Within 20 minutes of rounding the corner of the Bay of San Carlos, we were both wearing our harnesses and were tethered in. These were harnesses and tethers we thought we might never use. It was a beautiful day, but the wind had kicked up to 20 knots right on the nose and stacked up five foot seas one behind the other. This makes for a very rough ride. Imagine Selkie climbing over a big steep wave, then sliding off the backside only to plow into the next wave, bowsprit first, burying the decks in water and essentially stopping all forward momentum. These were the short period waves that the Sea of Cortez is notorious for.

We motored through it all, and we burned much more fuel than we had anticipated for the first leg of the journey to Bahia San Pedro. We burned about 1/2 gallon per hour instead of the 1/4 gallon per hour we were hoping for.

Day two brought us great reprieve. A 12 knot northwesterly breeze allowed us to sail close hauled all day to our next anchorage at Pozo Moreno. It was a lovely day on the water, and a lovely evening chatting with the old Mexican man that lived on the beach there. He has secrets that he made us swear to keep. He also had six bony dogs, two tailless cats, a flock of beautiful chickens, a panga with a hole in it, and he was one of the happiest people we’ve ever met.

Our third day brought a return to the high winds and large seas. This time the waves were mostly in the 5’-6’ range, with a few that were every bit of 8’. This time however, they were spaced a bit further apart, and we sailed through them, which provided great stability and a much smoother ride.

We had done the calculations the night before, and we decided that while we probably didn’t need to, it would be prudent to try and procure a bit more diesel in case we had to motor a straight line to safety if a storm threatened. This meant stopping in the little village of El Choyudo, based on a hot tip from our friend in Pozo Moreno. None of the guidebooks mention fuel here, in fact none of the guidebooks even mention that the town of El Choyudo even exists. But we figured we’d better try anyway…

Tune in tomorrow for episode two of “Adventures in El Choyudo.”

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