12 weeks plus 2 days. That is how long we left Milagro waiting for us in La Paz. 12 weeks plus 2 days spent mostly at the mercy of doctor’s schedules, and most of that in the Bay area, some of it in Phoenix. Of course, we managed to visit relatives and friends while we were at it and we also picked up a car to drive back to Mexico. And, when I say “visited” relatives what I really mean is that we pretty much moved in with them. Thank you Randy and Angela and thank you Chip and Amy.
In the end we are not sure if Judy’s back pain is any better than before we left although we are pretty sure it isn’t any worse. Between the two of us, Judy counts 26 visits to doctors, labs or other medical professionals during those 12 weeks. Oh, and we changed health insurance companies during all of that, too. Yes, it was good to be back “home”.
This was the first time we had driven the route between Phoenix and La Paz so we kept the days reasonably short, spreading it out over 3 and 1/2 days. We found it to be an interesting journey. Not at all bad, mind you, but driving Mexico 1 down the Baja is nothing like taking I-40. Think two lane road, often with no shoulders, and with several mountainous areas to pass through. In many places the flora or the geography was so strange and fascinating as to almost seem from some other world. Then the recent heavy rains had rendered two bridges unusable and washed out the road in more places than we could count. Still, all in all it was cool.
But we were glad to be back home. I had originally imagined it might take us 4 or 5 days to get all ready to head out to sea again but I was wrong. For reasons that I do not understand (and probably never will), these things take longer than I think they should. Then just when we were ready to grab fresh groceries and go, the America’s Cup turned into a real contest and just like that, we found ourselves stuck in the marina until it was over.
But what a contest! If you didn’t see it live then you really should find their YouTube channel and watch some of the replays. It was an awesome spectacle produced with amazingly helpful graphics, onboard video and excellent commentary. Sailors and non-sailors alike could follow the action and know just what was going on and what it meant every second of each race. Just, Wow!
OK, that contest was finally settled and so it was that we were able (finally) to slip the dock lines at 1000 on Thursday, September 26th and head out. Our objective? To work our way North into the Sea of Cortez to that area around Loreto and hang out there until the weather turns to Fall and it ain’t so much fun any more. The Loreto area is populated with a great many good anchorages on the Baja side and quite a few islands just offshore. Most of those islands also have great anchorages which all add up to the Loreto area being a great place to hang out for a while.
So here’s the Day 1 report: La Paz to Isla San Francisco – some 45 miles across the Bay of La Paz to the NW. We had confused seas for the first half of the passage but then they settled down to a NW swell of 2′ to 4′. The wind was all over the place, too, until a little after 1400 when it piped up to 12 to 17 knots from the West giving us a terrific beam reach all of the rest of the way to Isla SF. With the swells and wind from mostly West or NW the really scenic anchorage at the SW tip of the island was exposed to swell and that would make it pretty uncomfortable. Consequently, we chose the less scenic but better protected East side of the island.
At 1740 the anchor was set in 16′ over a sand bottom. The winds were now variable from W to N at <10 knots and the water surface flat calm. Add in the fact that the water temperature was an inviting 86 degrees and it seemed like it was going to be a nice place to park. No, it wasn’t very long before we were both in the pool. Nice enough, in fact, that we are still here on Friday. And, since we have the whole anchorage to ourselves, Miss Judy is in no hurry to move.
We should probably continue heading North tomorrow but it is far from certain that we will. I guess we’ll see tomorrow.