Three other boats, new-found cruising friends of ours from Vancouver & the Pacific Northwest, left about 1/2 hour before us. As we rounded the headland just outside and south of the bay, we saw these boats were all heeled over with the gusts blowing out through the valley.
We kept in touch over the VHF radio and our friends sent back reports on the conditions that they were experiencing up ahead of us. About an hour out, one of the boats (Reunion) lost control of their transmission and had to turn around and head back. We all offered our help, but they told us they were fine and urged us to carry on. We listened to them call other boats anchored in the bay and were glad to hear that they were able to sail in and select a safe spot to anchor.
As we progressed down the coast, we would find more gusty winds and choppy seas each time we came abreast of another valley. So we spent the day alternating between motoring in dead calm and sailing 'on our ear' with a reefed main and partially-furled headsail.
The Santa Anna winds are warm and dry, so we wore shorts and t-shirts until evening came and the sun set.
The night was quite uneventful, with few ships and just a couple one or two hour periods of gusting winds. We took turns on watch while the other tried to catch some sleep.
This morning, we checked in and gave a position report on the Sonrisa (Ham) net and received a weather forecast for the next few days. It looks like we will have a motor-boat ride down the Baja the rest of the way to Bahia Magdalena ('Mag Bay'), so we are being careful with our fuel consumption and are glad that we still have four gerry cans of diesel on deck.
We hope to make Bahia Santa Maria (the bay outside of Mag Bay) by sometime mid-day on Wednesday. We'll post position reports along the way.
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