wind at this point in the crossing. The headsail is rolled up and the staysail and mainsail were flown for stability in the ever-present (and sometimes directionally mixed) sea swell.

Land Ho! This is the Isla Piedra anchorage just south of the entrance to Mazatlan harbor. The little beach palapa on shore, Pizza Benji's, awaited us with delicious cheap beer and garlic shrimp pizza!

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