March 20/21, 2008 – Overnight crossing of the Sea of Cortez, to Santa Rosalia

71 nm for the run, 87 nm total for the cruise

We raised anchor and departed Bahia San Pedro at 6:20 pm, just as the sun was setting, and the full moon rising. The sunset projected pastel shades on the rippling sea as we headed for the north end of San Pedro Island, some 7 miles distant. In the failing light we spotted a pair of whales, about a half mile off. By the time we reached San Pedro Island night had settled in. I took the first watch, and steered the boat by the light of the full moon until midnight. I ran at 2100 rpm, averaging very nearly 6 knots. There was no need for motoring faster, as I didn’t want to arrive at Santa Rosalia prior to sunrise. The night air was quite chilly, and I wished I’d dressed a bit more warmly.

Sandy took over from midnight until 2:30 pm, which gave me time to warm up and nap a bit. I completed the run into Santa Rosalia, after her watch. You begin to see the lights of Santa Rosalia from about 30 miles out. For hours I motored toward those lights. It seemed like we were never going to get there. We got in at 7 am, just after the moon had set and the sun had risen. It was dead flat the whole way across. I’m told it was the calmest weather they’ve had to date this year.

We’re now tucked into a slip at the new Singlar Mar de Cortes marina in Santa Rosalia. It is a brand new facility, built by the Mexican government to try encouraging cruising boat traffic in this area. It hasn’t taken off yet, judging by the lack of boats in the marina. I hope their efforts succeed. We will be hanging out here for the next several days, before starting our gunkholing explore of Baja as far as La Paz.

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