Baja Bash Wrap-Up

We have completed the dreaded Baja Bash! I have been agonizing over this trip for weeks and it turns out that by going at the right time of year and with good weather windows, it doesn’t really have to be much of a bash at all. We actually had a rather good time except for the fact that it was quite chilly at night (anything below 70 feels like the dead of winter now) and we had to motor the entire time.

We left Turtle Bay three days ago in the evening with a very short weather window to go to Ensenada. The next opportunity to make the trip north was at least a week away and we were not about to get pooped on for another week – it seems that Turtle Bay’s bird population greatly outnumbers its human population and they are all looking for a place to s(h)it.

According to the stormsurf forecasts (South Baja, Central Baja, North Baja) the wind would not start to pick up for a couple of days. And even then nothing over 11 knots. We especially needed very light winds for the first part of the passage as we would be passing several capes and a couple of channels, one of which is nicknamed the “washing machine”.

Punta Eugenia and Canal de Dewey slowed our speed to nearly 3 knots due to a falling tide. We made it across the washing machine (Canal de Keller) with just a gentle corkscrew motion and when we reached the dreaded Punta Norte we had mirror calm seas. The last hurdle was Bahia Vizcaino of which the author of The Baja Bash has this to say: “Maybe you’ll get lucky on your crossing and find calm conditions but its never happened to me.” Mind you this is not a small bay and reading this made me nervous. We had calm seas for the entire 100 miles!

On our last full day at sea the wind picked up in the afternoon and blew around 10-12 knots on the bow most of the night. Couple that with a 6 foot falling tide (which pushed us south) and we were only making 3.5 knots. Now it’s 6am, we’re making an easy 5 knots on calm seas and are less than 20 miles from Ensenada where we will check out of Mexico and wait for another weather window to make the short hop to San Diego. Once there we will look for jobs and try to sell Camille.

Read all Baja Bash posts.

Not that we’re experts now, but here is our advice for anyone yet to make the Bash: wait until as late in the spring as you dare, pick good weather windows and get the Baja Bash book – it has great advice on timing and lots of anchorage options in case the weather report was a little off. Leaving right after a hurricane was a bit scary but it gave us following seas for the first half of our journey.

Checking for tangled seaweed in Turtle Bay
Getting fuel in Turtle Bay
Have I mentioned that it has gotten progressively colder?!!
The bustling metropolis of Turtle Bay
The reason we didn’t want to stay longer
Turtle Bay fuel and dinghy dock
“Bashing” up the Baja
What kind of sea turtle? We saw lots of these. Much smaller than the ones further south.
Fin Whale? Blue Whale? Much bigger than humpies or greys
Our escort into Ensenada
The sun came out for our arrival. We had cloudy skies the entire Bash so it was a welcome sight.


11 Responses

  1. Sorry to hear you’re selling Camille… :/
    Been following your story and smiling a lot, but feel like I missed something….

    I’m still at the 26X stage, and yes – ripping out a marine head to be replaced by a composting one…:)

    Anyways, whatever you guys are up to, fair winds and following seas, and hope your story on the water doesn’t end now…
    Best Regards

    Mike M
    North Shore Lake Pontchartrain

    1. Mike, do you have a blog? Would love to follow you! I have this crazy idea of driving to Florida, buying a MacGregor and sailing the Bahamas and/or Florida Keys for a few months…

  2. No way are we done boating! And this blog does not end. As you know from our blog Camille wasn’t our first boat and she surely isn’t our last! We just have to make a little money for now to move on to the next phase… whatever that may be we have no idea! We’re not big into planning…

  3. Thanks for posting your Baja bashing experiences! We are going to have to make a similar journey in about a year, so it’s good to hear that it’s doable, though motor intensive. Sorry to hear that your travels are at an end so far, but I can’t wait to follow along on your next big adventure.

    1. Oh gosh I was so nervous about that trip because I had heard about peoples lightbulbs falling out of their sockets they were bashing so bad – but they went in March! July is the time to go!!

  4. So glad that the “bash” was actually pleasant! Would love to hear that you bought another sailboat and were hanging out around Florida or the Bahamas .. then maybe we could catch up with ya’ll! =)

  5. Great story on the “bash” up the coast. I’m glad ur story and blog are not going to end, folks like reading ur stuff. I’m so excited to read about more folks doing this,,,and putting in composting heads like mike above. We’re putting together that plan and I’ve been doing lots of research on it. Great post, thanks. Chad


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