After leaving Isla Partida right at sunset, we knew we had an adventurous night ahead of us. At the southern point of the island was an immense tidal rip that we’d been watching all day, proof of the power of the tidal currents in this area. As we rounded the point, we entered the Canal de Ballenas, a deep channel that moves lots of water, and is known to kick up big waves when that mass of water combines with a northwest wind. Of course, if you remember from the last post, we were experiencing strong northerlies.
With a bit of trepidation, we set off into the night. As expected, we immediately found ourselves in large seas, the largest waves reaching about 8’ and with a 20 knot wind behind them. Luckily, these waves were spaced slightly further apart, so we could navigate through them, taking them on our quarter and turning bow into the big ones. We threw up the staysail for stability and a bit of forward drive, but we let Beulah, our trusty 10hp diesel, do most of the heavy lifting.
At about 1:00 am, we finally came into Bahia Alacran on the Baja coast. This is not how we envisioned our first taste of the peninsula, but at the moment we were happy just to have a little refuge from the waves. A shrimp trawler was anchored dead center in the bay, so we had to maneuver between it and the rocks in the pitch black, but we finally managed to drop our anchor in a big bed of sand with lots of room between us and the shoreline. That was a good feeling indeed.