Saturday, November 13, 2010

Back in La Paz

We left San Diego, heading south from channel buoy #4 at 12:20pm,
Tuesday, November 2nd. For the next eight days, we made one seven hour overnight stop at Bahia de Tortugas to pick up more fuel and two more overnight anchorages at Los Frailes and Ensenada de Los Muertos before arriving at Marina de La Paz at around 15:30 on Wednesday, November 10th. Traveling a little more than 1,000nm in eight days left all of us a bit punchy for the first few days after arrival.

The trip was uneventful, as far as the weather went, but our seven hour
stay in Tortugas was punctuated with a horrific fire aboard a large cruising catamaran that took about 40 minutes to burn to the water line. There was an apparent failure of a propane hose that began the conflagration and all we could do was gape in horror, 200 yards astern of the burning cat, hoping that none of the crew were trapped aboard. Thankfully, the single-hand sailor doing the delivery escaped the fire and was treated at the medical facility at Tortugas.

This was essentially a delivery mission to get Citla to La Paz. With the able help of my nephew, Peter, and Alicia, our friend from our sister-ship, Tumbleweed ('82 Cal 39 MRK III),
we were able to make the trip in short order. While we experienced large swells the first three days in, the period between swells was long enough to make the 10-12 foot rollers manageable. We had very little in the way of wind for almost the entire trip. A majority of the time found us motor sailing. We were treated to wild life along the way, including whales and a number of different species of dolphins. We did manage to catch one skipjack tuna south of Bahia Magdalena.

Our luck with fishing changed once we entered the San Lorenzo channel, separating the Cerralvo channel from Bahia La Paz.
Within 30 minutes, Peter had hooked a bull dorado that I estimated to be approaching 40" in length as it jumped several times after being hooked, flashing its' green, yellow and blue body colors as it fought to get free. We rolled in the jib and centered the main in an effort to slow the boat while the dorado continued to strip out line from Peter's reel. As the fish appeared to be weakening, it made a run parallel to the boat, easily closing the distance from over 50 yards off the stern to being perpendicular to the boat in a few short seconds. It then turned towards the boat and made a run. The line slightly slackened and the dorado slipped the hook and was gone.

We barely managed to have the adrenaline rush of the hook-up subside and get the boat back into trim when the second fish hit the lure. This time, the fish ripped line off the reel as if the drag was off. Rather than coming to the surface, the fish sounded and continued to take line with it. In under two minutes this denizen had also managed to shake the hook-up. The best we could determine, judging by its behavior we had probably managed to hook into either a large tuna or possibly a marlin.

Both bait and dorado were visible during the remaining trip into the City of La Paz, our fishing was over,
along with the long ocean passage from San Diego. We side tied to the outside dock, astern of the 120' motor yacht, Tully, and finally were able to step ashore after being out for eight days. What was even more exciting, after checking into the marina, we all headed for hot showers followed by the best margaritas served at the Dock Cafe in the marina. We were all exhausted, but pleased to be clean and having the night watches over for the time being.

1 comment:

Mid-Life Cruising! said...

Glad all went well, and we're enjoying your recent posts.