13 Dec Cholla Bay Sailors sail to San Felipe May 24th -26th
Sailing trip to SanÂ Felipe May 24th -26th
Â Â Â Â Â Oncoreâ€¦.May 24th
As most of you know the sailboat Gato Loco just returned from nearly a month of cruising on Baja and I didnâ€™t expect to see the shores of Baja anytime soon. HOWEVER when Roger, Johnny and Brian invited me (Lowell) to sail to San Felipe as an Oncore to Rogerâ€™s weekend concert (Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers) it took little time to sign on to crew â€œViva-Rachaâ€ on a Baja adventure. Roger and Johnny have had Viva-Racha a 26â€² Aquilon catamaran in Cholla for the past 2 years. Theyâ€™ve looked toward Baja but schedules and weather have kept her an elusive silhouette across the Sea of Cortez until this past week.
The full crew at the Taco Factory San Felipe (Jason, Jen, Johnny, Roger, Lowell & Brian)
San Felipe lies 62 nautical miles west of Cholla Bay (see map at the bottom of this page) across the Sea of Cortez and is the first Sea of Cortez tourist destination of many on HW 1 heading south to Cabo. San Felipe is still a pretty sleepy Baja town sparked by holiday weekends bring lots of tourists. We should beat the Memorial crowds.
We departed Cholla 5:30 AM Wednesday with barely enough water left in the Bay. Villa towed us for nearly one quarter mile to his special low tide hole. Lucky for us, Viva-Racha has enough water to be freed from her trailer as the sun made itâ€™s first presence known. Does this mean the Sea Gods are with us?
Rosario Villa during our early morning launch.
Crew pointing us west â€¦
Shortly after sunrise we hoisted the main sail anticipating winds. 7:30 AM, seas flat, winds clocked from the east to the north at 8kts. Jib and main trimmed and making good progress with San Felipe on our nose. 8:30 AM, winds building to 12kts and it looks like we might get a serious blow from the north. Decks cleared and secured.
Good news.. Winds stabilized at 12kts making for a very pleasant sail to Roca Consagracion more than 2/3 of the way to Felipe. Winds lighten as we come over the influence of Baja. Great time for a break and a swim with the local sea lions. As soon as Viva-Racha stops we are surrounded by frisky young pups ready to play. Jen and Jason are the first in. Jasonâ€™s first sea lion experience and heâ€™s lovin it! OKay.. Itâ€™s time for an overdose of sea life.. As we finish with the sea lions a huge pod of dolphin zoom by just north of us (See photo above map). We tried to catch them but they are much too fast.
Winds and seas flatten out as we arrive in San Felipe. First order of business is to sail past the malecon to check things out then on to our overnight anchorage north of the light house. New Moon tomorrow night and tides are running extreme. North of the lighthouse provides more water.
Anchor down itâ€™s time to celebrate the right of passage with a little Don Julio. San Felipe is no longer a silhouette across the Sea. A little tequila in our bellies and itâ€™s time to explore the streets for San Felipe!!
Itâ€™s only a quarter of a mile!