May 8, 2008 — Bahia Santo Domingo — N 26 degrees 52′ 00.6″/W 111 degrees 50′ 41.9″

37.2nm for the day; 655.8 nm cruised on the trip overall

It’s about an hour before sunset, and we’re both quite tired. We came further than usual today, due to the fact that we had to come up the east shore of Punta Conception, a very long penninsula which offers no place to tuck in along the way. It was a warm day, with a light breeze from our stern quarter most of the way, which made for a pleasant passage.

I rose at 5:30, just as the first hint of dawn was showing behind Punta Pulpito. When I went forward to haul in the anchor, I could see a bright line of bioluminescence going down in the water, resulting from the rode stimulating things. When I pulled the anchor in, I could see sparkles of light on the wet nylon line which I’d just placed in the anchor locker. As we got underway, the eastern sky steadily reddened, in advance of the rising sun. A large school of mantas caught my attention as I passed Punta Pulpito, leaping into the air and loudly flopping back into the sea. The run itself up to Punta Conception, about 18 miles in length was fairly uneventful. Sea life sightings included a pod of dolphins, which were proceeding in a line opposite our course of travel. We also spotted a single sea lion, more mantas, a large predatory fish which rudely ignored my trolling lure, and the usual collection of sea birds. We motor sailed much of the way, but ran on sails only, wing on wing, for the last 5 miles to the point, averaging about 3 knots.

We rounded Punta Conception around 2 in the afternoon, and headed for the shallow open bay known as Bahia Santo Domingo. We stayed here a night on our way south, and had enjoyed the place then, being the only boat there at the time. We did find one other boat anchored here as we made our approach, however, we were followed by another sloop into the anchorage. In the past couple of hours, 5 other boats have anchored here. We recognize 3 multihulls which were in San Juanico two nights ago.

The afternoon turned quite hot here. As soon as we anchored, we piled into the dinghy with our snorkel gear, intent on exploring the small reef area which borders the anchorage on the north end. Water temperature was a comfortable 72 degrees, thankfully much better than the 64 degrees we had in Punta Pulpito yesterday. At first, visibility was poor, but after we passed through some weedy areas, the water cleared, and we had a great time looking for fish. We saw several new varieties, including a couple large ones which were probably good table fish, if I’d brought my spear. We were just looking though, and we thoroughly enjoyed the swim. After 45 minutes or so in the water we felt chilled, and it was time to get out. By the time we climbed out on the beach, we were surprised to find the sky overcast, and the air much cooler than when we went in. We rowed back to the boat and rinsed off in the solar shower. With a rum and coke under our belts, we barely had enough energy to fix and eat dinner.

It’s looking like we’ll be treated to another stunning sunset, in the direction of Mulege. I am a bit concerned about the breeze, which has shifted to the west. This is the predictable night time land breeze, and we’re completely open in that direction, with about 5 miles of fetch. I’ve got plenty of scope out, and we’re well set in a sand bottom, so dragging shouldn’t be a problem. The question will be how badly the boat bounces. On the other hand, we’re both tired enough that bouncing may not interfere with sleep at all.

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