Monday, December 06, 2010

Santa Rosalia

On Friday, we wanted to leave the Guaymas wharf, calibrate the auto pilot, and anchor in front of the wharf for the night before sailing to Santa Rosalia on the Baja side of the Sea of Cortez. But as we headed out to anchor, the tide was unusually low and when we cut our lines loose from the dock, Sea Turtle didn't budge. The boat probably said:
"No, you shouldn't be leaving on a Friday."
(FYI: Superstitions consider it bad luck for sailors to leave the dock on a Friday for a long voyage or a deep sea excursion.)

Then we coaxed her out when the tide gave us a few inches but she wasn't done being stubborn - 90 m off the wharf she sat on a mudbar. Again, we waited for the tide and when we drifted off, we found some depth and anchored for the night.

We used the next day for sea trials to set up and get familiar with the new auto pilot. But it wasn't going well all day (bleeding the hydraulic lines at sea, adjusting the instruments, etc.) and by mid afternoon without having sufficient progress on dialling it in, we decided to head back to Guaymas harbour before dark. However on the way in, tinkering with the auto pilot controls, Jordan seemed to get it working. So we turned around and headed out to sea around 17:30 for an 85 nautical mile overnight crossing.

The wind was just off our nose and after motoring a short time in light winds, Jordan decided to put the mainsail up to help. At that point, the wind was starting to get a little brisk so he put a double reef in the main which turned out to be a good move as the winds got pretty strong throughout the night. As we pulled into Santa Rosalia harbour at 09:00, the sea winds were neutralized by the usual morning offshore flow.

Santa Rosalia (N27°20.401' W112°15.925') is yet another cute little town. We stayed Sunday night, the first of two nights, at the Marina Santa Rosalia so the salt could be hosed off the boat decks and sails. This marina is located in a historic wooden building which sells beer and pop from its fridge on the "honour system". If you want one, you take one, and write your name down on the paper. When you check out, you settle up. The staff is very easy-going, friendly, and not worried about the usual rules.

Jordan behind "bars" of Marina Santa Rosalia

During our stay, we wandered the town and went to see what is known as "Eiffel's Church" as it was designed by the same man as the Eiffel Tower in Paris. This church was built of pre-fabricated metal for the 1889 Paris Exposition, complete with stained glass windows too! After being moved to Brussels, it was once again dismantled and then re-assembled in Santa Rosalia in 1895 by its new French owners.

Iglesia Santa Barbara (Eiffel Church)

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