Leg 2, from Bahia de Tortugas to Bahia Santa Maria, began in benign conditions forcing the regatta to start from a 'rolling' start (e.g., motoring at no more than 6 knots until it was determined there was enough wind to sail). This leg was the next longest leg, requiring two overnight watches to make anchorage at Bahia Santa Maria.
The calm early morning conditions allowed for some fishing. Within minutes of setting a hand line from the stern we hooked a dorado. As soon as we brought the fish to the boat, it managed to shake the hook and swim away. Approximately 10 minutes later we hooked into a ten pound tuna. The next 45 minutes were spent filleting the catch and filling the remaining space in the refrigerator. The paucity of cold storage space ended our fishing for the day.
Light winds gave way to more blustery conditions by late afternoon. Winds picked up to between 15 and 25 knots and the seas grew in size as we left the inshore waters. The sailing was exciting and fast. As the Baja coast receded east, we picked up two distinct wave patterns running at 45 degrees to one another. The waves continued to build throughout the evening into night. What had been 4 to 5 foot waves had now built to 6 to 8 foot waves with occasional breaking crests. It made for very uncomfortable conditions requiring some agility to keep from being thrown around while dodging charts, books and laptops that managed to break loose and fly across the cabin. These conditions remained with us for the next two days until we were within 12 miles of the entrance of Bahia Santa Maria where the contours of the geography began to influence the size and direction of the waves. Entering the bay brought welcomed flat waters.
As with the stop at Bahia Tortugas, a beach party was organized with the people of Bahia Santa Maria. With the help of pangeros from nearby Lopez Mateo and a band in from La Paz, the small fishing village of Santa Maria prepared a fish and shrimp stew with rice and crackers to feed the Baja-ha-ha fleet. It was a very traditional fish camp meal that allowed the people to generate some needed cash flow. The bay is beautiful, large with good holding ground for the 100 plus boats that were visiting.While some of the gringo's lost their way through the waves to the beach, the pangeros managed to navigate the small wavelets with ease.
We checked into Marina Cabo San Lucas late Thursday afternoon and spent a few hours recouperating from our journey. Immigration and the Port Captain's offices had closed for the day, so we planned to do the check-in shuffle on Friday. Due to the influx of boats from the Baja-ha-ha fleet, Immigration was overwhelmed to the point where we spent from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. getting our tourist permits. The Port Captain's office had closed for the day by then, committing us to stay until Monday to officially check into the country and simultaneously, check-out. Monday's visit to the Port Captain's office was efficient and we were ready to leave the marina by noon. We took the opportunity to refuel and left the harbor by 1330. Being relatively late to make the 35nm sail to our next overnight anchorage at Los Frailes, we chose to anchor off the east beach from Cabo and make an early morning start to our next destination.