We remain in Turtle Bay to allow the passage of Hurricane Sandra 400 miles to the south of us. Originally forecast to be a direct hit on Cabo San Lucas, Sandra has now taken aim at the mainland between Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta with 100 knot winds and 30 ft seas. Today we were awoken at 2 am when the wind freshened as Sandra moved east below us. The wind has blown a steady 20 knots all day – earlier we had gusts of 25 to 30 knots, but hopefully that has passed as the hurricane moves east.
Thankfully the wind didn’t arrive until early this morning, which allowed us to have a proper Thanksgiving dinner ashore yesterday at Maria’s beachside cantina. A total of nine yacht crews attended to provide a potluck dinner with all the trimmings (except the turkey!) We all missed family back home, but were happy to be able to share the day with our cruising family.
Turtle Bay is a village of about 1,200 people, mostly fishermen and their families. It is one of only two all-weather anchorages on the outside of the Baja peninsula. There is one paved street, and it is 135 miles by dirt road to the highway. Despite this, there are several well-stocked stores, cantinas, and a hospital. One entrepreneur has set up a car wash, although one wonders why with all the dust.
Fuel can be obtained by backing up to the rickety dock (which is too shallow for our boat unless the tide is high) or having it delivered by panga – we chose the delivery method.
Chores like going to the store and doing the dishes take much longer than back home. To go to shore, one must put the dinghy into the water, lower the engine on to it, and take an often wet ride into shore where you must carry the dinghy (which now has the heavy outboard attached) out of the surf zone. Hopefully the surf is gentle and you do not get turned sideways and flipped (gotta keep all your electronic goodies in a dry bag just in case). We are in serious water conservation mode until we get to La Paz (about 385 more miles). Potable water is hard to come by in these parts, so to help conserve, we have been washing dishes in seawater, then rinsing in fresh.