Excited to see two of my articles in the current (December) issue of Cruising World magazine! One of my images from our final summer in Alaska is the “big photo” double page spread (in the picture above!) at the front of the magazine, and my piece about effective winter lay-up practices leads the Hands on Sailor section of practical articles. This article details what we did to prepare CELESTE for the winters she spent in the Bering Sea during our Arctic Voyage.
It was hard to leave the beautiful bays and empty hills of Espiritu Santo island, but with summer (and hurricane season) approaching, it was time to sail back out of the Sea of Cortez and complete the final preparations for the Pacific crossing.
Since we’d been back in Mexico on the boat (after being away working for a few months), we had found the wind patterns to be the reverse of what they’d been in the winter. Back in February, we had made an upwind passage from San Jose del Cabo up to La Paz, fighting the strong north wind that prevails at that time of year. By May, we encountered frequent dead calms during the day and strong southerlies at night. This meant that we would be fighting headwinds again on our way south to Cabo (at least during the nighttime part of the passage). CELESTE sails pretty well against the wind, but headwinds make a passage longer (literally – you sail a lot more miles over ground to make good the same distance, as opposed to being able to sail straight on course with a favorable wind), so when we got a forecast for a calm day and night, we decided to swallow our sailing pride and make tracks to Cabo – we’d lingered long enough if we were going to the South Pacific that season!
It’s been a while since I wrote about our first experience sailing in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez, when we made the upwind (slog of a) passage from San Jose del Cabo to La Paz back in February of this year. So that was Part 1 and now I’m finally getting to Part 2. In between, we spent a couple of weeks in La Paz – touristing and doing boat projects in early March and then provisioning and doing boat projects in early May. (In March and April we were back in the US working ashore.)
Anyhow, that’s some background to catch everyone up since I’m so behind on the blog!
So here goes! Continue reading
I’m finally catching up on the blog! I left off with our time in La Paz, in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez, so that’s where I’m starting up again.
That last post ended with us leaving CELESTE in early March to go back to work for a couple of months. We returned in early May to find her almost as we’d left her, and to find Baja much, much hotter than in the winter! It was very pleasant to be able to stroll around in shirt sleeves at night, but the days were pretty awful… sweltering…made me yearn for Alaska! Continue reading
So, this summer, when I was out-of-touch and offline, we were sailing across the Pacific again. This second Pacific crossing was quite different from the first one in 2007, but more on that in a later post. But en route, we realized we had sailed some 50,000 sea miles.
In that time, we’d sailed across 4 oceans, crossed the equator three times and the Arctic Circle twice, and, I’m pretty sure, had run aground in every ocean. So here’s to the sturdy little vessels that took us so far!
Several sailors we had met in Alaska had highly recommended the Sea of Cortez, saying it was one of their all-time favorite cruising grounds, so that was our goal in Mexico. So when we left San Jose del Cabo, we pointed the bow north again. At first – when our course was really more northeast along the coast – we had beautiful sailing on a close reach, once again flying along under clear skies.
But as the land curved more north and we altered course, the wind was right on the nose. With relatively little chop, we nonetheless made good progress, despite sailing lots of miles out of our way, as you do when you beat to windward. By evening we had reached Cabo Pulmo, a national park that was recommended in our cruising guide for having the best protected anchorage south of La Paz. Continue reading
A couple of links for readers who are interested:
Our partner Katadyn has a new blog and recently interviewed us by phone for it – the interview is up online here.
And Classic Boat magazine just published their April issue, with my piece about sailing in the Arctic on a wooden classic as one of the cover stories!
I promise to catch up on our posts about the California coast soon!
Sailing out of San Francisco Bay, under the Golden Gate Bridge, was a much more relaxed experience than coming into the Bay in the fog and dark. We had sunshine, no ship traffic, and a light breeze – just enough to be able cut the engine and sail through this famous waterway.
The Golden Gate is an iconic strait in nautical history – it actually acquired its moniker prior to the California gold rush, because the strait was a departure (and return) point for the lucrative trade with Asia. I’d spent a fair amount of my childhood looking at it, and sailing under it, so it was a treat to sail my own boat out of it on a voyage to the South Pacific.
Apologies that it’s been so long since my post about the passage down to San Francisco. After the excitement (both good and bad – see earlier post) of coming under the Golden Gate Bridge, we enjoyed a week of being anchored off Sausalito among local live-aboard characters and fellow transient voyagers. The anchorage itself was a little rolly, exposed as it is to the whole bay across to San Francisco, but you can’t argue with a free place to keep a boat in California. Continue reading